Back in the day when the only place to advertise homes for sale was your local Pennysaver or newspaper classified ads, photos weren’t all that important. You could get away with a single grainy black and white shot – or even no photo at all – and people would still come out to see your home.
In the present day world of internet advertising, that is just no longer true.
Working at MHVillage I will occasionally hear Professionals say, “If I don’t post photos, people will be curious and more likely to come out and see the home for themselves.” This couldn’t be more wrong. The #1 request I hear from buyers is for more home photos. Let’s face it, they want to see what the home looks like – before they get in their cars.
With some digital cameras now available for under $30, digital photos are easy and inexpensive to take. Your customers know this, so when they don’t see a photo of a home on a listing, the first thing on their mind isn’t “I should drive out and see this home” it’s, “What are they hiding?”
I’m sure you’ve heard the old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” and it is never more true than when it comes to home listings. No matter how well you describe a home, nothing conveys more information than a few well taken photos. From beautiful move-in ready homes to handyman specials, pictures immediately tell buyers if this property is going to meet their needs.
Want proof? Last month on MHVillage basic listings without photos were looked at an average of 12 times. Our Premium listings (which have unlimited photos) were viewed 62 times! Here’s a short break down for you:
Wondering how this holds up across the country? Take a look at some of these examples from different states.
Look at that! In South Carolina, a Basic home listing without photos was looked at by potential buyers an average of 49 times last month – not bad. Or at least, it doesn’t seem bad, until you see that homes with our Premium package and unlimited photos were looked at an average of 348 times during the course of the same month!
Unfortunately there is also a common misconception in our industry that seniors or people purchasing manufactured homes don’t have computers. Wow, is THAT ever wrong! The fact that there are over 20,000 people a day on MHVillage looking at homes and communities tells you that your customers are using the internet to shop for homes. In fact, according to nielsenwire, there are six million more seniors using the web than five years ago! We also know that 87% of buyers used the internet in their search for a home, as compared to only 47% that used the newspaper!
It comes down to this – whether people are looking to relocate or find a place next door, more and more are starting their home search online. Plus they are using that information. According to the 2008 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 77% of people drove by or viewed a home as direct result of their internet home search.
What does this mean to you? Getting your homes online is essential, but it isn’t enough to just advertise a price and the numbers of beds and baths. To really capture your share of the market and bring people to your door, you have to go the extra step and show them with photos what you have to offer. It’s simple, easy, cheap and effective. Read on to learn more about taking great photos and getting them where your buyers can see them….