Want to Stand Out As A Realtor?
As a photographer, I can understand the realtor experience. I’ve made a lot of friends with realtors over time because I believe there is a lot in common with our businesses.
Like the photography world, real estate is a very saturated market. You feel like everyone is a realtor now, because the price of entry into the job is pretty low. Get your license, or in my case, go to Best Buy and buy a camera, and you’re in.
How do you even begin to differentiate yourself when there are more realtors than houses? How do you differentiate yourself when everyone is a photographer? We all have the same questions, and there’s a lot we could be offering each other.
For instance, a realtor’s art form is sales. Salesmanship is something that is usually missing from many creatives like photographers, and many photographers, myself included, could learn a thing or two about closing a sale. Many photographers honestly think that if they just upload photos on their website, people will just show up and start buying prints from them.
And in the same way, realtors could learn marketing from photographers. I’ll never forget flipping through a real estate catalog and seeing advertisements for real estate brokerages. You know what were in those ads? A logo, usually a slogan of some kind, and then a few smiling people in awkward poses….in every single ad. How does that have anything to do with selling real estate? Why would every brokerage all basically have the exact same ad?
Differentiation is the name of the game in two saturated markets like photography and real estate. And how do we go about doing that? Photographers know that in order to stand out on social media, their images have to look one of a kind. You develop a style to a point that when someone sees one of your images, they know it’s a photo that Will Malone took without even seeing the username.
Think about the retail public for a second: they want a deal, but they also want to impress their friends. They want to purchase a home and feel good about it, and sometimes, they’ll even spend more to get the social currency that comes with a big purchase like a home. It’s why people buy overpriced Apple products: They want people to see that Apple on the back of their laptop, they want people to see those Airpods sticking out of their ears.
Not only that, but they want to have “a guy”. After this successful purchase, they want to tell their potential home-buying friends, “Hey you should talk to our realtor, they are incredible. They’ll find you what you’re looking for.” They want to take credit for finding you, and want to show off the fact that you did great work for them.
That’s the perfect place to be.
Now how do you get there?
First: Images. Video. Media. It’s the first impression anyone gets of you as a realtor in the internet age.
The internet has made people smart, it has given us the ability to smell BS from a mile away. If the toilet seat is up in a photo, they instantly know that you don’t have an eye for detail. If they see you in the mirror of a photo of a bathroom with your smartphone, they know that you’re just trying to rush through and off load this listing as quick as possible.
The retail public has extremely high standards, and they are getting higher all the time. They want you to spend $1000 on photography for a $120,000 listing, but you and I both know that’s unrealistic. Just like when brides want me to shoot a 10 hour wedding for $200, it just doesn’t make logical sense for us business-wise.
How do save time and money, but also make sure you’re making your brand look as slick as possible? Sometimes you hire Will Malone at The Drone Studio to do the full interior/exterior, drone video and walkthrough thing, but sometimes you just can’t swing it.
We all carry around photo and video studios in our pockets, and in 2019, there’s no excuse for bad images. I’m actually teaching a workshop at the end of August on how to get the most out of your smartphone camera. We’ll be getting to practice and do demonstrations in an actual house in Anderson, SC. It’ll be a really fun time. You can find out more, here.
Once you start shooting good images that people like you’ll start to develop a style over time. I would assume that as a realtor, you have your type of clientele and type of house that you tend to gravitate to already, and all of that goes into your “brand” as a realtor. You know what your client wants and the types of images or video that your client responds to. For your bigger listings, you should be collaborating with your photographer on making sure that you are filming and getting photos that you know your client wants to see.
Of course, images get someone in the door, but it’s your job to get them hooked. This is where realtors tend to really shine, and salesmanship and customer service is something that all photographers could learn from.