Missouri Home Tours' Mission
As you may know from visiting my site, I work to provide high quality photography for real estate agents and home owners in the St. Louis area. I'm often asked by clients if real estate photography is all I do. Missouri Home Tours mission is to support the St. Louis real estate industry by providing services important to property marketing and client marketing. This may be in the form of still images for the MLS or brochures, headshots for LinkedIn, Facebook and personal website, or video for YouTube. Savvy realtors understand that quality marketing will help land quality clients. As much as I look to work with higher end realtors, realtors look to work with higher end sellers. Basically, my images are meant not only to help sell the home, but to help show your clients the level of marketing you bring when they hire you.
Realtors understand (or should understand) that having an online presence is imperative to the success of their business. The days of taking a snapshot of the front of the home and putting the image in the local penny flyer or newspaper are over. If you're a realtor still doing this as your main marketing - I'm sorry to say, but your dead in the water. You need to put your energies during slower times in learning how using social media can help, and sign up for platforms like Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, Flickr - as well as many others. Emerging realtors for the most part are of a younger generation that use these platforms as second nature. It will always be the case that technologies change with the generation of people using them. Yes, those using the technologies of today will have difficulty using the tech of tomorrow. If you find it difficult navigating the social media landscape, I recommend that you hire someone to teach you - or better yet - have your progeny show you.
When you think of realtors in your area who are top marketers, what do they have in common? Paying attention to what they do and how they operate will help you understand what you need to do to get to where they're at. They've set a specific marketing strategy in motion and follow this religiously. The have a plan and don't deviate from it.
Last week I had a meeting with a new realtor that was impressed with my work as a photographer. He seemed to be quite attuned to the fact that for success in real estate, that he must "provide the same service to those selling a $50,000 home as (he) would for a multimillion dollar home". I was impressed with his knowledge of marketing and how he can apply this to his strategy. Part of the strategy, and why we met, is that he intends to use a professional photographer for all homes he's hired to sell. Right on. I look forward to seeing how his business grows over the coming years.
What Are Your MLS Listing Photos Showing Clients?
As a member of LinkedIn, I receive many updates of properties that are newly available around St. Louis. Many of those updates contain links to site's that have photos meant to attract people to open houses and eventually sell the property. As a photographer, I'm astonished that realtors would take time and energy to post information about homes and use substandard photography. I would love to show examples of terrible real estate photos on the Internet, but I don't own the copyright to them, so I won't. Photos that I consider substandard are often crooked, dark, blurry, subject to color casts, and basically uninteresting. Most of these photos are taken by cell phone hurriedly by the realtor in order to get them to the Internet as fast as possible for sellers.
Smart sellers realize that Internet marketing is the single, most important part of advertising that can be done for their property. Before hiring any realtor, I would look at listings they are currently handling to determine how they are getting the word (or pictures) out for those properties.
The Missouri Home Tours Difference
You can say that I am somewhat obsessed in providing high quality photography for my clients. A few weeks ago a had a conversation with a Realtor who recommended me to her colleague. She told her that she liked my work, but I took a long time. I know speed is important for Realtors, as its important for me. My question is - What quality are you getting for that speed? There are a many options in St. Louis for photographers to shoot your properties. Many of those options are cheaper. But with anything, higher quality takes more time and costs more money. Below is an example of a photo I took for a remodeled home in Webster Groves.
The individual that hired me to photograph wasn't concerned with just getting pictures to the web. They were concerned with getting great pictures, knowing that often great pictures lead to higher selling prices. They paid a designer to stage the home and wanted pictures to match the quality the staging company and seller wanted. That is the Missouri Home Tours difference.