June 11, 2020
How Home Builder Photography and Videography Can Help Boost Sales
In 2018, one in five home buyers made an offer without ever seeing the home in person. Fast forward to 2020, and even more buyers are relying on photographs and video walkthroughs to check out prospective homes.
When in-person tours aren't possible, and even when they are, these digital alternatives have become must-haves for home builders and master planned community developers.
If you need to garner interest in a property, photos and videos are your first chance. The trouble is, it takes more than a quick snapshot from your phone to convince a buyer to make an offer.
That's where home builder photography comes in. By staying on par with modern quality standards, these professional photographs will show buyers what your home truly has to offer.
To learn why investing in home builder photography should be a priority, and how it can help boost your sales, read on.
What Are the Qualities of Good Home Builder Video and Photography?
Photos and videos create the buyer's first impression of a house, which means they need to make a statement. Great home photography should look warm and inviting. It should make the viewer feel an emotional connection to the house.
It also needs to show how much space the home has. The goal is to make the house look spacious, without being deceitful. You're trying to give the buyer an accurate idea of the house.
Staging—complete with furniture and artwork—should always be a part of quality real estate photography. If real furniture isn't an option, you can use virtual staging which adds digital furnishings to an existing photo.
Unlike traditional real estate, new builds won't have any furniture to use in the photos. Buyers like to see a clean slate, but having an empty house is not a good strategy. An empty home looks smaller than it is and feels uninviting, which is why staging is so important.
Video, on the other hand, should make you feel like you're walking through the house. And because it can sometimes take the place of an in-person walkthrough, you need to show how the house flows from one room to another. How it feels.
Good Real Estate Photography Brings a Higher Asking Price
If you sell homes, great photography can drastically increase your profits. In fact, the work of professional real estate photographers can boost your asking price by as much as 47%. The quality of your photos has a huge impact on your bottom line.
That's because these photographers know how to showcase a home's best features. They also know how to stage a house so a buyer can picture themselves living there.
The buyer's first impression of a home will stick with them throughout the entire process. Since the first impression comes from the photos, you can increase the odds of a positive reaction by investing in photography.
If you're selling luxury homes, your buyer will expect an even higher standard of quality during the buying process. If you can offer a high-quality experience, you can start with a higher asking price.
Plus, great photos will also make your homes sell faster—luxury or otherwise. The more inviting your photos look, the more likely buyers will want to come for a showing and make an offer.
It Helps Buyers Imagine Living in Your Custom Home
When selling an existing home, all realtors encourage sellers to take out personal photos and stick to a neutral palette. It's not because realtors love beige—they do this so prospective buyers can be free to imagine themselves living in that home.
Unlike realtors, home builders offer a clean slate in the form of new construction. You don't have to make the buyer feel like no one's lived there before.
But, you do still share one priority with realtors. You need to help the buyer feel like they could live and thrive in the home you're offering.
If they can't imagine family meals in the kitchen or summer parties in the backyard, you've lost them as a buyer. That's why photography is such an important part of home builder marketing.
With the right equipment, staging, camera angles, and editing, you can make your buyer feel an emotional connection to a home. And much like branding, emotion is everything.
Once they feel that, they're likely to make an offer.
It's Perfect for Social Media Marketing
Did you know the average internet user looks at social media for more than two and a half hours each day? No matter the age of your target client, there's a good chance they're spending time on social media. If you use social media as part of your home builder marketing strategy, that's good news for you.
The trouble is, it's tough to stand out from other home builders on social media. That's why posting high-quality visuals is a great way to set yourself apart. Not only do people respond to strong visuals on social media, they also choose homes based on appearance.
Plus, if you're worried about keeping up with a social media posting schedule, having a pool of gorgeous photos ready to share will make your life easier. You won't have to devote a ton of time crafting the perfect update—you can share a photo or video tour of a new build and call it a day.
The better your real estate photography looks, the more likely it is that people will share your post. This is free advertising that will help you get your brand out there and expand your top-funnel. When people share your posts, it's called organic social media because you're not paying for it, you're getting traffic organically.
Professional photography is an investment, but you can make the cost worthwhile by using the photos in your ads and sponsored posts on social media. Social media users with related interests and online search histories will see your ad, and you earn a chance at a new customer.
Good Home Builder Photography Attracts More Buyers
Whether you're promoting your homes on your website, through print advertising, or on other home buying websites, good photography will stand out. When you stand out from the crowd, you'll be able to attract more buyers.
While some builders have enough in-house experience to take their own photos, the work is often still amateur-grade. In part, because they're balancing a lot of other duties. To properly stage, compose, and edit 50 photos, you'll want a specialized resource.
If your competitors primarily use amateur photographers, your homes will look much better by comparison. Home buyers will flock to your business because your dedication to quality caught their eye.
Plus, when you have more buyers vying for the same home, you can also expect the price to go up. The competition between buyers will generate more interest and you'll look even more desirable. The right photographs can bring you more clients and higher profits.
It Builds Trust in Your Brand
Buying a home is probably the biggest monetary investment a person will make. A home is also where they'll build their life, so they're essentially investing in their own future. With so much at stake, buyers want a builder they can trust.
Demonstrating your brand values is often more effective than simply stating what you value. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
If you have high-quality photos on your website, it tells buyers that you value high-quality craftsmanship. Great photography also conveys that your homes are well-made and worth the investment, even if you're not explicitly a luxury brand. After all, buying a home is a major status symbol and buyers want to feel proud of their choice.
Without great photos, all buyers will see is your sales pitch. Until they can see concrete examples, they won't trust your brand enough to want to make a purchase.
The style of your photography also helps build brand recognition. Ideally, people will recognize your photos even without your brand name. The more people recognize and trust your brand, the more sales you'll make.
Home Builder Photography 101: Tips for Taking DIY High-Quality Photos
If you're not ready to hire a professional yet, there are a few things you can do to take better photos.
Focus on Lighting
Natural light makes small spaces look larger and more inviting. Open the blinds to let in as much light as possible and turn on lamps and overhead lights. You can also try shooting during twilight to give your home a soft and welcoming glow.
Use the Right Angles
To photograph a room, try standing in a doorway or a corner. Make sure you can see three walls in the photo as this will show off the room's dimensions. Hold your camera at chest height to take photos because it will show the room as it is without distorting it.
Stage the Home Carefully
While empty homes look small, overly-staged homes look cluttered. Include a few pieces of furniture in each room, but make sure not to upset the room's flow. You might not notice these flow issues until you shoot, which means you might need to rearrange the furniture.
Avoid staging with area rugs since they can make rooms look small. Plus, you'll get to show off the beautiful flooring.
Use Adequate Gear
Smart phone cameras have come a long way, but there is simply no reconciling the difference between a phone camera and a DSLR with a great lens.
Edit Your Photos
While the goal is always to maximize the quality of raw, unedited photos, finishing touches remain best practice. And luckily, quality editing software is abundant and affordable. Just be sure to not over-do it.
Hire a Professional Photographer and Videographer Today
If you've never considered home builder photography or video, your homes might not be bringing in what they're worth. Professional photography will expand your client base, help your homes sell faster, and build trust in your brand.
If you're looking for more ways to boost your sales, Milesbrand can help. Contact us today to learn how we can bring your brand, and your visuals, to life.