Recently a friend came by my office and we began discussing real estate. This friend often reads my blog post, and in our conversation, he mentioned that I hammer on the issue of agents not using professional photos. He also said that he could not believe that there were that many agents who don’t use professional photos, knowing that it has been shown that great photos help sell homes faster and for more money. So, why not hire a professional photographer? It is hard to explain.
To prove my point, I asked my friend to pick any condo building in Portland. He looked at our inventory sheet and saw that Waterfront Pearl had more listings than other buildings, so I used that building as an example. In my opinion, EVERY listing should have great photos, especially higher-end listings. In this example I will use listings priced at $750,000 or higher. Currently at Waterfront Pearl there are 6 listings above $750,000 (they are priced from $798,000 to $1,049,000) Of these 6, only 2 of the 6 listings have used professional photography! Again people, these are $800,000+ condos for sale!
To say that my friend was shocked is a huge understatement. His comment: “Why would someone hire an agent who does not care enough to do their best for their client?” Hmmm… where have I heard this before? Why would an agent not spend a few hundred dollars in an attempt to gain thousands more for the client? And if that agent is not spending money to do a nice job on the photos do you think they are going to spend money on doing a nice video, expensive print material or internet marketing? Probably not.
The National Association of Realtors has shown time and time again that homes listed with high-quality photos sell for more money. If you are an agent who doesn’t spend on professional photos, you might as well be telling your clients upfront that you just don’t care what their home sells for! Harsh? Maybe. True? You be the judge.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. If you would like to see any listed condo or loft, call Brad today at 503-896-8856.
Now is the time of year that buyers begin to hunt for condos and lofts in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. When looking at these properties, please be aware of the importance of price per square foot. Most important, and I have said this before, the price per square foot can vary dramatically based on where the unit is located in the building! I often deal with agents who mostly work in the suburbs, presenting offers on listings based on price per square foot. Trouble is these units were far inferior to the one I had listed. You cannot compare a 12th floor unit with views of Mt. Hood or the West Hills to a 3rd floor unit that is looking into an apartment building. It is also difficult to compare a unit with a deck with city views to a unit that is ground floor with no outdoor living space and less security.
I specialize in condos because I want to be an expert in what I do. Today, too many agents try to be all things to all people. In the end, they become experts at nothing because you cannot understand every part of the city and the nuances of every area. If you are looking for a home in Alameda, I am not your guy! There are agents in that area who know the market very well. Why as a buyer, would you use an agent from who does not understand the delicate balance of pricing based on the difference of just a couple of blocks?
The same can be said of the condominium market. Why work with a buyer’s agent that does not understand the nuances of the condominium market or the pricing of this market? As a buyer, it does not cost you more to work with a specialist. The truth is, it pays! As for someone who is selling their condo, it becomes even more important to work with a specialist. Last year, I spoke to a seller who was told by a competing agent ( who works for a company that does a ton of marketing on TV, stating they can save their clients thousands of dollars) that they could sell their condo for 5% higher than the Zillow “Zestimate”. Problem was that the Zestimate was extremely low for this property, which is not unusual. ( Zillow has an even tougher time with comparables in the condo market than Redfin or agents from the suburbs.) Had that person only priced their condo 5% higher than Zillow’s Zestimate, it would have cost them many thousands of dollars. In addition, the same agent, whose company says it can save you money on commissions, could have cost that same client thousands of dollars because of the lack of experience.
In addition to correctly pricing a unit, sellers should consider this one thing: I am in the condo market EVERYDAY marketing to condo buyers EVERYDAY. Every week I speak with folks walking by my office on 11th Avenue who are up from the Bay area looking for a place to buy. This presents a huge marketing advantage. I have said this before, a typical agent cannot go from marketing homes in Lake Oswego one day and then flip a switch and fill up their pipeline with condo buyers overnight. It just does not work this way.
And for that same agent to understand condo pricing overnight? It does not happen.
Please visit my new website at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. See some great aerial drone photography of many of downtown condo buildings! Just click on the Buildings page.
It’s that time of the year again, when we start to see many more listings come on the market. And, like every year, we see many come onto the market where the listing agent just doesn’t care about doing a great job for his client! What do I mean by this? It’s simple and can be described in 2 words…PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS! This last week I was shocked as I looked at every new condo listing that came on the market. If I had to guess, I would say only 60-65% of the new listings had professional photos. You have heard me rant on this topic before…but I just can’t hold back! Here is my message to those agents who decided a “point and shoot” camera was ok… you are being paid a commission to market your clients condo in the best possible way, so do it! Go spend a few hundred dollars and do the job right! I have always believed in good marketing for my listings and that has to start with great photos. Now here is my message to those sellers who hired these agents to sell their condo… If they don’t care enough about you to spend a few hundred dollars to make your listing shine, then they are probably the wrong agent to be attempting to sell your place. In my experience, an agent that won’t pay for professional photos, most likely will not do anything else in terms of marketing. If they are to cheap to pay for professional photos, do you really think they will pay for additional marketing tools like quality print media, a listing website, a video, aerial drone footage or anything else?
I often ask myself when I see these listings, why do people hire agents like this? Do they just have a close relationship and are willing to sacrifice getting top dollar? Do they just not realize that there are agents out there that will give them so much more value for their commission dollars spent?
I have always believed in doing everything possible to make my listings stand out from the hundreds of other listings on the market and good marketing is the answer. For many years, certain beers have sold well because of their marketing. Their beer is no better than other beers but the perception is better because of marketing. In real estate, the same can be true. Every listing I take is not going to be a total jewel and sometimes the marketing must paint a picture and give people a “perception” of the property to get them to come view it. If you start with bad photos, you may have lost 50% of the buyers who will not even come take a look. With that said, I would also caution you against agents that use 360 photography…you know the type, where you can see EVERY inch of a place just by looking at the photos. In my opinion, these photos show too much of a property. By showing too much of the property, I believe this will also keep people from viewing a property because they may just see one or two things they don’t like. I believe that good marketing should be kind of a tease. You want to make it so that potential buyers really want to see more of a property. When you use professional photos, instantly buyers have a higher perception of
quality, which in turn, makes them open to spending more money on a property.
Corona is not be the best beer in the world but they sell a lot of it because of their marketing!
If you are curious at all about my marketing, please visit :
( and while you are there, take a look at the buildings pages to see some great aerial drone videos of YOUR building!)