Are you a real estate agent? Then you know it’s a jungle out there.
When you look around at the competition, it isn’t just the volume of agents in this busy market that challenges your success. Market trends, interest rates, mortgage security, and more recently, the erosion of consumer confidence in real estate professionals – these factors too affect your outcomes. Results of a study commissioned by the National Association of REALTORS® in 2015 noted that “uneven professional standards” were yet another consumer concern.
As the real estate business weathers these diverse challenges, every detail of every transaction and interaction that you participate in takes on new meaning and importance. If you don’t regularly ask yourself, “What am I doing to set myself apart?” then you are, as they say, planning to fail.
One way to rise above the crowd is to establish consistent business practices. Ensuring that your brand is reliable in every respect places you far ahead of other agents who miss this critical detail in reputation building.
In the age of the internet and instant information, potential clients seeking a real estate professional are likely to vet your brand before their first call to you. That means researching you and of course, heading over to your webpage to look at your listings. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll move on – quickly.
Consider these questions:
- Does your webpage (and your brand) reflect obvious consistency in the delivery of your product?
- Regardless of price, do all of your listings appear carefully constructed and presented, explicitly conveying the level of professionalism with which you treat every client?
- What about the photos?
An easy way to synchronize your brand with consistency is to always use professional photography in your listings.
While numerous studies have shown the importance and value of using professionally taken and finished photos for real estate listings, many agents resort to iPhone or point-and-shoot proxies as substitutes and shortcuts for quality images. Worse, some agents use professional photography inconsistently, implying, through their listing sites or the MLS, that some clients are more – or less – important to them than others.
Re-read the three bulleted questions, above, and reflect on what you are doing to set yourself apart from your competition. Then consider professional photography as a means to help you stabilize and build confidence in your brand in this highly competitive and challenging environment.