A concept that I’ve been aware of from the beginning of my career in marketing is; the quality of the marketing of any product is indicative of the quality of the product itself. This basically means that if the quality of the photography, video, print, graphic design, etc. is excellent, the consumer that is viewing the marketing will believe that the product itself is excellent, or at least better than a similar product with sub-par marketing. This is, of course, also true from the reverse perspective. Therefore, the goal of every marketer is to convince the consumer that the product they are considering is, in fact, better than it actually is. It may sound dishonest, but it is simply the result of psychological conditioning.
“the quality of the marketing of any product is indicative of the quality of the product itself”
I would never try to misrepresent any product, be it real estate, an entree in a restaurant, or an item for sale in a store, but I will endeavor to photograph that product the best way possible, in the best possible conditions, and when it looks its very best. The version of the product that I’m representing in my photos is the best possible version of that product, and therefore, it is the actual product.
Here’s where the psychology comes in. While viewing the photos, the consumer subconsciously visualizes how this product will affect their life when they possess it. Take for example a home that has been offered for sale boasting a newly renovated kitchen. It has been cleaned, staged, and photographed and the photos have been posted online. A possible buyer soon discovers the posting and views the photos. Will they relish the thought of strolling blissfully into their new kitchen, feeling the clean, cool hardwood floors under their feet as they run their fingers across the smooth, uncluttered, stone countertops, thinking of the delicious things tucked away in the spacious, well-stocked, pantry? Or are they distracted by the poorly lit, oddly colored, and unattractively framed photos of a kitchen that could be really nice if they decide to take a chance and make the effort to see it in person? Bear in mind that I am describing the same kitchen.
“Are buyers distracted by poorly lit, oddly colored, and unattractively framed photos?”
The person who made the decision to save some money on marketing by taking a stab at the photos themselves because “their phone takes really good pictures”, or they have a friend who said they could do it for free, has just made a serious error. They have psychologically assigned a lower value to the thing they are trying to market, effectively reducing its perceived value to everyone they are hoping to sell it to. This will invariably cost much more than the appropriate professional marketing they should have utilized at the outset.
“We want to have our minds blown by whatever it is that we are interested in purchasing”
Humans are emotional creatures, and we tend to make emotional purchases. Even when it is a necessary item. We want to have our minds blown by whatever it is that we are interested in purchasing. We want to feel as though the products we buy are the best possible options within our budget, and by the end of the transaction, we want to feel like we came out on top. That emotional connection is often made through photographs. A great deal of shopping is first done online, then if appropriate, and after the connection is made, the consumer will view the product in person. If they love if before they get there (because of the excellent photos and marketing), they will be willing to overlook minor issues and disappointments, and it will be harder for them to decide against making the purchase.
“This is especially true with real estate photography”
This is especially true in real estate. Two houses on the same block with the same floor plan and similar appointments will inevitably elicit two very different consumer responses if one has high quality, professional photos, and the other does not. The perceived value of the listing with superior marketing will be much higher than the other. Therefore, the buyers will be willing to offer more for it. This decision is made deep within their subconscious mind so they may not even be aware that they have already formed an attachment to the home with quality marketing, based solely on that marketing. They may consider the other similar property, but it will be only as a second choice.
“The perceived value of listings with superior marketing will be much higher than other listings”
Real estate photography has become a passion of mine because I love creating that emotional connection between buyers and properties. I love showcasing listings at their best and watching the eyes of the sellers light up because they’ve never seen their home look so appealing. I think it’s important that a new buyer falls in love with the home that they will eventually choose to make their own based on the beautiful photos that made their first impression unforgettable.