Now let’s focus on the “hows” of using excellent real estate photos to take your marketing to a new level. After all, what good are great listing photos if they’re not being properly utilized in your marketing?
We’re going to be talking about a variety of ways to promote your listing, including using new media and traditional media—with a few extra hints thrown in here and there—to help your listing reach critical mass and get in front of the most potential buyers.
And some of the techniques we’ll be discussing can also be used to help you market to new sellers who are shopping around for a listing agent.
1. Post to the MLS
This really should be a given. After all the MLS is the main tool that all Realtors have access to. And it propagates the listing information that all of those buyers who aren’t agented can access on sites like Realtor.com, Redfin, Zillow, Movato, and Truila.
If you’ve used me as your photographer (Thanks for that, by the way!) you’ll find that I’ve provided you with two sets of files: one that has been optimized specifically for use with your local MLS (the CRLMS is our local version) which requires specific file sizes and dimensions, and another that is designed for print use. But more on that later.
If you didn’t use me as your photographer, be sure to ask whomever you used to send you a copy of the files that are specifically optimized for your local MLS.
Although our local CRMLS provides a free image resizing tool, it doesn’t give you the same quality image resizing that you would get from your real estate photographer. There really is a difference in quality between uploading just any photo into the MLS versus using one optimized for the database.
2. Third Party Websites
Once your listing is live on the MLS (with pictures and all), you’re going to want to check out all of the third-party listings websites to make sure your listing is accurate on those sites too.
Some of them take a little time to update the information from the MLS, so if your listing isn’t live on Realtor.com seconds after you’ve uploaded the information to the MLS, don’t panic. Hitting that refresh button over and over again won’t do you any good. Instead just check back later.
While each MLS database differs, some of the third-party real estate websites can offer more space for images than the MLS does. Although our local CRMLS supposedly offers a whopping 75 images maximum—which is way more than you’d ever want to upload—some local MLS databases only allow for a maximum of 25 images. If that’s the case with your MLS, definitely see if you can upload additional images to the third-party websites.
Here is a short list of some of the third-party property search websites you should visit:
3. Social Media
Sites like Facebook and Instagram are for more than just following along with the latest celebrity gossip and keeping up with your old high school and college friends—they can actually be valuable tools in marketing a property.
Facebook all starts with a Facebook page for your real estate business.
There you can post updates on properties you’ve recently sold and highlight your newest listings. Feel free to share your listing photos there to showcase the property (if that’s in the terms of your photograph license agreement—it is in mine).
But rather than blasting out all of the photos in one huge marketing explosion, you may want to hold back and post one or two each day (with some great advertising copy) to reach as many people as possible.
Instagram is another social media site/app that is often overlooked when it comes to marketing, but it can be an incredibly valuable tool. Since it is designed with visuals in mind, it’s the perfect place to market photos of your listing.
And all it took was one picture.
Other great social media sites to promote your listing are Twitter and Google+. Each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, but if you already have a presence on either social network, it’s worth a try to promote your listing there.
4. Don’t Forget Email
Email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to keep in touch with your potential clients.
Have a new listing with some awesome real estate photos? Blast it out to your email list of potential buyers interested in a property like the one you’re selling.
You can send a link to the MLS listing or a link directly to a property-specific website like 12345MainStreet.com if you have one. If you don’t already have an email list of potential buyers, now’s the best time to build one.
5. Postcards and Flyers Still Have Their Place
Living in Orange County, I find that I receive a lot of postcards and flyers from Realtors promoting their services, showing off their latest listing, or proudly stating their impressive amounts of homes sold in the last six months.
The carefully crafted ones with the exceptional images really stand out as Realtors who care about their craft.
And for those Realtors, the postcard is an excellent way to not only market to people who may be looking to buy, but to those who are considering selling their property in the near future.
6. Magazines and Home Websites
Every so often, a property comes up for sale that is beyond what you’d expect in the neighborhood.
Well designed, spectacularly appointed, and priced to match.
These “Best of the Best” homes require special marketing, as the average home buyer is unlikely to be able to afford it—and you need that property to reach a select group of individuals.
Magazines and home websites can help you showcase the property to just those types of people. Just remember that photography for a truly standout property designed to be featured in publications may cost more than just your typical real estate photography, as you’re crossing into the realm of architectural photography designed for commercial or editorial use.
If you have any suggestions for other great ways to market your listing with professional photography (and you actually want to share them), feel free to post them below.