It's no secret that the current real estate market is crazy! Inventory is low, interest rates are low, and the market values on homes have increased to levels we haven't seen in years. Most of the listings we shoot, if priced correctly, are under contract in days. With the current market conditions, it's easy to think that you can just use your iPhone to take some pictures, throw them up on the MLS with a decent description, and the property will basically sell itself. And in some cases, this might be true. So why do you need to hire a professional photographer? Here are a few reasons:
1) For real estate agents, your listings represent more than just the property that's for sale. They represent YOU! They represent your broker, your company, and your client. If you choose to take and post your own, unedited pictures, what message does that send to your client? What is that saying about how serious you take the trust that they've placed in you to get them the most money for their property? In our market especially, professional photography services are extremely affordable. Most of our jobs cost less than $200 for interior, exterior and aerial pictures, and a video walk-through! As an agent, you can create a portfolio of your previous listings which includes the descriptions you wrote as well as a few of the professional pictures you had taken for each property. You can show the market value of those properties and what the final sales prices were. Professional pictures are just another tool to differentiate yourself from all of the other agents in the area.
2) Listings with professional pictures get more views, sell faster and for more money than those without. It is not uncommon for properties we shoot to go under contract, sight-unseen from the buyers. In this market, many buyers are moving to Florida from elsewhere in the country, or even from other countries. Professional pictures, videos and 3D tours can showcase a property that a potential buyer might not be able to visit in person. If a potential buyer comes across two listing of similar homes, and one has pictures similar to the first one above, and the other has pictures similar to the second one above, which do they think that will entertain?
3) Drones are fairly popular now and getting more and more affordable. Does that mean that you can just send up your drone, take a few pictures, and add them to your listing? Not necessarily. We have a background in air traffic control and are FAA licensed drone pilots. Before one of our drones take off, we have filed a flight plan with the FAA, coordinated with the local airports and/or military bases, and made sure we have the legal permission to fly. This keeps us and our clients out of any potential trouble with the government and airport authorities.
We have several airports in northeast Florida: JAX, CRG, NIP, NRB, VQQ, FHB, SGJ, HEG, just to name a few. The map above shows restricted airspace in which drone operations are prohibited without prior approval. Each airport has it's own airspace and regulations that need to be followed. There are many conditions that need to be met to avoid potential fines, or worse, a collision with an aircraft. Hire a professional that will take the appropriate precautions for you, and one who will fly safely and responsibly.
So next time you get a listing, we urge you to consider hiring a professional photographer. While in this market you can probably sell a home using nothing but your iPhone, these market conditions won't last forever. Build your brand now, create good habits and relationships, and differentiate yourself from other agents in the area. Show your clients that you are taking their listings seriously, that you are a "professional" agent, and that you are committed to getting the most money possible for their listing.
Feel free to contact us at any time with any questions about our services and our pricing. You can call or text us at (904) 362-3833 or email us at ZapJaxPhotography@gmail.com any time. We would love to add you to the Zap Jax family of clients!