Spotlight on Real Estate
Back in the beginning of our business, our clients were primarily real estate agents. We'd occasionally work with a city or do a product shoot, but our target was listing agents. Then one day our favorite staging pro, Amy at Staging Dallas, called us. She'd just staged a home for a couple whose agent had allowed the listing to linger on the market. This couple invested in their home sale by hiring Staging Dallas and Spot On Images. The home sold quickly after that, but we never spoke to the agent.
That was the first homeowner to hire us, but we soon realized it wouldn't be the last. All the pictures in this post were hired by the homeowners. We started getting calls from out of the blue. Well, not exactly out of the blue. They'd found us on the internet, but it hadn't been from cold-calling open houses, contact at an MLS meeting, a referral or even word of mouth, which is where most of our business originates. It felt like Christmas.
We're not the type to look gift horses in the mouth, but we wanted to understand how the photos would be used. So we started asking questions of these homeowners, becaussed where the photos will end up matters - when we take the photos and when we deliver them. We thought the photos would be for FSBO flyers or other FSBO selling tools, but we discovered what was really happening was something completely different.
As the world becomes more D-I-Y and price sensitive, many home owners resent having to turn so much of their selling price over to an agent, especially when they believe they can perform most of the tasks involved as well, or even better, than an agent. At the same time, they also realize appearing in the MLS is a do-or-die tool in the sale of a home. Though they might get a buyer by putting a For Sale by Owner sign in their yard, they'd have to settle with a reduced pool of potential buyers and in most cases, accept a much lower selling price.
So, these sellers shop around and find a real estate agent who will list their home for a reduced amount - either a reduced percentage or a set price - and put it on the MLS on the basis of providing only limited services. We're very glad when these homeowners give us a call. It proves they can perform some of the tasks involved in home sales as well or even better than some agents, because if you've spent much time looking at photos on the MLS, then you know there are a lot of agents who need a good real estate photographer.
The Value of a Good Agent
If you are about to sell your home and are considering the D-I-Y route, we'd love to be your real estate photographer, but we can't leave it at that. A good real estate agent is one of the most valuable investments you can make. However, it takes more than a license filed with a broker to make a good agent. We were agents ourselves and we saw lot of other agents marching through our office who depended on luck rather than hard work. They didn't know the forms. They didn't know the capabilities of the software. They didn't have a network of vendors in place. They just weren't really ready to effectively represent their sellers or buyers.
A good agent is going to bring more than a listing contract and a spot on the MLS to the transaction. He or she will do so much for you along the way that you'll think you're getting a bargain. If you combine what a good agent will save you from doing, with the higher sales price they can obtain and mix it well with the good negotiating skills they have, then you realize they are well worth the investment. But that's the good ones and not every one is a good one, so be careful out there. If you need some suggestions, give us a call.
With or without an agent, Spot On Images can provide you with quality photography that will sell your home. So agents and homeowners should give us a call at 214-499-6519.