I was fortunate to be one of a few photographers attending at the Google Campus in London last night to see a pre-launch demonstration of MySweep – which I believe has the potential to revolutionise the way agents show their properties online. Google has its own similar offering but by comparison it’s really clunky. Take a look at the Google ad here and you’ll see what I mean. Read the rest of this entry »

My grateful thanks to Resource Techniques for rooting out this piece of research by a university in the USA. http://goo.gl/RGJOi

I particularly like the pithy question with which they end their article.

I’m possibly alone in this but I love estate agents and I love the business of estate agency. But I think many UK agents could do better.

Of course I don’t love all agents – that would be nuts – but  there are a great many good guys and gals out there and they operate in an industry that’s much maligned because it’s let down by shysters who really ought not to be in the business due to their complete lack of integrity, ability and/or professionalism.

In the UK it’s an astonishing fact that almost anyone can open up on your local High Street and call themselves  ‘estate agents’ (provided they’re not bankrupt), and with zero experience or knowledge purport to be expert in the sale of what is very likely your most valuable financial asset. That can’t be a good thing, can it? The Government chooses not to change this because, apparently, that’s good for competition. Which is another way of saying they’d rather agents were cheap than good! I digress.

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The raison d’etre for estate agents everywhere, is to get the properties they sell, noticed ! Simples.

These days unless you’re selling property in central London where the upper end of the market is on fire (yes, I know, but I started writing this a couple of weeks ago), you’re likely to need to exploit every trick in the book to get your home noticed by the best available buyers. You could, for example, throw in with your sale a free Ferrari or Mini but that little trick was done to death in the ‘70’s; or you could make your home a raffle prize, but that’s not a new idea either and let’s face it, raffles are a bit down-market and much better suited to raising funds for the village hall roof repair.

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Link to Sister Article Getting your Home Noticed/Achieving the Best Selling Price

It is most definitely the case that some UK estate agents are catching up with the importance that property marketing, design and professional photography play in achieving the best result for sellers… see these chaps:  http://www.domusnova.com/ by way of example.

But as an intelligent vendor you will realise that even brilliant marketing will not alone send you laughing all the way to the bank. It might seem obvious, sadly for many it isn’t, but (with the possible exception of homes that are being sold for refurbishment) every seller needs to make sure that their house has been properly prepared for marketing (I’ve placed a link above where I’ve expanded on the reasons) – just as you would clean and polish your car if you were selling it.

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I said recently that I don’t think of myself as a photographer. My role in life is, and always has been, to make the properties I’ve been asked to sell look the very best they can. These days we’re not restricted to paper-based advertising, we also have the Internet which makes the world our showcase, rendering the need for property images to be that much more refined than perhaps they once were. With the portals bringing together all of a property’s competition on one screen it’s become even more important to make the one(s) we’re selling stand out from the crowd; literally there are thousands of homes available to buy and rent across the UK so anyone who’s looking must be given good reason to take time out from their busy lives and go see.

It just so happens that photographs are the most visual way to grab the attention of the best buyers; and, all other things being equal, the better the photos, the more potential buyers who will be attracted and therefore the better the price etc etc. So, for me photography is a means to an end – which isn’t me saying I’m not interested in photography; in fact I’m very interested in learning from the best and for that reason I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, learning and watching. I’d like to introduce you now to some of the people who have influenced me in one way or another. I very much hope that you’ll also take an interest in what they’re doing – you might be surprised at how techniques that are used by wedding photographers for example, might translate in some small way to property photography especially when you’re able to maintain an open mind – it’s being open to ideas and learning that enables you to grow…

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