Roberta's Las Vegas Real Estate Blog: Las Vegas REALTOR® reveals secrets of home marketing! Agent participation encouraged!

Las Vegas REALTOR® reveals secrets of home marketing! Agent participation encouraged!

From the number of calls and emails from clients about home listings, these must be the secrets of real estate marketing! While not all listings have this 'magic' there seems to be a number of them as more homes are available. They're secret because clients inquire to as "What the HECK is this", or to share a laugh. While they do catch your attention, I've found my clients typically pass on them with the selection of homes on the market today. I'd add it's not limited to lower priced homes or bank owned, I see it happening with resales and those in the millions.

Let's start with the property descriptions, and I'm sure all of us in the business have seen them. Unfortunately some among us must not realise that home buyers see them in the automatic feeds we send from the MLS. Spelling errors can happen to anyone and we all make our share of mistakes, but we do have the technology with spell checkers. Of course a quick proof read never hurts. Close to elementary 'skulls', usually isn't a big selling point.

Sentence structure (if any, I know the space is limited) can be another. Then there's the 'code', that may not be universal to buyers. I received an email asking if a 'BI Refrigerator' meant it goes both ways, running hot & cold, so to speak. Then there are dramatic 'descriptive terms', some that almost appear to be geared toward Mensa members. I know what 'commodious' means, and we can all have our own mental picture of a 'commodious kitchen', some good, some not so good. The key to communication is to use wording and phrasing that is easily understood. Large, oversized, spacious, or roomy can do the trick and cover more than those who have done the vocabulary 'B's'.

That brings us to the biggie and the point of this post...pictures. As the old saying goes, 'They are worth 1000 words', so they cover a lot more territory in a glance, often giving a first impression of the property and listing agent. Now if you put an adjective like 'good' in front of pictures in that saying, you can see you'll have 1000 good words. So what happens when they're BAD. I think you get the picture! Yes, some of the MLS photography leaves a LOT to be desired. I have to wonder what the heck they're trying to promote with the image, and when they're really bad....why in the world did they bother to upload it? I think I'd have to pass before I posted some of these, and re-shoot if necessary. No picture is better than a bad picture.

So here's a few of my favorites that either clients pointed out or I stumbled into on my searches for them.

Vegas Fishbowl Condo
While I use wide angle shots and panoramas, and understand that there is some lens distortion even in the best of cameras and wide lenses, this seems a tad extreme. I HOPE the walls aren't really bowed that much! The entire inside of this condo looks like it was taken through a fish bowl in every shot!

Vegas Condo
What is the centerpiece of this pic? What does it communicate? The unit has electrical outlets? Good to know!

Vegas Bathroom
In contrast, this bathroom doesn't appear to have electricity. Or was it designed to improve traffic flow by discouraging reading in the John?

Vegas Bedroom 865k
Alas, even the bedroom of this $865k home has no wiring, perfect for the night shift day sleepers! It does feature plentiful natural light just outside!

Vegas MLS photos
This undersized shot is very helpful for those buyers looking for round houses. This one obviously has corners, so not what they're looking for. Strange? I've never head a client specifically request that a home had corners, yet this is a popular 'style' of photography often found in listings. Is it a bedroom, dining room, family room?

Vegas laening floor
Truth in advertising? Are they trying to say this home has a slight lean to it? Mine subsidence? The agent trying on one spike heel when taken?

Vegas spots on lens
Another popular leaning shot, this one with a 'splash' of the iced coffee, or whatever the agent was drinking!

Vegas fuzzy focus
Vegas fuzzy focus
Two different listings, both with fuzzy focus and one with the famed corner. What words do they say to you? The agent needs a new camera? Or perhaps they think the shots look just fine...and they need an eye exam!

Vegas gourmet kitchen?
What about this little one? Does it scream custom gourmet kitchen in a $1.35 million home?

Vegas privacy
While I enjoy privacy, this was the only view of the front of this $842k home. What words come to mind to describe the style of it? Green construction?

Vegas home front
Now we're back in the low rent district. This was the lone listing shot of this $770k home. I guess they thought the suspense would want you to look at more! They made it that far, could they spare just a couple shots of the place for almost ¾ of a million, or couldn't they find 'digital film' for their camera?

These are just a few of the recent ones that I've been getting comments on, and there's plenty more where these came from. What are your favorites, or ones that draw notice or a chuckle from your clients? 'Drive by shootings'? Yes, the agent never got out of the car for the lone listing picture, and didn't even bother to crop to get rid of the door frame and side mirror! The 'Mystery shot'? Where you see something, but have NO idea what it is. Pitch black? Sideways? Focus on furniture or fixture? Should have come back after they put all that stuff away/did something explode in there? LOOK, there's the listing agent in the mirror with a camera / was that a flash or solar eclipse? Looks like a nice fixer-upper...wonder how much for the old car without the wheels in the driveway?

Yes, I'm sure we've all seen them, agents and clients alike, so time to share! Feel free to post your favorite unusual listing images in the comments below! I'm sure we could all use a laugh or two, and not to poke fun at anyone in particular. Just to show how others view the work, and about learning to not make the same mistakes.

 

If you are interested in relocating to Las Vegas or would like information on Las Vegas real estate, please email me, Roberta LaRocca, at roberta@search4lasvegashomes.com, or call me at 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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Comment balloon 17 commentsRoberta LaRocca • October 09 2008 08:12PM

Comments

I agree! I often wonder what the Agents are thinking when you look at the pictures.

Posted by Michele Corker almost 11 years ago

Most times the MLS data looks as if Mrs Snyder's 1st grade class did the work.

Posted by Jo Olson, HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County (HOMEFRONT Realty) almost 11 years ago

Michele: Yes, some of them are like.....WHAT???? You either can't figure out what it is, or why they bothered to upload it. We all take some bad shots, but sure don't want to use them. I just caught this one from a client's email. A $1.4 million home and all of the pictures good, like this.  

$1.4 million vegas home

Except this one that was tiny, and have no idea what they were trying to show with it. Tree? Gate? Why post it when the others were at least good?  

$1.4 million Vegas home?

Jo: Exactly! Misuse of their, there, and they're are some of the common ones and mispellings and unkown code are all over the place. Throw in the bad pics and it looks like quite a few more years of class until graduation! LOL

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

here here....photos are so important it is amazing to me how agents get away with taking such crappy photos...

Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) almost 11 years ago

These are really hilarious! But also tragic that agents aren't giving beautiful homes their due! Framing is so important in a photo-- make sure you're focusing on something that matters!

Posted by Ilyce Glink, Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host. (Think Glink Media) almost 11 years ago

I am so glad I didn't see any of my pictures in your example :)  I was worried there for a second!

Posted by Tony Sena, Broker/Property Manager (Shelter Realty, Inc) almost 11 years ago

Konnie: So right! If they can't take them they should get someone who can. They are very important, especially with so many shopping online today.  

Ilyce: I'm just glad my clients see the humor in it, but I agree and feel bad for the owners that are getting their home 'marketed' this way. For those unprofessional ones that come through I'm almost ready to add a disclaimer to my buyers' search feeds..."not responsible for content or images". LOL  

Tony: Like I said, I'm not out to pick on anyone or name names. This wasn't your drive-by shot was it? :-)

Vegas Home drive-by

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Does anyone have a recommendation for what type of camera to use to get wide shots of like bathrooms and bedrooms. I am new to this and my picture would probably be here if I took any.

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) almost 11 years ago

Joyce: There are a variety of wide angle digitals and price ranges. Normally what you're looking for should have a 28mm or wider (lower #mm) field of view. There was a list of some from last year at Realtor.org's Tech Watch that can give you some models.  

If you're a little bit tech savvy there is also Photo Stitching software available, where you can take multiple shots and 'stitch' them together to complete an area that can't be captured in one shot. This can be a little trickier to shoot freehand, but my DH does it all the time. He also has a tripod with pano-head for more exacting shots and for 180 or full 360 panoramas. Just depends how involved you want to get.

You'll notice with a lot of these pics it's also more than just wide angle issues. It's shooting into the sun / bright light, not enough light, blurred pictures, spots on the lens, out of focus or just too lazy to get out of the car or crop the image! What is in the frame of the shot is also important. The fireplace may be really cool, but are you showing how the home is laid out / where it's located. I have a lot of out of town clients and often with 'good' pictures I have to go back to show the flow of the home with stills and possibly video.  

Sometimes it looks like the agent is trying to sell the furniture, not the home....unless the couch / bed goes with the sale. :-).  I saw one listing that had a close up pic of a really cool looking sculpted candle that looked like they were shooting for Ebay, not to show the home. Again, this is your ad, your marketing, to help the owner sell their home and earn the commission. Think of what you're trying to show them.

The biggest issue is if you DO get bad pictures (and we all do), DON'T upload them to the listing just because you have them. Either skip them, try photo editing software to improve, or go back and reshoot. With the editing software also keep in mind that different monitors will display the images differently, so try to find a happy medium on light / dark and colors. If you can, look at your listing images on different computers to get an idea.  

Here's more examples just in today, and no fixing these. The night shot an $807k home, the day a $1.26 million, both professing the wonderful Strip / City views.  Look from a buyer's perspective. What do you think?  This is the view after you've tipped a few? :-) I think they should have passed on the upload, and really needed to use a tripod.      

Blurry Night Vegas Strip View

Blurry Day Vegas Strip View

If that seems overwhelming then the other option is to find someone to take them for you. If not a professional, there's always the possibility of a friend, family member, or an amateur. A student or a Flicker group could be some place to look. Hope that helps!

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Those are too funny! I can't believe they used them and for expensive homes. If they were selling for me I'd have a fit. I take pictures better than that. I've seen some of your pics in your blog and they look great. For editing is there something special that you use?

Posted by Bob almost 11 years ago

Bob: Yes they are, and price doesn't matter, they turn up in every range. Thanks on the pics! My DH has bunches of software since he does some complicated work in different file formats.

If you have Windows and just need something fairly simple for image editing you can try FX Foto Standard, and it's free. Some of the features are only available if unlocked when buying an upgrade, and does have an upgrade window when it starts, but it has many of the basics and good compression for web images.  

For something that does a little more... that can do layers and has some different effects and drawing, try Paint.Net. It's open source and also free. Either of those can do much of what you'll probably need, and the price is right!

 

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Roberta YOU ROCK! I'm have more to learn but those programs do a LOT more than what came with my camera. Thanks!

Posted by Bob almost 11 years ago

Bob: No Problem! Those do offer a lot of decent features...enjoy!    

Now here's a few more interesting MLS pics, starting at the lower end of the price scale and working up.    

Vegas Bad Mls photos - Spots

This condo also has those familiar iced coffee spots, and maybe a speck of lunch on the lens.

Vegas Bad MLS pics - GLOW

Then you'll notice the 'warm glow' of this master bedroom. Is the house out in the middle of the Nellis bombing range?  

Vegas Bad MLS pics - Drive-by

Must be, the agent was in a hurry to 'get outta Dodge', 2 minutes later doing this drive-by neighborhood shot.  

Vegas Bad MLS Pics - sideways

This is a unique feature...I've heard of a Sub Zero in the kitchen, but never a Zero Gravity kitchen!  

Bad MLS pics - fuzzy million dollar home kitchen 

Of course you can tell we're all the way up to the Million Dollar plus homes now, from this mini warm and very fuzzy kitchen.    

Bad MLS pics - what is it? 

A must have for every home over a million. If you can figure out what it is. The exposed wiring just adds to the mystery and intrigue.  

 vegas bad MLS pics - REALLY hanging light fixture

Then of course this unique 2 story window wall with hanging chandelier that appears to drop to the 1st. floor, literally. A must have for the discriminating luxury buyer!  

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Thanks for the *secret tips*, getting NV licensed and this is good to know. OMG I can't believe they put these on the MLS!!! hahaha!!!! I'm going to *clean house* with this kind of competition!!!

Posted by Shelly almost 11 years ago

Shelly: You're welcome and good luck on the license. If you think it will be easy, just remember, there are a number of Las Vegas agents that know how to shoot! We all don't take bad pictures. :-)

Here's one style that was missing, but turned up in today's email....

 Vegas Agent in the picture

The famous "is that the listing agent in the mirror" shot.

 Vegas Agent in the picture again

Guess that wasn't good enough, so included a second with a 'better' angle.

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Too Funny! I don't know which one is better they are all laugable. The drive by looks like he was really in a hurry in two minutes out of the bedroom and down the street!

Posted by Bob almost 11 years ago

Bob: Those time stamps really made that one a laugh, and so did the 2 shots in the mirror. It's not like it was an overly deluxe bathroom that it needed to be 'featured' twice.

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

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