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Listing a property with a blurry property profile photo or, even worse, no photo, is like having a blurry or abstract image as your profile picture on a social media platform or Internet advertising campaign. It is not appealing and, therefore, no one wants to click for more information.

I don’t know about you, but when I am contacted online by someone whose name I don’t recognize, I immediately look to the profile picture. If I recognize the face, I’ll look into the profile, get information as to what they’ve been up to, and make the connection. However, I get some requests that I just ignore. These are the requests where I think I might recognize the name, but the profile picture is of a dog in a field or a baby. If your profile picture doesn’t intrigue me, why would I want to see if we should connect?

This same principle can be applied to images for listings. We’ve all visited the various consumer sites, such as Zillow, Trulia or RES.NET, where listings show the property profile photo and a few basic details about the property. Now, as an agent, you have to assume that this is the first image a potential buyer sees and the hook to getting them to read more about your listing. With this in mind, you have to ask yourself, why would any agent choose to include an image of a tree to accompany their listing? Or, even worse, no image at all? You want to make sure the profile image is so engaging that people wouldn’t even think of skipping over your listing. Since consumers now require instant gratification, this is your chance for the glamour shot that shows the property in all its glory. It needs to pack a punch, and it needs to welcome viewers in to experience the full story of the property. If a buyer doesn’t like your first image, why would they want to see more? Think back to when you had to choose a photo for your marketing flyers in years past. The better the picture, the more people asked about it, and the same goes for property profile photos online.

Make sure the profile picture shows off the front of the house. Why? Because people want to see what their house will look like. At this point, they don’t care about a close-up of flowers in the front yard. Sure, they may be pretty, but they aren’t going to intrigue buyers enough to want more information about the property.

Once a property profile photo interests people enough to look at the property information, that’s when they like to see photos that tell more about the property. However, more often than not, agents can’t access the interior of the home. In this situation, prospective buyers would rather have no photos than an image of a stop sign or of the length of the street, as neither of these tell the property’s story.

With these things in mind, think of marketing your property this way: If no one is accepting your online contact requests, and your profile picture is a witty photo of a blank Post-it note, chances are those same people are ignoring your current listing that boasts a profile photo of the house numbers.

Pauline Perenack is the Marketing Manager with RES.NET.

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