Give Internet Home Buyers What They Want… Photos!

Search the Broward County MLS / South Florida MLS.What do home buyers want most when they’re looking at listings of homes for sale on the Internet?  Studies have shown the answer is photos… the more photos, the better!  Listings lacking in photos have a tendency to be overlooked.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all those who market the majority of homes – real estate agents/brokers.  One only needs to put oneself in homebuyer’s shoes to realize this.  Yet, too many listings of homes on the South Florida MLS offer few, if any, photos of what is considered most people’s largest investment – their home.

Personally, I’ve seen new & used cars that are marketed better than some homes on the South Florida MLS and this is frustrating for both home buyers and real estate agents who work with buyers.  So, why do so many listings offer no photo or even just one photo?  Well, let’s start with the obvious… perhaps it’s a brand new listing and the real estate agent hasn’t had a chance to take and upload the photos yet.  In certain cases this is true, though a good agent will typically not upload a listing to the MLS without at least one photo.  Digital cameras are inexpensive, not difficult to learn to use and eliminate the need (and cost) to develop photos.  Unfortunately, in many cases, listings remain for months on the MLS with minimal, if any, photos.  I’ve often wondered whether the home sellers are even aware of how poorly their property is being marketed or the impact a lack of photos can have on the sale of their property.  Now more than ever, in the current buyer’s market South Florida is experiencing, photos are a very important part of the marketing mix.

I decided to get some real, hard facts for this post, so this morning I searched the South Florida MLS for single-family homes in Broward County.  There are currently 17,306 listings of single-family homes for sale in Broward County.  Below is a breakdown of what I found:

Listings with…

  • NO photos:  2,158 … just over 12% of all listings – more than 1 in 8
  • 1 photo:  1,395 … listings with 0-1 photo = 20.5% or 1 in 5 listings
  • 2 photos:  423
  • 3 photos:  407 … 0-3 photos = 4,383 or just over 25% of all listings
  • 4 photos:  522
  • 5 photos:  594
  • 6 photos:  905
  • 7 photos:  924
  • 8 photos:  2,531 … 0-8 photos = 9,859 or just under 57% of all listings
  • 9 photos:  1,008
  • 10 photos:  876
  • 11 photos:  650
  • 12 photos:  755
  • 13 photos:  573
  • 14 photos:  530
  • 15 photos:  428
  • 16 photos:  2,628 (just over 15%)

As you can see, over 20% of listings had either no photos or just one photo, while just over 25% (1 in 4) had 0-3 photos.  With our current high inventory of homes for sale, properties with few (or no) photos are not as likely to get as many showings as homes with 8-16 photos.  Fewer photos = fewer showings = fewer prospective buyers… all of which reduces your chances of getting an offer sooner rather than later.  Under current South Florida real estate market conditions, it’s a good idea for Realtors to invest in the best marketing possible.  The South Florida MLS allows members to upload up to 16 photos and, yet, this is what we see in 1 out of 8 listings:

No Photo Available

If you’re considering selling your home, be sure to hire a Realtor
who understands the importance of marketing your home for sale!

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Affordable 2-Bedroom Condo at SpringCrest in Sunrise, Florida

SpringCrest at SunriseThis 2-Bedroom, 2-Bathroom is in the condo community of SpringCrest in Sunrise, FL, is in true move-in condition and even offers a pool view!  It has a split bedroom floorplan for maximum privacy and was completely updated 3 years ago.  The condo has 18″ neutral tiles throughout as well as knock-down textured walls, new baseboards, new A/C, new hot water heater, new stacked washer/dryer, and new kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances! 

This SpringCrest condo has the largest 2-bedroom floorplan available with 1,154 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, a spacious patio and included with the condo is a large extra storage space outside the unit.  Community amenities include a pool, tennis court and fitness center with sauna.  Pets are allowed (under 20 lbs.) and all ages are welcomed.  The price has just been reduced to $167,000.  You simply won’t find another condo like this in that price range!  View a virtual tour and contact Leanne Paynter at 954-846-1600 to schedule a showing.

UPDATE:  This condo has been rented.  For more information, please contact Leanne.

Agents Spamming Each Other

Thank goodness for VCRs/Tivo/etc.!  Why?  …because I rarely have to waste my time watching commercials anymore.  No one pays me to watch commercials and no one pays me to open and read spam e-mail, so what makes real estate agents believe I would do anything other than delete their spam e-flyers?

This is a trend that started a few years ago and has grown exponentially since the South Florida real estate market reversed itself and turned into a strong buyer’s market.  For some reason, real estate agents throughout Florida seem to think that every agent with an e-mail address wants to receive an e-flyer from them touting their listings.  Of course, the number of companies offering this spamming service has also grown as they all jumped on the bandwagon and decided they, too, wanted to reach into Florida real estate agent’s pockets for a piece of the action.  Few, if any, of these e-flyer companies provide a true unsubscribe option which makes receiving these e-flyers all the more irritating.

Fact is, any Realtor who values their time is not going to waste their time by opening spam e-mail.   Professional real estate agents go directly to the source… the MLS.  Savvy real estate agents who know how to properly market their listings take full advantage of all the South Florida MLS offers them.  Nowadays, we can not only upload up to 16 photos of a property, we can also include a link to a virtual tour, tweak the remarks section of a listing, and upload various documents and addendums, including a floor plan to the listing. 

I, for one, delete every listing e-flyer I receive… and I receive dozens of them every day in my e-mail inbox.  In fact, in an effort to reduce the amount of time I waste deleting these e-flyers manually, I ocassionally tweak my e-mail program message rules to automatically move these e-mails with certain names, companies or words in the from/to/subject lines to a special spam folder I have.  If I have time, I’ll take a look at what got dumped in the folder to see if any “good” e-mail got there by accident (so far, none has), otherwise, the contents of the folder gets deleted without opening a single one. 

I simply don’t have the time to look at each one and most don’t even apply to any of the customers I happen to be working with at the time and oftentimes they are located in areas outside of South Florida.  Just look at some of the subject lines of recent e-flyers, and you’ll understand why they are of no use to me:

  • North Naples Golf Condo
  • Fully Rented and Renovated Apt. Complex
  • Cape Coral Waterfront Home
  • Sanibel Harbour (this is in Ft. Myers)
  • 3 Jacksonville Properties

I also get e-flyers for local listings that attempt to inform me of changes… changes that I can easily and readily find out about on the MLS without even lifting a finger because I’ve already programmed the MLS to notify me by e-mail of any properties that fall within my customer’s criteria.

  • Davie New Home Price Reduced
  • Cooper City – Reduced for  Quick Sale!
  • Coral Ridge Townhome Price Reduced
  • Weston 3/2 Back on Market!

If you are considering hiring a real estate agent, there are many more effective ways to market your home than via e-flyers, so please do not hire one because they claim this method is valuable and/or can do anything other than annoy their fellow agents.

Bottom line: we already get enough spam from “long-lost” relatives in Africa and bank/credit card/ebay/paypal pretend-to-be’s… we don’t need no stinkin’ spam from our colleagues!