The done thing is to feature the front of a property as the main photo in a listing ad. Many agents are now bucking this trend by using images of their properties' best lifestyle features, interior shots and even featuring people and/or family pets.
This bold new trend is helping agents make their listings stand out in a highly competitive market. By creating more engaging listing ads, agents can more effectively pique potential buyers' interest, entice click-throughs to view the full listing and bring in more leads.
Before booking a professional photographer and tracking down an adorable Border Collie puppy, it’s important to note that you want to be subtle with your use of people and pets in listing photography. What you don’t want is for your listings to view like cheesy happy snaps from a family photo album. Less is definitely more in this case.
Three reasons you should try incorporating people and/or pets in your listing photos:
1. Sell the home by selling the lifestyle. As always, the purpose of listing photos is to showcase the home and its best features, and illustrate what it’s like living there. What better way is there of bringing a listing to life than including photos of people and pets enjoying the home? By showing buyers what they'll be able to do and experience when they live there, they can more easily project themselves into the image and become emotionally invested in the property. They can visualise themselves savouring their morning coffee on the balcony, taking in the view, or relaxing after a hard day by reading a magazine on the deck.
2. Stand out from the crowd. By departing from the same old listing images of fronts of houses, more people will be inclined and intrigued to take a look through your property ad if the photo and headline stand out and resonate with them. The photo you select needs to complement the headline you use and target a specific buyer for the property. For example, you could try ‘Bob and Maree reminisce about all the family Christmases they shared on this balcony’ alongside a picture of Bob and Maree lounging on the balcony, to appeal to family buyers.
3. Break the ice. Including pets and/or people in your listing photos can work as a great ice-breaker and give you the opportunity to build rapport with prospective buyers when they get in touch. Discussing the people and pets in the images can be a bit of a fun talking point, where prospective buyers may ask ‘What’s that cute dog’s name on the patio?’ or ‘Is that the current owner enjoying the spa?’. Anything that gets prospective buyers chatting, excited and noticing the property's best features is a big plus, right?
Quick tips to successfully include people/pets in listing photos:
• Less is more. Limit your listing to two or three images max featuring people or pets. You don’t want the home’s occupants to distract or detract from how great the home is.
• Subtlety is key, meaning no cheesy family portraits or over-the-top modelling poses.
• Highlight lifestyle features using people or pets (e.g. views, alfresco dining, pools).
• Your headline needs to complement the first image in your property ad for your target buyer.
• Use your images as a talking point to show off unique features of the property and what the people who live there will get to experience. Have fun with it!