I doubt anyone would disagree with the statement that home buyers love large photos of properties, so let’s look at a variety of ways agents can give prospective buyers what they want using currently available tools.
1. MLS: There may be exceptions to this but the photos we receive from boards are generally quite small. This likely saves the boards some bucks on storage and bandwidth, but it cuts into the quality of the user experience on consumer facing websites. In most cases, this leaves brokers and agents in the position of direct-uploading their photos somewhere beyond the board.
2. Closr.it: Joseph Ferrara has written about one service that solves the size issue in a creative way. Large photos can be loaded to closr.it and then embedded into a website or blog at a reasonable size. From there, users can zoom in on the image or click to go full screen. The service seems to have some limitations at this point, such as only being able to load and embed one photo at a time, but it provides a hint at one way larger photos could be served.
3. Virtual tour products: Some virtual tour services allow for batch upload of large photos that can then be viewed at large sizes up to full screen. This is a decent option with a few drawbacks: Photos need to be loaded to a third party website, the code for the generated tour generally has to be embedded back into the board site or other websites, and the tours cost money.
4. WhereToLive.com’s solution: We’ve found that the best solutions to problems like this tend to be highly integrated solutions. Rather than tying in a 3rd party service, we’ve created a system where agents can bulk-upload original photos into our platform. Once uploaded, the platform automatically creates full-screen photo tours without any additional logins, technical hurdles, or costs.
The other advantage to an integrated solution is that it’s consistent from one property to the next. Visitors to a broker’s site are able to easily determine which properties have full screen photos available and click to view them in a consistently simple manner. No special plugins are required by the user.
This allows agents to quickly create professionally merchandised listings then get back to selling rather than tinkering with technology while being nickled and dimed each month for tours.
To see this in action, click here for a current listing from James Befarah with Prudential New Jersey Properties and click the Launch Fullscreen button near the thumbnail images. Or, click here to view this broker’s current inventory sorts by photo count.
Quality web marketing tools that are integrated, fast, and easy to use make for a winning web marketing solution.