It is not always an easy decision to make between promoting a property for sale using photography and using video.
Video is perceived as having increased costs attached to it, and while this is often the case, it certainly does not always apply.
And even if video does incur additional expense (and sometimes it does) – that doesn’t mean it is not worth it; we need to look at ROI.
We’ll take a short tour around both property photography and property video and then attempt to draw some useful conclusions.
The advantages of property photography
Without a doubt – property, (homes or commercial) are a visually sold product. Or, more accurately, they need to be experienced in order to sell, and most of this is done visually.
For years – decades – photography has been the principal visual presentation of property sales. Photos are the initial hook to get the attention and the interest of the prospective buyer.
Whether in an estate agent window or, in recent years online, there are few properties that have garnered attention or sold, without the buyer first seeing a selection of flattering photos.
Property photography has three key advantages.
The first is cost; if an agency is producing photos in-house, then the costs are very low, although there is a price to pay for this low cost – and usually, it is the quality of the images that bear the burden of this price.
In many, many cases, there is a wide gulf of difference between a professional photographer and an estate agent with a camera. But, when all is done, even an unsure amateur is usually able to produce photos of a reasonable standard that at least gives a suggestion of how a property looks.
Second, photographs are versatile. They can be posted to the agency website and social media platforms and just about anyone on any device can see them immediately. Additionally, they can be printed and used in agency window displays, printed brochures and flyers, and even in newspaper adverts.
And finally, they are flattering. A well-staged photograph, taken from the right angle, can make a small room look reasonable and an unsightly home look attractive. As the purpose of photography is to get attention, then this can be an ideal way to win over a buyer’s initial interest.
The advantages of property videography
Turning to video, it is easy to realise that it, too has some distinct advantages.
One of video’s main strengths is that it is simply more engaging. People – buyers – are far more likely to be attracted to a property if there is a video of it, because video now represents the main way we enjoy visual content. Video is now ‘normal’.
And sellers are more attracted to agents who offer video as a service to them.
Today, 73% of homeowners say that they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses a property video specialist. And yet, only 9% of agents currently create listing videos.
We do believe that this figure is likely to have increased in recent months (late 2020-early 2021) as more agencies have had to adopt video in light of the pandemic restrictions which have dramatically affected the property sales industry.
However, if anything, this only goes to prove the next point even more – people expect video. 2020 became the year when even the ageing, retired population of the UK came on board with video chat and social media platforms as an everyday necessity.
This represents a huge shift in the zeitgeist which, even now, many have failed to capitalise on, but need to.
We have become attuned to video – including a video on a landing page, for example, can increase conversion rates by 80% (Unbounce).
Video is entertaining, informative and influential.
Need more convincing? It is also cheap – and offers a great ROI.
What to choose: Property video or property photography
So here is the crucial question: should you use photography or property video for your property marketing?
The answer is – ideally – both.
And no – that is not a cop-out answer. As we have seen above, they both have distinct advantages; video cannot be used in newspaper adverts, for example.
Or can it?
The only reason you may feel forced to choose one over the other, in reality, is budget. So if we were forced to decide, we’d go video. Every time.
The reason is quite simple: you can take still images from a video (ie. photographs) but you cannot extract video from a photograph.
Property photography has its place in home and property sales, and in our opinion, it always will.
However, its function has changed.
In the past, the role of property photography was to get attention and entice the prospective buyer to view the property.
Today, the role of property photography is to get attention and entice the prospective buyer to view the property video, be that a traditional walk-through or a more impressive 360° version.
In the end, it is the customer who determines what is required, and as many of them have adapted to a new online way of life, the requirement is very much for video.
With the relatively low cost of video production, it can at last be seen and the major marketing tool that it is. It is not just there for the property video which promotes a particular home; estate agents can use video in multiple ways to promote their business; developers can utilise the power of video to keep in contact with their customers – the applications of video for property are endless.
If you have a property agency and want to understand more about how video, not just photography, can expand your business, then speak to Splento today.
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