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Digital Curb Appeal: The Secret to Showcasing Properties Properly Online

By RealtyBiz News | February 3, 2023
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In the real estate sector, it’s well-known that the value of curb appeal simply can’t be understated. The concept is simple: a property that looks warm, inviting, and attractive from the street is one with good curb appeal, and it’s going to result in more positive attention from prospective buyers than a comparable property that doesn’t have the same well-refined aesthetics.

The importance of good curb appeal is nothing new. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. Yet today, with an increasing number of individuals leveraging the internet to buy and sell properties, there’s a new gold standard that real estate professionals need be increasingly mindful of - the rise of the importance of so-called “digital” curb appeal.

What Is Digital Curb Appeal?

The concept behind our traditional idea of a property’s curb appeal and how that translates into digital mediums are interrelated, of course. Both approaches are squarely concerned with presenting a property in the most attractive light so that first-time viewers are hit with nothing but positive impressions. However, while curb appeal is limited to what a prospective buyer sees and experiences when they pull up in front of a house for the very first time, digital curb appeal goes much deeper; it encompasses every aspect of the property, inside and out. This includes not just traditional aspects like landscaping but also investments in interior staging and professional photo shoots.

The need for paying more attention to digital curb appeal is clear. Whereas in the past many prospective buyers would first experience a property for the first time when they pulled up outside of it for a showing or an open house, today, this is no longer the case. In our modern, vastly interconnected world, the overwhelming majority of house hunters first encounter properties over the internet through real estate websites that post MLS-listed homes. These listings all come with at least a handful of photographs of the property - at least ones that have a reasonable chance of one day selling - but the more numerous the images available, and the higher quality those images, the better.

Practical Guidance for Increasing Digital Curb Appeal

As mentioned previously, digital curb appeal encompasses much of what traditional curb appeal entails. Ensuring the exterior of a property looks its best is integral to this process, and that includes investing in landscaping and ensuring outside infrastructure elements like walls, window treatments, entrances, and roofs are all in the best possible shape. However, while traditional curb appeal stops there, digital curb appeal is all about continuing that momentum throughout the entirety of a property’s interior. Here are some excellent starting points for how to maximize the positive impact of the digital curb appeal of any property.

  • Invest in professional photography. The days of walking through a property and snapping a few dozen pictures on your camera to include in an MLS listing are long gone. Unless you have experience as a professional photographer and understand concepts like proper lighting and shot composition, leave your property photos to the experts for the very best results.
  • Declutter before taking any photographs. Make your images work for you to the best of their ability by ensuring the subject matter is as clean and uncluttered as possible. Not only does this help present your home at its cleanest and most attractive, but it also helps prospective home buyers imagine themselves living in that same space if the owner’s personal items are at a minimum.
  • Make affordable updates to your interior decor. Simple but inexpensive ways to freshen up the rooms in your home include new light fixtures, adding greenery in the form of house plants, and, if time and budget permits, repainting any rooms that need it in lighter, brighter shades and colors. 
  • Put your best photos first. After the initial four or five images included in an online MLS listing, many house hunters will make their decision as to whether they’ll remain interested in the property long enough to read more about its features. Increase your chances of capturing a prospective buyer’s attention by putting your best foot forward; choose the most attractive photos of your property and ensure they come before any others.
  • Consider 3D imaging for virtual walkthroughs. An investment in 3D photography to create a virtual version of the property that house hunters can explore on their own adds value to any property listing, especially when combined with the other aspects of digital curb appeal listed above. In a post-COVID landscape where so many relied on remote access for so long, including virtual capabilities in your listing helps it stand out in a positive way.

The Last Word on Digital Curb Appeal

While it’s yet to be a standard practice for home buyers to purchase a property without setting foot in that property at least once, the writing is on the wall; digital presentations of homes for sale are increasingly important. With most house hunters first encountering properties for the first time in online environments, the need for positive digital curb appeal will only grow in importance as time goes on. 

This increasing demand means real estate professionals need to embrace these approaches if they wish to remain agile and responsive to changes in the marketplace going forward. Stressing the importance of digital curb appeal to clients looking to sell properties means encouraging those clients in investing in what it takes to transform their homes into carefully managed showpieces in ways that translate well in online environments. Be sure to familiarize yourself with everything that digital curb appeal entails in order to perform well in this context for the best success.

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