What makes home buyers stay on your website? Is it all that wonderful text people are reading? Although we’d like to think it’s the great content you or your copywriter posted on each page, a lot of times what attracts different people are the images you’ve selected and placed throughout the website.
Making a good first impression to viewers is important and a quick glance at poor quality photos or images that don't belong on a page can get people to click off your site before they've really even given it a shot.
So with that in mind the next question often becomes, “what pictures should I include that will keep people searching for real estate coming back to my website?” Well, depending on the flow of your real estate website, the answer can definitely vary.
For all your neighborhood or community pages, I like to recommend images of the property types buyers will most likely find in that particular area. More often than not, I tend to see real estate agents posting lifestyle shots on these pages, or pictures of local restaurants and businesses. While these sorts of pictures are great and certainly give buyers a nice visual of the surrounding neighborhood, it’s important to keep in mind why they’re on your website in the first place-which is to hopefully find a new home or condo.
So give them what they want to see. If a neighborhood is known for vintage brownstones or classic brick single-family homes, include photos of brownstones or brick single-family homes. The picture of Joe Cool and his buddies living it up at a local upscale restaurant really isn’t needed.
If don’t already have a great collection of photos of real estate in your local market, plenty of royalty-free stock photo websites are out there with thousands of pictures for you to use at a very low cost. iStockphoto.com and Shuttershock.com are two of the more popular sites, but dozens of others are out there as well. Photographs can make or break your real estate website. So make sure to use quality pictures that make sense to the viewers. It may seem like a small detail, but it can really pay off in terms of referral and repeat visits from home buyers in your market.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and co-owns Real Estate Web Creation with his partner, Ted Guarnero, a 25+ year real estate veteran.