No property photos – Whose fault is it?

Now, where did I leave that camera?

Some days (most, lately), I just don’t get it. Here is the photo in the MLS for a home that was listed 22 days ago:

As I sit shaking my head in utter exasperation, my knee-jerk reaction is to blame the agent. After all, it is the agent who holds the marketing reins. But, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she misplaced her camera. Maybe her computer is in the shop. Perhaps she ate a bad fish taco and is just now recovering. It could be that she had professional pictures taken, but the photographer forgot to remove the lens cap and they are rescheduling. Or, the agent might just be backed up with all of her other listings.

Twenty-two days. In twenty-two days I could have commissioned an artist’s rendering (using charcoal on canvas). In twenty-two days, I could have deconstructed the home, scanned each element, and produced a respectable Photoshopped likeness. In just five minutes, in fact, I was able to design this image using only the touch pad on my laptop, and I’m not even artistically inclined.

While it arguably lacks the pizzazz of the typical “professional” image, I think it is far better than this home’s current cover photo.

In contrast, we listed a home five days after this home made its impressive debut. In that time, we had the property professionally staged, professional photographs were taken (about forty of them), a virtual tour was produced, a single-property domain was secured, a custom rider was ordered and delivered displaying the domain location, 200 four-page brochures were designed and produced, the listing was syndicated to about a trillion or so on-line sites, and a print piece was mailed to about 4500 homes. These are just the CliffsNotes.

So I could be blaming the agent, but maybe I should be blaming the seller. After all, it was the seller who selected this agent. And, as a matter of full disclosure, this particular listing is one for which we interviewed. But this is not a case of sour grapes, and I sincerely mean this. The fact that we were not selected is not the point. We can’t win ’em all; we never have, and we never will. Hire me; don’t hire me. But, if you don’t hire me, please hire someone as good or better. Hire someone worthy of your business. The agent controls the marketing, but you are in control of the selection process.

Unfortunately, we see these situations every day, and the bigger issue is that it is beyond me how, particularly in this market, anyone would think their interests are well-served by this level of effort. They knew they had choices. They knew what marketing opportunities were available to them. And, I know they knew that listing a home is a partnership, one in which ongoing cooperation is required, one in which the agent does not operate within a vacuum but instead communicates clearly and often about the measures they are taking on the seller’s behalf to find a buyer at the highest price. I know because we discussed these things.

Maybe it was about friendship. Maybe it was about money. Or, on second thought, maybe it isn’t the seller’s fault at all.

Perhaps the seller isn’t aware of how his home is being promoted. His computer could be in the shop. He might have eaten a bad fish taco and is just now recovering. It could be that, well, you get the idea. But, I have to wonder, didn’t he notice that no one with a camera has stopped by in the last three weeks?

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