Why You Need Professional Photography

Selling villas in Bali photography
Selling villas in Bali photography
Image by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash.

I was asked by one of my colleagues in today’s morning briefing to help pen some appropriate words that we could use to convince our vendors to invest in professional photography.

“Sure,” I said. “You mean some of them don’t want to?”

To my surprise, the answer was a resounding “Yes! They honestly don’t see the point. They think we should do it.”

I was failing to see the logic in that. “But we’re professional realtors,” I exclaimed, “we’re not professional photographers!” I was preaching to the converted and the room nodded.

Time to do some research and find some well-put, arguments in favour of hiring a professional photographer to take quality images of villas and properties for sale.

Luckily I came across an article by Shannon O’Brien on the Market Leader website.

Her excellent piece entitled: Back Away From the iPhone and Hire a Photographer was written back in 2013, way before the latest iPhone 7 mega-pixel-all-in-one-camera-phone-computer-gadget, but the sentiment is as true now as it was then.

Ms. O’Brien begins with a question we should be asking each and every vendor who raises eyebrows at our suggestion to hire a professional photographer and that is:

Are you really taking photos of your listings with your iPhone? As Dr. Phil says, how’s that working for you?”

“Erm, actually not as well as I’d hoped to be honest.” Is the vendor’s rather timid reply.

“Really? Now there’s a surprise. Why do you think that is?”

There are many studies out there that suggest very strongly that real estate listings engage and (hopefully) lead to sales because of that all-important first impression. And that means image.

Believe it or not first impressions DO count, especially when you’re competing against the rest of the world and a whole new breed of smart-phone photographers who take up our most valuable online resource: time!

According to Ms. O’Brien and the WSJ, you have one chance to impress – a scant two seconds to grab a buyer’s attention without a photograph and 20 seconds with one.

As it goes, that’s not a lot of time for that first impression. If you need proof of this just have a look at your own website’s Google analytics to see what most people spend time on. Have a great image and people engage. Have an obviously home-made snap and they don’t. That’s not rocket science.

“What’s the incentive?” asks the unconvinced vendor. “For me? I mean why should I spend money doing this? Isn’t that what the real estate agent is supposed to do?”

The short and respectable answer to that is, “No! Let me repeat this … we are professional realtors, not professional photographers. Our expertise and focus is finding the right buyer for the right property and making the whole process as seamless and as enjoyable as possible, not taking second-rate pictures. And anyway do we really want to be doing business with someone who thinks one tenth of one percent of the selling price is really so much to pay, especially when it helps to sell?

O’Brien gives the perfect example when she says … would Phil Knight (the Cofounder and Chairman of Nike) whip out his point-and-shoot and snap random photos of a pile of athletic shoes to be used in Nike’s print advertising? Obviously not!

The vendor is beginning to come round but he and she want more. So, how about this stat to close with … homes photographed by a professional, garner 61 percent more online views and sell for more.

That’s because a buyer is going to be more attracted to a seller who sees the value of presenting their property in the best possible light.

It’s a sub-conscious connection that works across every business. If something looks like you spent time, energy and love making it be the best it can be, then the chances of connecting with someone who appreciates and values it increase, especially when we’re talking about hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. Isn’t that the bottom line?

So, if you’re a motivated vendor looking to sell your property, take our advice and hire a professional photographer to let it shine! And don’t forget they’re your pictures to use as you see fit, we just ask to be able to use them so we can do what we do best.

If you’d like to learn more about selling property in Indonesia get in touch with us today through hello@sevenstonesindonesia.com

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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.