'Zero Moment of Truth:' Real Estate Buyers and Sellers Expect Real Estate Agents to be Tech-Savvy Visual Storytellers

(Editor's Note: Guest Blog post by Manhattan Beach, CA-based South Bay Residential President and CEO, Greg Geilman, REALTOR®)

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South Bay Residential   President and CEO, Greg Geilman, REALTOR®)

South Bay Residential President and CEO, Greg Geilman, REALTOR®)

Professional Media Keeps Agents Relevant in a Competitive Industry

Every year, technology gets cheaper, easier to use and better quality. For real estate, buyers and sellers increasingly expect their real estate agents to use this technology in the listing.

Agents who take advantage of professional media services to provide sellers with access to high-quality photography, video and other forms of media will ultimately be better able to compete in the industry.

Target Buyers Where They Are

Recent surveys suggest that as much as 95 percent of home buyers start their search online. The process of beginning research for a purchase online is often referred to as the “Zero Moment of Truth,” where buyers consider and cull their choices prior to actively shopping and deciding what they want.

Real estate agents already know that the dynamic of their role is changing, from one that lets buyers know about the existence of homes to a position of helping buyers to decide between properties that they have already looked at online.

As the technology for capturing photography and video improves and becomes more accessible, buyers are more interested in looking at properties that feature professional media that gives them the most accurate depiction of the home, long before they ever set foot inside it.

Stay Ahead in a Competitive Industry

Just as buyers are becoming increasingly savvy about what a home’s online presence looks like in comparison to others, home sellers can easily inform themselves about which agents can offer them the best chance at a good sale. Aerial views of a property used to be limited to expensive homes and homeowners who could afford the cost of arranging for a helicopter.

These days, hiring a company to take a drone inside or above a home for an interactive, 360-degree view of the property might only cost a few hundred dollars. When they contract with a real estate agent, sellers are looking to gain the agent’s access to the kinds of services that will make their properties look better online for buyers to browse. The more agents who provide access to this technology in their service contracts, the more obvious it becomes to sellers which agents they should choose.

Create Mobile-Friendly Media

The widespread accessibility of mobile applications targeting the buying and selling of real estate demonstrates how consumers are changing the ways they look for homes to buy.

The vast majority of people use their mobile devices to search for information, and more than half of all searches are now done on mobile devices. Younger buyers are more accustomed to looking for information on their smartphones, and would be more likely to skip media that is not easy to view on the small screen. This means that agents need to ensure that the content they provide for buyers to consider is easy to find and view on mobile devices.

Tap Into the “Sight Unseen” Market

Buyers know that there is always a degree of risk inherent to buying a home “sight unseen,” but the numbers of people buying properties this way is on the rise. About one in five people buy a home without taking a physical inspection of the property, and this is at least partially due to the accessibility of media concerning the home online.

If buyers can check out a home’s listing and see aerial photography, professionally-staged and shot views of the home’s interior, as well as a virtual tour, they may well conclude that they have no need to actually see the home before making an offer. Agents who can provide this level of quality in their online home listings can ultimately claim a higher share of this niche of the real estate market.

Staying relevant in an industry that relies on online accessibility involves a heavy commitment to technology, and high-quality data for consumers. When real estate agents emphasize their effective use of professional media, they garner the services of more sellers and attract a larger share of buyers.


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