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What if it’s not just your real estate description that gets you new leads, and there‘s another element that affects the conversion rate even more?

In my last article, I made the case for good property descriptions and how often the classic copywriting error of confusing features with benefits occurs in the real estate world.

This might have given the impression that the real estate or property description is the most important element in influencing visitors to become customers.

But that’s not entirely the case.

It’s pictures, but not just pictures. It’s pictures combined with benefits rich text.

Why You Want To Combine Pictures With Text In Your Real Estate Description

First, let me give you some interesting facts and inspiring quotes that make the case for visuals or pictures.

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so you can estimate that about 10 percent of the work is done by the copy and 90 percent by images.

And according to Hubspot, 46 percent of marketers sat photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.

Besides getting attention, pictures also develop an emotional connection with your website visitor.

According to Psychology Today, consumers mainly use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (features, facts and brand attributes) when evaluating brands.

Since pictures are processed 60,000 times faster than text, the emotional connection with an image is much more instantaneous. The same can be done with text, but it takes much longer.

And according to MIT neuroscience research, “the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.”

So can you just neglect your real estate description and focus on pictures?

I wouldn’t recommend it.

Neglecting the real estate description and having good pictures is like having a Lamborghini in the garage but forgetting to put gas in it.

It still looks nice in the garage, and makes for nice Instagram stories and business guru videos, but what’s a Lamborghini good for if you can’t brag a bit with it by driving around the block?

So, this means that a great description fuels your media (videos, pictures).

And what happens when you have bad pictures and a great description or copy?

This is worse than the Lamborghini situation above.

Because, since the persuasion power of the description is about 10 percent, it could be the best description in the world, but if a visitor thinks that your property looks terrible, no copy in the world can move the needle and convince your potential customer otherwise.

Since we now know how important pictures are (roughly 90 percent), couldn’t we combine text and pictures?

If you do it the right way, the effect of pictures might be multiplied.

Even famous copywriters have applied this technique, so it’s actually nothing new.

Let’s take a look:

“Don’t run pictures without putting captions under them. Put a brief selling message or human interest message under every illustration you use.” – John Caples

“More people read the captions under illustrations than read the body copy, so never use an illustration without putting a caption under it.” -David Ogilvy

So what is the right way to do that?

Again, always use benefits and never features alone.

If you want to use features, always combine them with benefits. Contrary to features, benefits can be used alone.

The picture above is an example from the real estate description I used as an example in my last article.

Here we just apply one of the benefits in the picture below.

How to Use the Text on Pictures Strategically and Why This Can Even Involve Drones

Can you use pictures in a strategic way?

You can when you frame them into a story, ideally consisting of benefits.

The average property listing pictures are usually not structured and are often out of order.

You may see a picture of a living room, then a random bedroom picture, and then a picture of the garden. So there isn’t much flow, which doesn’t show a story.

But during a property showing, you don’t beam yourself and your potential buyers from the basement to the bedroom, then to the entrance and back to the garden.

In order to improve the flow, you need knowledge about the benefits or the specific needs of your target clients and thus the overall marketing angle.

By knowing that, you can align the story or marketing angle with the benefits and/or needs.

So, should you are an investor doing fix and flips or want to partner in a deal, the need would be that the other investor wants to fix up and flip the property for a profit.

This means that the story or angle would have to be customized to the specific benefits the property can provide to your partner investor:

  • it’s a bargain price
  • easily repairable issues
  • a “hot” neighborhood for sellers.

In this case, the story would show, for example, the following pictures:

  • A picture with the front view and text on the picture emphasising the bargain price
  • Several pictures with the easily repairable issues, displaying the issues and explaining them briefly in the text on the picture
  • Pictures from houses from the neighborhood with text such as, “This one was just sold for $300,000”

In case of a buy and hold property for rental income, the story or marketing angle would have to change to different benefits:

  • other lucrative rental properties in the area
  • a neighborhood with potential because of a new Wellness Center and Whole Foods opening up soon

In this case, the story would show, for example, the following pictures:

  • Pictures of different houses from the neighborhood showing the rental prices in the picture text
  • Pictures of the Wellness Center and Whole Foods facility, explaining in the text how close the property is to them (e.g. “Whole Foods just five minutes away”)

Can You Get Into Trouble With Property Listing Platforms?

Absolutely, when you use them to promote yourself and put, for example, your email address or phone number on the pictures.

Each real estate platform has rules on what images can be uploaded, and they are all very similar.

You can use text on pictures, but no branding, advertising or contact information.

4 Tools You Can Use to Add Text to Your Property Pictures

Which tools can you use to create pictures with text?

In this article, I already got into this topic, while covering ad creatives for Facebook real estate campaigns.

But here is a short list of design tools you can use:

Up Your Picture Game with Drones

If you want to up you picture game, you might even want to use drone photography.

I checked some stats for that, and I can already say that it should be approached depending on your target group and your goals.

In several articles, such as this one, statistics from the MLS reported by Real Estate Magazine are cited showing that properties with accompanying aerial images are 68 percent more likely to sell than properties without aerial photography.

I did some further research on that, but unfortunately never found this statistic on the MLS or on the Real Estate Magazine.

So, it should be taken into consideration with a little caveat.

What isn’t said either is which type of properties sell better with drone pictures.

But from logic and what’s already been stated in this article, we can deduce that it is likely true that the use of drone pictures helps to put even more emphasis on the benefits and overall marketing angle or story for your target customers.

I doubt that it will help to move the needle much for a flipper property on a 0.1 acre lot and I tend to believe that it could provide you with its full marketing potential when you’re dealing with a huge property with several acres and a large luxury house sitting on it.

Another selling point of drone photography is less the effect it might have on improved sales, but the commission contract with a seller.

Because, according to this article and a citation of the National Association of Realtors, 73 percent of homeowners say they are more likely to list with an agent who uses drone photography and video.

So, drone photography and video might increase your chances as a realtor to list a house, but the opinion of a homeowner about what efficient marketing is does not necessarily mean that the market thinks the same.

You will have to decide according to your knowledge of your target customers.

The Top 5 Drones for Real Estate Photography

Should you decide to give drone photography and video a try, I have a short list of the top six drones suitable for real estate photography:

UPair One Drone

Key Features:

  • Smart battery with a capacity of 5400 mAh for up to 18 minutes of flight time
  • U-shape design enabling more stable shooting and better GPS signal accessibility
  • A 7-inch LED super large screen remote control
  • Special PVC composite materials
  • Price: $259

You can check it out here.

Yuneec Breeze Drone

Key Features:

  • 13MP stills capability
  • Records UHD 4k video
  • Can stream 720p HD video to your mobile device
  • Five automated flight modes to capture unique shots
  • Selfie and Orbit modes for dramatic aerial group photos and video
  • Follow Me mode to grab compelling aerial footage (suitable for action sports adventures)
  • Position Breeze for beautiful aerial selfies
  • Weighs less than one pound
  • High portability due to foldable propellers including a carrying case
  • Optical flow and infrared positioning sensors enabling it to hold its position while minimizing drift both indoors and outdoors

You can check it out here

Autel Robotics XSTAR Drone

Key Features:

  • 4K (Ultra HD) video camera (4K30, 2.7K60, 1080p120, 720p240) with 12-MP still images
  • Wi-Fi HD Live View (720p streaming up to 0.6 miles away) and autonomous flight modes including waypoints via the free Starlink app for IOS or Android, follow and orbit
    Dual GPS/GLONASS outdoor navigation
  • Secure Fly magnetic interference protection, and the Starpoint Positioning System for precise flying where GPS signals are unavailable
  • Remote control with LCD display for flight information and one-touch action buttons for starting the motors, takeoff, hover, going home and landing
  • Included: 16-GB MicroSD card that can record approximately 30 minutes of 4k video, battery for up to 25 minutes of flying time per charge, one-hour fast charger, spare propellers

You can check it out here

Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon Drone

Key Features:

  • 16 Megapixel Full HD 1080p 60 FPS camera with a redesigned lens for lower image distortion
  • “Follow me” feature to follow the pilot by adjusting its location to the transmitter
  • Flight times of up to 25 minutes thanks to its intelligent 5, 200-mAh battery (2 included)
  • Real-time feed from the Q500+’s camera displayed on the 5.5’’ touchscreen of the ST10+ Personal Ground Station (transmitter) giving you access to the view of what the camera sees

You can check it out here

DJI Phantom 3 Drone

Key Features:

  • Lightbridge digital steaming provides live viewing of 720p video
  • Stable flights indoors due to a vision positioning system
  • Includes flight battery and rechargeable remote controller
  • DJI pilot app for iOS and Android for live viewing and complete camera control

You can check it out here

Conclusion

So, a great real estate description alone doesn’t move the needle to a better conversion rate for your property offers.

Ideally, you also have great pictures with which you add benefits to the rich text and then structure the picture sequence with the help of the overall story relevant to your target audience or potential target customer.

And depending on your market and potential customers, you might get an additional edge when using drone photography.

Please, don’t forget to share this article if you liked it. 

 

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