New policy on listing photos

Over the past months we have witnessed a growing trend of images being sent through which have been “over-written” with text. An example is shown below of the addition of the word “video” to the image.

Image of property with video text

This image is the #1 image and is therefore the one seen in all searches and in this case a feature listing. We judge that this activity is not conducive to the high standards of presentation of the website. The websites is viewed by thousands of people everyday looking for property and the image is a key component of search – whilst the addition of a keyword draws attention on an isolated picture the encroachment of this across more and more listings would damage the value of the site.

For this reason from today I have instructed our support team to delete such photos.

This is an intervention by into the presentation of listings, however it is done with the best of intentions to ensure the website remains impartial and most important of all, valuable for property seekers.

Our overriding concern is that should this trend continue, we could see all forms of text overlays on photos endeavoring to promote one listing over another. This would ultimately devalue the website and this is why this decision has been taken.

February 19 2010 | News and Online marketing | 5 Comments »

Photographs are the most important component of a listing

The subject of photography is a constant theme of real estate marketing – and rightly so!

At every presentation I undertake I roll out the chart which shows the most important components of a real estate listing as judged by buyers – right at the top with 96% of people considering it important or very important is large images / high quality images and a large portfolio.

What is also often quoted is the fact that the human eye can read a photographic image around 20 times faster than reading text. These reasons mean that any property listing must start with the photos – get these right and you are half way there.

As an aside I am delighted at the embracing of rich, comprehensive photos by this industry – when we started the website in 2006 we had an average of just 3.6 photos per listing, last year when we checked this had rocketed up to 11.2 and this year it is up again to 13.7 – proof indeed of the value of photography!

When it comes to choosing a photographic service, the one thing I want to make sure is understood is that does not promote any one company over another – we value the role of being impartial. We promote all professional photographers who with agents enhance the output of great photographs that assist in marketing listings.

We do have a technical integration with Open2view, however this is a non-commercial arrangement which is designed to allow our site to showcase their portfolio of photos – both sides benefit.

With this in mind I was delighted to learn of an Auckland based business I was only to happy to profile for those agents in the region. Skyworks Aerial Photography specialises in lower altitude aerial photography using helium filled plimps or telescopic platforms allowing images to be taken up to 70 feet above the ground.

Aerial photographs are such a natural complement to the standard portfolio of indoor and outdoor photos and of course complement the higher altitude images presented on Zoodle. They also complement Google Streetview – all aiding the easier comprehension by buyers as to the layout and attributes of their chosen house, all from the comfort of their armchair via the web.

June 23 2009 | Photos | 5 Comments »