The National Association of Realtors loves to tout (announcer’s voice here) “93% of homebuyers now search for properties online.” Doesn’t it make you wonder who the heck the other 7% are? Oh, I know, the ones yelling “Hello!, Hello!” into their TV remotes when the “home phone” rings. But I digress. What I really wanted to write about is the importance of standing out from the crowd when potential buyers are flicking through house listings on their phones.

At a recent property shoot, my photographer was lamenting the fact that so many real estate agents turn down his services because of the cost. For my money, there is no better value than paying for the best photography you can possibly find. My guy is more than an artist; he happens to be a magician.

I mean, what other reasonable explanation can there be when just about every person I show his work to elicits the word “WHOOOAAA!” Followed immediately by spreading their fingers apart on the screen of my iPhone. His pictures are THAT good. I want a picture that stops the flickering index finger in its tracks. I want images that shout “Hold the phone!” (haha, that was funny right there). You get the picture…okay, I’ll stop now.

Seriously (or perhaps just less silly), we put forth an enormous effort making our listings look sensational. We understand that people need to have the image of the lifestyle they desire laid out before them. WRONG!: They won’t “see past” the ugly paint. NO!: They can’t “use their own imagination.” It’s foolish to “just give them a credit” for the soiled carpeting. I know from experience: Buyers fall in love with what’s beautiful. And who can blame them?

Therefore, often, after signing a listing agreement, before we put a listing up, we will oversee painting, carpeting, window cleaning, gardening, power washing, decluttering, staging and the list goes on. In some cases, we have overseen extensive face lifts (new floors, renovated kitchens, remodeled bathrooms, etc). We have proven time after time that making the investment up front pays off in multiples.

Of course, knowing where to start, where to stop, what colors, what finishes, what plants, where to find the materials, who to provide the skilled labor (who to trust!), who will oversee the work and how to pull it all together in the shortest period of time for the least amount of money (*whew*) is the secret sauce. Leave that up to us.

Once we do our magic, we call in the magician…