3 reasons to include people and pets in your listing photos

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Traditionally in real estate it’s the done thing to select an image of the front of a property to feature as the main photo in a listing ad. Many agents are now opting to buck this old trend by using images of their properties best lifestyle features (i.e. views, pools, tennis courts or alfresco areas), interior shots and even featuring people and/or family pets.

This new bold trend is helping agents to make their listings stand out in a highly competitive sea of listings. By creating more engaging listing ads, agents can more effectively pique potential buyers’ interest, entice click throughs to view the full listing and bring in more leads.

Before booking a professional photographer and tracking down an adorable Border Collie puppy, it’s important to note that you want to be subtle with your use of people and pets in listing photography. What you don’t want is for your listing to view like cheesy happy snaps from a family photo album. Less is definitely more in this instance.

  20 Island Point Road, Port Douglas, QLD.
20 Island Point Road, Port Douglas, QLD.

3 reasons you should try incorporating people and/or pets in your listing photos

1. Sell the home by selling the lifestyle. As always the purpose of listing photos is to showcase the home, its best features and illustrate what it’s like living there. What better way is there of selling this to potential buyers than including people and pets enjoying the home to bring the listing to life. By showing buyers what they’ll be able to do and experience when they live there, they can more easily project themselves into the image and become emotionally invested in the property. They can visualise themselves savouring their morning coffee on the balcony taking in the view or relaxing after a hard day by reading a magazine on the deck, for instance.

  9 Waterview Street, Seaforth, NSW.
9 Waterview Street, Seaforth, NSW.

2. Stand out from the crowd. By departing from the same old same old of pages and pages of listings of fronts of houses, more people will be inclined and intrigued to take a look through your property ad if the photo and headline stand out and resonate with them. The photo you select needs to complement the headline you use and target a specific buyer for the property. For example, you could try ‘Bob and Maree reminisce about all the family Christmases they shared on this balcony’ alongside a picture of Bob and Maree lounging on the balcony to appeal to family buyers.

  3 Reynolds Street, Balmain, NSW.
3 Reynolds Street, Balmain, NSW.

3. Break the ice. Including pets and/or people in your listing photos can work as a great ice-breaker and gives you the opportunity to build a rapport with prospective buyers when they get in touch. Discussing the people and pets in the images can be a bit of a fun talking point, where prospective buyers may ask ‘what’s that cute dog’s name on the patio?’ or ‘is that the current owner enjoying the spa?’. Anything that gets prospective buyers chatting, excited and noticing the properties best features is a big plus, right?

  'Goodside' Marrar Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW.
‘Goodside’ Marrar Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Quick tips to successfully include people/pets to listing photos:

  • Less is more. Limit your listing to two or three images max featuring people or pets. You don’t want the home’s occupants to distract or detract from how great the home is.

  • Subtlety is key, meaning no cheesy family portraits or over the top modelling poses.

  • Highlight lifestyle features using people or pets (i.e. views, alfresco dining, pools etc.).

  • Your headline needs to complement the first image in your property ad for your target buyer.

  • Use your images as a talking point to show off unique features of the property and what the people who live there will get to experience. Have fun with it!

  186 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW.
186 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW.

To make sure your listings are looking their best for property photos and inspections check out our seven home staging tips. Do you have any other ways you make your listing ads stand out online? Please share them in the comments section below. 

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Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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