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How To Win Listings With Photos You Haven’t Taken Yet

The pandemic has brought about changes to our industry on so many levels, including a few benefits that have come as a surprise. I’ve previously written about the unexpected benefits of remote closings, so now I’d like to share the changes I’ve seen in luxury listings—both marketing them and winning over sellers so they list with you.

We have all become used to high-resolution photos as the norm for showcasing luxury properties, but something changed when buyers needed to rely more on photos during the pandemic. It’s as though we all became photo experts during the months of increased screen time, and suddenly buyers are looking much more closely at the details in each picture. They don’t just browse the pictures for a general feeling about a home, they sit and study the pictures as though they were there in person.

For those of us who are listing agents, this means we need to work much more closely with a photographer to ensure they capture as many features and angles in a room as possible. It used to be that agents were discouraged from overloading a listing with too many pictures, but that has also changed. Now buyers are happier if they have more images to look through. But that doesn’t mean a listing agent should include every single photo they have in a listing. Keep enough in reserve that show different angles of each room so the buyers’ agent can use them as an opportunity to send additional photos and keep the conversation going with a buyer.

But how does this help an agent win luxury listings?

When you sit down with sellers and do a walkthrough of their home, you can earn their trust by first noticing the individual places or features in the home that they are proud of or that highlight their personality the most. This could be anything from the reading nook to the vaulted ceilings to the custom kitchen faucet (as just a few examples). Then, when you describe how you are going to market the property, demonstrate your expertise at visually telling the story of a home. Point out the ways your photography know-how will go above and beyond regular property listing photos, making sure to weave in a focus on the parts they feel the strongest affinity for. They will know that you “get” them, and this will give them greater confidence in your ability to market the property in a way that attracts the right buyers. 

Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom, the technology company behind DocuWalk. For more information, please visit