How to generate more leads

Sales leads can happen with good photos

In property and real estate, a picture is worth a thousand words and possibly sales leads.

With statistics showing that as many of 92 percent of tenants are starting their property search online, and 56 percent searching via mobile for their next rental (data from the United Kingdom) it’s even more important for real estate agents to have professionally shot pictures of a well-furnished condominium.

This alone will generate six times more leads than an unfurnished flat shot with an iPhone.

There is no doubt that pictures of well-presented properties will generate more interest, but how much does it really matter? How many more enquiries will you get from taking professional shots, and will leave your property unfurnished help you find tenants faster?

To answer these questions, relocation firm David Phillips teamed up with Upad, the UK’s largest online letting agency, for a real life experiment. They chose a flat in south west London and advertised on two top U.K. property websites. They did this four times with the same rent and property description. The only thing they changed was:

1) Whether the property was furnished or not
2) Whether the images were shot professionally or on an iPhone

In total the property has received 53 leads. These were broken down as follows:
  • Furnished, professionally shot: 25
  • Furnished, shot with an iPhone: 13
  • Unfurnished, professionally shot: 11
  • Unfurnished, shot with an iPhone: 4

Putting these numbers into perspective, the furnished property advert that was professionally shot received twice as many enquiries than the one that was shot with an iPhone and furnished.

Furthermore, it generated more than six times the number of enquiries compared to the unfurnished property that was shot with an iPhone.

If you’re getting more than six times the number of inquiries, it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to see the opportunity. By simply spending less than 10 percent of one month’s rent you have a greater chance of renting your property faster, reducing voids which can be a landlords greatest cost.

James Davis Chief Executive of Upad, said, “I’ve long believed that how a property is presented online has an enormous bearing on how quickly it is let – which is imperative today as void periods are landlords’ second largest cost of business (after taxation).”

He adds, “More than 55 percent of tenants in the U.K. are now searching via mobile for their next rental (a threefold increase over the past 12 months) where the images make up as much as 95 percent of what is displayed. Having professional photos and where the property has been furnished prevents ‘the swipe effect’ from happening – and research shows this generates more than six times more tenant enquires – minimising void periods for landlords.”

Ed Grant (David Phillips, Director) explained, “There is a huge opportunity for landlords to up their game, as just looking at some portals you quickly see the most common form of presentation is poorly furnished with photos from a smart phone. Hopefully this research will help convince landlords that presentation really does matter.”