Listing Photos – Include Bathroom Photos or Not?

Over a month ago, I had a conversation with an agent about a listing that he said just wasn’t getting enough traction. It got plenty of views online and was at a competitive price point, but he was surprised that there just wasn’t many showings. He asked me to take a look and give my opinion.

His marketing photos were good – not outstanding, but I’ve definitely seen worse. I came to the honest conclusion that the 2nd photo in his listing photo lineup was turning people away by accident. It wasn’t necessarily a “bad” photo – but it was a photo of a small half bathroom. Nothing special about it, just an average bathroom.

He was confused as to why it would turn people away; he said he liked to arrange photos in the order that people would see those rooms as they walked through the house. The first photo is the exterior front shot, the 2nd photo is the half-bath because it’s just inside the front door, right under the stairs, practically in the foyer. Logically, it’s the next room they would come to if they were physically in the home.

I explained my opinion like this:

The listing photos aren’t there to show every room of the house. The purpose of the listing photos is to show ENOUGH of the home to make them want to schedule a showing. Why? Because NO photo is ever as good as seeing the real thing in person, so when it comes to listing photos, you just want to entice them to see the whole thing. It’s like watching a movie preview in the theaters.

If I can interject some marketing psychology, let me explain even further. Too many people are scrolling through these photos on their smartphones and their attention span is already extremely short, but they also probably have about 10 other things around them vying for their attention at any given time.

SO, picture it – they’re scrolling through houses on Zillow or Trulia or your awesome personal website or wherever, and they click this listing because they like the exterior photo they see. They bring up the photos to scroll through them, and the very next photo they see is just a basic bathroom. What’s their incentive to keep scrolling through photos when they have LITERALLY so many other things going on? If that photo isn’t COMPELLING, there’s nothing holding them there.

My recommendation was to re-order the photos. Exterior front goes first, and then the photos of the living spaces next, but in order from most impressive to least impressive. NO bathroom photos, except MAYBE the master bathroom, and even then, I’d only include it if it’s a selling point. I also recommended that he remove a few of the photos, which seems very counter-intuitive, but I truly think that less is more… remember, we’re trying to intice them to see it in person, not show them every nook and cranny.

He took my advice and the sellers also made a (very) small price reduction. Showings increased, home is now pending. Was it my advice that helped, or the price reduction, or maybe both? I don’t know, and I’m certainly not going to take credit, but I think there’s a lot to be said for considering the psychology of consumers when you’re laying out the marketing for your listings.

What is your opinion? No hard feelings if you disagree! I really want to hear other points of view on this, or if you happen to agree with me.  🙂

Hope everyone’s having a great week!