So, What Does a Great MLS Listing Look Like?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

As a visual marketing expert, I am asked this question quite a bit for Real Estate listings. My job for clients is to drive foot traffic into a listing, a business or a project that I photograph. When we can create the desire and interest in physically seeing a property, business, etc., we have been successful. Driving that foot traffic into your listing allows you to start doing your magic, as a real estate agent, by turning a prospect into a buyer!

There is much research available out there. Many MLS systems across the country have opened up to allowing 70 -100 images of a property. However, just because that storage is available, that does not equate into loading that number of images. The Alaska MLS will allow 70+ images! Our job here on the Kenai Peninsula is to get the prospects to step foot on the property.

So How Many Images are Needed?

Data from Point2homes suggests that 10 to 15 images has the best impact for generating sales leads on a listing. Graph #1 shows this.

Graph #2 shows that up to 15 images bring in leads with the least number of views required.

So, what would a great listing look like, here in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska with less than 25 images?

Researchers have studied home buyers looking at listings online, and found that the first 20 seconds is all you have to grab interest before the buyer moves on. They further found that in those first 20 seconds, the viewers eyes fixed on one part of the screen, and this was looking at what we typically call the “money shot” – a great visual of the exterior of the home. After that, their eyes flitted all over the screen. This video is an example of a great listing.

So what is our goal when using professional images in the Kenai Peninsula Real Estate industry?

Our goal is to get prospective buyers to contact YOU, the listing agent. Once they do, you get to perform your magic to get them converted to a home buyer. The listing is the enticement for contacting you. The more images we place on the listing, the more questions are answered thereby having a negative effect on you receiving any contact to see the listing.

According to Zillow, homes with 22 to 27 images had the highest probability of selling; homes with 28 or more images made a home less likely to sell. “ This is likely because other factors begin to outweigh the small marginal effect of each additional photo when there are already a lot of photos to begin with. For example, homes with 28 or more photos are 12 percent more expensive, and garner 5 percent fewer page views than listings with 22 to 27 photos.[2] Homes with 28 or more photos are also listed at a price a median 4.9 percent above their estimated market value, which is high compared to the 3.5 percent listing premium for the U.S. as a whole.” See the entire report here.

“Yes, but we live in Alaska, and things are different here”.

Well, they are and they aren’t. I have lived here 20 years, and can attest to that. When I first moved here in 1998, we were about 15 years behind trends in the lower 48. These days, we are about 2-3 years behind. Folks are moving to Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula from the lower 48 much more than before. Expectations of lower 48 trends are coming with them. That said, we need to be ready for those trends. In fact, in Homer Alaska, many buyers are looking for second homes from the lower 48. Again, they are also expecting us to be up on real estate trends. Apps like Zillow, Redfin, Inman just to name a few are what these buyers are using, so it goes to follow that the same research trends found on a national scale can also be applied on a micro level to the Kenai Peninsula. Where we ARE different is in the buying and moving season(s). The Kenai Peninsula has a bit longer on market time frame. However, as we here have all adopted new technology, the trends are the same.


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