Buying a home has become more than just a stepping stone of the American Dream, especially for younger generations who record every facet of their lives on social media. Elaborate photo shoots are becoming a mainstream part of the buying process. First-time buyers are looking for creative and memorable ways to share their momentous occasion with their internet fan base. Right now, buyers are typically hiring professional photographers to take care of these shoots. What better way to attract first-time buyers than to offer a professional photo shoot within your own set of services?
With the holidays just around the corner, this is the perfect time to take advantage of photo-worthy moments. The twinkling lights, festive Santa hats and fun poses are already making their way onto social media pages. Here's how you can make the most out of first-time buyer photo shoots to build strong client relationships that will lead to a referral-filled holiday season.
Set the Scene
Poses are the bread and butter of a good photo, especially when it comes to first-time homeowner shoots. Focus on things like embracing in the entryway, holding the house key or standing over a welcome mat to make it clear that this isn't your average photo shoot. Some of the more popular poses include carrying a spouse or significant other through the threshold, forming a heart with two hands with the home or key as the background, and incorporating a playful lift between a couple next to the SOLD sign.
Take it to the next level during the holiday season by setting up some simple white lights around the door frame, placing some festive poinsettias on the front steps and taking advantage of a snowy backdrop if you live in a wintry location. You can also use coordinating outfits to set the scene. Tell your clients to dress in a certain color or wear cozy clothing like scarves and hats so the photos look uniform and professional.
Don't overdo it with cheesy props, but some simple accessories can make the photos viral-worthy. Chalkboard signs are popular among the millennial generation. Have your buyers stand or sit with signs that say things along the lines of "Our First Home" or "Sold." Use green and red colored chalk during this time of year to brighten up the shoot with some holiday cheer. Santa hats are also a fun way of adding a holiday twist to your photos. And if the new homeowners have a furry companion, include them in the shoot. Nothing goes viral faster than a cute dog in a Santa hat.
The more playful you make the shoot, the more memorable it will be for your clients. Just like the photo booth at weddings is the most popular part of a reception, your photo shoot will be what clients think back to when remembering their home-buying experience.
Give Them as a Gift
Forget gift baskets that won't last a week. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Let your professional pictures speak for your gratitude as a real estate agent. Every time your clients look at the framed pictures on their wall, they will remember you. Go a step further and put the photos in an album for your clients. Include a back page that has your information and a request for referrals on it. Every time they look through it, they will end up on that last page, sparking home-buying memories and encouraging referral activity.
Post Them on Social Media
Don't forget to make the most of your pictures. It's not just about giving them to your clients as a gift—you want to be known for your first-time buyer photo shoots, and the only way to do that is to make sure they are seen. Take to all of your social media pages and post your clients' photos. If possible, tag your clients so the pictures are visible among their friends and family. Use hashtags such as #firsttimebuyershoot, #homesweethome and #homefortheholidays to increase visibility and get them trending—or, even better: create your own branded hashtag.
Just remember, it may be worth it to hire a professional photographer who is familiar with the trendiest poses and has a handle on lighting. Your clients will remember professional-grade photos that they can frame proudly on their walls, instead of a standard smartphone picture that anyone can take. And while this hasn't popped up as a real estate trend just yet, "Welcome Home" videos could be the next big thing, with you leading the way.
If you're an agent that's offering photo shoots for homebuyers, post your best pictures below and let us know how your clients reacted!