I remember starting as an estate agent back in 1994, just shy of my 18th birthday with a big corporate agent. We'd no computers - we employed a full time typist to put property details together from descriptions spoken into a dictaphone. We all wore ties, carried A-Zs round with us, and we physically posted property details out to people who had spent all day ringing around all the estate agents to be put on their "mailing list".
Sounds like 60 years ago, doesn't it, rather than just 26?
My first job was to photocopy all the property details and - get this - STICK individual pics onto the front of the particulars. I'd always end up photocopying the first one upside down of course, and my pics would often be wonky. But that's how it was, then.
Times were simpler - to start an estate agency, you needed to rent a shop, put some displays in the window and off you went. I did exactly that when I did my first cold-start agency launch in 1998 for an independent agent that I was working for at the time. And it worked.
And also, whereas there was always the pressure to get the descriptions sounding as good as possible, presentation of your home at the point of putting it onto the market was nowhere near as important as it is now. You rarely took internal pics because they were so expensive to produce, so tidying up was often left until your client had viewings booked in - and the external photo was usually just "snapped" by the negotiator, with minimal training given, and certainly no photoshopping!
Naturally it's very different now as the way we all search for homes has moved on.
Social media and the property portals have brought property photography to the fore. It's been like this for a few years to be fair, but platforms such as Instagram have raised the game again very recently. It's no longer enough to have "a picture" - now it needs to be angled right, properly lit and fully staged to achieve that showhome feel.
That's why we've got together with FocalAgent, who I send to each and every property I that put up for sale. Good estate agents don't always make good photographers, yet good estate agents always want the homes they market to look stunning. Of course, looking great online and standing out is how we ensure people don't just scroll past, and actually want to come and view.
We also include floorplans and a unique video too. Web traffic is increasingly focused on video, and what better way to bring your home to life, and give you something to share yourself on your own social media accounts?
All this comes at no extra cost, and with no upfront fees, so if you want your home to look it's absolute best when trying to find a buyer, get in touch and I'll show you how we do it.
MILE+CO, powered by eXp UK is Skelmersdale's new estate agency - www.mileand.co