I talk a lot about separating the homeowners sentiment from the property. It’s not that their valuable items don’t have meaning or are in bad taste, but a buyer can’t always relate to these items and very often it can prevent them from seeing themselves in the home. This idea absolutely applies the photography process as well.
While I enjoy meeting the sellers of home, it’s not always a good idea to have the homeowners present while I worked. It can make the photographer’s job more difficult and could affect the end results. Here’s what I mean.
The Homeowners can actually hinder the photography process.
Have you ever had someone want to help out too much? Maybe their eagerness to be useful actually had the opposite affect? This happens a lot when the homeowners are present. You know this already, but when photographers come in, we have our own systems and ways we do things. We are usually accustomed to working on our own and when homeowners are interrupting that process, the results may not be as great.
One of the toughest situations to be in is when the homeowner wants to see the photos as we work. This is no bueno! For one, it completely interrupts the photographer’s thought process. But for another, your photographer is most likely going to be shooting with the HDR strategy. This is where they combine multiple exposures of the same image so no single photo on the camera is going to accurately represent the end photo. If homeowners see the unfinished images, they can get discouraged and start trying to get involved in the process, which will only make the job more difficult.
Another common situation is when the homeowner wants to help stage the home, while we are there. Really this should be done before the photographer ever arrives but when the homeowner starts offering to move furniture and pieces, the photography process slows down drastically. Your photographer wants to come in, photograph the space, and move on. They have an eye for how the furniture needs to be placed and would much prefer be in control of this themselves.
If you have homeowners that will want to be involved in the process, try sharing my Seller’s Picture Perfect Checklist with them so they can make sure they have contributed in the best ways!
When the photographer starts adjusting furniture or moving sentimental objects, the sellers could get offended.
Thankfully this isn’t always an issue, but it’s still a concern. Homeowners are very attached to their homes and they have so many memories here. But, the truth of the matter is, your job isn’t to make them even more attached, it’s to help a buyer become attached. I talk about “Grandma’s Photo” on the coffee table all the time and when your photographer arrives, it’s got to go.
Many sellers do understand this but removing family photos and taking out heirloom items for photography can still be a sad moment for the sellers. It’s much better for the sellers to be out of the house until the job is done. Photographers and Realtors should work together to have these items back in place for the sellers when they return. The homeowners should feel confident that their items were cared for and not unappreciated in any way.
Here’s another opportunity to “Treat” your clients to a great experience!
It’s one thing to tell the sellers they have to leave their home. It’s another thing to give them a reason to leave. Why not offer them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or grocery store? Photography is the perfect reason for an outing and when you treat them with a gift card, they’ll feel cared for and respected. At the end of the day, don’t you want your sellers to have a great experience with you?