We’ve all been there. Stood in a probate property, typically a musty smelling 1970’s home. Much loved, but tired. At some point, you’re going to say, “…imagine if it had a new bathroom…” or, “…refit the kitchen, change the colour scheme and it’ll be a completely different property…” In that moment it’s hard for both agent and client to see beyond the avocado and if the property is empty, the visual cues for where furniture and finishings should be is hard to imagine.
Digital photography has the ability to change all that. Not just the internal view but the external view as well.
Let me introduce John and Tom Durrant from Doctor Photo, a father and son team who have a quick and cost effective solution to all your photographic faux pas. Richard is an ex-estate agent who after 37 years sold his successful business. To fill the time, he pursued his passion for photography and started a boutique property photographic service for a few select clients.
That was 11 years ago and like most people who do what they love other opportunities come their way. Demand for the actual taking of photographs was starting to tail off, however enquires about how to improve photographs were increasing. Over the last two years, Richard has invested heavily in technology and his online presence and is now handling hundreds of photographs a day. This year has seen his son Tom join the business and with this extra pair of hands, Doctor Photo has really taken off.
“We make a bad photograph good and a good photograph awesome” says Tom, “And boy do we see some shockers!” Tom is quick to point out that they work within the letter of law and regularly turn down requests. “This isn’t about misleading people, it’s about giving property professionals the chance to maximise the appeal and value of a client’s residential or commercial property. From adding a blue sky to give the image a polished feel to removing objects or adding furniture, we’re filling in the gap between reality and what’s possible.”
And that’s a really important point, you’re offering a different view on what a property could be. That’s how I got talking to Tom. We had a sizable five bedroom village property on the market which just had a terrible garden. Nothing to do with the size, it was just bland and not a fair reflection of this family home. Tom was able to produce a fantastic, fully stocked garden and we, still using the original image, were able to position a ‘before and after’ view.
I’ve just done a search on Rightmove for my home postcode and there are still properties with parked cars, wheelie bins, old BBQ’s and property listed with one agent, but showing a clear photo of a competitors ‘For Sale’ board. And this is a village/semi-rural location! If I search on Oxford, there’s a hole host of photographic howlers!
There are just those occasions where there’s loads of boards on a block of flats or it’s bin day and the street is lined with wheelie bins. Let’s face it, who wants to wait for a sunny day when with a bit of photo magic, all your property can look bright, fresh and uncluttered. Used properly, this is a great way of dressing a property without the hassle and at a fraction of the cost.
Ask Tom nicely and that uninspiring empty space can be filled with contemporary furniture in 24 hours without sending in the interior designers!