The Power of Visual Imagery and What it Says

Today we are talking about the power of visuals. We mean branding, photos, videos, anything you can see. If you don’t have a strong visual presence, you don’t have a brand.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Why your brand needs a visual.
  • How you can incorporate visuals in your marketing.
  • How PhotoUp can help you create marketing your real estate business.


Check Out PhotoUp

Real Estate Marketing Dude

The Listing Advocate (Earn more listings!)

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So how do you track new business, you constantly don’t have to chase it. Hi, I’m Mike Cuevas to real estate marketing. And this podcast is all about building a strong personal brand people have come to know, like trust and most importantly, refer. But remember, it is not their job to remember what you do for a living. It’s your job to remind them. Let’s get started

What’s up ladies and gentlemen, welcome another episode of the real estate marketing dude, podcast what is going on guys? Today, we’re gonna be chatting about

branding and the power of visual imagery.

I, if you’re not creating content, you don’t have a damn brand, or you ever build one, right? And we’re gonna focus on why that’s so important because people don’t put enough time and energy into this. And a lot of you guys, the reality is that you’re struggling right now. And you’re wondering why the book is struggling? Well, it’s because you never built a brand to begin with. And when the market shifts like this, it takes a dump on you. But everyone who has built a brand over the last four or five years, yes, business is down a little bit, but they’re definitely not struggling. All right. And that’s going to be the power. So what I want to do today is just focus on that. How do you build a brand online because everything you do online with imagery, whether it’s video, whether it’s photos, whether it’s your damn logo is marketing, and how that appears to others is important, right? Nobody hires the person that has never seen because they don’t remember them. And in real estate over 80% of business is going to come from the people that already know like, and trust you not a bunch of fucking strangers, so pay close attention today. Without further ado, we’re gonna introduce our guest today. He’s with Photo Op, Mr. Devin Higgins. Devin. What’s up, dude? Hey, Mike, thanks for that got everybody psyched and pumped to listen in today. I love it yellow. Oh, that’s the attention getter. If I don’t do that, you guys will start falling asleep. So while you’re sitting there on your damn treadmill right now pay attention.

So yeah, tell us just tell us real quick about photo op what you guys do. And I got all the different types of questions for you. Yeah, sure. So photo op, we’ve been around for the past 10 years, we focus on everything digital real estate marketing. So doing photo editing, video editing, Virtual Staging, single property websites, virtual tours, we even do house portraits for closing gifts for your clients. So anything kind of digital, and then a little bit of personal assets that are too as closing gifts that you need to kind of market your brand, your business, your listing, we can help take care of it for you. Yep, I had. It was probably about eight years ago, I was at Social Media Marketing World here in San Diego still live in Chicago. And I bought a book that weekend. And it was called The Power of visual imagery. And it was right when I started to really exercise maybe like 10 years ago, but when I started to really get into social media, so I really started getting to content creation. And I want to lay out what she wrote in the book that sticks with me still today. And I just want to prove this point why it’s so powerful. And people oftentimes, you know, nobody remembers what you actually say. But they remember the impact that whatever you’re doing made on them. They don’t remember what you say they remember how the crochet is probably made you feel. But the what she writes this, she’s like, Well, dude, look, everything is based on story. And I use this in one of my presentations now. And I put a slide on my presentation and it just says boy in blue B O Y, then I asked everybody Hey, what’s going through your mind? So I’m asking you guys right now, boy, what’s going through your mind, you got five seconds, what’s boy B, O Y? What image is going through your mind? Right now my next slide is a picture of a little Asian boy in a bathtub with bubbles and a baby bottle. Now I say what’s going through your mind there. And because that picture gives you a lot more context, you’re able to form more images in your head and relate to it. But then when you go a step further, and you do a video, you have a word, a picture than a video, which is the most impactful. Right, right. And it’s, you know, at the end of the day, it’s what people see is the most impactful thing they remember, it’s not what you fucking say. Yep. So that’s why imagery is so important. Yeah, yeah. I mean, we see it all the time. Just even in terms of engagement with listings, right listings, who have professional real estate photography, or at least professionally edited real estate photography, actually get 50% At a minimum, more traffic to that listing, because the images matter, right? I mean, 95% of people that are looking for homes today are starting their search online, right? It’s not going to be something that you as the agent necessarily find them or show them. It’s going to be them coming to you saying, hey, this listing looks good. I’m gonna go check this out, because I love the photos that I saw online. Yeah, and the thing that people don’t realize is like, if you like, please don’t take pictures with your damn cell phones like your real estate agent. You’re making three and a half percent, couple $1,000. If you can’t spend a few $100 and getting the photos like you should just not have a license period. We all

I’ll stop your mic Real quick though we actually and we’ve seen it too. And we’ve preached this for years, right? Don’t take the damn pictures with your phone. But people still frickin do it. What we’ve come to the decision of is, you know, people are just gonna continue taking pictures with their phone, how do we make them better? How do we professionally edit those. So we’re actually working on an AI editing app, where you as a realtor can still take the photos with your phone for again, the lower end listing, maybe you don’t want to spend 200 bucks 300 bucks on a marketing package for a $200,000 listing, but at least get them professionally edited through a professional photo editing app. So that’s gonna be coming out later this year beyond. But again, just a way to enhance your marketing. And yet you’re not a photographer of your realtor, most likely, some people are and if you are great kudos to you. But if you’re not just at least do something to enhance the images and make them look professional. Because attracts more people. What does it say about your brand? Like if I’m, if I’m looking at a property if I’m gonna, if you’re selling my house, and I’m gonna look up like a house you sold and one of the things I’m gonna see on the photos you took, and I’m like, Dude, that thing looks terrible. Right? You know, it’s like, but and then here’s the other thing too, like you just put out an example about, oh, maybe it’s only a 200,000 or listing. And a lot of agents won’t go top and on the marketing, but when I was still in production, I always went top in and on the marketing, I never discriminated against price ever because I treated everyone the same. And I’m gonna give you guys a good story. $15,000 listing on the south side of Chicago 6700 block of South St. Lawrence, if you guys been there before, you probably wouldn’t ever walk step out of your car $15,000 inhabited by homeless people, did I I didn’t. I didn’t shortchange anything. I did a video, I did full a professional photographer I hired come out down there and do the photos. I lost money marketing the listing, guys. But my brand matters. The day that listing close to seller, Dan decided to tell me he had three more properties for me to sell, because he’s very impressed with how we marketed that dump of the prep list. You have to go all in on everything. It’s marketing. A listing is not necessarily about that listing. Certainly it is. And it’s trying to sell that one. But it’s about the next one that you’re gonna get. It’s about your reputation. Mike, like you said, it’s your brand, right? It’s your business, what are people going to expect when they come to you and hire you to sell their house? That’s what they expect.

This is pretty cool. So you guys do like

staging and virtual and all that? Yeah, so Virtual Staging has been a big one. I mean, obviously, the pandemic kind of boosted that, right people couldn’t get into homes to physically stage or even walk around, and then see kind of what a space look like. So they wanted to envision what it looked like with their furniture in it right, or with some set of furniture in it. It also is a huge time savings and cost savings versus physically staging a house just because we can do it so quick, right? Typical Virtual Staging job turns around in about 24 hours, whereas the physical staging company is going to take multiple days to even get a contract signed to figure out a time that works for them to come in to set everything up to move things around to potentially nick the walls, right? Scratch the door, whatever it might be, versus you don’t worry about any of that with Virtual Staging. And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. I mean, typical image for us is around 25 bucks, typical home staging is going to run you anywhere from a grand to a couple grand, depending on how long that furniture sits in the empty house. So very cost effective, very economical. And, again, you’re trying to get people in the space itself. Virtual Staging is able to do that, because he got great photos online that are getting people excited to come and check out the house. Are there any things you can like? Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s pretty cool.

I remember Matterport was a big deal. Like when I was still in production, you know, if they’re still around? Oh, yeah. But like, it looks like you guys have a very similar thing. And we would get same thing we would we had a more we would get Matterport not just to please the seller, like I didn’t care about the anything else. I just wanted it to look cool, right? And the seller is your first showing you guys so you can’t chat. You can’t shortchange any of this stuff. color wise. Like let’s get out of photos, obviously do your own photos. Let’s get into some like, just visual imagery in general. Like what do you suggest realtors to do if they don’t have a listing? What kind of photos should they be taken? What kind of marketing can they be taken? What do you you know, videos, Talk Talk to me a little bit about that. Sure. I mean, anything and everything that you can do visually, like you said, right? People look at words. It’s one thing people look at a photo, it’s more engaging. What’s the most engaging thing you can do? It is a video, it’s going to be the biggest attention grabber it’s going to keep your eyes on something longer. It’s going to allow you to show your true personality and colors right if I looked at a photo of you, Mike, I’d be like, Oh, it looks like a cool guy getting on the podcast with you and actually talking even his face. You’re like, oh, my gosh, exciting. This is friggin awesome. Like you want to meet you might not just see the picture of Mike. Look at the impact though that goes back to that example. I just gave you like how many agents do you guys see you guys that are doing this at a high level. Not get the video on that listing and why not? Like it’ll just Oh, I’m just going to take I’m just going to take the photos. Get the video on the right

sticking to like, it’s not about the listing. No, it’s not about that listing like I said before, it’s about the next one that you want to get. It’s about your brand your reputation if you want the higher end listing, I think the one thing that blows my mind is like the agent that’s constantly selling 200 to maybe $500,000 homes and is like, Man, why am I not getting the higher end listings? Because you’re probably not marketing anything like a high end listing? Why would somebody who has $1,000,000.02 million dollar $5 million listing hire you when all you do is photos and they look as shit? Because I have a real estate license? Dude. Yeah, exactly. It’s like no, that’s that’s not going to be how it works. Even if your friend or your family, right. I mean, they want a professional who’s doing professional grade marketing for each listing that they do. This is the way to do it. Yeah. There’s no doubt like people take a pay attention to the details when it comes to stuff like this. Yeah, I used to use that stat alias. I was good for professional photography. It’s just a big deal. Okay, so what a listing videos, what do you seen people doing? You see anything that works better than others? I mean, obviously, showing the home right getting through the space, having it done professionally, half hiring somebody to come out with their nicer DSLR camera. Again, you can make a nice enough video from your iPhone. But do you know what you’re doing? Do you know how to pan around the room? Do you have a stabilizer, making sure that it is of professional grade, and showing every room in the actual flow of the house, I can’t tell you how many people were videos that I’ve seen that weren’t done by us, we don’t do this. But other folks who like you walk in the front door, then you’re in a bedroom, then you’re in the upstairs, then you’re in the kitchen, then you’re in the downstairs, it’s like, Whoa, I have no idea how the flow of this house actually works. It takes time. And it takes effort to make sure that you’re laying that video out correctly. One thing that we’ve seen more in recent years is people actually the agents themselves jumping into the video, right? It’s your brand, it’s your reputation. It’s not about that listing itself, it’s about you, it’s about selling yourself as the agent. So whether it’s the beginning of the video, a short little blurb at the end of the video jumping in, even if it’s a picture, I know some people don’t like to get on camera, or camera shy, I get it, that’s fine. But also, if you’re an agent, you can get over that, like get on camera, you should. But if you don’t a picture at least, or if you really want to go in for it be involved in the shoot. I’ve seen a lot of people now, even on simple things like a tic tac reel or an Instagram reel, right of jumping in there and sitting in a room as the cameras panning around, right? Even laying on the bed, doing whatever to engage with the house itself, and make it feel like it can be livable. I think that’s a great way to show engagement. And again, be connected and be the brand in your videos and in the marketing that you’re putting out there. Yeah, this is a reminding not selling, you don’t have to sell the fact that you’re a real estate agent. You just have to remind people, right? That’s what marketing is. But when you’re in Yeah, I hate when people don’t get in the listing videos like Dude, the whole point of doing the video is to build the brand. Yes, get in the listing, dude, like,

I can’t get on that video. Do you have to get on a video, it’s your job. When I was doing we used to do these like, this is like 2012 or like first people ever in the country doing video then. But what happened was because of that, it just generated a shitload of attention. So the goal of the listing you guys is not to sell the damn listing. That’s my third goal. The goal of the listing is to first please the client for repeat business and referral business, which is why you need good shit, your shirts got to look good. No one goes back to the restaurant that they find a fucking hair in their food. That’s what your pictures look like when you don’t fucking get professionals.

Right. But the second one was the leverage for spin off business. That’s why I’m marketing right? I’m getting really good images and videos to leverage spin off business. So I’m using the listing as a way to generate more business. And then the third is to sell the house in that order. Totally. Right. But if you’re building a brand or business and don’t shortchange this stuff, because no one the problem, I think is that people don’t look at their, their business like a business, they their salesperson chasing their next check. And they don’t realize that they’re selling fast food.

Yep, no makes sense. And how do people learn this? Right? I mean, other than listening to your podcast or just understanding the importance of marketing, because what I’ve seen is agents are not necessarily marketers or professional marketers, right? How is there a way to learn this I was there a way to do this? It is it’s listening to a podcast like this or just knowing to go out and do it having some sort of marketing background or coming to a site like photo op, right? Checking out all of these amazing tools that you can have to market your listing and making sure to do that consistently. We have a saying within our business at least, that consistency over time produces great results right? You’re not going to just do all the bells and whistles and marketing on your first listing and then be looking at that say Mike and Devin man I did a photo video, those virtual tour property website on this shitty $200,000 listing and having

gotten anything from it? Well have you done it on your next one and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that? It breeds great results if you’re being consistent with your marketing or with anything in your business to be honest, yeah, marketing is not advertising but it does lead to the next sale that’s what people don’t realize they’re so used to like oh, I need a lead lead. You’re not even a follow the damn leads you’re getting like the fucking talking about you just want leads. Because it’s flowing your ego. It’s making you feel like you’re accomplishing something, but you’re not converting them. So what the flux the point guys, like, quit playing this hamster wheel of a race here. Like, it just drives me nuts. Like I dealt with it. We do with our own clients. Like right now. We’ve lost a lot of business. I’m not shy to say that because we do video marketing for people. But people are so scared right now they’re cutting back. Well guess what? Every single person who doubled down is not struggling right now, guys? Yeah. Why? Because they’re earning the attention of their audience and the marketing while everyone else goes hiding, and cutting costs, we’re doubling costs. We said the same thing happened in COVID. And COVID. How many people just came out like incident celebrities? Like because everyone was stuck to social media and the people that took to social, right? We COVID it March 2020. April, and throughout the next year, year and a half, go look at their tick tock channels right now. They have like millions of followers, everyday average people because they took the time to put the content out there and all pictures videos, it’s all content. Yep. And market even when you don’t have a listing, right? I mean, get yourself out there, get behind a camera, go on social media, put up an Instagram post, put up a tic tac video, I mean, get yourself out there any way shape or form. Mike, like you said, I mean, remind people that you are a realtor, right? It’s not necessarily about I have to sell this listing, or I have this listing for sale right now. It’s about hey, I’m the realtor, I’m the person that you need to turn to when you have something to sell. So that when I’m gonna when I’m in the moment, right, and I’m Joe Smith, and I’m looking, oh my gosh, I need to sell my house, I just got fired from my job, or I’m going through a divorce, or I just need to move and upgrade. Oh, I remember Mike was a realtor, because he’s always posting about real estate. Yes, that’s when you want to come up 10 to 15% of the people that see your content are going to be moving themselves this year. Most don’t know it yet. But 100% of them have the ability to refer you at least one client. And when you’re consistent with content, you want the attention and you want the attention, you have a brand, when you have a brand, you have more conversations, it’s very simple. But you have to create something to be top of mind and all of that. And that’s where the power of visual imagery does. It’s not so much to get on a soapbox and sell your shit. It’s like, it’s to just tell your daily story that reminds people and for those you that are scared to get in your own videos, say this a lot in the show, but your obligation to do so if you believe you’re the right person for the job, because you should tell the world about it. And if you don’t believe that you’re not the right person for the job, and you should quit, probably and somebody else down the road is going to be getting in the videos is going to be putting themselves out there. And who do you think those clients are going to pick the guy that’s unwilling to get behind the camera and actually put themselves out there and sell the listing or sell themselves? Or the guy that’s out there doing it nonstop every single day? You have to make yourself more marketable. I agree. More marketing, more referral. I like it. Dude, what other any closing thoughts you want to have here? Like, don’t get scared, do it invest in yourself? Totally. I think for us another big thing that we’re seeing both on the photographer side, because we work with photographers a lot and we work with agents is just the power of a Viet, a virtual assistant to take some of those lower level tasks off of your plate for photographers. It’s a lot of editing, right? They shoot all day they come home at night they need to edit, that’s a part of our business, but we’ve actually dedicated resources to them to improve quality and consistency. For the agents. It’s transaction coordination, it’s admin work, right? It’s the social media stuff that you don’t want to do. Can you hire somebody to do that? And we know it’s tough to hire over here. We have the big team over in the Philippines we have about 200 employees over there that are incredible human beings that do phenomenal work. at a lesser rate around seven to $10 an hour is what you can get a full time VA for that really does help you leverage your time your time is money, your time is valuable. Your best use of your time is getting yourself out there shaking hands, going to networking events, meeting people being engaging in that way and not necessarily stuck behind a computer, creating your Instagram post or posting your Tik Tok video or managing your website right your time is best spent getting in front of people and being with your potential clients. So that is one thing that we’ve seen kind of uptick again, through COVID times and even beyond and something that we are happy to help you out with I like it yeah outsource all non money making activities especially at an ancillary people, you’re getting socks, you’re not an editor, senior shit, it’s terrible. Again, and that’s a reflection of your brand like you have if you’re putting out crap content, and you’re really gonna go out on a video

Like if you suck at editing, hire an editor do this because it’s got a pencil. It’s nonsense. It’s very simple. And it’s the most impactful marketing you’re gonna get. So I appreciate why don’t you tell everyone your guys’s site in case they want to check you out. So again, my name is Devin. I’m with Photo Op, it’s photo You can also go to photo And it will transfer you to the same spot we give everybody who signs up 10 free credits that you can use on any of our services, photo editing, Virtual Staging a property website, a virtual tour. And then yeah, we’re, we’re happy to talk to you. We’re excited to get there. One one quick story. You just said editing sucks, Mike. And it was actually he assured that we were at our last convention, it was a real estate photographer convention that literally the shirt just said everything sucks. And you wouldn’t believe the amount of response and people touching. It’s great. Yeah, that’s true. I like that. Well, appreciate having you here, dude. And we appreciate you guys listen to other episodes. Folks. If you’d like to check us out, you want to make marketing your own brand easy. Why don’t you visit our new software called referral That’s sweet WSWE T referral suite. And we will farm your database for you. All you need is a couple hours a month if that. And you’ll hit them through direct mail, email and social media but you won’t have to think about what to create because we do that for you. So visit us at referral And we appreciate you guys listen to the episode. We’ll see you guys next week. Peace.

Thank you for watching another episode of the real estate marketing dude podcast. If you need help with video or finding out what your brand is, visit our website at WWW dot real estate marketing We make branding and video content creation simple and do everything for you. So if you have any additional questions, visit the site, download the training, and then schedule time to speak with a dude and get you rolling into your local marketplace. Thanks for watching another episode of the podcast. We’ll see you next time.

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