Monday, January 22, 2007

 

Can a photograph lie?

How many of you have responded to a real estate listing advertisement - either posted online or in a newspaper - only to find that the neighbor's wall is far closer than the picture implied? Or that there's something very scary behind the back fence, conveniently out of frame from the photograph posted on the listing?

Kudos to Ardell for taking on the subject of ethical real estate photography today on the well-done Rain City Guide real estate blog. She goes as far as to say classes in photo editing should be a required class for new agents.

Real estate photography really isn't much different from the "spin" we all put on our products & services. If a real estate listing photograph is cropped such that you can't tell see the negative aspects of the home, how is that different from the rest of us "touting" the great features of our new product, but failing to mention slow speeds and/or low battery life?

Where's the line between spin and disclosure? What level of spin is ethical, and when does it border on deception?

The long-term risks for real estate agents are mitigated by the fact that nobody really buys a home sight unseen. The worst they'll likely do is waste your time with an extra trip to their listing.

For those of us who compel a sale with largely our words and images, the stakes are much higher.

What are the risks for your business, your brand, and your products? Is it simply selling a product that your customer might not want, or is it bigger than that? Are you risking the very reputation of your company?

Weighty issues, that clearly can't be taken lightly.

(Thanks Ardell for letting me borrow the picture)

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