I recently had a conversation with a well-respected agent regarding property photos. She mentioned that when she works with buyers, she photographs the properties (after asking permission from the listing agents) and creates showing “albums” on the photo sharing site Flickr for her buyers to reference. This practice makes her buyers happy in that they can review what they have seen as well as helping her to better represent her buyers if there is some sort of question regarding a change in condition of the property prior to closing.
In creating these online albums of properties, something unexpected has happened. Sellers who Google their addresses are finding this agent’s pictures in the top search engines for their properties. The agent can attribute three recent listings to sellers who found her photos of their property online. The former listing agents didn’t have a clue as they never did much advertising online.
I mentioned this story in an office meeting last week and received a variety of comments from agents. Some felt that the practice of putting photos of a listing that is not yours online is unethical and could be a security hazard for a seller. Others felt that if the buyer’s agent has the listing agent’s permission, all is fair and she is representing her buyer. It’s not the buyer’s agent’s fault that the listing agent is “technologically illiterate”.
What is your opinion?