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Great Sushi, Crappy Real Estate Photos

Gordon Gecko Roll

My wife thinks I work too much. In between my job as the Director of Sales Technology for Grand Canyon Title in Phoenix and my job of being a husband and a father I shoot video’s on the weekends for restaurants in the Phoenix Metro area. One of my clients is Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar in Scottsdale and Gilbert.

If you like sushi you will love Blue Wasabi Sushi. Their sushi rocks, their concept is fantastic. While other sushi restaurants have the run of the mill California Roll or Crab Roll, staples of any sushi restaurant, Blue Wasabi is an innovator. Blue Wasabi has style. All of Blue Wasabi’s sushi rolls are named after people or popular sayings. There is the Chuck Norris Roll, Gordon Gecko Roll, the Marilyn Monroll, the Bada Bing Roll, the Red Hot Chili Pepper and others. Like Martini’s? Their signature Martini’s are insane. Following the trend above, there is the Wango Mango, Strawberry Blond, Buttah Face and the Berry White to name a few.

I am helping Blue Wasabi “2012” their food and drink menu’s. 2012 is the year of video. Jim {Blue Wasabi’s owner} knows his guests are visual so he has pictures of all of his menu items on his website Not just pictures but video’s too. Blue Wasabi is the only restaurant in the Phoenix metro area, that I am aware of, that has video’s on their website of most of their menu items. At any other sushi restaurant a guest might have to guess what is in this roll or that one, Blue Wasabi’s guests can visit their website at anytime or from one of the 12 iPad’s strategically placed throughout the Scottsdale and Gilbert restaurants. Jim knows how important it is to have quality pictures and videos of his product. Jim knows how important it is to stand out from his competitors.

Jim knows. But Do real estate agents? Let me explain.

Today {Sunday}, while shooting another video for Blue Wasabi to announce “Men’s Night”, {it’s like Ladies Night, only for the fellas} Jim and I were discussing my availability to shoot videos for him over the next 3 weekends. I needed to modify my schedule as I am spending more and more time helping my real estate clients shoot and edit their listing videos on the weekends. Blue Wasabi’s product pictures are great, Blue Wasabi’s product video’s are educational, they add value to the consumer – the guest. Blue Wasabi’s product is their sushi and martini’s. Like happy hour? Check pit Blue Wasabi’s awesome happy hour menu. A REALTORS® product is a home for sale. Contrary to what you may have heard, that product is not the real estate agent.

As we were scheduling his next series of promotional videos, the subject of real estate photos came up. He asked,

Berry White

“why do REALTORS take such horrible photos?” he continued, “when I am looking online {he is one of the 94% of consumers that start their home search on the Internet} I am amazed how crappy the photo’s of homes are. Not just crappy but many of the pictures are obviously taken with a cell phone, and they don’t have  any real detail. I want to see photo’s of a home, I want to see video’s of the home I like, {and then he said it} I would never sell my house with a REALTOR® that takes horrible photo’s or wasn’t going to make a video of my home, why do REALTORS take such crappy photos?”

I answered.

“Not all REALTORS® take crappy photo’s but I agree, I see way more horrible real estate photos online than I do good ones. I’ve seen pictures of a home from the wrong angle, where a shadow negatively affected the picture, I’ve seen photo’s of homes where the agent didn’t even bother to close the refrigerator door, shut the toilet seat lid or clean up the room. I’ve seen listings with ONE or ZERO photos. On the comical side, I’ve even seen pictures of a bedroom where there is a small child still asleep in one of the beds! HYSTERICAL!”


I cried, I really did cry I was laughing so hard. I’m laughing now just thinking about it.

Blue Wasabi Sushi’s product is their food and martini’s. Jim knows his guests want to know as much about his products as possible. The value he is providing them is not just great service, it’s information. Allowing his guests to see how something is made and what’s in it helps his guests make a purchase decision.“Do I want the Marilyn MonRoll or the Chuck Norris? Should I have a Chopin CEO Martini or a Milky Way?”

Outside of houseA REALTORS® product is a home for sale. Your listing. Just like Jim’s guests can see what his products look like and how they are made, a real estate buyer can see what a home looks like and the floorplan from the real estate photos and video’s you create.

Consumers want to see photos of homes online. Consumers want to see videos of homes online. These real estate photos and videos allow them to gather information, to learn more about your listing, to learn more about you and your marketing ability. These real estate pictures and videos allow consumers to mentally “move in” to the home. They can imagine where their armoire would go. Where their sectional would fit, which child gets which room, whether or not there is enough room for a man cave in the basement or space for a pool or outdoor kitchen in the backyard. But they can only mentally move in if the real estate photos are good. If the real estate videos are good.

Jim is a classic example of the new consumer. When Jim looks for homes for sale he does not trek down to the local car wash or grocery store to get the latest print real estate book. He goes online. He searches in the privacy of his home, on his laptop or mobile device. Jim is one of the 94% of consumers that start their home search on the Internet, like 80% of consumers, Jim said he would call the listing agent of a home he is interested in, but only if he can get the information he needs to make a purchase decision. Your pictures and videos can help him make that decision.


Look, I get it, You are busy, listing homes for sale, working with buyers, being a mom or a dad. Life comes along and we all get busy, but taking crappy real estate photo’s {like the ones above} and real estate video’s of a home not only serve no one, they further erode the negative reputation many real estate agents have – that some individual real estate agents have definitely earned. You are not the product, A home is your product. It is what consumers are looking for online. Not you. Stop talking about how awesome you are, stop talking about your brokerage – consumers don’t care. Start creating content {pictures, videos, ebooks, downloads, PDF’s, charts} consumers like Jim look for on the Internet – but they have to be good. They have to convey value. Not crappy real estate photos taken with a mobile phone or iPad, with no depth of field or detail, but real estate photo’s and video’s like Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar, taken with a DSLR.

If you are a real estate agent in Phoenix, please fill out the form below. I will show you how to create the content consumers like Jim look for online as well as how to help them convey information and value to help consumers make a purchase decision. I will even show you how to get them embedded into your WordPress real estate website and ranked on the 1st page of Google and YouTube.

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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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