I admit, Marc Davison gets me thinking a lot. I have a bias...he is one of my favorite voices in the re.net world. So, his twitter post caught my attention, enough so to distract me from the awful lounge singer I was watching while enjoying a martini with my friends (gotta love the iPhone!). Here are the tweets that caught my eye, along with my interaction/response:
"Why list 20 properties per page? This renders every property to a tiny thumbnail of a home. Do 10 per page & double size of pic."
A tiny little thumbnail does most homes an injustice. In some cases, you can't really even see the property. Go for Gallery views. BIG PICS
hum-I don't know. I think consumers want a quick sum of the choices. More homes=better. If interesting they click 4 big photo
I hear you but surveys reveal a different story. MRIS did months of consumer focus groups. Hence their site is a result of it
Don't mean to disagree but in real estate we need to do more than think we know what they want. We need to be sure
I agree that we should be sure, but I think about my experience w/iStockPhoto for example-I want a glimps & will click 4 more
houses do not = stock photo images, but the image isn't all that matters in home search, although it is clearly important.
I agree with that Stacey. Well said
This got me thinking...does size really matter? Is the size of the listing photo at first site really critical to in consumer listing search results? I am a huge proponent of photos on listings. It think the number 1 investment Realtors should make in listings is good photography. From my experience, it sells houses. And, even if it doesn't sell houses, photos drive inquiries. BUT, do consumers really need to see large photos at first to be interested in a property? Does size matter? I think not. I equate it to my experience with iStockPhoto where I am often trying to search for photos that interest me. I don't often know exactly what I'm looking for...I'm not always clear the exact terms that will pull the photo I want and so depending on my level of patience at that moment, I may or may not sift through hundreds or more of photos searching for something that catches my eye. I've noted that I am most interested in seeing as many search results/thumbnails on one page as possible when I search the iStockPhoto images (I change the default results view from 20 to 100). The thumbnail is enough for me to get an idea of if I'm interested. If I have further interest, I'll click through for the larger image. What is really aggravating to me is that the PERFOMANCE of the iStockPhoto site is sub-par. When I do click through, it takes too long. But, if they solved that problem for me, I'd be thrilled. (as a side note, although iStockPhoto doesn't have this problem, I would also find it aggravating if when I went to click through, the image wasn't bigger than the thumbnail, say, due to a low resolution image...if I click on the thumbnail, I expect to see a bigger image - quickly. Realtors don't always understand how to not get into this situation...resolution of images is often not an understood concept - this is an issue to account for).
Take this idea over to real estate search. If you give me (the searcher) a thumbnail photo along with some basic descriptive fields and text about multiple listings, I'm going to initially be happy. And, if you give me the ability to then click through to BIG photos that I can navigate to without much wait, I'll be thrilled. I think it is about the performance of the site. If it works fast, and gives me what I expect, I don't mind a 2nd screen to see big photos. But if it is slow or clunky, I hate it. The performance trumps the size display of the photo. Make it speedy, and give me lots of thumbnails to browse/search through along with the ability to quickly see a blown up image, and you have a sticky site when I'm looking for property (if you combine it with the right data points, of course!). Easy, right? :)
Just my 2 cents after 2 martinis.