It seems the task of marketing one's self is a never ending process. As someone who is the owner and sole operator of a real estate photography business, seeking new clients is one of my most important jobs when I'm not busy taking photos of properties. In order to be successful at that, it's extremely important to have a good portfolio. As a real estate photographer, my images are my product, and my portfolio shows the quality of work I provide. The value of a great portfolio for a photographer can never be underestimated.
With that being said, I believe real estate agents benefit almost just as much when it comes to the quality of images of their listings. Just as I do, a real estate agent is constantly on the search for their next client. Every time an agent meets with a potential client, they are in essence interviewing just as someone does when they apply for a forty hour a week job. They must first sell themselves in order to earn a chance to sell someone's home.
An agent receives a lead, schedules a time and place to meet with the potential client, shows up dressed for success, car washed, waxed, and resume in hand. Within that resume are past listings that the agent worked with, and every one of those listings had photos of one kind or another taken of them. Did the agent hire a professional to take the photos, or did they take the photos themselves with their smartphone? If you're the potential client that's interviewing the agent, you want to be sure that the agent you hire is going to do everything they can to sell your home as quickly as possible, and above all, for as much as possible. A resume full of smartphone photos versus a resume full of professionally-taken photos may be a hint as to what type of agent you're dealing with.
I cannot stress enough to the potential clients that interview me...my photos won't sell homes. My photos are to entice those folks who are shopping online (as most do these days), to get off of the couch, into their cars, and over to the open house where you, the agent, will sell the house. Above all, and most importantly...my photos sell you, the agent. It's not about the listing that you have, it's about the listing that you have yet to receive!