Including an image of a listing agent wearing a face mask could be a key to attracting buyers, Zillow finds. Mask wearing, social distancing, and anxieties relating to the virus will be commonplace for the foreseeable future, leaving agents and builders with the task to ensure prospective buyers feel comfortable and safe at showings. One simple thing that can make a buyer feel safe before stepping foot on a property is a listing photograph of an agent wearing a mask, according to recent research from Zillow Group Behavioral Science. The photo impacts a buyer’s feeling of safety and their likelihood of moving forward with the tour.
The choice to include a photo of a mask-wearing agent among the usual roster of standard online property pics is not as straightforward as it may seem. On the one hand, viewing a masked listing agent could signal the agent’s concern for a potential buyer’s health by indicating that the agent and seller are following current health recommendations. But at the same time, there is a risk that even seeing a masked listing agent could remind the viewer of the ongoing pandemic in the first place, potentially reinforcing existing uncertainties and anxieties around health and finances.
Broadly, this research suggests that seeing a photo of the listing agent in a face mask included with the listing may improve buyers’ perceptions and tour activity, though it is unlikely to impact overall interest in the home or willingness to pay above the list price.