According to research performed by the NAR (National Association of Realtors®), of all people looking to buy a home in 2018, Millennials make up the largest group at 36%.  For Millennials, born 1981-1996, using the internet to shop for anything they are looking to purchase is natural.  They buy clothes, shop for groceries and household items, and research and purchase electronics and computers from online companies rather than shopping in a store.

For big ticket items, like cars, they spend a great deal of time online looking at features and options, comparing prices, and reading reviews before stepping foot on a dealer’s lot.  So why should buying a home be any different for them?  It’s not.

For Realtors® and home sellers, including homes for sale in Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, and other municipalities in St Charles County, gone are the days of installing a sign in the yard and expecting to find a buyer.  Extensive and wide-spread online promotion is vital to capturing the attention of today’s buyers.  And many buyers won’t spend a great deal of time combing through listings and pictures.  Experts have coined the term the “Tinder Effect” to describe the habit of Millennials of rejecting something after a quick first impression and little information. O'Fallon Home for Sale photo by Whitney McAlister

(O'Fallon Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group: Photo by Whitney McAlister)

One of the most important things home sellers and Realtors® can do is to make sure the home’s online presence is stellar. Using a professional photographer is key to that first impression.  That is why The Chad Wilson Group uses only professional photography for all of its listings as part of our full-service listing, at no additional cost to the seller.Lake St Louis Home for Sale photo by Pearl Wilson

(Lake St Louis Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Pearl Wilson)

Our team works with two photographers almost exclusively to photograph all of our listings; we consider them part of our team.   Our exclusive relationship with our photographers is important because they are so familiar with our expectations for quality.  Here is a little more about them.Pearl Wilson of That Girl Pearl Photography

(Pearl Wilson of That Girl Pearl Photography)

Pearl Wilson of That Girl Pearl Photography has been professionally photographing for 7 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design and Photography from UMKC.  After working in advertising for some time, she branched out on her own, and has a very busy photography business shooting not only homes for The Chad Wilson Group, but also weddings, families and children, among other things.  Pearl also designs all of the professional flyers and promotional materials The Chad Wilson Group uses to sell homes. Lake St Louis Home for Sale photo by Pearl Wilson

(Lake St Louis Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Pearl Wilson)

With her background in design, she has an eye for presentation.  “I enjoy helping home owners understand how a room will look best in a photo, to enhance the feel and size of the room,” said Pearl.  “When I photograph a home, it is far more than just taking the pictures.  I tour the home with the sellers to hear their thoughts on what they love about their home.  Then I try to use the best angles, professional lighting and furniture placement to optimize those features.”  Pearl has photographed hundreds of homes over the past 7 years, and her experience is a great asset to home sellers.  In addition to working for The Chad Wilson Group, Pearl is the photographer for Lombardo Homes in St Louis and photographs all of the homes they build.Wentzville Home for Sale photo by Pearl Wilson

(Wentzville Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Pearl Wilson)

When Pearl became too busy to handle all of the work The Chad Wilson Group had for her, the team sought another talented photographer to expand.  Three years ago, Whitney McAlister of Whitney McAlister Photography hired The Chad Wilson Group to help her family sell their home and build a new construction home.  The timing couldn’t have been better, as Whitney’s home photos made it clear she was a passionate and talented artist. 

Whitney McAlister

(Whitney McAlister...and family...of Whitney McAlister Photography)

Whitney had been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and was dedicated to helping people.  She was able to expand her side gig to a full-time business and photographs homes as well as families, children and newborns, among other things.  Whitney and Pearl use the same professional camera and lighting equipment and are friends who love to mentor each other to grow and improve their technique. Wentzville Home for Sale photo by Whitney McAlister

(Wentzville Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Whitney McAlister)

“One of my favorite parts about nursing was getting to meet patients and hear their stories,” said Whitney.  “Photography is another way to do that.  I enjoy meeting home sellers and hearing about the life they had in their homes and then using my skills to bring that out in the photos.  When I see that a home I photographed generates lots of interest and results in a successful sale, I celebrate right along with the home owners.” Wentzville Home for Sale photo by Whitney McAlister

(Wentzville Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Whitney McAlister)

Both Whitney and Pearl are so skilled at their craft that they can make every home look amazing online. Even on cloudy and gloomy days, they can use their lighting and graphic skills to make rooms seem bright and cheery and even replace an overcast sky with one that is clear and blue.   One recent client who had a Lake St Louis home for sale echoed what is often expressed after viewing the finished product when she said, “Wow!  Is this really my home?  It looks so good, I think I want to buy it!” O'Fallon Home for Sale photo by Whitney McAlister

(O'Fallon Home for Sale by The Chad Wilson Group:  Photo by Whitney McAlister)

In the next blog post, we will share some before and after photos of a recent home sold by The Chad Wilson Group where Pearl’s professional photography made a remarkable difference, and the outcome was shocking!  Stay tuned!