When launching a new listing, or real estate ad campaign, the decision between using a grid view of four photos or a single, exterior shot can make a world of difference. This isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about strategy and the profound impact your choice has on potential buyers.

Why Your Photo Choice Matters

In my journey of constantly split-testing real estate advertising, I’ve noticed an intriguing pattern: many agents, especially those who’ve been in the business for over 10 years, often use grid photos instead of a single exterior photo as the lead image in their listings. 

I became curious. Is this veteran preference an outdated habit? Or is there a method to their grid photo madness?

Results of the Facebook Ads Split-Test

By opting for an “Awareness” Facebook ad objective over a “Traffic” objective, I aimed to engage genuinely interested buyers rather than attracting click-happy users. My decision was made with the understanding that Awareness ads, though they will receive fewer clicks than Traffic ads, attract more organic clicks. 

This is because Awareness campaigns target as many Facebook users as possible, rather than simply putting my ad in front of users “most likely to click” like in “Traffic Objective” ads. As a result, each click I received was more likely to be an organic one. 

We ran the same Awareness ads for each option—the only difference was the image:

Single Exterior Photo Ad
Grid Photo Ad Example

My experiment surprised me (I hated grid photos!) but also offered insights into the possible psychology of what appeals to buyers. The campaign using a grid photo significantly outperformed the one featuring a single exterior shot, receiving 130 clicks compared to 87, a 49.4% increase!

Grid Photo Bar Graph

These clicks clearly indicated buyers’ interest and engagement with this ad type. The cost per click (CPC) highlighted the effectiveness of our approach: $1.92 for the grid photo versus $2.87 for the exterior shot. This data highlights the appeal of offering a more comprehensive preview of the property, which entices buyers right from their first interaction.

The Financial Impact of Your Choice

For those mindful of their advertising budget, the implications are substantial. Opting for a grid photo approach, with its lower CPC, means stretching your advertising dollar further. Say for instance, you decided on a $250 weekly budget. This would translate to 6,760 clicks over a year with grid photos, versus 4,524 clicks with exterior shots. That’s a significant difference, offering more opportunities to capture interest and, ultimately, close sales.

Making the Right Decision

The superiority of grid photos, however, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Its effectiveness hinges on whether the property has a minimum of three interior rooms (or two exterior and two interior) nice enough to showcase. This strategy leverages the strength of the property’s interior appeal, enhancing the likelihood of a click-through. If the interior photos lack any “wow” factor, a single exterior shot works best.

In Summary

Choosing the right photo for your listings and advertisements isn’t just a minor detail—it could mean a 49.4% improvement in clicks. The evidence strongly supports the use of grid photos for properties with noteworthy interiors, promising not only more clicks but also a more efficient use of your advertising budget.

As you prepare your next real estate ad campaign, remember: the power of visual appeal cannot be underestimated. It’s not just about showing a property; it’s about presenting it in a way that immediately captivates and persuades the buyers to click and see more.