Photography & Media
Why would a buyer choose your property over others?
Great photographs are one of the main keys to selling real estate. Since over 93% of buyers first find their property online, your property needs to stand out.
Before you can actually understand the difference between professional photos compared to bad photos, spend some time browsing houses online. Compare images for houses near your current value to see which ones stand out.
The key objective of real estate photos is to pique enough interest from a buyer and get them to call for a tour of the property.
If you’ve ever looked for a house or apartment online, you’re probably aware that many real estate photos are horrible.
The photos you post online might make the difference, so using a professional photographer to help you sell your home is a must.
(Unless you are a professional real estate photographer.)
Realtor.com has some interesting case studies…
“In an internal case study, IMOTO, a company creating real estate photography for both sellers and real estate brokers, compared 350 listings using their professional photography against 350 similar listings in the same ZIP code.
Listings using IMOTO’s professional photography sold 50% faster and 39% closer to the original listing price than similar homes without professional photos.
The statistics department at Latter & Blum, a New Orleans-based real estate agency, also found listings using IMOTO’s professional photography were viewed 118% more than comparable listings.”
How to Produce Great Photos
Let’s talk about quality for a moment. We begin with the idea that our marketing plan should be acceptable for even the highest luxury market. This includes beautiful photography, professional videos and many other marketing pieces.
Make sure they’re the right size
One of the simplest mistakes I see poor and average agents make along with homeowners is not sizing their images correctly for the multiple listing services.
This is generally referred to as the aspect ratio. The dimensions that the multiple listing services and their partner websites accept and have optimized their user experiences around. In most cases, this dimension is 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels in height.
That is generally considered the standard size of images for MLS websites but that may vary depending on your area. I always recommend creating raw images at a much higher resolution and then resizing them after editing and optimization.
Stage the Entire House
A lot of my clients generally find this part the hardest aspect of the transaction. After all, it’s their home. They’ve been connected to it for a long period of time and it represents their personality.
I understand that, I do but your retail buyer won’t and that is the whole point of this. You do not know what is important to the buyer of your property.
What if the buyer that walks in and they are of a different faith and you have large portraits and artifacts of your own faith in the home?
For a real estate transaction, you have to remove the emotions from these decisions. It has nothing to do with what is right and what is wrong. It’s about removing items that make a house personalized and instead presenting the home in a clean, neutral way.
This includes hiding or removing all personal belongings like pictures, religious effects, and paintings and damaged furniture. The point is to make the house feel as open and neutral as possible.
Since a majority of homes are first seen with an Internet search and most buyers won’t even look at a listing without photos, the quality of your real estate photography has a large impact in the first act of selling your home. The quality of the photos absolutely matters. As reported by Market Leader, “homes photographed by a professional garner 61 percent more online views.”
Video and photography have become the most abundant media content in the world. High-quality cameras now come standard on smartphones and everyone can take a picture.
Yet, there is a huge difference between professional quality content and an amateur shooting from their cell phone. After all, if that wasn’t the case, then why do movie productions spend millions of dollars on film crews or 30-second commercials that cost hundreds of thousands to produce?
Certainly, anyone with a nice stack of money can get his or her hands on a professional grade, top of the line digital camera. However, if you don’t know about angles, lighting, resolution, the correct f-stop settings and ISO settings, among others, then you’re just shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.
Furthermore, although photo-retouching software is widely available, the professional standard is Adobe Photoshop. If you’re a professional photographer turned real estate agent, then it may make sense to hire yourself. However, third-party professional photographers not attached to the sale will offer a fresh perspective on the best way to approach photographing the home.
As such, hiring a professional photographer—especially one who specializes in real estate photography—will garner you more potential buyers, increasing the probability of better offers. This will more than balance the small expenditure you’ve outlaid for professional photography services (and will save you the headache of navigating Adobe Photoshop).
Edit and Finalize
An experienced interior photographer can find the best angles and lighting for your space.
What to Avoid in your photos
Legal Rights to the Finished Photographs
When a broker or owner hires a professional to capture their property in video and/or photo format, they need to be careful on the ownership rights to these images.
In most cases, an owner will hire a photographer through a verbal agreement. This “handshake agreement” is the verbal understanding that the pictures and video will only be used for the duration of the listing.
This is where you need to be careful, should something happen later on down the road and you use the images again for any type of financial gain, the photographer may have the right to compensation if they maintain the copyright for the images.
Handshakes and verbal agreements are not in your best interest, a simple licensing contract can give you the full rights of the images and can save you in the long run. I highly recommend it.