Have you thought of photos as a necessary, but not a critical piece, of a real estate business? Think again.
Firstly, 51% of people who bought a home last year found their home online. That’s a lot of people. But it’s not just about people finding potential homes online. In this online search, photos play a key role. In fact, listings with high-quality, professional-level photos sold 32% faster than those with ordinary photos.
That’s the difference that good real estate photography can make to your business and that’s why you need to get those photos just right. Here are some of the most important tips to make that happen:
Professional property photography vs amateur photos
While you can use a camera and a tripod to take your own pictures of listings, this isn’t recommended for a number of reasons. Firstly, professional photography equipment is expensive, and it can be a big investment. If you choose sub-par equipment such as a simple 360 camera, the difference between photo quality will be very stark. And in a visual business like real estate, this could cost you heavily in terms of both the quantity and quality of leads. This rule doesn’t apply just to palatial mansions but to all kinds of homes. At the end of the day, compromising on photo quality just isn’t worth it.
Choose the right real estate photography services
When it comes to deciding whom to hire, there are some simple metrics you can go by. The first, of course, is their portfolio. In an area like real estate photography, work samples will go a long way in showcasing someone’s skill.
You should also make it a point to check out references — the process of working with someone is as important as the end product. It’s a good idea to make sure that the team you will be spending so much time coordinating with is communicative, professional, and respectful.
Shoot 360 photos
In an era of virtual tours and panoramic photography, you should make it a point to have amazing 360 photos as part of your listing. These photos give viewers a never-seen-before insight into the listings, and will automatically set you a cut above the competition. You can even include 360 photos in a virtual tour of the property. This not only gives viewers an extremely immersive experience but also an in-depth understanding of the property so that you only show the property to genuinely interested buyers.
Decluttering and staging the home
You need to declutter the home so that the photos have a pristine quality to them. For instance, take things off your kitchen counters — from the toaster to utensils to the blender. Then scrub the kitchen floor and all other surfaces — from the stovetop to the kitchen table.
You need to apply the same process to every other room. Clear shoe racks, hide pet beds, and any other items lying here and there. In short, everything except large pieces of furniture and light fixtures should be gone.
Then there’s the task of “staging” the home. Ideally, your photography partner should be able to provide this service for you. Professional staging — from a bottle of wine and two glasses on the outdoor table to the right pillows on the couch to a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table — goes a long way in creating attractive photos.
Figure out the lighting with your photographer
Figuring out the right kind of lighting can sometimes be tricky because there are no set rules. For instance, indoor shots are great when the sun is bright and shining, while outdoor shots come out better when during dusk. Having said that, if a home has beautiful artificial lighting, then some night-time shots can really bring that out in a lovely way. It’s best to communicate with your photographer and figure out the best way to capture all these aspects.
While every realtor knows online photos are essential to generate interest in a listing, not enough realize how much difference a professional set of photos can make. Try using professional 360 photography and you’ll immediately find yourself ahead of the competition.
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