Decades of images in television, magazines and online media have conditioned real estate buyers and sellers to expect and respond to strong visual images. Sellers want good photos of their home while buyers naturally pay more attention to homes marketed with strong visual images. The advent of real estate sites that allow many images of all properties has made photography THE most effective tool a Realtor has to catch a buyer’s interest.
In the February 11, 2007 issue of the New York Times Vivian Toy wrote a significant article titled “Making Every Pixel Count“. In this article Vivian lays out a strong case for Realtors to do what ever it takes to present the property they are listing with quality photography. In addition to the printed article Vivian created a multi-media presentation. The following is a summary of some of the main points of this article:
- The first and sometimes the only impression a buyer gets of a home is online photos.
- Good photos generate initial interest in buyers.
- According to a study by the National Association of Realtors 80% of people that purchased a home last year used the Internet while house hunting.
- Real estate agents who represent large, expensive homes say that virtual tours, which provide 360-degree views of rooms allow buyers to focus on homes they are interested and not-interested in without being there.
- When you look at the difference between professional photos and the ones taken by brokers it’s not hard to see that you get what you pay for.
The decision each listing Realtor needs to make is can they be effective shooting marketing photos themselves or are they better off hiring a professional real estate photographer. If you are going to even come close to creating the marketing images that a professional will you have to be willing to spend around $2,000 for equipment (low-end DSLR, wide-angle lens, external flash unit and photo editing and software and be willing to spend the time it takes to learn how to use the equipment and software.
Creating good marketing photos is not difficult if you have the ability to learn to use a digital camera and you put some effort into understanding what it takes make real estate marketing photos effective. In the process of doing a blog on this subject the last couple of years, I’ve compiled a list of 10 essentials of real estate photography. This is a list of principles that, if followed, will insure your real estate images are effective. As a Realtor using photography to market your listings you should understand these 10 essentials and recognize when they are being used. If you are shooting real estate marketing photos, you should be able to follow the principles.
In future posts I’ll be talking more about how to decide what equipment you need to do real estate photography and more about the 10 essentials of real estate photography.