I have actively been taking the advice of the Bachmans to improve photos for my listings. There are some good training apps about Adobe Lightroom that I watch on my iPad. You get ideas on novel angle shots and photo tips just regularly following their breathtaking photo creations. It's a trip to the art gallery a day this way!
Most home sellers are not familiar with all the detailed work that goes into marketing their property.
One thing they do understand right away is how we make their home look online or in brochures.
Most people are very visually attuned and they evaluate us immediately on the quality of the photographs we use to market their property.
Whether we think online ads and brochures actually help sell a property is really irrelevant. Showing our clients that we work hard with creativity to cover all the bases is mandatory in a very competitive business.
We need to make the sellers happy and keep them that way by showing that we are doing everything possible at a quality level to get the property sold until the day it does.
Listing agents easily say "Well Bob you need to spend 2 months cleaning this place up and spend some serious bucks repairing and updating the stuff you have ignored for 20 years."
How do you think Bob feels if he works hard and spends big money and we spend 20 minutes photographing his home with our cell phone ...then posting dark narrow indistinguishable photos online? Not happy. Sellers feel this way whether their home is $100,000 or $500,000.
We should always work on improving our performance in all the aspects of a real estate transaction. If we stand stagnant, the competition will pass us by.
All of our efforts reflect back on us and leads or does NOT lead to further business.
Not doing brochures anymore?
Clients want them...their neighbors want them...they want to SEE some effort and creativity from US.
Here are some tips for better photography:
Use a wide angle lens. It is what the professional real estate photographers use. Modern open floor plans cannot be shown well without one. An 11-16 mm can be had for $600.
We use a Tokina wide angle on the Canon T3i.
Nobody wants to spend the $ ...BUT the quality you get and the increased business you receive will pay for the equipment.
Add light: Many real estate photographs are too dark. Solution: yes you can use the on camera built-in flash BUT that blows out all the interesting shadows and highlights.
If your camera will accept a removable flash, look into the Yongnuo Speedlite. They are cheap and ours works great...THEN you can bounce the flash off the ceiling or wall and get more realistic light as opposed to the on-camera direct flash.
An additional solution is to purchase a program like Adobe Lightroom. There are tons of free online tutorials to learn from on Youtube and you can be up and running fast.
It does a terrific job of adding light and removing shadows. It also does great color correcting...
...many of the photos real estate agents take are too yellow due to the fluorescent lights in the house. This distorts the true paint colors and makes the client unhappy. You can fix this in Lightroom.
Ipiccy and Picasa are two outstanding free programs which will also help your photos shine.
Use a tripod: It will make your photos sharper and help you keep that wide angle lens level to eliminate distortion.
Educate yourself. Everything you need to know can be learned for free online. Just search: "Better real estate photography YouTube" and go from there.
Make quality brochures and photo tours. Send them in advance to listing appointments or be prepared to show them AT the appointment. This will make you stand out from the competition and give you confidence going in.
Here is an example of one of the photo tours we put together to send to listing appointments the day before we go. It shows our best efforts at home and farm photography with a couple other types thrown in to show versatility and fun.
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Jan and Steve Bachman are full time Realtors® with RE/MAX, specializing in Homes for Sale in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties.
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Jan and Steve Bachman