Photo Optimizing and Enhancing – A Viable Service?

Services for Real Estate Pros with CPG Tours

This is really a question for any listing agents out there. Would it be of value to have a resource that could take your photos and correct, optimize, or enhance them to make them more professional looking?

The reason I’m asking is because lately we’ve had quite a few people contact us about helping them with their photos. We’ve been helping them, but it’s not something we normally offer. So, we are considering it as an additional service – which is why I’m asking your thoughts and opinions.

Here’s the type of requests we have been receiving…

  • Adding a watermark to photos
  • Resizing and optimizing for their MLS
  • Sharpening blurred photos
  • Straightening verticals
  • Removing lens distortion
  • White balance and color correction
  • Exposure correction
  • Enhancing or adding skies
  • Removing unwanted items in photo

As some of you know, our company CPG Tours provides an online virtual tour service that allows agents to quickly create their own tours, using their own photos.

However, many of our clients prefer to have a professional photographer do their photos and tours for them – which is great. And any necessary photo correction or enhancement is typically done by their photographer. So, they don’t have to worry about it.

But those who take their own photos are left to deal with this on their own. And while some correction is easy to do, things like correcting verticals, windows, skies, etc., can create a much bigger challenge. And as most people realize, these days your photos have to stand out. In fact, I saw a study recently that said photos were second only to pricing in attracting potential buyer.

Anyway, a potentially viable service, or not? Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.


Here are some low-res examples of the types of things we’ve been doing for people.












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Comments (12)

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

     Good job showing us the difference. High end property where the compensation to pay for added eye candy treatment are a definite for your service. So much an hour? Per photo in quantities?

     For the average run of the mill $40,000 rural house listing, sending the raw 1.5 meg photos out, waiting for return makes me think..just shoot better images, run them thru photo editor in the optimizing look/size and get them up loaded to all the site we stock. Need to weave them in to video so delay not good. Getting them on line the day they are listed or the next and on to emailing them out, showing them and not having to come back to them means just tweak them on the broker end on his desk top I think Michael.

Dec 13, 2009 02:20 AM
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Corona, CA

Hi Andrew: We've been charging per photo, and most of these were in the $5-each (or less) range. A couple are a little more complex, but if we're just adding a watermark, or resizing and optimizing for an MLS, or something like that, then it would be more $1-each (or less).

We have a page where people upload their full-resolution images directly to our site, and we turn them in less than 24 hours. But whether we should push this as a service, we're still trying to decide.

Thank you for your input.

Dec 13, 2009 04:14 AM
Glenda Cherry
Keller Williams Realty - Herndon, VA
Realtor / Photographer

Funny, this was discussed in the Flickr PFRE group a few months ago - the person who started the discussion had seen it mentioned on Active Rain ... LOL!  Here's a link to the discussion in case you're interested:

Personally, I think you should advise them to hire a professional :-)

Dec 13, 2009 06:44 AM
Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Hey Michael! I would think this would be a viable and successful service to offer! Best of luck with a good idea!


Dec 13, 2009 10:31 AM
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Corona, CA

Hi Glenda: Thank you. I hadn't seen that thread. Obviously, other people are asking the same question. But I'm not suggesting not using a professional photographer. We refer photographers all the time. It's more about offering post-processing that most people don't have the time or inclination to learn.

Hi Debi: Thank you for the comment, and encouragement. As I mentioned, we've had people contacting us to help them out - which we do. But it brings up the question of whether agents are realizing they need to provide their clients with better photos. And as you well know, post-processing can have a pretty steep learning curve.

Dec 13, 2009 09:11 PM
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Hey, Michael - I do a lot of Photoshopping for Realtors around here. It's very lucrative because those who use my services know that they can make more money by going out and getting more listings and letting me take care of the pictures. I'll even go out and take photographs for the right price.

I've always believed that if you can think of it and market it, you can find people to buy it. All you have to do is determine what "it" is.

Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2010 05:44 AM
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Corona, CA

Hi Russel: Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. I know real estate photographers also do the post-processing, but I wasn't too sure about post-processing as a standalone services.

BTW - I love your cat picture. That's what I call a very content cat.

Jan 01, 2010 09:35 PM
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

Michael- I think the before and after pictures are great. I am going to take a good look at what you suggest. Thanks for the tips.

Jan 09, 2010 01:27 AM
Vicki Lloyd
The Lloyd Realty Group - San Diego, CA
(619)452-9798, Real Estate San Diego California

Hi Michael -

This sounds like it could be a valuable service to many agents.  Unfortunately, some of the ones who need it the most just don't care (or realize) how bad their photos really are!  I probably see 2 or 3 new listings every day that have absolutely awful photos!

Jan 09, 2010 04:35 AM
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Corona, CA

Hi Ellie: Thanks for the comment. I've written a lot of tutorials on how to do some of the easier stuff, but it can still be a little daunting for a lot of people. Or, just not what they want to spend their time doing.

Hi Vicki: I think you may have hit the nail on the head. A lot of people may not care, or don't realize how bad their photos really are. Thanks for the comment.

Jan 11, 2010 03:21 AM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Michael -- These services are needed for the overwhelming majority of agents, as least from looking at photos in our local MLS! :)

Jul 27, 2010 03:22 PM
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

I would think there would be a demand although you might have to create that demand by showing people the difference, as you have done here. Reaching them would require a nice brochure and some marketing dollars.

Dec 07, 2011 01:02 PM