I've been reading blogs about the wants and needs of real estate agents selling quality homes and what they should spend on photography, how to find a good but reasonably priced photographer and the best way to present their pictures. My expertise is in real estate photography and on-line visual presentations and would like to make suggestions to help answer those questions.
How much should be spent on quality photography?
The first decision you have to make is to discontinue using those special this month $69 small dizzy virtual tours or videos which cannot be displayed full screen due to the poor quality. Potential buyers have seen these over and over again and believe me they're now looking for the quality Full Screen presentation with large professional photos because that say's this is a quality conscious agent representing a quality home.
If you want good real estate photos you'll have to consider spending at least $300 to $400 for 4 to 7 shots. If you're representing a quality property your images should convey that. Don't take a chance on loosing the listings because of bad pictures. Contact a professional who specializes in architectural / real estate photography. The results will impress your client and potential buyers.
For those agents with small empty (void of furniture) condos, apartments or tear downs with nothing attractive to show, buy yourself a digital SLR camera and an external flash unit and learn how to take better pictures with simple step by step instructions. Contact me and I'll get this to you.
Locating a professional real estate photographer can be simple.
Try these two commercial photographer's sites....
http://www.aiap.photographer.org/ or http://www.iaap.co.uk/ Click on "Find a photographer in your area" and fill in the search windows. These are commercial photographers that shoot many subjects architecture being one of them. Tell them you need 4 or 7 shots, interiors and exteriors and the view and ask first if they can do it for around $375. When you find one willing to come close to your budget, ask to see samples of just his/her real estate photography. You want someone who specializes in this area.
The other way is to look through your local real estate magazines and find the pictures that are evenly lit so you see the interior and the view through the windows clearly. If the exterior of the home looks as if it's about to fall forward or it's leaning backward or the view is washed out through the windows he/she may not be the right one. If you're considering a photographer but not sure, send me his web site address and I'll take a look and get back to you. My e-mail address is email@example.com
When you've chosen the photographer, listen to his suggestions.
If he wants to wait for good weather, he wants royal blue sky. If he wants to re-arrange the furniture, he's trying to make the room more spacious. If the home doesn't have a great view through the windows and he wants to shoot at night, he wants to capture the atmosphere of the night lighting so buyers will say WOW and watch your entire presentation. Take a look... http://www.ps808.com/bethchang3175
What is the best presentation to use?
If you have good images, use them Full Screen to captivate your viewers. Just putting them in the MLS listing is about the least you can do. Putting them on your own personal web site or creating a small video is a step in the right direction. To maximize your professional images use a captivating, full screen slide show with pleasant music, minimal special effects and extra larges sharp images that plays instantly with a click of the mouse. Buyers are impatient and don't like waiting for tours or videos to load or download then to be disappointed by the overall small size of the presentation itself.
Use a slide show presentation that is fast and easy to send to anyone, anywhere, anytime by simply forwarding a link in an e-mail or giving the link verbally to a buyer. Don't be drawn in by too many special effects. Slide shows with every image moving in and out, up and down and side to side can be very distracting and annoying to the viewer. If a buyer is interested he/she will want to view the images at their own pace in order to study certain rooms. Be sure your presentation has a pause and auto play mode so your viewer can choose. You'll need two slide shows for each property. One for the MLS listing void of any contact information and the other for all other media with your contact information. Your potential buyers and clients will recognize your efforts and feel confident they have made the right choice.
How do you use slide shows? Wherever you advertise, by simply placing a link on those sites that allow you to do so or in print ads, by inserting a line of text under your main photo that reads "To preview a slide show of this property please visit... ps808.com/yourname. Doing this will allow your readers to view your slide show and see all your photos not just the one photo in the ad. They'll remember your listing over countless others and call for an appointment.
Having a quality slide show of the property will set you apart from your competition. When an interested buyer wants to see pictures fast just send him your link in an e-mail so he/she can click on it. If you want to list your personal web site ad your home page link in your slide show. How do you make a link? Easy, just add http://www/. in front of a web site address such as ... ps808.com/hollyturl271 and it looks like ... http://www.ps808.com/hollyturl271 When clicked on, it should play instantly without going to another web site first so it appears as if it's coming from your site. Go ahead click on it. Note: Click on the RED X in the upper right corner of the slide show to return. There's nothing for your buyer or client to download if the slide show is a flash presentation and 90% of all computers are set up to play flash. You should have 7 to 12 photos to leave a lasting impression. If you have photos of a property and would like a slide show created like the ones above contact me.
If you need to send photos to buyers try "Send Photos" it automatically compresses them for the Internet and ads a frame around them if you like which makes them stand out. http://www.sendphotos.com/ Another program for editing and batch compressing your photos is ... http://www.studioline.net/ I suggest "Studio line photo classic"
I hope this information will be helpful. If you have any questions about photography or visually displaying your property or simple short cuts on the computer contact me.