Photo Tips You Can Use in Your Real Estate Business...and Perhaps You Really Should

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Photo Tips You Can Use in Your Real Estate Business

And Perhaps You Really Should 

 

How well do you use your camera?I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. 

I enjoy it, and I take a ton of photos, but I am not especially good at it.

That said, I am always looking for tips to help me do a better job, since I take most of my own pics in my business rather than paying a professional (there IS a time and place for that, however). 

For those of you who may be neophytes like me, perhaps you will benefit from the following, courtesy of Dale Carlton (CRS Instructor) at the recent CRS Convention, Sell-a-Bration, held in Orlando. There was a ton of material but I share only the highlights, with some of my own thoughts and comments:

Information I Learned at the CRS Convention - Sellabration - in Orlando 2011 

90% of buyers see homes on-line before contacting an agent. We know that means the FIRST open house is on the Internet, and photos are more important than ever before.

 

Consider what the buyers are seeing in your photos (you might look at them yourself). What ARE you really selling? The toilet? The front door? Why did you even take the darn photo? Just because it's there? [don't we see a ton of MLS photos where you know the agents did not consider any of this at all?]

 

Proper framing of photo is key - you want to be aware of what is there to attract and not distract, both horizontally and vertically. What you focus on is what people will see, but that may not be what you want them to focus on.  Pointing and shooting without thinking about it is a waste of time.

 

Don't take photos of empty bedrooms (yep, I've been guilty) and blank walls.

 

Taking a step forward or back may help, say to include more room or other items. Try to have 3 items in the 1/3s of the photo vertically and horizontally. 2/3 of the photo should be a photo by itself. Keep in mind that you can always overshoot and then crop it down. 

 

Angles help create depth (having something in the room can help with depth if the room is vacant); aim at a corner of the room (have it in 1/3 of the photo) but sometimes a focus in the center works well depending on what is on the sides 

 

Don't shoot the center of the house/front door. Look at what you are really showing, use an angled view of the home, and focus on features (e.g., wrap-around porch).

 

Stoop down to take photos so the camera is about 4 feet high - it gets rids of those weird wall/doorway angles and you don't have a sense of looking down.

 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

I could go on but this post is long enough. Hope this helps.

I am working on these things and it DOES make a difference.

 

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Rainmaker
526,367
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Jeff - The stooping down is one I forget a lot.  I do take a photo of an empty bedroom- but not just the wall. Angled, as you say, plus a window, helps.  Thanks for the hints!

Mar 21, 2011 12:06 PM #20
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff lots of good suggestions here, but I have to admit I really really have to control myself when you state "Don't take photos of empty bedrooms" .......... LOL

Mar 21, 2011 12:09 PM #21
Broker_partner
33,934
Tricia DeSouza
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Selling Scottsdale Luxury

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips!

Mar 21, 2011 12:38 PM #22
Rainmaker
479,929
Kevin Kueneke
Caliber Home Loans - Encinitas, CA
San Diego Mortgage Banker

Great tips Jeff.  I saw some pics on another area's MLS that looked like they were taken with an old phone camera.  Tacky.

 

Mar 21, 2011 01:39 PM #23
Rainmaker
2,190,192
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

And don't take pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror, LOL. Those are the ones that always slay me.

Mar 21, 2011 02:25 PM #24
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - There are a lot of good tips here and much appreciated.  I tend to crouch down and then get on a step stool (I'm short don't you know?).  Then, I'll decide later what looked best.  I also shoot wide angle and regular so I can choose later.

Mar 21, 2011 02:29 PM #25
Rainer
85,606
Virginia Dean
Keller Williams Tulare County - Visalia, CA
Real Estate Done Your Way

Great post.  I need to hone this task.  I bought a new Kodak camera and can't wait for some nicer weather to get out and take some hyper-local shots. 

I bookmarked this so I can reread it in detail .

 

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

 

Mar 21, 2011 02:45 PM #26
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Karen Hurst
RICOASTALLIVING.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!

So are you saying that shorter people take better photos:)    I am going to try this, but I am very tall, so it might be uncomfortable.  Hope all is well out there!!

Mar 21, 2011 02:59 PM #27
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Craig - so true. Just like because someone has a RE license it does not make them a good REALTOR. LOL

Bill - I think that makes sense. But you still have to put some effort into taking good photos. And if you really can't then hire someone to do it. Your clients deserve it.

Diane - and some off center views at not good (e.g., when it is mostly garage). Although there are some properties where it is a challenge to take a good frontal shot.

Bob - well I suspect most of us can benefit from improving our photgraphy skills. I know I need the help.

Jeff

Mar 21, 2011 03:07 PM #28
Rainer
49,587
Chris Lefebvre
eXp Realty - Methuen, MA
Methuen MA Real Estate Pro

A picture tells a thousand words.  No pictures tell a thousand and one words.  And poor pictures tell a thousand and two. Great tips!  Photos are definitely key with marketing a home.  I hear it time and time again from buyers, yet so many agents are still only posting one or two exterior photos and that is it.  That screams "fixer upper" or "rehab."

Mar 21, 2011 03:38 PM #29
Rainmaker
1,080,029
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jeff, that 4 feet tip must be why I like my photos better than the ones Frank takes! He's about 6' and I'm 5'2" and many times I bend down to shoot lower than my height. :)

Mar 21, 2011 04:10 PM #30
Rainer
103,977
Jane Pacheco
Pacheco Realty & Financial Services - Fremont, CA

Much appreciated! I too have taken photos of blank walls, and I can see clearly now why it's a useless shot!

 

Jane Pacheco

Mar 21, 2011 05:32 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,157,274
FN LN
Toronto, ON

Jeff - These are excellent tips to assist real estate agents with their photography.

Mar 21, 2011 06:14 PM #32
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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Jeff, Great tips.  I agree with putting pictures on mls right away. I see so many listings with no photos and just shake my head.  Those agents are not doing a good service for their clients.

Mar 22, 2011 03:35 AM #33
Rainmaker
877,032
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Thanks for the great tips, Jeff.  I have been guilty of taking photos straight on of the front of the house.  Will not be doing that any longer!

Mar 22, 2011 04:32 AM #34
Rainmaker
197,258
Carmela Jacobs
Carmela Realty - Thousand Oaks, CA
Ventura Co., Los Angeles Co., CA, & Global Realtor

Good info.  thank you for sharing...

In these last few weeks, I've been going around town taking pictures of our local area.

Mar 22, 2011 06:42 AM #35
Rainmaker
197,258
Carmela Jacobs
Carmela Realty - Thousand Oaks, CA
Ventura Co., Los Angeles Co., CA, & Global Realtor

Good info.  thank you for sharing...

In these last few weeks, I've been going around town taking pictures of our local area.

Mar 22, 2011 06:42 AM #36
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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Jeff..Wonderful tips on taking photos of homes..I too have been guilty of taking pictures of empty rooms ..I have learned from this post and cannot Thank You enough

HelpfulHannah

Mar 22, 2011 06:45 AM #37
Rainmaker
221,358
Richard Strahm
American Foursquare Realty - Lansdale, PA
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate

Great tips.  Good real estate photographs take thought and composition.

Mar 22, 2011 02:32 PM #38
Rainer
485,819
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Craig - Great stuff. I commend your 4ft (or less) rule for perspective. In 30 years of commercial photography I used mostly waist-level finders (so problem solved). Now that I am 4ft instead of 6ft1in, again I have the problem solved for eye-level viewers.(However I find myself talking to a lot of belt buckles each day)I will even go lower (on a small skateboard) on occasion if the feature requires it (ie internal open staircase). Perhaps the greatest improvements in photography come from the admonition "THINK".

Mar 24, 2011 10:02 AM #39
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