Once you've taken the pictures, you need to get them out of the camera and into the brochures and websites. Getting a system for doing this efficiently saves time and money, especially when the software is free!
As a real estate media consultant, I help real estate agents and teams make the most effective use of photography, video, websites, and other media to attract buyers and get listings sold. One of the most important issues that an agent/team needs to do in their media flow is to establish a standardized system for getting their pictures from that little chip inside the camera to the MLS, brochures, websites, and all the other places they need to go to get their job done. The Internet has many tools that can help to manage photos, but one of my personal favorites is Google’s Picasa.
The primary reasons I like Picasa are:
- - It’s FREE - It has both downloaded software and an online component
- - It allows you to process (crop and adjust) photos quickly and efficiently
- - It creates a slideshow that you can embed in any website
- - It makes it easy for a team to share pictures quickly
- - As a Google tool, it integrates well with Gmail and other Google tools.
Without going into a detailed tutorial on how to use the software (You can find those on www.picasaweb.com and on YouTube) here’s the basic procedure that many agents and teams use. Shoot your pictures using a DSLR Camera that records onto an SD Card. Take the SD Card from the camera and put it into your computer. Open Picasa (the free downloaded version on your computer) and create a new folder for the pictures.
Use Picasa to crop, brighten, and adjust your photos as necessary. Upload the photos to a Picasa Web Album. If you make a web album for each listing, you can then share that web album in many ways on websites and social networks. One of the easiest ways is by using Picasa’s option to create embeddable slideshows from the photos in the web album.
You can eliminate the cost you’re paying for a virtual tour by just embedding this slideshow on your website. I especially like this technique for real estate teams where one person takes the pictures, but then several people have to use them as quickly as possible to create the brochures, single-property websites, etc. As soon as the pictures are posted online the whole team can get to them and use them an any way they wish.