The importance of real estate photography. In the right order?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Royal Lepage Kelowna

Home Buyers Are Asking for Better Photos – Are You Listening to Them?


real estate listings photos


It amazes me how important photography is in real estate and how it is probably one of the most ignored elements of real estate marketing.

For many years now consumers have been asking our industry for more and better photos… how many of you have been delivering on that request?

The seller is paying us to market their home but so many underestimate the impact of excellent real estate photography on a listing.

My wife and I know this “power” first hand. A couple years ago we were looking at homes and there were some listings we arranged to see strictly because of the photos. Some of the homes were not quite what we were looking for but the photos were so well done we had to make an appointment to view them anyway.

That is the power of good real estate photography!

I came across a great article that drives this message home better then I ever could… check it out below.

The foundation of the “visual Web” and real estate marketing has always been photography. I wanted to learn how consumers interact with real estate photography, so I developed a research project. The results of my study were quite interesting.

Before I started my research, I needed a baseline. I decided to take some time and examine the quality of photography in the real estate space.

As you can imagine, the quality of photography was inconsistent and, at times, pretty funny. I viewed dozens and dozens of photographs that had everything from Realtors reflecting in bathroom mirrors to oversaturated fake grass composited in Photoshop. Check out the Facebook page Bad MLS Photos to see what I mean.

To find out how consumers interact with real estate photography, I decided to start my research by conducting qualitative research. I conducted in-person and online interviews.
Let’s take a look at my findings

Findings on Real Estate Photography Consumer Survey

  • Consumers start the home search online, or more specifically, on Google. They search for homes in a specific location, for example, “homes for sale in Kelowna BC”
  • Consumers utilize media company websites such as Zillow and Trulia, particularly tools that include school information and market reports. Interestingly, after visiting these websites, the participants that I interviewed circled back to a local broker’s website to make contact.
  • The participants that I interviewed generally had a favorable impression of searching for a home online. However, photography was wildly inconsistent.
  • Every participant agreed that photography was critical in the home search process. In fact, if they did not like a photograph, they would move on to the next listing.
  • Amateur photography made the home look inconsistent when viewing it in person. Professional photography gave a better sense of the home and appeared more accurately in-person.
  • Consumers want more photographs in photo galleries, and larger photographs were preferred in all instances. In many cases, participants indicated that they viewed all of the photos available.
  • What I found super-intriguing was that the sequential order of the photography made a difference. The participants I interviewed wanted to see the photos flow in an order emulating how they would naturally walk through a home. They wanted the first photo to be of the exterior, capturing the entire property, and then see photos that take them through the home. The last photo should be an exterior shot of the rear of the house.


To recap my findings:

  1. Consumers start the home search online, or more specifically, on Google.
  2. Consumers utilize websites such Zillow and Trulia but circle back to a broker’s website to make contact.
  3. Photography is critical. Consumers want large, professionally shot photographs.
  4. Sequential order of the photos matters.

To see the whole article as well as some sample photos click here to visit

This week’s blog post is one to definitely pay attention to. This is real data straight from the consumer’s mouth, it isn’t theory or an idea “I think” might work. I highly recommend either finding a good professional photographer or take a couple courses on photography… no matter which direction you go be sure it is in the direction of offering more, higher quality and properly ordered photography for your real estate clients.

Strength and courage,


Wade Webb

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Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area


I agree that photos are a huge part of marketing a home, we always tell clients that the first impression (curb appeal) of their home is the most important, but online photos are right up there. The trick sometimes is finding the right photographer in the area. Not all photographers do a great job on home marketing photos even if they're excellent at other types of photography. It is worth the effort to find the perfect photographer.

Oct 16, 2013 02:13 AM #1
Wade Webb
Royal Lepage Kelowna - Kelowna, BC
Real Estate Coach - Agentsboost

Well said Trisha!

Oct 17, 2013 09:06 AM #2
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Wade Webb

Real Estate Coach - Agentsboost
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