Worth more than a thousand words...maybe even a sale.

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with First Impression Photography & Virtual Tours

Here's a little article I did for our local paper. It was placed smack dab in the middle of the real estate section, and I've had quite a few people comment on it.

Photographs are powerful bait. Good ones can lure buyers; poor ones can turn them away.  
Spring is in the air and the real estate market is picking up. Buyers are scouring the papers and the Internet looking for the perfect home and sellers are cleaning, painting and pruning, all in preparation for another busy summer of moving.
House hunting and selling can be time consuming, expensive and stressful, particularly for those wishing to move to the Coast. Without quality, accurate pictures the search can be even tougher. Whether you use a Realtor or try it on your own, one of the most important aspects of selling your home are the pictures you use to represent it.
In today's real estate market, high quality photographs are the foundation of a successful marketing strategy. For a home to sell quickly and at top dollar, it needs to entice as many prospective buyers as possible. For this to happen, the listings must have a strong visual appeal.
A real estate photographer has an eye for composition, highlighting the homes best features. Equipped with a high quality camera, tripod, wide angle lens and external flash, the photographer will take many images and choose the best to optimize for colour, density, contrast and size. Lens distortion and perspective, created by the wide angle lens, are also corrected. The final image results are clear views through windows, a bright interior and a true representation of the property.
Professional real estate photography adds enormous value to a realtors marketing campaign, as well as their professional image. For sale by owners' (FSBO) can also benefit from using a professional photographer by having a single property web site created, complete with a 123yourstreet.com web address. High quality images that accurately represent the home combined with a Real Tour Vision 360° virtual tour is a winning combination for Internet marketing.
The Internet has become one of the leading choices for marketing homes for sale.  A 2007 survey from The National Association of Realtors reports that 84 per cent of home buyers used the Internet in their search for a home, up from 80 per cent in 2006. The images a buyer sees online, are often the only chance to make a good first impression. They are looking for homes that have been well cared for, clean and bright and their judgment starts as soon as they click on a picture. Ensure you make a solid first impression.
If we can raise the bar on real estate photography, everybody wins. The client is impressed with their Realtors marketing platform (and will spread the word), buyers (who may also be sellers) are better able to locate their dream home and FSBO can feel confident in knowing they are using the best tools and resources to market their property.  

Linda Sabiston                                                                                                                                     First Impression Virtual Tours and Photography
http://www.firstimpressionphotos.com/

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Rainer
31,474
JoEllen Stranger-Thorsen
Eustis, FL
Lake County, FL
Great article and it really conveys the value of having professional photographs. In a market where everyone is asking how to get their home sold sometimes it is forgotten that the basics are crucial and a cornerstone to every marketing campaign.
Mar 17, 2008 02:01 AM #1
Rainer
31,894
Tony Fantis
Fantis Group Real Estate - Salt Lake City, UT
Realtor,Principal Broker - Salt Lake City
Amen!  Most buyers are online looking for homes.  Since they're not very experienced at home shopping, they'll pull up 80 homes, maybe more in the Salt Lake market.  Now the first thing they want to do is narrow that list down.  And what do they do?  They rule houses that look ugly!  I agree...get a professional photographer.  And while you're at it, you might want to have the home staged, too.  
Mar 17, 2008 02:14 AM #2
Rainer
8,525
Gary and Rebecca Bolda
Ark-La-Tex Virtual Media - Shreveport, LA
What a great article.  It is so true!  I have seen so many photos that are out of focus, crooked, even some that have the photographer's finger in the picture.  The qulaity of photos not only goes toward showing the property, but also speaks to the quality of marketing the property is receiving and can even impact the listing realtor's image.  Good photos are soooo important!
Mar 17, 2008 03:58 AM #3
Rainmaker
179,924
Dave Sulvetta
Dave Sulvetta, ReMax Connection, Gloucester County Realtor - Sewell, NJ
Realtor

Excellent headline and article...you lured me in!

It is a pity how many REALTORS just dont see or get the point with photography. I guess they figure hey, the house is selling so why do i need good photography, my $20 digital will do just fine...

I know of a realtor who sells maybe 40 homes per year, i have never seen a good photo that he has taken, they are so bad they could make the worst of the MLS awards...(im not kidding). He just doesnt see it and with selling so much real estate, i guess he doesnt need too???

when the sellers get educated about how important photography is, then he will see the need. 

 

Mar 17, 2008 04:05 AM #4
Rainer
208,738
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

Good morning Linda,

Great post. We are seeing more and more the value of high quality pictures. With all those prospective buyers searching the Internet to preview homes in their area of interest, good photography is an essential key to peak interest.

Have a great day!

Bob

Mar 17, 2008 04:07 AM #5
Rainmaker
179,924
Dave Sulvetta
Dave Sulvetta, ReMax Connection, Gloucester County Realtor - Sewell, NJ
Realtor
I just checked out your site! you do great work! do you find REALTORS dont want to pay for pro photography services?
Mar 17, 2008 04:19 AM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous

Way to go Linda..

Great article, and I couldn't be any happier for you.

 

Mar 17, 2008 06:57 AM #7
Rainer
35,133
Mehmet Met Dilsiz
FND Photography / M2 Real Estate Solutions - Midvale, UT

the above comments were from me  :)

I guess i was logged out and didn't realize  :)

Mar 17, 2008 07:00 AM #8
Rainer
32,495
Summit Realty Group
Summit Realty Group- The Future of Real Estate Today! - Highlands Ranch, CO
Thank you, and  I agree
Mar 17, 2008 07:06 AM #9
Rainer
104,911
Don Stern
Realty Executives South Louisiana - Baton Rouge, LA
Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate

Great post and photo.  Thanks for trying to raise the bar.

 

BTW, what's the countertop material?  Looks like granite but I've not seen the edges squared off like that so I'm guessing it's a synthetic of some kind.

Mar 17, 2008 10:15 AM #11
Rainer
81,325
Barbara Cluck-Miksits
BCM Home Staging LLC - Ridgewood, NJ
Home Staging - New Jersey

Linda,

I am always giving Realtors my pictures that I take of a home. I know how important it is to have good photo to market a listing. So many of the Realtors that I give my pictures to use mine instead of their own.

On my website my pictures also have to look great that is how I even market my own services. Great post wish everyone would just get it.

Just last week I did a blog on this very same subject. If you have time check it out on my blogs. Thanks for making a great point.

Mar 17, 2008 03:42 PM #12
Rainer
6,878
Linda Sabiston
First Impression Photography & Virtual Tours - Gibsons, BC

Thank you for the comments....I'm trying to reach the Realtors one person at a time!

@ Dave - I'm not sure why they aren't using pro photo services? It isn't a huge cost to have me do a shoot. Some professional photogs come equipped with multiple lights and can start at $300 and go into the thousands...I'm not even close to 300! It's less than a one week newspaper add and if they pay another few dollars I can hook them up to the internet. Why wouldn't you?!?!

@Janice - First you need a good camera, with a wide angle lens. Next you need an external flash. The little one that is built into your camera just isn't going to cut it! Finally, you need to have a photo editing program like Photoshop. Not to alter the picture, that's a no-no, but to enhance the brightness, contrast and correct colour etc.

@Don - I don't recall what that counter top was made of? This was a shoot from almost a year ago, but I think you're right.

Mar 18, 2008 12:27 AM #13
Rainer
32,495
Summit Realty Group
Summit Realty Group- The Future of Real Estate Today! - Highlands Ranch, CO
your welcome, and good luck.
Mar 18, 2008 01:24 AM #14
Rainer
31,509
Ryan Vivo
Gateway Realty - Fairfield, CA
NRBA Realtor Solano County, Gateway Realty 707-384-5894
Great photo.  I like the look of that kitchen.
Mar 18, 2008 04:50 AM #15
Rainmaker
342,974
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC
Very good article Linda.  The points you bring out are so true.  If only every agent realized true representation includes really good pictures!
Mar 18, 2008 07:29 AM #16
Rainer
6,878
Linda Sabiston
First Impression Photography & Virtual Tours - Gibsons, BC

Janice, if you lighten a photo in photoshop, you also should increase the contrast. That will keep the crispness of the image.

As for an external flash....get one! Having one will lessen the need to go into photoshop to brighten.

Mar 22, 2008 04:29 AM #18
Rainer
5,674
Mike O'Neill
Knoxtours.net - Knoxville, TN

Linda - Thank you for saying what you said, the way you said it!  We both do the same job, there are thousands of ways to say how valuable professional photography is to real estate agents, the way you express that value was really nice.  Thank you, and everyone else who expresses these thoughts - they really help all of us be better at what we do.

 Oh yeah, Great Shot!

 Mike 

Mar 28, 2008 12:45 PM #19
Rainer
27,895
Matthew and Sandy Jagmin
Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography - Bentonville, AR
Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography

Wow, that's great.  I think you just gave me an idea :)  

 

I agree with Mike, beautifully said.

Dec 14, 2008 11:59 AM #40
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