Thanks to the internet, today’s homebuyers have access to an overwhelming flood of real estate listings. A recent National Association of Realtors study found that 89 percent of buyers surf the internet when looking for a home, often beginning their search online. Of homeowners surveyed last year, more said they found their homes through the internet than through a real estate agent. And according to the New York Times, homebuyers who shop online rate real estate photographs as the most important tools they use in their search for a new home.
What this means for realtors is that quality property photos are the essential real estate marketing tools upon which all of your online marketing efforts hinge. When buyers are wading through online real estate listings and separating the wheat from the chaff, property photos represent their first – and sometimes only – impression of a home. A quality photo can make a home stand out from the crowd, whereas an unflattering photo can result in a listing being overlooked.
Because property photos are such critical real estate marketing tools – appearing not only on listings but on eFlyers, eCards and printed materials – it’s important to get them right. Unfortunately, many real estate agents are left to their own devices when it comes to shooting property photos, and it often shows. In order to ensure you have the best possible real estate marketing tools to work with, here are some tips for taking quality property photos:
Go professional. When choosing whether to snap photos yourself or pay a photographer’s fee, keep in mind that you get what you pay for – and buyers can tell. As the New York Times states, if your photos appear “shoddy and unprofessional,” it reflects poorly upon you.
Create virtual tours. Virtual home tours have proven to be highly effective real estate marketing tools for the web. Homebuyers love being able to get a feel for the interior of a home without having to set up an appointment, and realtors appreciate the ability to display the home’s key selling points. Virtual tours can be as simple as a photo slideshow or as elaborate as a 360-degree panoramic view.
Use natural light. Natural lighting tends to flatter a home. A common mistake make realtors make is shooting photos at night or in the rain, which tends to make a house seem dreary.
Keep it real.Avoid photographic tricks such as making a room appear significantly larger than it is. Misleading photos will only turn buyers off when they show up at the house and realize it isn’t what they expected.