3 Ways Professional Photos Sell Homes

3 Ways Professional Photos Sell Homes

The internet is one of the best tools for posting a real estate listing. With more than 80 percent of home buyers using the internet to search for a home and a stunning 93 percent of buyers younger than 36 years old finding their new home online, it’s important that the photos in your listing capture their attention and generate interest in your home.

 

One mistake made frequently by home sellers and real estate agents is the lack of quality, professionally-taken photos. Hiring a professional real estate photographer is an investment that will pay off by increasing the interest in your listing, selling the home faster, and putting more money in your pocket.

First Impressions are Everything

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Photos are “the most important website feature . . . for nine in 10 buyers under the age of 62,” according to the National Association of Realtors. If your photos are grainy, blurry, or out-of-focus, you’re already putting off potential buyers of your property.

 

You only have one chance to make a first impression. According to Market Leader, “40 percent of all participants don’t even look at the agent remarks section.” If your photos don’t immediately capture the interest of someone viewing your listing, chances are they’re moving on—and not in to your property.

 

As a professional photographer, I understand how to utilize proper lighting to create the warm, inviting look of a room—as well as a uniform light not affected by burnt-out or discolored lights and fixtures. I also understand the proper angles to take photographs from, especially when it comes to rooms that are generally difficult to capture in a photo, such as a bathroom or other small spaces.

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Professional photographers also process photos in post-production to ensure every photo is as true-to-life as possible. Our goal is to have a potential buyer visit a home and not be able to tell the difference between the photos they’ve seen online and what’s actually in front of them.

Professional Photos Sell Homes Faster

In general, it takes an average of 65 days to sell a home. Yet as with any sort of marketing or advertising, it’s all about getting as many eyeballs as possible to see the product—in this case, your house.

 

Professional photos create a better first impression than amateur or “cell phone” photos, which results in more clicks and views on your listing. As any salesman will tell you, sales is a numbers game—the more people reached, the more likely it is you’ll make a sale.

 

That’s true in the world of real estate photography, as well. A study by VHT Studios in the Chicago market demonstrated that listings with photos taken by professional real estate photographers “sold 32% faster.”

Professional Photos Put More Money in Your Pocket

When your home listing includes photos taken by a professional real estate photographer, you’re more likely to sell the home for close to—or even more than—the original asking price. In fact, a study by Redfin shows that listings that use professional photos sell “for $3,400 to $11,200 more relative to their list prices.”

 

Of course, you’ve got to pay the photographer, so that means you’re out some cash, right? True, but it’s an investment well worth making. In fact, according to Market Leader (and my own rates), “hiring a professional listing photographer costs 0.09% of the median U.S. home price,” or “1/10 of 1 percent of the list price.”

 

For a fraction of a fraction of the sale price of a home, you’ll average an extra $3,400 to $11,200 in your wallet.

Working With a Professional Real Estate Photographer

All forms of specialized photography are different and each type of photographer has skills specific to their area of expertise. A nature photographer may not be the best choice for shooting a wedding in the same way a photojournalist may not be the best option for taking photos of real estate.
Hiring a specialized real estate photographer is the smart choice when it comes to selling your home or property faster and for as close to or more than your listing price.

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By | 2017-12-18T14:14:59+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Another Olympia house sold in record time!

Congrats to Gloria Christerson with Re/Max on a first-weekend offer! It’s always a joy when the client’s email their thanks.

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“Brent,

Thank you so much for photographing our house for the advertisements and listings in order to help sell it. I know that there are probably a lot of factors that went into the people who came for the first showing making an offer on the house but your work got their attention!

Thank you so much!”

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Olympia/4710-John-Luhr-Rd-NE-98516/home/15732531

By | 2017-11-13T11:10:56+00:00 November 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

360 Video Tours

We all know about 360 Virtual Tours like the Matterport and RealVision, but have you ever seen a 360 video of a Real Estate property? You know, like the ones you see on Facebook – usually from National Geographic or something that show penguins or the serengeti.

With a quick Google Search I found the video below which shows the RC drone moving a 360 camera around the home allowing the viewer to experience the home in a new way, but still doesn’t allow the user to go where they want. They’re forced to go along with the robot to different parts of the house, even if they weren’t done looking at the former.

The problem with the Real Estate VR experience is that it’s still kind of boring. Nothing moves in the homes, unless it’s a fan, candle, or outside trees really. What might make it more interesting is a time lapse to show how the lighting changes, but this would obviously take a full day to shoot, or more.

See for yourself:

By | 2017-07-03T13:55:23+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Video Production

Drone cinematography is tough, at least when you’re new to flying, and may take a while to get the hang of. The Part 107 FAA license testing is even tougher though! Knowing the maps, airspace, acronyms, etc. is a job all in itself. The only reason I managed to pass (and not pay for a course) is thanks to Tony Northrup! I spent 3 days or so reading, watching, taking practice tests, and reviewing the questions I got wrong before scheduling the test. When I did actually take the test, it was so close that I told the curator I probably failed. Luckily, I passed by 2 questions… clearly I need to study a bit more.

After sending off the paperwork and results to the FAA it took an additional 8 weeks to actually get my license in the mail. They do give you a temporary license via email so that you can fly commercially without having to wait such a long time.

Check out Tony’s FREE study videos and websites (in the description):

 

By | 2017-06-21T21:10:17+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

One Light

Interior work is unlike any other form of photography – the lighting is complex and requires delicate planning and balance. Even more so, to make images “sexy”, as famous architectural photographer Scott Hargis puts it, you typically put multiple strobes in separate areas of a room or even outside a window to create the illusion of natural light. Scott’s method is quite unique and took years of trial and error to perfect. One of the aspects I have yet to try in his published workflow is the bounce umbrella. I’ve only used shoot throughs or bounce diffusers but absolutely see the appeal is bouncing the hard light to make it softer and wider.

The current technique I’m working on is meant to speed up my onsite time but is slow during the post-processing. It’s Nathan Cool’s one light strobing technique and you go to each room or sections of open space in a single room to light them separately with your light-on-a-stick. It definitely creates a harder light and the shadows can be tedious to deal with but, like I said, the onsite time has decreased by about 30%-40%. I’m currently averaging about 85 minutes onsite for a 1700sqft house and 2-3 hours in post processing. With the multi-strobe technique I think my work was getting to be better quality but was taking 120-150 minutes of onsite time with 2-3 hours of processing.

Here I am lighting the far side of the room, next I would have lit the black hole on the left.

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By | 2017-06-09T10:17:43+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Lights On?

Recently I wrote a question to one of my favorite blogs, PhotographyforRealEstate.net, explaining that when shooting homes it’s common to come across burnt out light bulbs, different hue light bulbs, or crazy color casts that change the color of true whites. Most replies (http://photographyforrealestate.net/2017/05/25/do-you-shoot-with-interior-lights-on-or-off/) seem to indicate that photographers doing real estate (as opposed to magazine shoots, etc.) take it on a case-by-case basis deciding if there is a need for the extra lighting.

If there are large windows with plenty of ambient light, then having the light fixtures on may seem redundant. But what I’ve noticed is, as some others explain, that when shooting with lights off – the environment seems less inviting and sterile. That’s what we see in magazines like Architectural Digest – and isn’t this what we’re striving for as photographers? To be compared to the best in the business of photographing buildings and interiors?

My conclusion is that if there is an interesting lighting source and it isn’t going to cast a giant yellow spotlight onto the white cabinetry, turn em on and let it shine. However, if there are green lights or different contrasting hues in a fixture – it’s probably better to just leave it off. Still, this yields the question – is it odd to have some lights on in home photos and others off? Does it create an imbalance and draw the viewer’s attention? Something to consider for sure…

Here are some examples I’ve taken:

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Washington Real Estate Photography

 

By | 2017-05-26T09:52:22+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cinematography

“Videos sell lifestyles, photographs sell the home” a colleague once wrote on a popular industry forum. I’m partial to agree but when you buy a home, aren’t you also buying a lifestyle? When you’re buying a 4 bedroom home, that probably means you’re after the family atmosphere and when scouting a studio condo you’re probably looking for a single life with quick access to downtown.

Being a member to several Real Estate Photography Groups and clubs I’ve had the chance to go over numerous videos and photos. Some of the best in my opinion have a professional voice over, inlay text, aerial imaging, and stock lifestyle footage.

Though the example below doesn’t have all the features I listed, it’s still a fairly simple example to a good RE video.


 

By | 2017-05-18T16:23:45+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Virtual Reality Tours

Virtual Reality is still in it’s infancy, but the fact remains that it’s showing no sign of slowing progress. I agree, it’s still too expensive and requires too much computing power/hardware to make an ideal alternative to touring a house in person. Though, with the progress made of 360 tours (Matterport, Realvision, etc.) it shouldn’t be a long stretch to move from the 360 view to the virtual reality view.

From the viewpoint of where we’re currently at in terms of advancements and cost effectiveness, the only current option is to have a headset at an RE office and allow customers to come in and experience multiple homes in one trip. In my opinion though, having vision isn’t the only important factor of a home. You also need to know what it sounds like, to a T, is the refrigerator buzzing? Is there a loud dog next door? Do the windows howl? VR needs to be an experience, not just another showing.

Heck, if there was enough thought and progress put into it, you could charge home shoppers to use the service. What might even be crazier is Realtime VR. Having a motorized RC with a camera and mic strapped onto it would seem far fetched and might just be crazy enough to work. Of course, you’d need internet connection with lots of fast bandwidth, more gear, and a willing home-owner. Probably more work than it’s currently worth.

No, the smart move right now would be to use a 360 view of select points and allow customers to come in and view the home with a controller instead of a keyboard/mouse. I still say sound is important though. Also! Why don’t 360 view companies allow users to make notes on certain sections of homes (i.e. re-curtain, needs new sink, etc.). That could also be done on regular images though… someone make it happen!

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Image Credit: Josh Sprague

By | 2017-05-18T16:23:45+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments