9 simple ways to stop taking bad listing photos

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A large home with beige siding, a fireplace, and huge exterior windows

03/30/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Did you know that the number-one feature buyers look for on your website is photos?  Don’t risk turning them off with images of cluttered spaces, poorly-lit rooms, or shots that don’t show off a home’s features. Either work with a professional photographer or follow this advice for the best results.

Use a wider lens. You can take decent photos with a smartphone, but its built-in lens limits your range. Try an add-on lens that clips to your smartphone’s camera lens. Many vendors sell kits with three or four lenses that offer even more flexibility.

Light it right. Don’t bother with a flash—it won’t illuminate an entire room, so turn on lights and open windows instead. A sunny morning or late afternoon works best for interior and exterior photos. If it’s sunny, any time of day works for interior-only photos.

Try a tripod. A tripod stabilizes your camera to avoid low-quality images, even if you’re just setting your device on a flat surface. Tripods are also ideal for long-exposure photos in low-light environments.

Keep your camera within reach. Hold your camera in both hands and use your elbows to steady your arms against your body. If you need to zoom in on an area, walk closer rather than moving your arms out.

Consider different angles. When highlighting one particular element—a fireplace or pool, for example—know that it shouldn’t necessarily be in the center of the shot. Shoot from several angles, and don’t expect to fit an entire room in the frame.

Stage first, shoot second. For indoor shots, at least clear off countertops and remove furniture from crowded rooms before you take out the camera. Outdoors, move toys and equipment out of the frame.

Take more photos. Give yourself options by snapping multiple photos from various angles and then selecting the best ones when you’re reviewing.

Tap into an app. Pair the convenience of a mobile device with the impressive results of a high-quality camera. REALTOR® Magazine reviewed a few cameras that wirelessly connect to your smartphone for easy editing and uploading with mobile apps.

If you do nothing else, rotate your phone. Snap photos while holding your smartphone or tablet horizontally, not vertically, to avoid those unsightly black bars on the sides of your photos.

Categories: Business tips
Tags: listings, photography, listing photos, marketing, business tips, technology, tech tips


Joyce Tate on 04/05/2016

I have one small comment to make about taking inside shots of homes to be posted on the MLS ~ Please stop posting shots of the (toilets) unless they has some strange new features. My buyers ask often ask why agents post these shots on the MLS~ I

THERESA AKIN on 03/31/2016

Often I have had to check for the property history if there is an older listing because of only couple outside photos. I always suggest interior photos. If no property history with extra photos often the property is passed and we look at another. If only 2 photos are allowed, make them both count. An extremely good exterior and expanded interior.

Scott Billingsley on 03/30/2016

I just spent a week with out of state buyers who were referred to me.

I can tell you that poor photography is only overcome by under pricing of a listing and the buyers and I bonded as we laughed at what actually made it into photos of half million dollar homes.

Cluttered kitchens, bedrooms & baths.  Cars in front of homes.  People and signs.  Toilets and toilets with the lid up.  Poorly exposed and grossly over Photoshopped photos.  Properties that might have made the show list never made the list if inside shots were not provided.  We did not have time. 

How much does a frugal agent lose when a $500k listing expires and a client hires someone else?

With “professional” photo services sometimes charging under $100 to photograph, process and upload photos, why do so many agents use their cell phones for listings?

I take my own photos but that is because I want the shots taken at the best times using the best equipment and processed the way I want them to get the best results possible.  Few can do that but all can come up with the money to have it done well if it even means asking your client to front the costs.

If you are going to do your own shots, get a DSLR, at least a 20mm good quality lens, a tripod, a two way bubble level that attaches to the flash shoe and practice, practice, practice.

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