Why use a professional real estate photographer? With this increased use of the internet to list and attract potential buyers, listing agents need to show their listing online in the best way possible. The images you use for listing a property are a vital part of successfully selling a home. These images are the first impression you make on potential buyers and poor images will make a lasting, poor impression. If you are not using a professional photographer to shoot all of your listings…you may want to reconsider. Here are 5 reasons why you should use a professional real estate photographer.
Professional images attract more buyers.
The better quality images you use for your listing the more attention they will get on listing sites. Studies have shown that professional real estate photography can increase the number of clicks on a listing by well over 100%. Listings that use a professional real estate photographer for their listings will not only get more attention but are more likely to generate more interest in the home.
High-quality images give you a more professional look. When you meet with a seller the professional images you have in your portfolio will give them more confidence in your ability to sell their home for the best price and quickly. More than half of the listing agents in the industry use a professional real estate photographer to capture their home. This is more noticeable when you are selling homes in the most competitive list price bracket. The more competition there is, the harder you will have to work to stand out. You want to look as professional as the other agents listing in your area which means you’ll need to use a professional photographer to capture the homes you are listing.
Saves you time.
Taking images of each property yourself as the listing agent can be a time-consuming process as well as stressful. Not only does it take time out of your day to take the images but it also takes time to upload them, re-size, and if the images come out blurry or poorly you’ll have to take the time to re-shoot them. Hiring a real estate photographer to do all this for you can equal a lot less stress for you. They’ll shoot, edit, re-size and properly format the images so all you have to do is add them to your online listing.
Gives you a competitive edge.
People who are selling their home will most often go with the listing agent who uses a professional photographer to photograph their home. This is because they know that the better the images they have showcasing their home the better their home will be marketed and increase the potential for selling it fast and at a high sale price.
Chances are that the most successful listing agents in your area already use a professional real estate photographer. It not only gets the listing more attention but it also allows you to look more professional. If you want to stand out more in your area as a listing agent then using professional images instead of taking them yourself with a point and shoot will give you a competitive edge over your competition.
Homes that are listed using professional images tend to sell faster. Studies have shown that professional real estate photography can help a listing sell around 50%faster than comparable homes without professional photography. The images you use to represent your listing can have a major impact on potential buyers. Using a point and shoot camera to take your own image will most likely not get as much attention so potential buyers are more likely to just scroll past the listing. Unless you have a successfully produced, attractive image of the home it is going to get overlooked and will sit on the market for much longer.
Using a professional real estate photographer will not only get your listing more attention but it makes the home seem more appealing. Buyers will unconsciously assign a higher value to listings with great photos than with listings with bad photos. Potential buyers generally want to be able to see themselves in a beautiful home, not in one that has poor lighting and looks unwelcoming.
Communicating with Your Real Estate Photographer
You did your research, sorted through portfolios, and have finally found a real estate photographer you feel confident and comfortable working with. You book a shoot with them and then wait for the appointment. What should you communicate to the real estate photographer before the shoot?
While your photographer has plenty experience shooting various properties and they know exactly what to do you don’t want to just leave it up to chance that they will capture everything you expect. When you hire your real estate photographer there are some key details that you might want to discuss with them prior to the shoot. While you shouldn’t have to micromanage the shoot please do not expect them to read your mind. Simply pass along some thoughts prior to the shoot and all should be great!
Communicating with Your Real Estate Photographer
PricingOne of the first things you will want to discuss with your photographer after establishing they have adequate experience is their pricing. Do they charge per image or use the square footage of the property? Do they have various products that they offer? Are there additional services you should take advantage of like virtual tours, drone photographer or virtual staging?
Who owns the images after you have the final edits from your photographer? The photographer or you? Most agents fail to fully understand image ownership and just assume they can use the images from the photographer however they wish, but this is not always the case. Most photographers do not bring up the topic of ownership or a licensing agreement but it is something you want to do. You want to discuss how you can use the images and for how long. This is a very interesting and dynamic issue that will make headlines in the near future. Protect yourself by having an understanding before you complete your order.
Go over a shot list
Yes, your real estate photographer will have a general idea of all the rooms that need to be shot. But because each property is different you want to discuss what exactly you want them to shoot and how many images of each room you would like. If there are details of the home you want to have highlighted such as the molding, floors, mantels, or ceiling please communicate this to your real estate photographer. Here are a few specifics that you might want to mention:
Kitchen – Discuss any updates made to the kitchen, islands, modern appliances, countertops and especially cabinetry and storage. Bedrooms – Highlight stand out features in the bedrooms such as the amount of natural light in each room, built in features, flooring and closet space. Family rooms/living rooms – Items like fireplaces, reading nooks, lighting, and other small details that make these rooms unique and appealing will want to be focused on.
Basement – If the basement is finished or partially finished you want to make sure there are images of the work done.
Exterior – For the backyard, you want to ensure the photographer can show the space and additional features like a pool, deck, grill area, fire pit or play area.
Additional rooms – Be sure the photographer knows of any additional rooms or spaces that you want to show with your listing. Home offices, garages, sunrooms, laundry rooms/mud rooms, and eat in kitchens are all additional rooms and spaces that not every home may have but can be major selling points for potential buyers. It is easy to make sure your expectations are understood by the photographer and being able to communicate this with them can ensure a long term relationship. Remember: Don’t assume the photographer will know exactly what you want! A little communication can go a long way.
What is typical real estate photography pricing?
What is typical real estate photography pricing? Hiring a professional real estate photographer to photograph your listings can be the best investment you make to boost your real estate business. The types of images you display online can significantly help sell the property. Images are the first impression you give buyers of the homes you are selling so you don’t want to just take them yourself or hire just any photographer to do the job. While real estate photographers can be plentiful or perhaps scarce in your area you might be wondering just how much is real estate photography pricing. There are a few methods/factors that photographers use to determine real estate photography pricing, here are a few:
Real Estate Photography Pricing
Number of Images.
You will find a number of real estate photographers who determine real estate photography pricing based on the number of delivered images. The number of images you can expect depends on where you live and what price point the listing falls in. As a general rule, most photographers keep this number around 20-30images. You have the option to obtain more (or less) but this comes with a change in price. Most photographers will charge a base price and a per photo price. These prices can start at $75/10 images for entry level photography to over $300/10images for more established real estate photographers. Sites like Stilio.com allow their registered photographers to use this method.
Size of the home.
Another option used for real estate photography pricing is using the square footage of the home. The photographer bases their pricing on the size of the home they will need to shoot. The likely rationale is because they can better estimate how long it will take to shoot a specific sized home. Real estate photography pricing in this manner can be higher than the per photo pricing method…although you can always find cheaper or more expensive options in any pricing model. An example in Maine is $.10 per square foot.
When and where will you need them to shoot?
When hiring a real estate photographer, be aware that the day you expect them to shoot and the time of day you need them there might cost you more. A few photographers will charge extra if you only want them to shoot on the weekends. If you want them to capture the property in the evening hours then this can also be an additional charge. Additionally, many photographers will charge a travel fee for shoots outside their normal service area.
Most real estate photographers will offer video services as well because most professional cameras allow them to easily switch from still images to video recording. Since this will take extra time for them to shoot and for them to edit, this extra service will cost more. Pricing typically starts from $250-$400 for a 2-5minute video.
Aside from the basic still images and videos, there are other services you might want to discuss with your photographer and ensure they are capable of doing. Drone images or aerial images of your listing can make you stand out in your area. These images can capture a wider view of the property, and neighborhood and give a much clearer sense to you potential buyers what it would be like to live in the home. Drone pricing can start at $175 for 5 photos and $350 for drone video.
*Note that pricing will depend on your market and that these prices are based on 2017-18 research. Prices vary greatly and these estimates are only intended to indicate entry level pricing.
Drone Photography Benefits
Due to all of the drone photography benefits found in real estate, drones have rocketed to popularity in the real estate industry. Drone photography is making it easier and more cost effective for agents to generate more interest in their listings. If you have been hesitating to use drone photography here are a few drone photography benefits:
Benefits of Drone Photography:
You stand out in the industry. Drone photography captures a new perspective of the properties you list which can ultimately get your listing more attention. While drone photography is being used more most agents are still not utilizing it. This gives you the advantage to set yourself apart from other agents and listings. This will likely make you more memorable with sellers.
Gives a better view of the property.
The aerial shots from a drone gives a more spacious view of the property being sold. Drone photography allows you to not only show the home itself but also gives a view of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. This allows you to showcase what is near the home which can make the home more appealing. Standard photography will not be able to give you the same understanding of the property like a drone.
Include drone video.
You don’t have to rely on just the standard still images when using drone photography. Drone operators allows you to include videos with your listing as well. You can give potential buyers a video tour of the property inside and out as well as the surrounding area. More and more home buyers rely on video to gather information about the property and neighborhood.
Utilized over multiple platforms.
Social media is one area of your marketing plan you might be neglecting. With advancement in social sharing and social media, having aerial photos and videos of your listing can get you additional attention. Drone images or video can be easily shared on social media platforms as well as MLS. Don’t forget, content is king on social media!
Better inform potential buyers.
The more a buyer knows about a property the more likely they are to look at the property in person. Using drone photography and video allows you to provide more information to interested home buyers. When you better educate the buyer on the home and the surrounding area you answer you can build much more interest in the property.
Downfalls of Drone Photography.
While including drone photography into your real estate listings there are a few disadvantages that you’ll want to be aware of.
Only hire a drone operator that has experience using drone photography for real estate. This ensures you are working with someone who already knows what you are looking for and will be able to better meet the expectation you outline for them. However, using a drone takes practice and getting clear, stunning images is not something every photographer has mastered. Be sure to look through the photographer’s portfolio to determine how much experience they have using a drone. Just like hiring a real estate photographer, finding a drone operator that has real estate experience is a must.
Utilizing drone photography does come with a number of restrictions and regulations. Not all the properties you list are going to be able to use drone photography. For example, your listing may fall in restricted airspace near an airport. Professional drone operators must be able to determine if your listing can have a legal drone flight. Make sure your drone operator is licensed by the FAA and has the necessary insurance.
You have to consider the privacy concerns of neighbors as well as any damage that can occur to the drone, property, and people when the drone is being used. It is best to always talk to the home sellers as well as neighbors about using a drone for your real estate listing. Giving neighbors a simple notification that there will be a drone in use can save a lot of headaches and unnecessary aggravation.
What Your Real Estate Photographer Wants You to Know
There are some things your real estate photographer wants you to know. Some of these things have to do with the listing appointment and some have to do with photography in general. Most likely your real estate photographer is too polite to tell you about these thoughts…but we will! The point is to increase knowledge and communication between the parties.
5 Things Real Estate Photographers Wish Their Clients Knew:
1. Your smartphone is not the same as a professional camera.
No matter how many megapixels your smartphone may have, the image quality does not compare to that of a professional DSLR. Camera phones are not able to capture as much detail as the big sensor of a professional camera. The DSLR sensor is leaps and bounds better than your smartphone sensor. This helps the DSLR capture far greater information to use in editing. Speaking of editing, real estate photographers invest heavily in editing software so they can perform complex editing. The combination of a professional camera and editing software ensures you get the highest quality images that you won’t achieve using your smartphone or app.
2. Your photographer is likely NOT a home stager.
Properly staging the home for sale is a key component to taking great images. But you should not rely on your photographer to do the staging. Photographers know photography, not staging. Additionally, your photographer’s prices typically only include photography services, not staging services. Most photographers will be helpful and move some things around, but please don’t ask to move couches!
3. Don’t skip on the deep cleaning.
Doing a quick clean up of the home might seem like a time-saving idea but remember the professional cameras real estate photographers use will pick up a lot of details, including stains, dust and more. It isn’t enough just to make sure all the clutter has been cleared away, time should be spent thoroughly cleaning each property. This goes for the inside as well as the outside. From deep cleaning the carpets to cleaning the fireplace, all areas of the home should be cleaned. Every stain, dis-colorization, and spot can show up in the images. It is best to always take the time to properly clean the home prior to the photographer arriving to shoot.
4. Photographers want the images to look as realistic as possible.
A real estate photographer typically does not like editing major defects out of photographs. While they can take out any distracting items and make minor corrections there are some things they don’t want to do. Cracks in the walls, driveways, or ceilings are typically things they won’t want to edit out.
Telephone poles and wires that run across the yard are other things they will leave in. These simple edits can make the home look better but removing them will be misleading to potential buyers.
5. Do one last walk-through.
The day of the shoot you want to take the time to carefully walk through each area of the home BEFORE the real estate photographer arrives. Aside from hiding away all personal items and thoroughly cleaning the home, there are a number of things that can be easily overlooked. Make sure all the lights work in each of the rooms,
including any table or side lights. Pay attention to blinds and curtains so that they are smoothed, spaced out and facing the same direction, this goes for shower curtains as well. All remotes and cables should be out of sight, TVs off, toilet seats closed with a fresh roll of toilet paper. You want to scan the exterior of the home and do one last sweep of the sidewalks.
Prior to shooting the property, be sure to complete the following steps:
• Turn on all lights
• Turn off all fans
• Open all blinds/curtains/shutters
• Turn off TVs
• Close all toilet lids
• Move all trash cans out of view