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Real Estate Photography: Why Every Pixel Counts in Marketing

Tuesday October 15, 2019

Selling your Home

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With such fierce competition in the real estate market, it is important to have professional photos taken of a house listing because they are the first impression for buyers who are searching for homes online. Besides a real estate representative listing a property on the local MLS or the Internet, making the property look visually attractive to potential buyers is the most important thing an agent should do to elicit interest.

Regardless whether the house is a million dollar estate, a simple bungalow or fixer-upper, professional real estate photography will bring out its best qualities. Since professional real estate photographers know the tricks of the trade, such as proper lighting and good composition, they have the technical capabilities needed to make your house look its absolute best. With inventory high and intense competition for attracting prospective buyers, professional photography isn’t a luxury anymore, but rather an absolute necessity in marketing today’s real estate properly.

According to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 80 percent of home buyers searched the Internet in 2006 when looking for a home. Four years later in 2010, the percentage jumped to 89 percent for home buyers searching the Internet. The most recent profile published in 2013 shows that only three years later, a whopping 92 percent of home buyers search the Internet for their next purchase.

real estate buyers increasingly looking online chart


Today’s devices such as laptops, iPods, iPads, tablets and smart phones allow consumers the luxury and ease of shopping online. They are embracing these technologies to a greater degree than any other time in history. Consumers recognize the usefulness of technology; they are tech savvy and hungry for information. This trend is just another example of why better-presented homes using professional photography gets more traffic and buyer interest.

Professional real estate photography is instrumental in drawing more people to your listing, which results in more clicks to view the pertinent details about the property. Although more clicks is no guarantee that the home will sell, it is indicative that more potential buyers are viewing your listing, and reaching more people increases the chance that you will ultimately find the right buyer.

Whether you are personally hiring a professional real estate photographer or your agent is providing one as a service for your listing, marketing a home can be an expensive undertaking. Both you and your agent want to ensure that marketing dollars are spent wisely and that you’re getting the best return on investment while driving the attention to the site that it deserves.


Times have changed a great deal for real estate agents selling homes. At one time, it was all about curb appeal when buyers would drive by a home before making an appointment to see the interior. If the house had a poor curb appeal, regardless of how beautiful it was on the inside, it would be passed over without a viewing. Nowadays though, buyers are shopping online before they even bother to come see a property. Agents understand that they can no longer rely simply on curb appeal and newspaper ads to sell homes. Today’s buyers have lots of options, they’re well informed, and they demand to be impressed.

Still Photography

It is of utter importance that today’s agents avoid taking pictures themselves with their cell phones and posting them on the agency website. Sellers should be choosing an agent who will hire a professional photographer and pay for the service. If the pictures look shoddy or unprofessional, buyers are more likely to find a more appealing property to view. They’re going to associate these pictures as being unprofessional with a negative connotation.

After your home is properly staged, a professional photographer will take the time to examine the space correctly. Most photos are taken with a high-quality digital camera with different lenses. The photographer might use a panoramic camera that will showcase entire rooms and it will make the house look bigger. In addition to the camera, a professional photographer will use a tripod, flash and wireless triggers. Many photographers are proficient at using supplemental lighting to get the most ambient shots of the home. These experts are capable of doing any resizing or touch up work that’s required on a photo using sophisticated software programs, like Photoshop.

The Realtors’ association survey found that 83 percent of buyers found pictures very useful when looking at homes on the Internet, followed by 81 percent for detailed property information and 60 percent for virtual tours; however, virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular in real estate marketing.

Virtual Tour

A major shift to online real estate marketing is the incorporation of a virtual tour to the listing’s website to showcase a home for sale. A virtual tour is a video that covers all of the rooms of the house, including the exterior views of the house and the property. With a virtual tour, potential buyers can view a property from a 360 panoramic visualization and get a better sense of the location. The tour is like a 24/7 open house where prospective customers can view it again and again to pick up on any details they may have missed the first time. It’s a great benefit to the seller since a virtual tour can reduce the preparation and cleanup every time someone wants to see the house.

A virtual tour can thin out the crowd of potential buyers. People who contact the real estate agent after viewing the tour tend to be better informed about the house and a higher quality contact. It’s a great way to allow potential buyers to become familiar with a house without the disappointment that can come with a first time showing.   Another advantage to a virtual tour is that some houses just do not photograph well, but a virtual tour can overcome the handicap of not being photogenic and shows off the house at its very best visual appeal.

Tools for Success

Although using a professional photographer for still photography and virtual tours will help you to gain more Internet marketing exposure for selling your home, they are only two of the tools for a comprehensive marketing plan. There are other options available such as open houses, signs, newspaper advertising and the real estate brokerage network of agents. When combined, these strategies effectively provide an overall approach for showcasing a home for sale and getting the most visibility possible in today’s competitive real estate market.

Source: Ocean Front HHI.

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