What Does It Take To Sell Real Estate in Today's Market
Many people have asked me, "Vernon, how do you produce such great photos of houses for sale"? Most of the time I tell them, "It's just a matter of the artform and preparations, and secondly, the equipment you use." Most anyone can shoot real estate photography if they have a basic idea of what they want the photos to show in their "mind's eye" before even starting the shoot. The second aspect is the equipment you use. Most cameras can be used, provided they have a wide enough lens to do the job and, if the shooter knows how to use lighting, composition, composure and angles, or the "Basic Concepts of Photography", properly in Real Estate Photography.
The artistry basically comes from looking over the entire home before setting up my camera to begin to shoot. Doing a walk through and getting an idea of how you want to do the shoot is just as important as the shoot itself. Turning on lights to emulate that perfect lighting effect, making sure windows are clean and have the ability to be "see through", making sure the toilet seats are all down, looking into every nook and cranny to see what you want in the shoot and what you want to leave alone. Having the basic idea of what you want each and every photograph you want to give to your client is an important aspect of setting up the shoot, before you actually do the shoot. If you just walk into a home and begin to shoot away without proper "set up", chances are your photos will just be mediocre and not have that "wow factor".
The second factor to the "wow factor" Real Estate photos would be the type of camera and/or external lighting used, if any. In my experience as a real estate photographer, when I have approached real estate agents, soliciting for business, I've gotten a number of different replies. I always loved the ones who say "No that's ok, I take my own photos with my cell phone". Now there are some cell phones on the market which do take good photos, but these should never be used to sell a precious listing. Don't do this injustice to your clients!! These types of photos generally do not do a listing justice and a because of this and the factor of poor lighting, potential clients will pass them over for the next listing with better photos, thus causing the listings with poor photos to sit on the market way too long or cause the homeowners to search for another agent. It never fails. I personally have seen homes with these poor photos stay on the market for a month or longer simply because the agent did not have good photos of the listing.
To facilitate good photos, agents should either hire a Professional Real Estate Photographer and spend the "bucks", which generally is only a fraction of their commissions, or spend the "bucks" to buy themselves a camera with a wide angle lens and then learn how to use proper lighting and the bracketing systems most the mid to upper price range cameras have. Real Estate Photography is not all that expensive if you consider the commissions you will make on most listings. Now I know, to get a listing, agents have to give up a lot of their commissions, but if the listing sells within a few days to a week on the market, because of the "wow factor" photos, then paying the $150 to $300 price tag for a good Real Estate Photographer would be well worth the investment, and this expenditure is also a tax deduction on your sales of properties at the end of the year.
In closing, to be able to sell a real estate listing quickly, your internet presentations must be on top of their game. The first line to selling a listing is the type of photos you have and their "wow factor". Without these photos or even decent photos, potential buyers will skip to the next listing and maybe bypass all of your listings because of bad photos. Give yourself a chance to make it the highly competitive market of real estate by the presentations you present.
Stay tuned for more on Real Estate Photography in future articles.