Growing Number of Real Estate agents in Canada employ Professional Photographers

photo.jpgAn article appeared in the Globe and Mail over the weekend discussing the growing use of professional photographers by real estate agents in Canada to better market their listings through slick property imagery, particularly among luxury properties.

In the article, Adriana Barton writes, the days of lacklustre photos snapped by realtors may be numbered. Despite digital cameras, a growing number of real-estate agents are hiring professional photographers to showcase properties online, according to Ann Bosley, a Toronto real-estate broker and president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Blurry photos of dark rooms, open-lidded toilets and fridge doors littered with kids’ drawings and ladybug magnets just don’t cut it.

“More and more, our clients are picture-rather than word-oriented,” Ms. Bosley says, adding that real-estate websites now accommodate many digital images. Professional shots make sense even for low-end properties, according to Richard Silver, a real-estate agent who sells homes at all price levels in the Toronto area. Since Mr. Silver began using professional photography two years ago, his sales have gone up by about 25 per cent, he says. “I don’t even put out a listing without the professional photos.”

In fact, UniqueHomeSites.com offer a great companion service for photography professionals and real estate agents alike as they provide a cost-effective, professionally-designed single property website template solution in which they can easily upload all of their still, panoramic, and video files for display on the Internet.

UniqueHomesites is the preffered service to other ‘virtual tour’ providers in that they include an easy-to-use site building wizard with an ever-growing template library, a unique domain name of the agents choice (i.e. www.123UniqueStreet.com), as well as hosting of the website for one year. Each site also comes equipped with a Canadian school locator, agent branding, recipricol links to the agents website, lead generation tools, plus much more.

Barton also refers to Canadian blogger, Saskatchewan real-estate agent Norm Fisher, who posts his Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photo Hall of Fame at Teamfisher.com.

For thos agents who can’t afford a professional photographer, Barton offers a number of tricks of the trade, compliments of Photographyforrealestate.net:

Remember that the photo’s purpose is to sell real estate. Focus more on the architecture and room spaces than on furniture and decor.

Simplify images. Exclude everything that detracts from the home’s attractiveness, such as towels hanging from the oven door.

Viewthe front exterior as the key shot. Spend extra time on it, since this is the image often required by Multiple Listing Service rules.

Render interiors light and bright. Since light interiors are more attractive to buyers than dark ones, use an external flash unit or a long exposure shot on a tripod to make a room look bright.

Keep the verticals vertical. All vertical lines, such as wall corners, should be shown parallel to the sides of the image, otherwise they distract the viewer’s attention. If the use of a wide-angle lens creates distortion, restore verticals with digital photo-editing.

Stick to horizontal shots. Most real-estate websites are designed to work best with landscape-mode images; a mixture of horizontal and vertical formats can be distracting.

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3 Responses to Growing Number of Real Estate agents in Canada employ Professional Photographers

  1. This article is right on the money.

    Real Estate agents in my area – Nashville TN – are beginning to realize that extra time and effort is required to “go a step beyond” marketing listings given the current state of the housing market.

    The savvy one’s are turning to HOME STAGING and PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY and VIRTUAL TOURS to market and sell their property listings. The key word here is ‘professional’ – the “do it yourself” virtual tours are now coming across as cheesy and unprofessional.

    The proof? A client of mine with a listing well over $1.5M hosted her own pictures and her own do-it-yourself virtual tour. Very little interest in the property. After she contacted me to provider her with professional results, she has had numerous local and out of state inquiries, and expects to close later this month. Worth the investment? You betcha.

    Further proof — the realtor above who started using professional real estate and architectural photographer services 2 years ago is now selling 25% more listings due to the higher interest from buyers generated by the professional real estate photos and virtual tours provided.

    The time has come for professional results, and an increasing number of home sellers are demanding it.

    Jason Bennett – Nashville Virtual Tours & Real Estate Photography – http://www.nashvtp.com

  2. It is a positive trend to see that professional marketers (real estate agents) are utilizing the tools and skills of professional photographers. Every agent that takes this step with the right photographer will see the value of their listings rise and will be sought after more by sellers than agents that do not employee professionals.

  3. was going over the content of your blog almost three years later and realize how much the industry is changing. Of course the pictures are ” worth a thousand words ” and today will cost you a fortune in time and money to try to advertise on words instead of pictures. But pictures are going slowly to be replaced by the virtual tours ( some more sophisticated than just a slow number of pictures one after one ) and other sites which will let you have your own virtual tour posted . The benefits are huge and in today market , especially in our Toronto real Estate Board , virtual tour will make a distinction between the pros and the others

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