An 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.
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.