"Photography is at the center of all your marketing," says Brian Balduf, chairman of VHT, a provider of photography services to agents and brokers in the Chicago area. "It's not just documenting that there is a house for sale. You want people to say, 'What a house,' " and be motivated enough to take action, he says.
"When people are searching for homes, they search by price range, location [and the numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms]. But then once they have the list, the visual piece becomes a larger and more important part of the decision," says Jani Strand, spokeswoman for Redfin. "Photos are the first impression, and can generate interest and excitement, which leads to good offers."
Here are some tips we urge all potential clients to look at prior to entering in to a contract with a listing agent:
- Be Critical of Their Past Work: The beauty of the internet is that a seller can use it to look at the performance of other listings an agent may have. Look at the quality of pictures. Composition, angels, graininess, light balance, ect… each one of these factors will have an impact on buyers down the road.
- Find Shots That Pull You In. Do the photos make you want to visit the home? It is as simple as that. Photos have the purpose of revealing enough of the home to give a good sense of what it is like to walk through it, but it also has the more discrete purpose of pulling those viewing it online to come take a look at it.
- Balance. If you have ever gotten professional photos taken, the photographer will take upwards of a few hundred pictures to capture the ideal moments, lighting, the correct natural smile. A house is not different. Taking a large number of photos will allow for variation and the ‘perfect shots.’ With that being said, only 20-30 pictures go up online. These are front loaded with the important (living area, master, kitchen) pictures and details are tucked away a little further in.
Your Pictures Help, But Do The Photos Yourself. It is great to go through some photos of the home with a seller to get an idea of what they value in the space, but when hiring a professional Realtor that should come with the professional service of a fresh supply of photos to represent the home in its current state.
- Multiple Shoots. Your home looks vastly different in the morning/midday/and dusk. Realtors should present the options of doing multiple shoots so they can capture all the variation. If you have a particular view of the house or of the panoramic area around it (as we run into so often in Bozeman), let them know so they may capture that as well.