Millennials are fast becoming some of the biggest and smartest buyers in real estate. In fact, their preferred way of doing business has quickly taken its own place in the ever-evolving real estate market. Instead of visiting the broker’s office, these young clients favor searching for their dream homes online. In 2016, online advertisements amounted to 11% real estate sales in terms of FSBOs (For Sales by Owners). In contrast, print newspaper advertisement only brought in about 5% of the business. Clearly, times have changed.
There’s a shift on how real estate business is being conducted worldwide, and fresh concepts like real estate photography and virtual tours are emerging quite rapidly.
Why is Real Estate Photography Important?
While there’s no better or equal alternative to close a sale by letting buyers physically inspect the house, there’s no denying that many transactions today won’t even get to that stage if ads and listings aren’t making impressions. And of course, creating your own attractive gallery is the best way to draw interest from curious online buyers.
When done right, pictures tend to give a good representation of color schemes, room sizes, and the architecture of the property. That’s a 100% upgrade compared to having a single photo with a lengthy text description. It’s also useful for customers in the process of pre-screening their options before visiting the actual place and finalizing the sale. It saves both parties a lot of effort and time.
Should You Hire a Real Estate Photographer?
Since real estate photography is turning into an essential and exciting element of selling houses, the need to hire a photographer for this job is paramount.
This, however, can be really costly as photographers charge $16.04 per hour on average. The best option would be to take an online photography course and learn the craft yourself. Anyone can be a master of their own style in photography. There are several courses out there that will contribute to your personal development and help you find your footing.
Real estate specific courses that can help you become a pro at architectural photography are now easily available online. You would really only need these key equipment to get started.
A good camera will definitely make the work much easier and enjoyable. When it comes to these sophisticated gadgets, it’s all about the lens and not the body. A lens of around 10-22mm or 12-24mm is perfect for cropped sensor cameras, whereas for full frame sensors, a 16-35mm lens camera would suffice.
Your camera should also be capable of mounting flashes and wireless triggers so that you only have to set them up and monitor while they automatically take pictures. The triggers also allow you to set time or intervals from which you would want your camera to capture the scene.
A computer is essential for real estate photography for multiple reasons. While there’s an option to view the pictures within the camera itself, a computer would allow you to have more options and more detailed look at your stills.
Raw pictures may require some editing before they are good to go online or get published in a real estate magazine. They are often better if they went through a bit of post-processing. Just remember, all good editing software need the support of a computer. Otherwise, you better select a camera which can do post-processing effectively.
Finally, the computer will also help you put the files up online or directly email them to potential buyers.
Editing can do wonders for your pictures. It helps in refining the photos and remove any blemishes they may have been captured due to unfavorable conditions. While preinstalled programs on your computer may fulfill basic requirements, more advanced tweaking will likely require a premium software or an upgrade.
You may not require light for most architectural subjects since you have the option of shooting them in daylight. But one cannot rely much on nature to capture good photos. Some days you may have the sun shining brightly, while on some, the clouds may obstruct the light you require.
Therefore, you must invest in lighting so that you are not dependent on nature and can shoot anytime. Lights also have a profound effect on picture quality when you are shooting the interiors.
Top 5 Real Estate Photography Tips
Even if you have taken your photography courses and know the theoretical aspects of the job, good real estate photography is still not a promise. There are a few things that can be the difference between pictures that attract buyers and pictures that don’t. Here are some tips that can help you generate more leads through pictures.
Invest in a Quality Camera
A quality camera is important because it creates a massive difference in the outcome of the picture. While even an iPhone can take good pictures, DSLR cameras bring in more depth, sharpness, and colors to it.
Similarly, with an iPhone’s point and shoot camera, there is no possibility of interchangeability of the lens. This is important because some lenses are only suitable for specific situations, and you might need more than one kind of lens to take quality pictures in other conditions.
Spend Time Staging Beforehand
When potential customers are pre-screening houses online, you only have the chance of grabbing their attention in between the time the picture appears on their screen, and they swipe their finger to move to the next prospect.
Therefore, it is essential that the house you are selling looks perfect. It should be clean and decorated with furniture. This will help potential buyers to better visualize what it would be like to live in the place.
Focus on What Matters
As mentioned earlier, you must take pictures that the buyers and families can associate with. People especially associate themselves with the images of living quarters, kitchens, bathrooms, and all the places that they would use the most in the house. Photos of backyards and front-yards can also help. Photography is an art, there’s no shame in taking fancy shots as much as possible. However, you must ultimately only publish photos that would help prospective buyers decide.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Natural light is an excellent way to make the pictures look bright and give the setting a pleasant view. The light will also highlight smaller details in the house that may not have been visible otherwise. Even when shooting the interiors, having blinds open and the sunlight pouring in will give the pictures a more natural look.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Editing pictures can turn good photos into great ones and can transform them entirely at times. Therefore, it is crucial to invest a lot of time in this aspect of the entire photography process. It is also essential to use a premium software if you want to have all editing options available to you. Make sure that all the colors are balanced, and the house looks natural, highlighting all its features.
If you end up doing it well, there’s a chance you might even find yourself a nice side gig or a new hobby to keep your head off of the real estate bubble from time to time.
Looking for More Ways to Elevate Your Real Estate Career?
Continuing education courses for real estate, in this regard, can immensely help in taking your career to the next level. While excellent photography skills will help prospects find you, it would still be your familiarity with the industry that will help you close incoming deals swiftly and efficiently. Furthermore, real estate continuing education won’t just help you operate at a high level, it should also ensure that you’ll be able to hold on to your license now and in the future. It’s never too early to enroll yourself online and get that chance to upgrade your skillset ahead of everybody.