A picture is worth a thousand dollars
In my role as an agent, I meticulously scout through listings of houses on a regular basis. One evening this past year, while doing so, I had a eureka moment after being struck by a startling and mind-boggling revelation. It suddenly dawned upon me why such a multitude of selling opportunities are so frequently lost – it’s simply because of the…widespread use of amateur taken photos! Tell me, would you realistically expect your house to sell quickly and above price if you had advertised it using dull, dark, and unflattering photos? You already know the answer: a resounding NO!!
You’ve heard the old adage “the first impression is always the last impression,” right? Well, never has this held more true than in the real estate industry. Here, first impressions are everything – they form the backbone of sales and have the power to make or break any deal in an instant. Home buyers will rarely bother to look beyond poor photos to explore a home’s other plus points. That’s precisely why, being the first point of contact with potential homebuyers, quality property photos should constitute the very crux of every real estate professional’s marketing strategy.
Considering the fact that professionally taken photos magnetically draw in more views and resultant footfall, it also follows that they would command a higher asking price. Research by Redfin has shown that there is a gain of $938 to $116,000 depending on the price tier your home falls in. Wouldn’t you love to gain an additional $1,000 in your pocket just by listing with the right Real Estate Professional? Of course you would, so make sure your photos pack the punch needed for this to happen.
For example, be aware of the following latest photography technologies at your disposal – they can enhance and beautify your photos to such an extent that you’ll be spoilt for choice when buyers come a-knocking.
Make your photos look like a million bucks
Using the following techniques can help you catapult your photos to an entirely different level altogether:
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) – Several photos of the same image are taken using a range of light exposures, after which the images are combined and the best pixels of each image are retained to achieve a perfect lighting balance. This technology enables obtaining the most optimum lighting effects possible while also allowing the image to be customized to the user’s liking. Most indoor photo issues are easily resolved by HDR, making the resultant images look remarkably superior to non-HDR photos.
- Wide-Angle Lens – Using a wide angle lens is a great way of getting the full room in focus. A lens size of about 10mm is ideal for this purpose, enabling the maximum area to be clicked aesthetically at one time. Sometimes the usage of the wide angle lens results in a “fisheye” effect. However, this can be remedied by using the Lightroom program by Adobe, discussed next.
- Lightroom – Adobe’s Lightroom software makes it easy to tweak image settings as well as balance uneven aspects of the photo. This enables removal of the “fisheye” affect also. Combining this technology with a 10mm lens results in photos that are not only panoramic, but optimally attractive as well.
Listing your home with professional quality photos that incorporate the technologies listed above can provide a profound effect to your sales efforts and skyrocket your property’s perceived value in the most impactful manner possible.
Hire a pro – it’s worth it!
Using a simple point-n-shoot camera to take the photos yourself is no match for DSLR photography. If you’re like the majority, though, it’s not so easy having access to the equipment and software needed to achieve the results desired. After all, a DSLR camera can set you back by anywhere from $500 to $1,000+, which is definitely out of the range of the average hobbyist. And that’s precisely where a professional photographer enters the picture (pun intended!).
However, you may be intimidated by the costs and be wondering if the benefits of hiring a professional photographer are worth it. Well, fear not – the power of professional photography justifies every penny spent. Just remember this plain and simple fact: homes that have listing photos taken by a professional photographer sell better, period. According to research conducted by Redfin that further cements this fact, home photos captured using a DSLR camera get approximately 61% more views than non-DSLR photos across all price brackets whilst commanding 47% more dollars per square foot. Plus, they are more likely to sell above the $300,000 range. So, since Professional photos could potentially fetch you thousands more on the sale of your home, the $100 – $500 expended on professional photos is a comparatively small but immeasurably worthy investment of your marketing dollars.
Currently, 80.9% of homes on the market today use point-n-shoot photography, while 0.7% use just a camera phone. Only a measly 15.4% of homes use professional photos for their listings. Over the next few years, I intend to raise that percentage to the point of marketing all the properties that I list with professional photos. With photography being the powerful medium that it is, the results thus obtained will be sure to astound you and firmly reinforce the fact that hiring a pro is well worth it.
After all, marketing one’s home is all about packaging and presentation – it’s no wonder that a picture is worth a thousand dollars!