5 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Listing Photography

Updated on December 30, 2016
David W Jackson profile image

David Jackson is a real estate photographer and model train hobbyist, living in Lakewood, California.

Whether you are a home owner or a realtor, there are a lot of things to do whenever you are listing a new property for sale. And one of the most important things that you can do is to take a set of attractive photographs which will complement your listing. In the age of the Internet, visual information will quickly grab the attention of potential buyers, and listings without pictures typically do much more poorly than listings that have them.

Listings with well-done photography will not only attract more buyers, but it will also inspire those buyers to imagine what the property would be like if they were to own it. Capturing their “hearts and minds” is the key to closing the sale quickly. It will also increase the initial offer, and make your listing much more competitive, drawing more potential buyers, a scenario which should seem attractive to the motivated seller. This will decrease the time that the listing is on the market.

But it’s not enough to simply own a high-end prosumer DSLR. This will help you take pictures which meet most technical qualities for a good picture, but will fail to capture the mood or potential of a living space. These are subjective qualities, but thoughtful compositions and a few basic pointers will help you to create pictures which will serve as your most valuable marketing tool when selling your property. So, what are those pointers? Here are 5 ways that you can improve your real estate photography.

1. Hire a professional photographer. I know this isn’t strictly a tip for improving your own photography, but hiring a professional photographer can eliminate the stress from this chore. Professional real estate photographers will have not only the experience to produce exceptional photography, but they will also understand the needs of the realtor when listing a property for sale. It’s a “fire and forget” proposition – you schedule the photographer, tell him the highlights which you feel are important for him to include, and with 24-48 hours, he should produce for you a set of images which you can use to advertise your property on the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, or social media. On average, this should cost about $200, sometimes a little higher. Also, be sure that you are not hiring an architectural photographer, as they have a different focus, and their rates are typically much higher.

2. If you are going to take the pictures yourself, make sure you have a good camera and use a tripod. A “good camera” can be almost any modern DSLR. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a camera which will serve your needs. In only the most extreme circumstances should you rely on your smartphone; remember that these images will be used to sell a property which might represent a significant return for you. A smartphone is great for taking selfies, but simply doesn’t have the flexibility that you will need for the dynamic photography environment of the interior of a house. If you can’t afford it, find a friend who owns a DSLR, and borrow their camera for the shoot.

As well as a good DSLR, you should use a tripod. A tripod will stabilize the camera, and allow you to have longer exposure times. Longer exposure times allow you to capture poorly lit scenes, without having to use a lot of external lighting. And unless you want to invest several hundreds of dollars on lighting, you can spend the $30-$40 on a tripod, and use it. It will decrease the “softness” (or blurriness) of your images, and allow them to be crisp and clean, and allow you to take pictures that you otherwise would not have been able to take.

3. Stage the property. This doesn’t mean that you need to hire a designer and spend thousands of dollars on fake furniture to dress up your interiors. What it does mean is that you should have the lawn mowed, garbage cans stowed away, leaves raked, that sort of thing. And on the inside, a good house cleaning and general tidying up will do wonders for those valuable first impressions. Don’t forget to put away the remote controls, and certainly close those toilet lids. This all contributes to the impression that you are giving the buyer, which will in turn close sales and increase initial offer price.

4. Take diagonal shots. No matter how tempted you are to have everything lined up and squared off, the most effective shots are going to be diagonal shots. These shots show off the depth and flow of the interior of your property. For the exterior, it shows a more natural landscape. Remember that you are not selling just a house, you are selling the idea of a house. Tapping into hopes and dreams is what it’s all about!

5. If the subject matter of the picture isn’t interesting, don’t include it. Nobody wants to see the interior of a closet, or a laundry room, or a messy garage. These things won’t sell a house! Don’t be afraid to skip rooms that detract from the overall impression you are trying to give. Stick to the strengths of the property, and make sure that you have the best pictures you can compose of those areas. You are not documenting a property for insurance purposes. As I’ve said before, you are fueling someone’s dreams with pictures that will inspire them to think of the future.

So, those are my five main tips for better real estate photography. I hope that they were helpful, and I hope that you have great luck in the future.

© 2016 David Jackson

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)