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Professional Real Estate Photography: Why You Need It

August 28, 2013  |  by MRIS Guest

Welcome to Day 3 of Photo Week! The following post is written by Marissa Ferraraccio, Marketing Specialist for TruPlace (formerly Mouse on House).

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, over 90% of potential buyers are looking at listings online before physically visiting a property. Almost as staggering, 88% of those buyers want to see professional quality photos with each listing. Thus, conventional wisdom may indicate that online listings with attractive, professional photos will garner a lot of attention. Professional photos are becoming an essential strategy for most agents. We turned to one of our TruPlace professional photographers, Deirdre, to ask her for her experienced opinion on professional Real Estate photography to help you understand the full benefits of professional photography. What better way than to speak with a professional in the field?

Question 1: Based off of your experience and training, what makes professional real estate photography so valuable?

Deirdre: “Professional photographers will focus on the best features of your property and make them stand out and shine…whereas, amateur photographers just ‘show the space’, which doesn’t give the buyer any concept of space or relationship of rooms. With professional photographers, it’s our job to make your listing stand out above the competition. Our goal is to make the potential buyer want to look at that specific property more than the others, and hopefully convince that buyer to visualize themselves moving in before they even walk through the front door.”


Question 2: Do you think photography affects the overall value of a listing?

Deirdre: I’ve had many clients say there are three factors that contribute to a property selling fast and for top dollar: First is staging, second is professional photography and third is pricing. Marketing the property online is the best way to reach the most people and it’s also the most popular place viewers are searching. I’m seeing more and more agents and owners deciding to make that extra effort and put their best foot forward from the get-go rather than trying to catch up after the fact. Great photography is the first impression online viewers see and I think Real Estate professionals are realizing that fact, and taking full advantage. You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Question 3: In your opinion, what is the main difference between professional photography and amateur photography in regards to real estate?

Deirdre: I think there are two main differences: the first difference is equipment and the second difference is understanding how to take full advantage of that equipment. Having the skills and knowledge to utilize a DSLR camera, lighting and lens is going to give a much better result than a point and shoot, or worse, a camera phone. While having the best gear is a great start, it means little if you can’t use that equipment to its full advantage. That comes with training and experience. Being able to take that camera off auto and really manipulate every aspect of the space and light really brings your photos to the next level and makes them ‘pop’ much more.

While photo editing skills are key in post-production, it means little if the original image isn’t good to start with. Another big difference I see online is the overall composition and choosing how we are going to create a visually interesting image while keeping it informative at the same time…we want beautiful images but we also want them to convey the best aspects of the property to help it sell faster or rent more often.

Do you have questions for Deirdre or about professional photography in general? Contact TruPlace and we’ll help you out. After all, that’s why we’re here!

Utilizing professional photography may help sell your listing faster, get a better price, and, it may save you time in the process. After all, when do you have time learn the ins and outs of how to work a DSLR, process all your photos and compile it all into a full online experience?

For over ten years and with over 2.5 million images produced, TruPlace (formerly Mouse On House) has provided real estate agents and property management companies across the country with top-notch professional photography. It is our goal to help you showcase your properties online in the most effective and attractive way. Want to learn more? Feel free to contact Marissa in Marketing and Sales at 301-972-3201 x803 or, by email: Marissa@TruPlace.com.

Posted in Blog, Featured, Photo Week 2013

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25 responses to “Professional Real Estate Photography: Why You Need It”

  1. Jeff Nunes says:

    Wonder if Real estate offers a class on photography and which equipment is the best to use that is cost efficient. I think I do well with my camera but i want to do more for my sellers and myself as an agent. I've seen a significant difference in what pictures do for a buyer, also considering 90% of their time looking for a home starts on the internet. "FIRST Impression".

  2. Terri Wilson says:

    Remember the exterior photos as well! Creating a feel for the area and ambiance on the property is important when it can create value for your best buyers.

  3. Michele says:

    This has been my experience, professional photography can definitely make a huge difference. The listings for which I used a professional photography not unlike TruPlace have garnered more attention and as a result multiple offers.

  4. Brett Monk says:

    There is a website that offers online real estate photography classes. Just Google "Real Estate Photography Class."

  5. Dennis True says:

    As an Architectural Photographer I can't agree more with Deirdre Real Professional Pictures are HUGE when trying to get your property to really SHINE!!!!!!

    I doubt that anyone could learn everything in just an online class it takes years of learning and practicing and honest critiquing your images to learn all the things that a professional photographer has running through their head before they push the shutter.

  6. TIm Wilson says:

    @Jeff, the key is getting "some" of the realtors to understand how professional photography can help them in their marketing efforts. They have to get past the "but I have never used it before and still sold, why should I spend the money now" attitude. I am trying to build up my Real Estate Photography Business, and have contacted over a hundered agents in my local area, with not 1 response. And these are agents that I had verified through their listings, that they werent using a pro, but rather a P&S and maybe even their cell phone to take the images. But I guess "good enough" is good enough for them…since it's no money out of their marketing budget. You have seen the impact first hand, and appreciate what better images can do for both you and the seller. As far as required equipment, it can get expensive quickly, even for the basics. A good wide angle lens is going to set you back roughly $600 or more, and then you have decide on using lights or HDR, since you shouldnt be using the on-camera flash. You will only get the same quality of images that using a P&S will give you.

  7. […] Professional Real Estate Photography: Why You Need it: From MRIS MLS in Virginia. The Local MLS is actually promoting agents use professional photography. Thanks to Stanley Whitmore at Long & Foster. […]

  8. Ken Brown says:

    Jeff, the most cost efficient thing to do is to use a professional photographer. The cost of professional quality equipment is far less than it once was with film cameras, but the time it takes to learn the skills hasn’t declined. Making great pictures of a property challenges photographers will some of the most difficult lighting problems.

    The gear I bring and use most often at a real estate photography session is in the ballpark of $3500 and I have a wish list of more equipment that I will be purchasing to help me shoot better photos with less time on-site. In addition to the hardware, I use about $1400 worth of software to post process the images I make to deliver to my clients. The quality of gear I have is a good match for real estate marketing and I also use it for commercial work including magazines, catalogs and books. If I were to shoot more mansions and layouts for high-end magazines, upgrading my equipment would easily add another $4,000. The photography habit is as bad as drugs; it’s best not to start.

    If you have time to take pictures, you might want to consider spending that time on things that aren’t good to delegate or outsource. Prospecting, networking and tracking the effectiveness of your marketing might provide a better return. It doesn’t hurt to have a quality “mirrorless” or “micro-four-thirds” camera that you can use well for situations where you need a simple shot in a hurry to satisfy the MLS photo requirement or for use on a vacant piece of land. While the cameras on phones have improved, the quality is still too low to use for real estate listings.

    The area I am in uses very little professional photography for listings and when I call on brokers and agents, I’m often told that they’ve never used professional photography before, have sold properties and they were perfectly happy with the (horrible) pictures they take. The few small offices that I get the bulk of my work from have told me that they are definitely noticing more inquiries and faster sales on the properties I photograph for them. The jury is still out since there has been an overall uptick in area sales, but one office has told me that they picked up 2 listings directly due to photos I made that the sellers saw online.

    Listing photography is a fairly new specialty for me and a bulk of my work is commercial. I’ve been pushing this niche as a couple of my good customers were NASA and a defense contractor. Both have been clobbered by the sequestration and the contracts for my services may be gone forever. I should be in a target rich area as there doesn’t seem to be any competition I can find and I’m hoping I can get momentum going so that it becomes like Seattle or suburban DC where nearly all listings are shot professionally.

  9. Jesse says:

    Am I missing something in the report? I don't see anything that correlates to, "Almost as staggering, 88% of those buyers want to see professional quality photos with each listing."

    Help, because that is a great statistic if it can be proven.

  10. Frank says:

    Shouldn’t a professional photographer know that you should turn on the ceiling lights?

    Just saying.

    There is good professional photography and subpar

    photography.

  11. Jesse says:

    Good morning mris_jess and Marissa. Any luck on finding backup for that 88% statistic?

  12. Marissa says:

    Hi Jesse,
    I was trying to send you the exact link to the PDF of the 2012 Profile, but you have to purchase the entire report (unlike last year's where you could just download the entire report for free). That's why you can't see the entire report in the link. However, I did several reports that back up this statistic VIA Redfin and few other sites. When the 2013 profile comes out, I'll see if I can download it and update you with the latest findings. Should be soon! Hope these help you out.
    1 :http://www.ruxtarealty.com/blog/free_infographic_professional_photography_nets_you_more_for_your_home!/29
    2: http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/special-re

  13. Jay says:

    http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com/ – hilarious and educational at the same time.

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