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What Are the Most Popular Listing Photos? How Computer Vision Helped Answer This Question

June 30 2022

photographerThe positive impacts of technology on our daily lives continues to help us become more productive by saving us time.

Think about it. Before the internet, if you wanted to research something, you walked, drove, or biked to a library. Then you asked a librarian for ideas of where to find what you needed. Next, they would send you to the "card catalog," which stored books sorted by Dewey Decimal numbers on index cards.

After you find the card with the book title and its number, you meander through aisles of books to hunt down the right one, hopefully, filed in the correct place.

Or, at the very least, you had to crack open an encyclopedia: World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica, depending on what information you needed.

Today, you just "Google" or ask Alexa for the information you need.

Making us more productive

Sometimes, technology gets a bad rap, especially when you consider what used to take hours – like the trek to a library – now takes minutes or even seconds.

Computer vision is a massive breakthrough in time savings and increased productivity. It takes care of some of the most mundane tasks, freeing resources to do more important things.

We discovered the value of computer vision firsthand at HomeJab when we wanted to answer the question, "What are the most popular real estate listing photos?"

Now we could have answered this without enlisting the help of artificial intelligence firm Restb.ai. We had the sample data: 14,000 professionally shot photos contracted by listing agents for properties listed for sale in early June 2022.

To accomplish this, we would need a team of people to manually go through every photo, look at each one, determine what was in the picture, and sort it into a pile. Later, we would have to count all the photos in each stack to decide which images of homes for sale were the most popular.

It would take a team to sort through thousands of photos to accomplish this study. However, Restb.ai did it in a matter of minutes.

Compiling the results

Using the power of computer vision, Restb.ai explains its founder and CEO, Xavi Hernando, can sort through thousands of photographs from homes currently for sale, use its computer vision technology to identify the type of photo, and then classify and sort the images.

It helps that HomeJab can provide them with the highest quality images, as all are by professional real estate photographers. But it is still stunning to watch how fast everything comes together.

The process Restb.ai uses also compiles the results, eliminating the need to do the math and figure out the ranking of the most popular photos. The science for all of this is built-in.

Admittedly, most experienced agents – and professional real estate photographers – might not find many surprises in the results. But the truth is, before we studied the photos, all we had were assumptions, not facts. Because before the HomeJab study, no one took the time and effort to figure out the most popular photos.

And there were a few surprises in the data. But most importantly, perhaps, is we have a new benchmark and can look at photo trends in the future. And we have a fast and smart way to accomplish the task.

What are the most popular photos?

HomeJab popular photos Infographic

The new data from HomeJab finds that the most popular real estate listing photo is not the home's front exterior. Instead, bedroom photos were ranked first, barely nudging out kitchen photos. Front exterior shots placed a distant fifth.

Living room photos landed third. What's interesting about that is that a couple of decades ago, home builders kept making the living rooms smaller. Some folks believe that the living room, at the time, was headed for extinction; some still do. However, photo popularity shows that's not the most likely outcome.

Here's a recap of the HomeJab Top 15 most popular photos used to sell homes:

  1. Bedrooms – 11.92%
  2. Kitchen – 11.90%
  3. Living room – 10.79%
  4. Bathroom – 9.75%
  5. Front exterior – 8.70%
  6. Dining area – 4.48%
  7. Aerial – 4.32%
  8. Yard – 3.00%
  9. Back exterior – 2.48%
  10. Patio terrace – 2.10%
  11. Home office – 1.84%
  12. Laundry room – 1.81%
  13. Deck – 1.72%
  14. Hallway – 1.39%
  15. Foyer – 1.26%

The bottom six:

  • Basement – 1.22%
  • Garage – 1.12%
  • Front door – 1.11%
  • Pool – 1.11%
  • Stairs – .93%
  • Walk-In closets – .66%

Note: Other miscellaneous photos comprised the remaining 16.38%.

It will be interesting to see if – and how – these numbers change over time. The number one trend to watch out for is drone footage for aerial photography and video, especially with the increased accessibility and affordability.

And because of the pandemic, will we see more photos of home offices in the future? Time will tell.

A summary report on this new HomeJab study is available here.

Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros and architect of the real NFT Marketplace at real.art. HomeJab delivers over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.