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5 Simple Ways to Increase the Screen Value of Your Online Real Estate Listings
Are your listings getting enough screen time? To grab attention and keep it, you need to encourage homebuyers to stay a little longer, checking out more than the primary photo. Are you currently using 3D tours and floor plans as part of your real estate marketing plan? If not, here are a few good ways to drive engagement and increase your screen value. Use a professional real estate photographer Market your real estate listing with professional real estate photos. A good first photo is a perfect way to entice potential buyers to want more. Think of your real estate photos like a storefront window. If the display is good, you want to go inside. It's no different with real estate. Attractive photographs increase the amount of time the consumer spends clicking through the images. You want to encourage a connection during the buyer's journey. They stay a little longer and get to the consideration stage faster when they like what they see. Speak with a local real estate photographer who offers services from leading-edge companies like iGUIDE. Unconventional camera systems capture outstanding photos and accurate measurements simultaneously, so turnaround time is quick. Video tours and drone shots Consumers love drone footage. This eye in the sky captures amazing aerial shots to offer a different point of view. Extensive landscaping, outdoor entertaining areas, and sprawling properties benefit well from the use of drone shots. Not every property is a good fit for drone photos, however. You may list a stunning condo or a multi-unit residential property, but a drone shot just won't do it justice. However, video tours highlight the essence of unique spaces, and are an excellent tool for your real estate listing marketing. Video is popular because it allows for narration and lets you point out multiple features within a property. Virtual staging to spark joy Increase the consumers' screen time for your listing by using virtual staging. Virtual staging can help your real estate marketing by presenting a space that makes it look and feel more like home. Whether it's a vacant property or a home that just doesn't have the best furniture placement, virtual staging can spruce it up. Using proptech tools like Floorplanner encourages homebuyers to try before they buy. With multiple furniture choices, accents, the ability to change door and window placements, virtual staging makes decision making easier. 3D tours are a must By now you are using 3D tours, right? If you want to keep the attention of potential buyers, the implementation of 3D tours is the ideal way to market your real estate listing. The goal is to drive engagement, and what better way to do that than using the consumer's favorite way to interact? According to 3Kit, there are 87% more views on listings that incorporate virtual tours. That means you increase the consumers' screen time from just a quick look at the main photo to connecting and interacting with a 3D tour. You know how it works. It's the same reason that reels and video stories are so popular on social media. These attention grabbers drive engagement, leading to the awareness stage on the buyer's journey. Use interactive floor plans to make a connection Understanding a space requires not only beautifully captured photos, but the ability to virtually walk through and make a personal connection. Buyers want to know all their stuff will fit into each space within the home. Accurately measured floor plans give them the ability to compare their existing living quarters to new ones. As Inman notes, buyers have come to expect floor plans as part of the way you market your real estate listing. Measurements give meaning and value to a space and help increase the amount of time the consumer spends looking at a property. As a bonus, floor plans include important dimensions for future renovations. With the help of advanced measurements from an iGUIDE, the buyer can remotely plan and design each space. Increasing screen value and screen time for online real estate listings provides benefits for the seller and the buyer. When you use tech tools like virtual tours and floor plans, your sellers experience fewer interruptions in their daily life. The property gets shown to more qualified buyers, thus saving time for both the seller and you. Buyers will start to form an emotional connection as they are drawn in by captivating professional real estate photos and multiple ways to interact online. Help your real estate listings make their best impression online by using all the services available to you from a professional real estate photographer. For more information regarding iGUIDE, click here. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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5 Things Real Estate Photographers Wish Sellers Did -- and Did Not -- Do
Working with hundreds of photographers nationwide who have delivered more than 4,000,000 images to help real estate agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings, we've come to feel their pain when something doesn't go as planned. That's why we polled more than 100 professional real estate photographers who work with HomeJab to get their "rants and raves" for listing shoots. We already know from a large body of research that professional real estate photography helps sell homes faster and for more money. The good news from the survey results is that most of the time – 67% – of professional real estate photographers have a great experience with highly cooperative sellers. But that still means that sellers are not as cooperative as they should be during one in three listing photo assignments, and, sometimes, surprisingly, they are uncooperative. Fortunately, our "rants and raves" survey uncovered a series of "best practices" for home sellers – comments, ideas, and suggestions shared almost universally by our photo pros. Photographer rants Here are the top five things professional real estate photographers wish all sellers did — that still is missing from too many shoots: Declutter – 95% Remove objects in the way of a photo (toys, bikes, hoses, etc.) – 86% Clean the house – 75% Fix light bulbs – 73% Clean pathways and driveways (remove cars) – 54% Again, remember that most shoots go well, and most of the things on this list are taken care of before the photographer arrives. Overall, real estate agents are doing an exceptional job of educating sellers and ensuring they take the steps necessary to prep their homes before the appointment. However, one item shared by photographers was a bit surprising – and this might be an opportunity for all agents to clarify the concept of when to declutter. The survey found that the "one thing that sellers forget" that bothers professional real estate photographers most is decluttering during the shoot. It turns out that many sellers attempt to declutter while the photographer is shooting, going room by room, clearing clutter one room at a time just before the photographer shoots! A photographer from Lakeland, Florida described the impact of doing this best, saying, "Moving clutter room-to-room like musical chairs disrupts the flow and slows down the process." In addition, he points out that this approach can add significant additional time to a shoot. Another photographer from Chicago shared the frustration, explaining, "Many sellers begin prepping after I arrive. They should know the home should be ready upon arrival." That's excellent advice for sellers, but it also should nudge real estate agents to ask their sellers to finish all decluttering before the photographers shows up at their door. Seller raves The survey also asked professional real estate photographers about the one thing sellers do that they appreciate most. The consensus is no surprise: having the house ready when they arrive. An Austin-based photographer says puts it succinctly: "decluttered – neat and tidy" is a huge help. A veteran photographer from Greenwood Village, Colorado, adds, "A place that's ready to go when I arrive – that's awesome." Photographers also were asked, "What is the one thing a seller can do to make your job easier?" Again, the answers were mixed, sometimes even contradictory. One point of contention: should the seller hang around during the shoot – or get out of the house? What was clear was the need for sellers to stay out of the way during a shoot. Some suggested that sellers should leave during the shoot. But other photographers want them to stay "within earshot" if they need permission to move an object that's in the way, for example. Another point of disagreement: some photographers don't want the seller to interrupt with questions, while others enjoy a good banter back-and-forth with a seller. The best approach: sellers should ask what they can do to make the professional's job easier upfront. The professional tells us they will get better photos if they do. For sellers, photographers had a few other suggestions to make their shoot easier, including controlling pets, parking cars away from the property, and ensuring the photographer has access to the home when they arrive. Advice to real estate agents Photographers often rely on the seller's real estate agent to make sure everything is ready before they show up. But, again, three out of four times, that happens. Yet, for all those other times, photographers shared some advice for agents. "Good agents will arrive at a property ahead of time and turn on all the lights and clean up anything that shouldn't be there," said a Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based photographer, adding, "Bad agents show up late and demand that everything be cleaned to perfection." The survey points to three things photographers wished every agent told their seller, including: Photographers cannot retouch photos or remove something (the seller's agent provides editing instructions, and HomeJab handles the editing) How much time the photographer will need. Photographers can't send the photos directly to the seller. Instead, the seller will get them from their agent. The survey also found three things that professional real estate photographers appreciate most when they arrive at a shoot: All the lights are on, fans and TVs are off, and blinds or shades are open Pets are secured, the house is clear of other people, and the seller stays out of the way Access is available for photographers when they arrive. One professional offered this parting comment: "Do not underestimate the photographer. We are part of the success of the property's sale." 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.
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Is That Your Headshot?
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10 Ways to Level-Up Your Real Estate Photography
When it comes to selling real estate, image is everything. The quality of your property photographs and 360-degree panoramas matters. And yet, many real estate agents fail to invest wisely in professional real estate photography. Or, worse, perhaps they don't invest at all. The truth is, real estate photography is not as easy as it might seem, and a lot is at stake when it comes to the quality of these images. Great photos and 3D virtual tours will help a real estate agent sell more properties, sell them faster, uphold a higher standard of branding and marketing, and get more listings in the future. Bad images, on the other hand, get you nowhere. If you are a real estate agent, make sure you know what is required to make a high-quality real estate photo or 3D virtual tour. Don't resign yourself to putting out amateurish images just because you don't have access to specialized software or super high-end camera gear. While those things help, believe it or not, you can still get your real estate photographs to look more professional with some thought and patience. Here are 10 tips to distinguish professional-level real estate photography and 3D virtual tours from amateur jobs: 1. Make Sure Your Horizon Line Is Level Make sure your horizon line (also known as eye level) is perfectly horizontal and level in your pictures. If the horizon line is crooked, your photograph will seem unbalanced and distorted. If you fail to level your horizon line, your audience will subconsciously think there is something wrong with your photograph. This is because as human beings, we have a natural built-in auto-correct in our brains so that horizons will always seem horizontal and level when we look at a room. While it might not be noticeable at first, crooked lines can cause a person to intuitively dislike your photograph. UNLEVELED LEVELED Think about it: when we hang pictures on the wall, we make sure they are level and straight. We intuitively feel like there is something wrong if the picture is hanging askew. Making sure your real estate photograph or 360° panorama is horizontally level is a basic step towards taking more professional-looking images. Here are two easy ways to make sure your horizons are level: A) LEVEL YOUR CAMERA By far, the easiest thing to do is to make sure your camera is level when shooting your photo. By leveling the camera, you can be certain that the horizon will be close to perfect. There are many economically priced spirit levels you can put on top of your camera to make sure it is level before you shoot. Some tripods and cameras even have built-in levels. B) ROTATE IN POST-PROCESSING SOFTWARE If, for whatever reason, you neglected to make sure your camera was level during your shoot, you can always straighten the horizon later, during the editing process. Almost any basic photo editing software will allow you to rotate your image so that the horizon levels up. Rotate by eye, or use a grid to assist you. 2. Correct Your Vertical Lines Now that we have addressed the issue of crooked horizontal lines, let's talk about vertical lines. Tilting the camera slightly up or down will cause the vertical lines in your image to converge. For a more professional looking image, be mindful and make sure your vertical lines are 100% perfectly vertical. Crooked vertical lines are more noticeable in still images than 360° panoramas, but the effect is still noticeable. Angled Down Level Angled Up Here are two ways you can make sure your vertical lines are straight: A) LEVEL YOUR CAMERA Once again, ensure your lines are straight by making sure your camera is level. Use a spirit level if you have to. It is advisable to use a tripod to make sure your camera is level, unless you have very steady hands. B) TRANSFORM THE IMAGE IN POST-PROCESSING SOFTWARE Fixing vertical lines in post-processing is a little tricky, but here is a method that will work using any image editing software, including Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. First, rotate the image so that a vertical line in the center of the image is as vertical as you can get it. Then, use the Transform tool to warp the image so that all the vertical lines on the edge of the frame are also vertical. This may cause areas of the image to have no data, so these areas will have to be filled or cropped. 3. Achieve Even Exposure A prominent characteristic of a professionally shot image is even exposure. What this means is that the image will appear to be consistently and evenly lit, with no areas of extreme shadow or brightness. Even exposure is achieved artificially, but it creates a natural effect, because the human eye and brain automatically adjust to perceive rooms as more evenly lit than they are. So the goal of the real estate photographer is to recreate this effect as much as possible, so that things feel authentic in the photograph. Think about it: when we hang pictures on the wall, we make sure they are level and straight. We intuitively feel like there is something wrong if the picture is hanging askew. Making sure your real estate photograph or 360° panorama is horizontally level is a basic step towards taking more professional-looking images. Here are three ways you can achieve an even exposure in your real estate photography: A) SHOOT IN RAW Your camera can capture more data than what is visible in the images it captures. This extra data can be recovered with post-processing software, by making shadows brighter and highlights darker. Be warned, however, that there is a limit to how much data from these areas can be recovered, so this strategy may not work in every circumstance. B) SHOOT HDR (HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE) Shooting HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a technique where you would capture multiple images of the same room, at varying exposures, and then combine these images to recreate a final image that has even exposure. C) ADD LIGHT BY USING A FLASH Using a flash will add light to the dark areas of your photo subject and reduce the difference between the bright and dark areas of the photo, for the desired effect of even exposure. 4. Attractive White Balance and Color Sometimes, objects that appear white in "real life" do not appear white in your photograph. White balance corrects this. The appearance of color in an image is highly subjective, and can be influenced by the device that captures the image. Ideally, as a general rule, the colors in your real estate images should be close to what you see in real life. TOO COOL BALANCED TOO WARM Here are two ways to get the white balance and colors right in your real estate photography: A) ADJUST WHITE BALANCE IN CAMERA Most cameras will automatically choose a white balance that is acceptable, and they usually do an accurate job. In any case, you can work around white balance issues by shooting RAW images because the white balance can be changed later in post processing with no ill effects. However, when shooting in JPG format, it's important to closely monitor the results achieved with automatic white balance, and manually intervene if required. There is less data in a JPG image, so the ability to adjust white balance later is reduced. This is usually done by selecting a preset white balance setting or by choosing specific temperature settings in your camera. B) ADJUST WHITE BALANCE IN POST-PROCESSING Adjusting white balance in post-processing can be achieved by using an Eyedropper tool, temperature and tint sliders, or by selecting an automatic adjustment. Be prepared for some trial and error to get the white balance right using these methods. White balance doesn't always have to be accurate. If an image has very warm lighting, it may be easier to change the colors so that it doesn't distract from the rest of the images by looking out of place. 5. Correct Lens Distortion and Vignetting The lens in your camera is a circular piece of glass that stretches light into a rectangle. This often leads to a slight circular distortion around the edges of your photo frame. In some cases, this distortion can be more dramatic, and quite jarring. In real estate photographs, this distortion is particularly unnerving, as it can result in curved walls or bent vertical lines – all of which are distracting to look at. Similarly, vignetting, or light fall-off, will sometimes occur at the corners of the frame. Here are two ways to fix lens distortion and remove vignettes: A) REMOVE AUTOMATICALLY IN CAMERA Your camera may remove distortion and vignettes automatically when shooting in JPG mode. Check your camera's menu and adjust your settings if this option is available to you. B) REMOVE IN POST-PROCESSING In most situations, you can correct lens distortion and vignetting in Photoshop or Light Room. If your lens doesn't have an automatic profile, you can do it manually and apply the same manual adjustment to all your subsequent images. 6. Remove Color Fringing Color fringing is the occurrence of magenta or green-colored lines that outline the border between light and dark in high contrast areas. This distracting effect typically happens around the edges of bright windows. Here are two easy ways to fix color fringing: A) REMOVE AUTOMATICALLY IN CAMERA Once again, when shooting JPGs, you may be able to have this undesired effect removed automatically within your camera. Set up your camera to remove it by finding the option in your camera's settings menu. B) REMOVE IN POST-PROCESSING You can automatically remove color fringing for most lenses, using Photoshop or Lightroom. If the automatic results are not to your liking, you can do it manually to any image. WITH FRINGING WITHOUT FRINGING 7. Choose Your Camera Angles Carefully Be mindful and put some thought into the camera angles. Every property will have unique challenges when choosing what angles work best, but as a general rule of thumb, the easiest camera angles that yield consistent results are shot from corner to corner. THINK ABOUT WHAT ANGLES WORK BEST Shooting a room from corner to corner yields a few advantages: You will be able to show more of the space in one photo, enabling you to communicate more with fewer images. Leading lines will draw the viewer into the image. Shooting this way makes it easy to get vertical lines vertical and a level horizon. An alternative way of capturing the space is to think of it like a grid. However, this is a more challenging approach, as it requires vertical and horizontal lines to be perfectly aligned. With this approach, your camera needs to be level and squared to the wall. If it is even just a few degrees off, the photos will look off. 8. Use a Wide Angle Field of View Using the wrong lens to take your real estate photograph is a telltale sign you're not a professional. The typical field of view for a professional real estate photograph is 90 degrees or greater. STANDARD LENS WIDE ANGLE LENS A wide field of view makes it possible to show more of the room in a single photo than would normally be possible with a typical camera. This can only be achieved by using an ultra-wide or wide angle lens that can meet or exceed a 90-degree field of view. 9. Stay in Focus At the risk of spelling out the obvious, make sure your real estate photos are in focus! Not only does having an out-of-focus image not represent the room you are trying to showcase well, it reflects poorly on the brand of you as a real estate agent. It implies laziness and a lack of professionalism and care. Keep in mind that focus is subjective to a point, depending on the size of the screen and the viewer's distance from the screen. Ensuring that you have captured the sharpest image possible will help you down the line, should you wish to enlarge and/or crop the image. Having a crisp image to begin with means you won't have to worry about losing focus if you need to recompose the picture in post-processing. Here are a few easy ways to avoid having fuzzy pictures: Use a tripod Set your camera to refuse to shoot if the subject is not in focus Set your camera to exposure delay Set your camera to single point auto focus. 10. Practice Good Composition We've discussed extensively on how to take a great photograph. However, it's important to acknowledge that what you photograph is just as important as how the photograph is taken. Every image should tell a story. When you are getting ready to shoot, think about what reaction or thoughts you want your audience to have upon viewing your image. What features of the property are you trying to highlight? What aspects of the space are you trying to convey in a positive light? Why are you even taking this photo? Make sure to capture a scene that identifies the space. Carefully frame your shot to avoid cutting off objects. Each shot should feel complete and self-explanatory. Real estate photographs that look like they were shot by a professional photographer sell more properties, and sell them quicker. Amateurish shots will hurt a real estate agent's bottom line. With just some extra thought and care, you can take your real estate photography to the next level! To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Listing Photos Your Smartphone Can't Take
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Basic Real Estate Photography Tips: Identifying and Correcting Vertical Lines
Are you just starting out in real estate photography and want to know the easiest and fastest way to get good results? The fast answer is to start by making sure your vertical lines are straight. What vertical lines you ask? Here are a few examples: Vertical lines can be seen most easily at the intersection between two walls and they are important because they affect the perceived value of your photographs. You will have happier clients if your photos have a consistent look and feel, and the easiest way to do this is by having perfect vertical lines. How is this done? There are two ways to achieve perfect vertical lines. 1. Level your camera When your camera is level, all the vertical lines in a house should appear as close to vertical in any image you take. Houses aren't always straight, but they are close enough most of the time to make this work. You can use the camera's built-in level or use a spirit level attached to the camera. Spirit levels are a great choice because they are inexpensive and easy to see while attached to the base of the camera or the hot shoe mount. To get the best results, it's also helpful to use a tripod. Any tripod will do as long as it's sturdy and can accommodate the weight of the camera you are using. Using a tripod will allow you to make precise adjustments and achieve consistent results by eliminating camera shake while shooting hand held. 2. Fix your images in post-processing software Using Adobe Photoshop or similar software, you can transform images to get results that are as close to perfect as possible. This is done by using a combination of rotation and the vertical transform tool. Here is a quick video demonstrating the process: Can you both level the camera and tweak things in post? Of course! Combining a level camera with fine adjustments in post processing is the method most real estate photographers use to get the best results. Contrary to popular belief by the lay person, it isn't enough to just own a high end camera. Amazing photographs are a part of every successful real estate business. Providing your clients with strong images shows the value you bring to the real estate transaction—and to do this, your images must look the part. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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NFTs in Real Estate: Temporary phase or an enduring fixture?
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What Are the Most Popular Listing Photos? How Computer Vision Helped Answer This Question
The 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? 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: Bedrooms – 11.92% Kitchen – 11.90% Living room – 10.79% Bathroom – 9.75% Front exterior – 8.70% Dining area – 4.48% Aerial – 4.32% Yard – 3.00% Back exterior – 2.48% Patio terrace – 2.10% Home office – 1.84% Laundry room – 1.81% Deck – 1.72% Hallway – 1.39% 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.
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Will Your Listing Benefit from Drone Footage? Look at These 4 Factors
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5 Top Tips for Better Real Estate Photo Composition
Real estate photography follows the same basic compositional rules as other types of photography. It's similar to portraiture, landscapes, and sports in most technical aspects (i.e., focus, exposure, white balance) but can differ in composition because of scale and industry requirements. Here are some of the top tips for improving your real estate photography composition. Tell a story with every photo Each photo should serve a purpose and communicate something relevant to the intended audience. It's a good idea to think about what every photo is communicating to avoid shots that don't achieve this. This image tells the story of a relaxing spa-like experience in a luxurious master bathroom. The image below tells a story of being perched precariously at the top of a stairwell. Although being at the top of the stairs is a common occurrence in a two-storey home, it's not a compelling story and therefore doesn't make a very compelling image. This is by far the most important tip in the list because it will affect every other image in some way. Choose one subject for each image Try to focus on one space at a time. It may be tempting to show open concept houses as large connected spaces. This can make it difficult to get the details you want to see for each space individually. Above is an example of an image that shows a single space with one purpose. This next image is less about a single space and is more about the larger area. This is a weaker image because it shows the dining room less effectively. The dining room is more important than the hallway and deserves to be the priority. Keep the camera low and level Keep your camera lens between 3 and 4 feet in height. This will result in images that have a nice floor-to-ceiling ratio. If the camera is too low, you will see under furniture. If the camera is too high, it feels as though the viewer is unnaturally tall. This is subjective and will differ depending on your personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your camera at about the height of your elbows. A level camera will result in nearly vertical lines that will differentiate your work from amateur photographers. Frame and cut creatively Avoid chopping things up if you can help it. Cutting a sofa or bookshelf in half can be distracting. Do your best to frame and crop and include whole features where possible. When this isn't possible, do your best to cut in places where it makes sense to cut. Maintain a consistent style of composition throughout Your images should be usable in a group as well on their own. Look at your images in succession. Do any of them stand out in a bad way? If you follow the same rules for all your images, they should have a consistent look and work well together. These tips are subjective and may not apply to every property, but they will keep you on track for most shoots. It's easy to forget the intended purpose of the images and focus on technical aspects, but if you apply the tips found here your images will bring value to the listing. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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How Could Your Photos Enter Listing Data for You?
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How Much Data Is Hidden in Your Listing Photos?
When you hire a professional real estate photographer to shoot your listings, you may not realize that the photo files you receive contain a lot more than images of the home's interior and exterior. An image taken with a digital camera captures an incredible amount of data embedded in each photo file. The format used to record information related to the image is the Exchangeable Image File Format, or EXIF. The EXIF stores the "metadata" associated with the photo and the camera. The metadata that EXIF can capture includes camera model, shutter speed, aperture setting, ISO (the camera's sensitivity to light), white balance, and photo editing software used on the image. Other common data collected includes a timestamp – date and time of the image – image resolution, file name, and file size, among others. EXIF also allows the photographer to define additional data, including the temperature when the photo was shot, the photographer's name, and even the exact GPS coordinates that reveal the precise location the photographer took the picture. Professional photographers often use metadata to sort their images in a database management system. 360° Tours capture even more data Immersive 3D tours – like those shot with a 360° camera using its AI-powered software – do an incredible job of accurately measuring depth. That's how they can create an exact floorplan. 360° cameras either use several lenses or take several shots with a single lens that rotates or a combination of the two. Stitching these images together creates the 360° image. Photogrammetry, a technique to create 3D models from photos, combined with AI software can quickly produce detailed floor plans of the home's interior. An emerging trend that leverages all this metadata is 360° visualization tours, which allow a home shopper to tour a home but then swap out custom furniture and finishing what they select. Get even more data with drone footage Real estate agents know that one of the best ways to "wow" a seller is to include drone footage in their listing promotional efforts. Drone video photography also captures data. Photos and videos taken with drones collect much of the same information as digital cameras, but on a macro scale. For example, the GPS coordinates data drones collect can determine the address of the listing, as well as individual addresses of neighboring homes. Beyond photo and video recording use, drones are becoming data-collecting machines. Drones can also map, survey, and inspect areas where nobody can or should physically be and provide real-time insights. In addition, with 5G, drones can connect to cloud computing, enabling them to collect and analyze even more data. How can you see all this data? If the photos are on your smartphone, you can see the EXIF information inside your photo app. On an iPhone, open your Photos app and tap an image in your Library. Look for the info button (the encircled "i" icon) below the image and tap it. The EXIF data should display in the box below. For an Android phone, open your Gallery app and choose an image. Then, from the menu, select Details (or a similar name, as it varies on Android phones). The Details section will reveal the EXIF data for that photo. If you are using a Windows computer, you can also quickly examine the EXIF data. First, right-click on the photo in question to view the EXIF data and select "Properties." If you are a Mac user, open the image in the Preview program, click on "Tools" in the top menu bar of Preview, and select "Show Inspection." Any of these methods should display the metadata captured with the image. Privacy concerns While automatically collecting all of this data is great for real estate, you may be wondering if this data is always collected. Depending on the camera, EXIF information can be set not to record or store with the image. Also, many websites that accept image uploads, such as Facebook, strip out the EXIF data, but not all sites do. It's best to be aware that this data is being collected and understand the related privacy issues. For real estate, as improvements continue to progress with computer vision software and Artificial Intelligence, photos will be more crucial than ever in the near future. Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, a leading on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros. A real estate entrepreneur, internet efficiency innovator, and passionate problem solver, Joe is one of the nation's top real estate visual content experts. Today, he oversees an operation that has delivered more than 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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How to Improve Your Listing Photos and Description
Listing photos are among the most important collateral in selling any property – and they have only gotten more vital with time. These days, customers have the power to browse dozens or even hundreds of properties in a single hour. Yet, a breathtaking photo is what makes them stop scrolling. You've heard the old adage: A picture is worth a thousand words. To some extent, that's true—even when it comes to real estate listings. Pictures draw eyes and initial interest, but virtually no homes sell on the basis of photos alone. Instead, it's up to the real estate agent to weave a cohesive narrative around the home. Of course, that can be a challenge. Real estate agents come from all walks of life, and while some enter the industry following other careers, few are former photography pros or authors. As a result, new agents often come to one or both of these aspects of the job with trepidation. But you don't have to be a world-class expert in either field to give your listings a winning advantage. Listing optimization is a skill you can learn with practice. And when you start off with a few best practices in mind, you drastically decrease the time it takes to elevate your work to the top 20% in your area. Real estate is never a matter of "perfection" – it's about improvement. There's always more to learn and do. Start with confidence that you can improve your listings, and the skills you need will grow. Let's break listings down further and look at the simple steps you can take to achieve superior results. Your Listing Photos: The First Impression of Every Property A buyer's interest always starts with photos. On a page of mixed text and graphics, it's all but impossible for someone to notice text before visuals – that's simply how human attention works. Even if they are looking within a narrowly defined area, they will see a photo, feel a spark of curiosity, and then double-check to ensure the address suits them. So, listing photos are a crucial "hook." You already know your photos should be of the highest resolution possible and take advantage of natural light. If you can only photograph at one time, choose early afternoon on a clear day. Additional photos in different lighting conditions are greatly appreciated, but daytime photos are the foundation. Let's expand on those basics to do more with your photos: Remember: Decluttering Is Always Step One Fully staged homes tend to sell faster and at better prices. The first step in staging is decluttering, which often requires some enthusiasm from the seller. Clarify, simplify, and organize whenever possible. Remove large, bulky furniture pieces to open up spaces before you snap them. Go from Decluttering to Staging Once decluttering is done, build on your momentum. While some real estate agents work with home staging professionals, many pick up the tricks of the trade themselves. Think about the story of each room – how it impacts the owner's lifestyle – and arrange items to highlight that desirable narrative. Plan Out Which Photos You Need There are some types of photos you simply can't do without. These include wide-angle shots of the bedrooms, curb appeal shots, the backyard, and at least one photo of each other room. Use your best judgment to decide what else you may need and which rooms you prefer to emphasize. Deploy the Latest Photography Equipment You can do some tasks with your trusty smartphone, but listing photos require a professional-grade camera. Once you know your way around your camera, enhance your results by using a tripod and a wide-angle lens. These two simple items unlock all kinds of creative possibilities. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment When you arrive at a property ripe for listing, it might feel like you need to get everything done as fast as possible. Slow down and take your time – and plenty of pictures. Get used to taking more than you need, so you'll practice choosing the best, which will translate to a better "photography instinct." Get Feedback on Your Work Although you might not have a gallery showing in your future, it's still a wise idea to connect with feedback on two levels. The first is photography pros, who may be glad to advise you on internet forums. The second, of course, is buyers. They will be more than willing to tell you precisely what they liked! If in Doubt, Partner with Experts If it seems like you simply can't get the hang of the photography game, don't despair. From small towns to large cities, communities are packed with professional real estate photographers. You'll often be able to work out a very affordable agreement, and their talent will contribute to higher commissions overall. Unleash the Power of Your Real Estate Photos with Excellent Listing Descriptions Once you develop confidence with listing photos, it's time to fine-tune your descriptions. For maximum impact, listing photos and descriptions work together. Ideally, you'll start thinking about how your description should read as you take your photos. Have a convenient way to jot down notes as you go from room to room – an old-fashioned notepad is often faster than a phone app. Here's how to boost your listing descriptions to another level without having to become the next Hemingway: Focus Plenty of Attention on the Opening Just like sending an email, the opening line is the critical factor in whether a viewer reads on. In your introduction, you need to tackle two questions with an economy of words: "What am I looking at?" and "Why should I keep reading?" Do this in one sentence, and you're on your way! Sell the Story and the Features The features are the specific attributes of the home, such as the spacious backyard. The story is how those features better the lives of buyers. For example, many younger buyers look at a big yard as the perfect place for Fido to play. Know what motivates your target audience and weave it through your listing. Beware of Industry Jargon Real estate shows are more popular than ever before. Unfortunately, they can give buyers and sellers alike a misapprehension of how the whole process works. Avoid jargon terms like "TLC," "quaint," or "fixer-upper," which such buyers may have learned to react to with disdain. Don't Forget a Call-to-Action A call-to-action (or "CTA") is an essential part of any text meant to persuade. It should tell the reader precisely what to do next without demanding too much. For example, your listing might end with "Call now for more information," which is a smaller request than "Contact us to book a showing." Implement these tips, and you'll be on your way to better-performing listings. And, just as importantly, you'll be able to approach the process of designing your listings with greater ease and confidence. To view past Real Estate Marketing and Technology articles and read more from the February 2022 issue, click here. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Guess What's the Most Popular Day for Taking Real Estate Listing Photos?
Redfin says Thursday is the best day of the week to list a home for sale for speed and certainty. So does Zillow. But what about the most popular day of the week for real estate photography? When do professional real estate photographers go out to shoot a new home listing? You might guess Saturday or Sunday when most sellers are not working and are at home to give the photographer access. Except that you would be wrong. At HomeJab, we just completed a new (free to download) study of real estate photography. For this study, we looked at nearly 60,000 real estate photography assignments placed by real estate agents between 2018 and 2021 on HomeJab.com. Since we have real estate photography professionals in every major US market and all 50 states, the data comes from throughout the US. We discovered that Wednesday is the most popular day of the week to take photos of a new property listing. One in five – 20% – of every new listing is shot on a Wednesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are not far behind, tied for the second most popular day of the week for shooting real estate listing photos at 18% each. And even though more sellers are readily available on weekends, that's not when photos of their home are being taken. Only one in ten photos are taken on a Saturday and Sunday. In fact, Sunday was the least popular day of the week, with just 4% of real estate listing photos shot. Impact of COVID-19 on real estate photography Our HomeJab photo study also looked at ways COVID-19 has had its fingerprints on real estate photography services. Looking at different trends, we discovered changes in the popularity of both video/3D shoots for new property listings and aerial footage orders. In 2020, the pandemic shuttered almost all Open Houses. Almost immediately, the percentage of video and 3D virtual tours ordered by agents jumped significantly. 3D virtual tours jumped from 37% to 53% of all photo shoots for the year. Then last year, as more Open Houses returned, the percentage of 3D virtual tours dropped a bit to 48% but remained higher than pre-pandemic levels for 2019. Perhaps most surprising at first glance was our HomeJab research uncovered the opposite happened with aerial photography. In 2018 and 2019, about 15% of real estate listing photo shoots included aerial photography. But in 2020, that number dropped to 12%. But then, last year, aerial photography orders rebounded to about 14% for all listings. What happened? After watching the patterns of agent photography habits over nearly a decade, agents typically have a fixed budget for photography. So when the pandemic hit, agents shifted their dollars towards tools to help remote buyers shop. Without Open Houses and fewer in-person home showings, a 3D tour was the best next thing. So, an increase in one service, we believe, caused a decrease in the other service photography services agents were ordering. So, as a result, their spending that included aerial tours decreased. Now that Open Houses have and showings are more common, we expect real estate agents using HomeJab will build in video and 3D tours as part of their 'go-to' photo package for all their listings. We also believe aerial photography will continue to rebound. Why? Extensive industry research shows that increasing visual content satisfies sellers and helps potential buyers. And agents know that some sellers still don't want to allow as many people inside their houses as they once did. At least not yet. Real estate photography is the mainstay of real estate marketing, and images help sell homes. Agents who want to put their best foot forward for their brand and have happier sellers will use professional real estate photography. We hope they'll use HomeJab for their next listing and "wow" their sellers by placing an order for an affordable, high-quality package on-demand at homejab.com. 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, delivering over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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How to Best Prepare Your Sellers for a Photoshoot
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Facebook Tips for Real Estate Agents: Just Say No to Buyer Photos
Janis Borgueta, a real estate agent in Newburgh, New York, offers Facebook tips for real estate agents and talks about how buyers posting photos of a home that's for sale can violate the owner's privacy and compromise a deal. Here's Janis: These days, Facebook is a part of life for many people. It is a way to communicate daily events and stay in touch with others. Many agents (like myself) use our Facebook business page as well as our personal profile page to increase brand awareness. Lots of us also post photos of homes we tour and list. Any time we post said pictures, it should be done with the permission of the owners and should never compromise a deal. A buyer that is touring homes recently asked if they could take photos of the home to show a family member something specific in the house. This particular home was almost empty and I knew it would not be a problem. I told him that it would be okay if, 1) he did not take photos of the owners' personal belongings, and 2) he did not share the photos on Facebook or any social media. Whenever I'm touring a home with a buyer, I ask them not to post photos on social media for the following reasons: 1. It violates the owners privacy Our cell phones take some rather wonderful photos these days, and preventing buyers who tour homes from snapping a few photos is almost impossible. I take a proactive stance to this by bringing up the topic when we tour our first home together, as I like to make sure they understand the rules early on. As an agent, I just don't really care if my buyers take photos, but I do care about what they do with them after the fact. My motto: NO posting to social media. NO exceptions! I remind my clients that the house we are touring is someone else's home and should not be posted on Facebook or any other form of social media. 2. It can compromise a deal when you put in an offer The second thing I tell clients is that during the buying process, it is super important not to compromise their purchase by publicly discussing anything about the buying process because it could cost them dearly when negotiating a deal. In general, people share way too much personal information about themselves and about their finances. Doing so can dramatically hurt the negotiation process and compromise a deal when buying a home. A gentle reminder has proven most helpful in my dealings with clients. Some get so excited when they find that perfect home that they want to take home a few of their own photos to view. To that, I say no problem, just keep them off Facebook. A picture is worth a thousand words, but waiting until after move-in day is the best plan. There is plenty of time to share all those photos of your new home after you move in! Learn more about Janis on her website, hudsonvalleyhomesforsale.co. What do you think: is it okay for buyers to post photos on social media? Why or why not? To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Why You Should Use Drone Photography for Every Listing
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Cool Tools and Hot Hacks for Photos Every Agent Will Love!
High-quality photos for your listings, promotional activities, website, and social media are crucial. They help appeal to your audience, sell properties faster, and gain more listings in the future. However, even if you have the right photo, you may benefit more if you also know how to fine-tune them. Some edits you can make to increase the impact of a photo include correcting color or image brightness, resizing your image, and removing an unnecessary background. Plus, to manage the size of the space that photos consume on your laptop or desktop, you can use a handy tool to delete duplicates automatically. Best of all, you don't have to use expensive software like Adobe Photoshop or be an image editing expert. Happily, we've found that the following excellent tools and hacks can assist an agent even with limited tech skills. Removing Image Background Have you ever seen a headshot of someone with an all-white background? It's probably the most popular hack for professional photos. And did you know you can remove an image's background and make the focus just on the subject by turning the background white? It's a great way to make a headshot easier to use and stand out more. The coolest tool to do this is remove.bg. This background removal tool instantly removes a photo's background in just five seconds and zero clicks. Remove.bg will save you a significant amount of time versus trying to accomplish the same thing with other photo editing applications. Click on the "Upload Image" button on the site or drop a photo in the tool's box, and the background is automatically removed for you and ready to download and use. Remove.bg can help you create more engaging images, bringing a professional quality to your photos. And if you use Adobe Photoshop, remove.bg also is fully integrated and can speed up your workflow in fixing images. Best of all, remove.bg offers a free plan. They also provide a subscription plan if you need to remove more than a handful of backgrounds. Prices range from 23 to 11 cents per image, depending on how many credits you purchase a month. A reminder to not go too far with Photoshopping with listing photos: NAR states, "Don't retouch pictures to cover up significant property imperfections or repair issues; doing so could violate the REALTORS® Code of Ethics." So while brightness, color correction, making sure images are vertically aligned, or removing a trash can from a driveway are edits that can be done to listing photos, be careful not to misrepresent the property. Resizing Photos Having the right size for your photos can make all the difference in maximizing the effectiveness of your image. Often when you reduce the size of a photo to save space, you lose quality. One such photo editing hack that helps you avoid that is BeFunky, a nifty creative platform that allows you quickly resize the photo, reduce its data size, and maintain a high-quality image – for free. When emailing an image to a client, having a small file size will save the hassle of waiting on a large download. Some email providers also have limits to the size of the files you can send. BeFunky's resize tool helps you change the image's file size without cutting anything out or decreasing the quality of the image. It also allows photo adjustment for your blog or website if needed. Editing Photos There are many potential online and offline choices for what you need in photo editing. For example, GIMP is a free, open-source photo editor available for Windows and Mac and allows high-quality photo editing. Adobe also offers a free web application called Adobe Spark to remove photo backgrounds and resize images. Furthermore, it also provides unique hacks, such as converting JPGs into PNGs and vice versa, which comes in handy if a client requires a specific type of photo from you. Remove Duplicate Photos While you may need to temporarily keep several variations of the same photo for your listing or website, eventually, you may want to remove the duplicates because they drain storage space. You can download a free tool called Duplicate & Similar Photo Cleaner if you own a Windows computer. This software scans all photos stored on your device and auto-selects similar images across multiple formats, along with similar ones that may have been edited. This allows you to delete the photos you want gone in one go, saving you space and time in searching for duplicates. If you have a Mac device, you are in luck, as you don't need a particular program, just follow the instructions that MacKeeper provides. Or, you may also download the Mackeeper app, click on the Duplicates Finder from the sidebar, hit the Start Scan button. Then it will locate all the images that are similar to the originals. Then, select the remove duplicates option, and you will be all set. Remember, if you need any assistance on editing images or figuring out photo editing software, Tech Helpline is here to help, only a click, call or email away. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Choosing Impressive Listing Photos Can Dramatically Boost Your Image, Too
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How to Use Instagram Carousel to Boost Your Business and Win More Listings
For real estate, Instagram is a great social platform for agents to expand their network, market properties, and acquire more listings. Predominantly through images, Instagram gives power to agents, teams, and brokerages looking to show off their businesses and listings. Instagram offers a variety of promotional options. One of the hottest new ways to give your listings a big boost and make your sellers smile is by leveraging the power of Instagram carousels. What's an Instagram Carousel? An Instagram carousel is a post or ad containing multiple photos or videos that you swipe or click through one image at a time. According to a study from Socialinsider, carousel posts produce the most organic (unpaid) engagement on Instagram. Carousels average 1.92% average engagement per post, compared to 1.74% and 1.45% average engagement for image and video posts, respectively. More impressively, some agents trace their big business boosts specifically to Instagram and its carousel posts, according to the social media experts at Curaytor, a marketing firm for top sales agents. When used correctly, it creates more engagement with your target audience and keeping their interest. Creating an Instagram carousel post involves selecting multiple images to make a post. You add a caption and copy, plus "tags" you want to include. You create a "tag" on Instagram by attaching a specific label to a post, picture, video, or status to group it with other content that uses the same label. Tags help you reach more people on Instagram with your messages and photos. A carousel post lets you share up to 10 images or videos as a single post. Therefore, you have an opportunity to create posts that have a punch. Here are some strategies for enhancing your business with an Instagram carousel: Copy is as crucial as imagery: Having appealing images in your Instagram carousel is vital for successful real estate marketing. However, it's also important to make sure you create powerful copy as well. Even if you have fantastic photos in your carousel post, it may be ineffective if the accompanying content doesn't get the message across. For example, for a listing post, compelling copy often raises curiosity about the listing you're promoting or prompts interest by asking a clever question. Highlight the property's most powerful features: The beginning of your Instagram carousel post should start the most dramatic photo of your listing. In most cases, it should also be a full house photo. In the carousel, highlight and explain the home's key features, such as hardwood floors, a built-in wine cellar, modern countertops, energy-saving air and heating systems, and other memorable features that make this home stand out. Tell a story: The advantage of a carousel post versus a single image post is that it allows you to tell a story. Every listing has a story, from its unique features and benefits to its location and history. With the right photos, graphic text, and video clips, you can tell an interesting and convincing story for each of your listings with a carousel post. Don't use all the carousel slots: While a carousel post can hold up to ten images or videos, that's a maximum limit, not a goal. It's best to select a few photos that are more likely to engage your audience. Having too many images can have the opposite effect. Like most communication channels, the attention span on Instagram is minimal. Less is often more when it comes to an effective carousel post. Leverage video content: Adding video clips to your carousel may seem like a time-consuming process, but it's simpler than you think. Since today's smartphones can take high-quality videos, you'll have the opportunity to showcase a listing's best feature in a way that a photo can't. Videos also make people stop scrolling to watch, increasing their attention span to your post. Like images in a carousel, it's essential to make sure the videos included helps improve your message to your target audience. Don't add a video to check a box. Show off your market: Instagram carousel posts are a great way to showcase your local market, something you can't do with a single image post. A local market post allows you to give context to your listings: what does the neighborhood look like? The local community and its amenities? You can provide a behind-the-scenes recap with a carousel post. ABC – Always Be Creative: Because carousel posts offer you more variety and versatility, this is where your creativity can shine. Don't know where to start? Follow other agents on Instagram known for their success with Instagram. You can find many with a simple Google search. Review their creativity to help inspire ideas of your own. You can create a carousel post with customer testimonials recommending your business, promoting a new service, or recapping a local event. Using Instagram carousels can be a great way to keep in touch with your customer base and win more leads. Remember, if you have any questions about technical challenges when using social media, you can connect with a Tech Helpline specialist with a click, call or email. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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3 Massive Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Photographer
The best real estate agents know when it's time to call in an expert. Done right, a good real estate photographer makes your business more efficient, so you can focus on what you do best. Property listing photos are almost always better handled by a professional. Why? It makes a difference to buyers: More than nine out of 10 buyers in 2020 ranked photos as the most valuable feature of websites in the search for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Keep reading to learn more about the three best perks of working with a real estate photographer. You save loads of time and money Maybe you've already thought about investing in your photography equipment. If you want to take this approach, you should know what to expect. The cost of doing it yourself is more than the dollar amount you might pay for equipment. All photographers have to learn that taking good photos is a skill that takes time to build. You have to dig into complicated photography techniques to achieve a professional look. As the technology improves—and it always does—the uphill battle to keep up with trends and learning curves only gets steeper. If you think there's nothing a little Photoshop can't fix, remember that editing photos requires an entirely different set of skills. There is no magical piece of technology that replaces the input and decision-making skills of a trained real estate photographer. You could spend hours of your time fussing over which buttons to press and when. Would doing any of that make you a better real estate agent? Probably not—your time is most efficiently spent elsewhere. HomeJab real estate photo packages are priced at a fraction of what it might cost you to purchase your own equipment. Our team of photographers can be at the property within 24-48 hours of the moment you send us a request. You can expect optimized photos for use online and in print just 24 hours after the shoot is done. You get spectacular images of the property, and more freedom to improve your business right away. You attract more high-value buyers Professional quality photos make the difference in how quickly a home receives bids, and how close—or how much higher—offers are to the original listing price. Professional photography adds more value than repairing, painting, and landscaping a property: 73% of real estate agents ranked it as a top home improvement item. In virtual real estate, you're often communicating without ever saying a word. Fine-tuning how your online listing looks is like dressing the part in real estate: It influences the way people feel about you and think about your business. Most impressively, photos can be the deciding factor in someone buying a house sight unseen. The team at HomeJab knows that no two properties are the same, so we offer different photography packages: Standard and Luxury. What's the difference? In a Standard photo package, viewers have all of the information they need to get a basic sense of what the house is like. This is an effective way to list a property when you're on a budget, or the property has few to no natural light features. However, Standard photo packages aren't the best choice for properties with large windows, skylights and tall ceilings with natural light. That's because cameras only capture one subject and its light source at a time. Our Luxury photo packages address this problem with a different approach. In a Luxury photo package, we use a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) bracketing. To put it simply, HDR bracketing blends multiple takes of the same image into one. This creates one photo that's as true-to-life as possible, with all of the vivid colors that the naked eye can see. It's the perfect choice for capturing the inside and outside of a room—especially one with a view. As an added bonus, all Luxury packages include a virtual dusk shot, which is always an instant favorite for clients. A virtual dusk photograph shows the glow and warmth you can see from the outside of a home, blanketed by a dazzling twilight sky. This can make the difference between a property that sits and one that sells. Looking at your photos is as close as some buyers will get to a viewing without actually being there. Not only will you get more prospective buyers—their offers will be more competitive. You age-proof your business for the long run People contact real estate agents for guidance and representation in a busy market that's full of surprises—for better or worse. One of the only things that has not changed about this industry is high trust in a real estate agent. Your level of professionalism, experience, and tech-savvy real estate resources will resonate with new buyers and sellers for years to come. Effective communication as a real estate agent means understanding the housing market and guiding hopeful people through it. The preferences of buyers and sellers may change, but for now—and for the foreseeable future—people want to work with people. Your real estate clients need you for a lot more than taking photos of a property and listing it. When you can provide a good experience as a real estate agent, referrals to the local "proactive agent with a great photographer" can expand limitlessly. You may even re-write the handbook for successful real estate agents. Work With a HomeJab Real Estate Photographer Forget what you think you can save doing it all yourself, because you have so much more to gain as a real estate agent. With the help of a trusted real estate photographer, you may never run into a lack of opportunities and leads again. It's better to work with a real estate photographer whose priority is to deliver you high-quality photos at the most reasonable price. Contact HomeJab now for real estate photography expertise as soon as you need it. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Do You Own Your Real Estate Photos?
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Win Clients with Real Estate Photography and These 6 Features on Facebook and Instagram
In real estate, buyers and sellers hope that the perfect home is out there—ideally, it's within an arm's reach. In 2020, 76 percent of home buyers initially viewed the homes they purchased online using a mobile device. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Pew Research says seven in 10 Americans consider using Facebook as a part of their daily routine. Knowing this, it's no wonder real estate agents cited social media as the best source for high-quality leads, followed by MLS websites. Now the question is no longer "should" you use social media for your real estate listings. Instead, it's "How do you use social media to portray your experience and personality in one shot?" For most real estate agents, the secret to a professional social media presence is using extraordinary photography. Done right, it gets high-value clients to envision working with you by bringing their thumbs to a screeching halt. From there, your job is to move the conversation into the real world. In this post, you'll learn how to use features of Facebook and Instagram to captivate serious buyers and sellers. It's a good idea to save this page now, so you can refer back to it as you learn the ropes of social media. Why Are Facebook and Instagram the Best Platforms for Real Estate Agents? Facebook and Instagram are two of the most widely-used social media platforms. There's a good reason for this: Here, content creation is user-friendly, versatile, and appeals to multiple generations of buyers and sellers. Research shows that people on both platforms, young and old, are more likely to interact with visual content like photos and videos. More importantly, people remember information better when it's paired with relevant images. That means people will remember the way a stunning house listing made them feel—days after the first impression. Facebook and Instagram both use multiple computer learning models, or algorithms, to personalize what people see on their news feeds. In other words, these social media platforms distribute your content based on how viewers interact with it—or don't. Social media success doesn't always come easy, but using professional real estate photography can help you conquer algorithms and delight homebuyers. For social media to be a worthwhile investment, you must know who your ideal client is, and what they're looking for as a buyer or seller. The visual component simply gives your hard work the credibility it deserves. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Facebook Facebook is an enormous network—only second in the country to YouTube—with a user base of mostly adults between 30 and over 65 according to Pew Research. It's the most popular social network for older folks, and its steady growth means it's not going away any time soon. As a real estate agent, you need to create a Facebook Business Page. This is separate from the personal profile you might use to share family pictures, vacation photos, and information unrelated to your work. What People Like to See on Facebook People like Facebook for its informative approach to community development. There is more room for text, links, and smaller images. You should use Facebook to influence existing communities where your potential buyers and sellers are already active. According to the social media pros at Buffer, Facebook users want to see content that is immediately relevant to them, so it makes sense that the current algorithm for posts looks like this for most people: Family and friends Subscribed pages and groups Suggested pages and groups Paid advertising When using Facebook to promote property listings and other content, keep these features in mind: Facebook Reactions: Post extraordinary photos to influence emotions Facebook Groups: Connect with local enthusiasts Share Links, Multimedia: Create your business page experience 1. Facebook Reactions: Post Extraordinary Photos to Influence Emotions Scrolling through Facebook updates can be an emotional roller coaster. People enjoy aimlessly scrolling because the ups and downs of emotional reactions are seriously entertaining. Facebook users can react to posts and comments with a full slate of emotions — Like, Love, Care, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. The more emotional reactions you get, the more favorably your content is sorted by the algorithm. Few things evoke emotion like stand-out photography! Aim to flaunt the "stunning curb appeal" of your listings by opting for professional real estate photos that stand out with color, perspective, and a dynamic composition. The concept of Facebook emotions seems silly, but it drives decision-making in the real world. It only takes one 'Wow' or 'Love' reaction to influence the high-quality leads of serious buyers. Other ways to get more emotional reactions with real estate photos: Write your brand story: Share advice, industry tips, and lessons learned as a real estate agent. Use photos from previous listings, or re-share posts from years past to celebrate new milestones, memorable properties, and advice for best practices 2. Facebook Groups: Connect with Local Enthusiasts When you manage a Facebook Business Page, all of your home listings and regular updates about work should be posted there. You can take your Page a step further by using it to join Groups of people with shared interests, locations, and careers—to name a few. The example shared here is from "Fairfax County Realtor Forum," a public Group with 5.4k members interested in what real estate agents have to say about the housing market there. Regular Facebook users can join these groups too. You should use your Business Page—not your personal profile—to join or start professional groups. This way, people interested in working with you have an appropriate place to contact you. In using social media, a little good judgement goes a long way. Some Facebook Groups are specifically made for networking, and others have strict rules against soliciting or self-advertising. You can still build a positive reputation and gain followers by joining conversations that aren't directly about buying and selling homes. This is a great way to ensure your page following keeps expanding. Learning more about your community can also give you good insight on what people are looking for in a home. You can learn to anticipate who's moving in, who's moving out, and the problems folks encounter along the way. One common problem for sellers doesn't appear until their items are long gone from the property. It's harder to generate interest in homes that aren't staged with furniture. It's easy to see why a buyer would hesitate to pass on an online listing where the function and feel of a space just aren't there. You can use virtual staging to show buyers how the rooms in a property will effectively end their search. A couple of Florida-bound retirees will be looking for a completely different layout from a young professional who needs a home office. At HomeJab, our team can take the lead on virtual staging, or real estate agents can choose some particular pieces or styles of furniture and decor from an online catalog. More tips for interacting with Groups: Use photo posts as conversation starters: Asking open-ended questions gets your followers sharing their ideas with you, and chatting with one another. Start a new group where one doesn't exist yet, if you see the need and the opportunity. Tag the people, businesses, and locations where relevant and appropriate: This can help grow your network of followers. Your clients get the satisfaction of sharing official updates for things like buying or selling a home, while you get an instant referral for like-minded friends, family members, and acquaintances that are seeking a good realty experience. 3. Share Links, Multimedia: Create Your Business Page Experience Stunning aerial views of this unique property are worth a double-take. The real estate agent here includes multiple photos, and links to different resources with information that Facebook users will appreciate. Another great way to expand your Facebook Business Page audience is to spend as much time sharing useful information and posts from other relevant accounts as you spend creating your own content. Link sharing is one BIG advantage Facebook has over Instagram. When you share links on Facebook, it is formatted with the information, pictures, and headlines you want to share. Sharing links directly to your Page gives people a reason to keep following you. It diversifies the type of content people see from you, making your Page more useful to your followers, and more favorable for the algorithm. That's why HomeJab introduced Property Pages to help real estate agents drive traffic to one convenient branded profile. Sharing this link on your Page gives your followers a way to share home listing information with their network—without the hassle, distractions, and tediously retracing steps. One of the best perks of having a Business Page on Facebook is the Insights tools, where you can get a clear picture of your social media performance. At the same time, you can keep an eye on the Facebook Business Pages of competitors to quickly compare your data with theirs. And it's not a bad idea to occasionally share the news updates and personable posts from your competitors. Doing this can actually boost your reach—the number of people who engage with your content. Plus, watching and learning from other successful Pages—especially ones that are successful in your niche—is a great way to inspire and re-shape what you do. It's an easy way to assess your audience's interest without completely straying from your social media strategy. More on sharing likable links: Multimedia content is key – A healthy mix of text posts, images, and interactive content is best for a better algorithm. That means sharing a blend of links to your home listings, albums of home walkthroughs, and video content will keep you cycling in more feeds. Experiment with the built-in features like Facebook Marketplace and Targeted Ads when your strategy allows. Video Engages Audiences – When you upload videos of home listings directly to Facebook, your engagement can skyrocket. Videos should be between 3-5 minutes for a favorable algorithm treatment. Remember that Facebook is all about effectively sharing information worth revisiting later. Managing a Facebook business page should enable your clients to keep you in the loop, and contact you as seamlessly as possible. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Instagram The Instagram user base is largely made up of younger adults aged 18-29, and older adults are significantly less active on this platform in general. It's considered more of a niche platform, but don't underestimate the value of it—millions of people are on Instagram at any given moment. What People Like to See on Instagram Importantly, the Instagram algorithm does not favor timeliness, so creating relationships is as important as creating content. The Instagram algorithm is determined by these factors: Interest – General topics, themes, and lifestyle trends that users follow. Recency – How often a user is on Instagram, relative to the accounts they follow. Relationship – This is measured by the number of comments, tags, and shares between accounts. Less frequent users will simply get a brief "greatest hits" feed with just a few posts that are relative to the factors above. Use Instagram to share your all-time favorite photos, and aim to foster an intimate audience connection. On this platform, you can share photography with minimal distractions. The interface is best suited for mobile devices, where graphics take up the majority of the screen. Here are some features to keep in mind when posting real estate listings to Instagram: Explore Feed: color welcomes viewers to your listings Carousels: More images, more fun Link in Bio: Inspire with your call-to-action 1. Explore Feed: Color Welcomes Viewers to Your Listings Each user on Instagram has an Explore feed. Find yours by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your home feed. This feature looks like a digital quilt of posts from other accounts you may be interested in following. Here, it's the sunny blue skies or hazy purple at twilight that will lure curious homebuyers to your posts. The professional photographers at HomeJab can take care of the color grading for you with a virtual dusk treatment that highlights the property, and maintains its real-life features. HomeJab has digital photo processing down to a science, so you'll receive a package of photos ready for posting. Consistently using professional photography in your real estate listings means you don't need to worry about getting the filter right. More ideas for showing up in the Explore feed: Follow and interact with accounts like yours, and the clients you want to attract. Pay attention to the hashtags folks in your niche are using, and cycle through them with your own posts. The Instagram algorithm favors posts that use hashtags relevant to the text in the post Celebrate Social Media Holidays – It's the best place to make vibrant, thematic posts celebrating social media holidays like #NationalHomeownersDay 2. Carousels: More Images, More Fun When you post multiple images—up to 10 at once—you can encourage users to thumb through them with the carousel feature. Seeing a home online is always going to be different than seeing it in person, but convincing people to take that step is vital! You can get creative with the strategy behind using a carousel to inspire action. One of the most difficult things to do on Instagram is to entice people to interact with you beyond the platform. Imagine seeing the first few images of a stunning virtual tour or an upcoming open house—swiping through a carousel of photos that show just the outside of a beautiful home could be what convinces someone to seek a full walkthrough. Here are more ways to play up the interactive elements of Carousels: When you make Carousel posts, re-share them in the app with Stories. This is another great way to link your followers directly from their home feed to your profile. If you have a wide-angle photograph that doesn't quite fit into one Instagram slide alone, split it up into multiple images for one carousel post. The easiest way to do this is by going into your photos and saving the original image to your phone three or four times. Make a Carousel to progressively show the wide angle photo. Oddly satisfying—right? Add minimal graphics that give details about the listing. The 'Just Listed' digital sticker here subtly adds to the impact of the photo. Canva is a free and simple graphic design tool. 3. Link in Bio: Inspire with Your Call-to-Action If you don't see the level of engagement that you want from Instagram, consider rewording your messages to ask for it. It can be tough to convince people to navigate away from Instagram because there aren't many ways to share direct links. That's why having a consistently updated and relevant link in your Instagram profile—your *link in bio*— message is so important. If you're ever worried about the ephemeral nature of social media, you're not alone. But that investment of time and resources doesn't have to be wasted just because a home listing goes off the market. From there, it becomes useful for your branding and portfolio as a real estate agent. That's why it's important to—as often as possible—plan and create 'evergreen' content in bulk. This kind of content is always going to be relevant to your audience's needs, and it's always going to be worth sharing as a part of your brand story. Good evergreen social media content can include photos from your successful sales, like the example used here. This is an effective way to throw in a personal anecdote, a quote, or experience that represents your philosophy on the industry. Here are more ways to make the most of your bio link: You can make the bio link more dynamic with other free services like Linktree. This is an effective way to link relevant new listings, news and market data, links to your contact information, and your other social media profiles. Or, skip the separate link service, and routinely update the link in your bio with a limited-time feature. Of course, this means planning out the details behind posting and removing a link when it's time, but it's one way of pressing the urgency of clicking the link to a limited-time offer, like an event page for an open house. These are just a few of the features on Instagram that naturally attract high-value homebuyers and sellers seeking representation. You can use Instagram to help others envision what a dream home looks like. Remember: Time + Consistency = Success How long will it take to be successful with Facebook and Instagram? Your success depends on the quality of posts on your platform, and how closely you tailor a strategy to use it. Use professional real estate photos consistently to build your following from the ground up, whether you're revamping an old business profile or starting from zero followers. You will always benefit from learning the ropes of real estate and communication in the online market. Choose a social media platform, and explore all of the built-in features to make your profile stronger. Over time, you'll enjoy the free or low-cost marketing opportunities social media brings. Contact HomeJab for Picture-Perfect Real Estate Listings At HomeJab, we know that one snapshot can completely change the first impression you make on clients. Social media is a free or low-cost tool you can use to exponentially grow your marketing audience. Hardly anything compares to the reach and convenience of a strong social media presence. Our team will set you up for success in representing buyers and sellers by raising the bar for professionalism in real estate. Contact HomeJab to learn more about what captivates serious homebuyers who are searching for that picture-perfect home. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Why Real Estate Photography Is Important In A Seller's Market
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How Virtual Staging Sells Homes
Have you ever played The Sims? This popular video game gives users the ability to virtually create a home filled with furnishings and accessories to their liking. With over 20 million users worldwide, it remains as popular today as when it first appeared in 2000. Wouldn't it be great if you could use this property tech idea to help sell more homes? Well, now you can with virtual staging. It starts with a little imagination to complement the floor plans, and some 3D software applications to highlight a portion or all the spaces within a home. Virtual staging is a great marketing tool that helps compel a home buyer to make the purchase. What is virtual staging? The digital creation of furniture, decor, and accessories within a home for use in virtual tours to be shared on a digital device. Why is this technology growing in popularity? Buyers want the ability to experience a home's full potential before making an appointment to view it and sellers want fewer interruptions in their daily lives. Virtual staging frees homeowners from the stress of physical staging and lessens the amount of time required to prepare the home during the listing and marketing process. As a real estate professional, you can use the virtual staging technology as a great tool to showcase a vacant home or unclutter a well lived-in one. No Moving or Renovations Required When selling a home, you may want the virtual tours to highlight a minimalistic design, but what if the current homeowners don't live this way? Instead of having to come up with a polite way to get the seller to move their things off the counters and put away excess possessions, you can start with a clean slate by using virtual staging. You can virtually remove items then add in just the right amount of furniture for your 3D tours to enhance the flow of the floor plans. You want the potential buyer to focus on the room dimensions and layout without getting lost in the confusion of too much stuff. Are there odd shaped areas in the house? Some spots can be difficult to place furniture in, but with virtual staging it is easy. Instead of trying to fill a space with a limited collection of real furniture, you can handpick virtual furniture to complement weird shaped areas within the floor plans. Show the buyer the best possible layout of your listing without rearranging existing chattels. If the home could use some updating, you can give the buyer an idea of what it could look like after a renovation. New paint, updated cabinets and multiple flooring options can all be virtually staged, allowing the buyer to form an emotional connection with the home. Cost Effective Traditional staging can be expensive, depending on how long the furniture is required to remain in a home. Every 24 hours that ticks by costs money that neither the current owner or you want to spend. Welcome virtual staging, where for a one-time fee you can achieve the look you want for your 360° tours and save money. According to Real Estate Magazine, virtual staging costs about $50 to $100 for each room in comparison to around $500 in the first month for physical staging. Options to virtually stage a property range from DIY software to hiring a third party specializing in the field. Professional real estate photographers offer this service along with photographs, virtual tours and square footage calculations. Virtual staging eliminates the need to move furniture back and forth from staging a home to purchase stage. Avoid worrying about spending extra money on hiring a mover to shuffle furniture in and out of the house and the possible damage to walls and fixtures in the process. Elimination of extra costs and hassle keeps your seller happy. Virtual staging enhances your 3D tours and helps the home come to life for potential buyers. Limitless Possibilities Staging a home is not new to the real estate industry, but virtual staging is a concept that is growing in popularity. Since the pandemic, consumers are more aware of the ability to visit a property without being physically present. As both buyer and seller embrace technology, virtual staging will become the new normal. Distance is no longer a deterrent when it comes to buying a home. Whether you live across the street or across the world, you can make informed decisions about the size, type and layout of a potential home all at the tip of your fingers. Virtual technology is opening doors and helping the consumer confidently buy their dream home before they see it up close and personal. According to an article in the New York Times, homebuyers are submitting offers on properties before ever setting foot in them. One reason for these early offers is because the buyers have the ability to virtually walk through and experience the home online. Accurate square footage calculations and immersive floor plans help the consumer understand the layout. Add in some virtual staging to simulate the buyer's preferences, and you have a great marketing tool. Make sure to keep your target market in mind so as not to overdo the staging with too much color or crazy furniture. Not everyone can afford the 72" HD TV or remodelled kitchen cabinets. Enhance the Space, Don't Disguise It There is no doubt about it—virtual staging can help get a home sold. Adding in some great looking furniture and changing the look of a property helps the consumer visualize living there. But don't let your listing be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Make sure you explain in detail what part of the property has been virtually staged. One buyer recently stated, "I felt deceived and the photos were misleading" after viewing an MLS listing online. The selling agent failed to completely explain that the house had been virtually staged and the potential buyer was disappointed when viewing the property in person. Be obvious when describing how each portion of the home has been staged. Clearly indicate "before" and "after" depictions of every virtually staged area. It is up to you as a real estate professional to inform the consumer and initiate the conversation about the potential of the property. Use extra resources to show the fit and flow of the floor plans by making sure to include accurate square footage, room dimensions—and for an added 3D user experience, get some advanced measurements like those offered with an iGUIDE. Virtual staging is not about tricking a buyer into viewing a house; it is about opening the door to possibilities that are often hidden behind a whole lot of sellers' treasures. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees, but with a cleverly staged home everyone can see from a different point of view. Virtual staging takes the pressure off the seller, but most consumers still want to physically visit a house. As a real estate agent, it is important that you inform your customers the home will look different in person. You don't have to know how to play The Sims video game to appreciate one of the best ways to stage a home—you just have to make sure your SIM card is working when the phone starts ringing with inquiries about your virtually staged listing!
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Staging the Exterior of Your Home for Real Estate Photography
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
A revolution is about to hit the real estate industry. We've reached an inflection point that will create a major change for property search websites. WAV Group expects that sites will feature 3D tours instead of still photos as the primary display in the next three to five years. 3D tours create digital scans of a property, and the best part is that you do not need to put on one of those goofy headsets to make you feel like you are walking around in the actual home. The experience provides a perspective that flipping through still photos will never provide, such as walking down a hallway. One of the greatest innovations in 3D tours is the combination of interior home scans with exterior drone footage. This gives the consumer the ability to walk out the door into the back yard (or front yard) and take a good look at the house and the neighborhood—or the ocean views, if you are l3D tours are made of 360° scans and create a virtual rey experience that is immeasurably better than still photos. Brokers and agents who get 3D tours on every property are going to jump out ahead of those that do not. Moreover, those that convert their websites to 3D tours first have a chance to beat the portals and regain market share from consumers. Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow Group, indicates that the 3D experience is going to be "the next big thing" in property marketing. But I feel they will struggle to take advantage of the trend. Zillow's problem is that they are not listing agents (at least not yet). Zillow tried to put out software for free to anyone to capture home scans on their phone, but the product is not anywhere close to the experience that you get from a Matterport, iGuide or Asteroom scan. If agents do not pay for these scans and send the content to Zillow Group, it will be difficult for them to take the lead as a portal. The best part of these 360° scans is the production of floor plans. Michael Vervena from iGuide says that the accuracy of these scans from equipment like the Ricoh Theta Z1 360° camera placed on the iGuide Planix base will capture room dimensions to an accuracy of 0.5% or greater. When you look at the research performed by the National Association of REALTORS®, consumers list photos as the No. 1 most important information along with property details and then floorplans at No. 3. Zillow research puts floor plans at the No. 2 most important information consumers seek. Another big advantage of 3D tours with floor plans is engagement. Consumers spend a lot more time on the site and are more likely to inquire about a listing. Moreover, lead quality goes way up. The home buyer starts with location, beds and baths. From there, the process is about taking properties off the list. It takes less time to tour a property using this new technology than it does to find your keys and hop in your car. Floor plans are also incredibly helpful at understanding if you will fit in with a specific house; people want to know if their furniture will fit. This is where virtual staging from BoxBrownie comes in handy. It also helps solve the other problem of showing the home seller's old-and-outdated furniture handed down from their step-grandmother. Some of the details that the industry has not worked out yet include cost of the tours, ownership of the data, and hosting fees. The cost of the tours has come down a significant amount. Compare the $3000 cost of a Matterport tour plus monthly hosting with iGuide's $299 tour tour and no hosting fee. In fact, iGuide even provides the agent with a downloadable version that can be played from their phone, computer, tablet or even sent via text. Asteroom is considered less expensive in comparison, but it is more of a DIY solution. Most of the tours today include the professional photographer, causing data ownership to be all over the board. For instance, Matterport and Asteroom claim ownership of the data. iGuide does not. As for the hosting fees – not a fan. I am sure that the vulture capitalists backing these startups want the recurring revenue from hosting, but it is really just an egregious tax on the Realtor. If MLSs want to do something great for their members, hosting these 3D scans is a future member benefit that would be adored by their customers. In addition to these 3D tours being pushed front and center on property search sites in the future, I believe that they will become the first engagement experience between an agent and a buyer. If you have not checked out Urban Immersive's experience of a home walkthrough or a Virtual Showing by iGuide, try it. The agent can literally meet the customer online and show the home, pointing out features and answering questions for the client's convenience. These are bold predictions; feel free to disagree. But if you want to take a moonshot in your business and grow market share through investing in developing a better experience for consumers, then this is definitely it. Here is a virtual showing sample from iGuide:
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How to Prep Your Listing for a Photo Shoot
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Friday Freebie: Up Your Listing's Appeal with a Twilight Photo Edit
If there's one thing listing agents don't need help with during this era of record low inventory, it's selling homes. But you know what never hurts to have a bit of extra assistance with? Making your listing more attractive to more buyers (and if a bidding war just happens to result, all the better for you and your client). In this week's Friday Freebie, we're going to highlight an offer that jazzes up the first thing buyers will likely see of your listing—the exterior listing photo. With this free photo edit, you'll draw in buyers and make them feel like they've found their dream home at last. Free Virtual Twilight Photo Edit, courtesy of HomeJab First things first: what is a twilight photo? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like—a photo of your listing's exterior at twilight. Twilight photos are effective because they make your listing look like a warm and inviting safe haven. By evoking those feelings of "home" in the potential buyer, you create an emotional attachment to the home in them—perhaps even to the extent that they'll do anything to own that home. Now you can try out the effectiveness of a twilight photo for yourself at no cost. HomeJab is offering RE Technology readers one free twilight photo edit. All you need to do is provide a high resolution version of your listing's exterior photo. Then HomeJab will edit and deliver the photo within 24 hours. That's it! Ready to get started? Get your FREE virtual twilight photo edit today!
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4 Reasons Why Waiting on Your Real Estate Photographer Is a Bad Idea
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How to Beat Zillow, Opendoor and Win More Listings
At HomeJab, we believe in impeccable real estate photography to optimize your listings and generate more qualified leads. When looking for a new home, buyers will seek out the highest quality visuals available to them. In this article, we'll show you how to beat Zillow, Opendoor, and other iBuyer models by controlling your exclusive content, speeding to the market, and setting up virtual open houses. Control Exclusive Content Rather than handing your IP to Silicon Valley on a platter, or entangling yourself in Zillow's 3D app or in Matterport — two platforms that won't let you access source files — you should opt for the exclusive control of your content. Listing videos, virtual tours and drone footage are surefire ways to engage viewers and generate more interest for your listings. And HomeJab's real estate photography services can help you achieve these goals! You can also showcase your listings with high quality, value-add neighborhood guides in both video and blog format. Use this opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective buyers and convey your unique personality and brand. What's more, web crawlers love to index sites that feature exclusive, quality content. In other words, owning and controlling your listing media will help you outrank Opendoor and Zillow for local keywords. With exclusive content under your control, who knows? You could even start a bidding war for your listing, something that the iBuyer model, for example, simply can't offer. Speed to the Market Speaking of the iBuyer model, although this can be an attractive option for buyers who are looking to close fast on their homes (averaging 2-3 days from the offer date), this model won't yield a higher sales price because of its AVM (automated valuation model) algorithm. To beat the iBuyer model, you must act swiftly once you have an exclusive agreement to sell from a new client. If you can list the home right away and generate offers within days, the appeal of the iBuyer gets severely diminished. One of the next few steps will be to get your real estate photography game on, and HomeJab's arsenal of top real estate photographers can deliver on-demand high-quality photos, videos, and aerial shots to optimize your listing within 24 hours. Virtual Open Houses Another way to beat Zillow, Opendoor, and win more listings is to offer the buyer a glimpse of their dream home before inviting them for a tour. With virtual access to homes and floor plans on the rise, you'll want to remain ahead of the competition by optimizing your listings to include these, and ensure that your real estate photography efforts are second to none. This will also show off your real estate chops by positioning yourself as a formidable player in the field. HomeJab's 3D virtual tours will capture your customer's imagination and engage their interest by offering an effective, affordable, and high-quality virtual experience. Virtual tours can also cut down on foot traffic through the home, sparing the homeowner from "window shoppers," and procuring more qualified traffic through the front door. Furthermore, keeping open houses virtual will lead to more competition among buyers and drive up prices with minimal aggravation for the seller. In today's growing remote environment, video conferencing technology also allows for shared and streamlined virtual tour viewings. Finally, exquisite real estate photography is a must-have in all three areas above. At HomeJab, we'll make sure that you put your best foot forward when it comes to optimizing your real estate listings and elevating your game to brand new heights. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How Drones Can Help Drive Interest in Today's Real Estate World
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[Best of 2020] 6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
There are just 10 publishing days left in 2020, and we're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in May and is #10 in our countdown. Stay tuned tomorrow for #9! With social distancing the norm, open houses and in-person walkthroughs are on pause, leaving many agents wondering how they can replicate the feeling of live showings to prospective buyers. While we recommend using Homesnap Stories to create a sequence of visuals like videos, photos, text, stickers and emojis to showcase your personality and emulate the walkthrough experience for prospects, photos are still very much a necessary and indispensable component of listings.
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Friday Freebie: Dress Up Your Listings with this Virtual Staging Offer
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Five Fall Photo Faux Pas
Most people won't hop in a car and drive out to see a listing until they've already examined it online and determined they like it. That's why it's important to take plenty of great photos of your listing. The quality and quantity of your images can have a big impact on how desirable buyers find your listing. Equally important is the content of your photos. Make sure you make a great first impression to attract more showings by taking care of these fall staging essentials before you send out your photographer.
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How to Take Professional Photos on Your iPhone or Android Phone
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How to Create a Virtual House Tour
It's every real estate agent's dream--a property with a breathtaking view that absolutely blows the socks off your potential buyers. But what happens when you're creating a 360° virtual tour and all the spectacular window detail is blown out and not clear in the photos? In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a virtual tour without losing the window detail so you can showcase the property in the most accurate light possible. How to Set Up Your 360° Camera For this tutorial, we will be using the Ricoh Z1 and we will be taking bracketed shots to ensure we can capture the breathtaking outlook without losing both the internal and external focus. By using the bracketing technique, we will be capturing many different exposures which we can then blend together using our 360° Image Enhancement service. If you'd like to learn more about what bracketed images are, you can check out our previous blog here. In this case, we will be programming each bracket manually, and below is a list of the settings we will be using. Pair your 360° Ricoh Z1 camera with the Theta app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Select the "cog" icon in the top right-hand corner Set the Shooting Method to "Multi Bracket" Set the Self-timer to "10sec" Set the File Format to "JPEG" Next, your image size should be set to "670x3360°" (or the highest number possible on your device). Please note, this can't be changed in multi-bracket mode. Once you have adjusted these settings, simply select "Done" in the top right-hand corner Then, click the "+" button to set your first bracket Set the Aperture to 5.6, Shutter Speed to 1/3200, ISO to 100 and WB to 5600K, then simply select "Done" You can then repeat steps 8 and 9 so you finish with seven brackets at the following shutter speeds Shutter Speeds: 1/3200 1/1250 1/640 1/320 1/160 1/50 1/13 Now each time you take a photo, it will shoot seven photos automatically at the different exposures that you have programmed here. It's important to note when taking your brackets, some of the images will likely be completely over-exposed. This is normal, and the reason for this is we have tried here to create a setting that will capture enough brackets when shooting in almost any environment. This includes a really bright sunny day right through to a dark basement. Unfortunately, the Ricoh Z1 doesn't use a light meter when bracketing, so it's up to us to try and guess the exposures that will allow us to capture the property in full detail. Shooting Brackets with Your 360° Camera Now that your camera is all set up and configured, it will automatically capture seven shots each time. Once you are ready to begin shooting, you simply need to select the shutter next to the camera and hide so you are not captured in the shot. The Wi-Fi range on the app may not be fantastic, so try to find a hiding spot not too far away from the camera itself when taking the shots. As the camera captures the images, be sure to check the results via the app on your phone to ensure all the spectacular detail outside the window is being captured. Don't panic if it takes you a few tries to get the exact settings required to shoot a property on your 360° camera. This is completely normal, and once you have the configuration correct, it's easy and fast. If possible, try and shoot the home at midday, which will ensure the sun is overhead rather than shining directly into the camera. This is even more important when capturing outdoor areas to limit solar flares on the camera lens. As with most real estate photography, always have the blinds open, turn all the internal lights on, keep the camera as close to eye level as possible, and ensure the home has been prepared properly prior to starting the shoot. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property for the shoot, you can download our free Pre-Photography Checklist. It's always best to remove any unnecessary items from the room, but if this isn't possible, we offer Item Removal and Virtual Staging for 360° images. Conclusion Capturing professional 360° images doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming. By using these bracketing techniques, you can ensure your virtual tours stand out from the crowd and showcase the property in the best light every single time. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based. What better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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How to Sell a Property in 7 Days
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How to Shoot Real Estate with Only an iPhone 11
It's no secret that as real estate agents or property managers, we are always trying to get ahead of the pack. Elevating your marketing above the rest could be the difference between securing your next sale or missing out to your competitor down the street. In this blog, we are going to prove you really can shoot real estate using just the iPhone 11. This latest release from Apple features an awesome wide-angle lens that is simply insane and, when paired with the CameraPixels PRO app and HDR Image Enhancement, it can really help set your property marketing apart from the rest. What Is Bracketing? Bracketing is used by photographers to take multiple shots of the same image at different exposures which can then be combined into the finished product. This process produces an HDR image or a High Dynamic Range image that can highlight important details of the property you're shooting, particularly homes with a fantastic outlook or view that you want to capture. Typically, the photographer will shoot approximately seven images at different exposures which can then be uploaded to BoxBrownie.com using the Image Enhancement edit. Our team of expert editors will then combine these shots into one image to create a fantastic, professionally finished product. You can find out more about how HDR bracketing works in this previous blog. How to Bracket on the iPhone To set up bracketing on your iPhone, you will need to download an app from the App Store called CameraPixels PRO. There is a free version of the app. However, the functionality is limited and we recommend you download CameraPixels PRO version (approximately $7) and enter the below settings: 1. Open up the CameraPixels PRO app Click on ISO and set to 20 (this is an important step) Click on Mode Click on Bracketing Click on Set 2. Under 'Image' Resolution: 12.2MP x 4032 x 3024 Crop: 4:3 Quality: 100% Stabilization: On 3. Under 'Bracket' Type: Exposure Image Count: 7 Images EV Step: 1.0 F-Stop Flash: Off 4. Under 'Intervalometer' Timer: 1 Sec Image Count: Single Lapse: 1 Sec Click Save As Preset Give the Preset a name Once these settings have been programmed, it's just a matter of preparing and shooting the property as you normally would. For some handy tips on preparing the home for photography, check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Each time you take a photo using the CameraPixels PRO app, the phone will automatically take seven shots. The most important tip is to make sure you always use a tripod when taking bracketed images as all the exposure images must align perfectly to produce a professional result. Comparing the Finished Results The examples below highlight the before and after results from shooting bracketed images using the iPhone 11 via the CameraPixels PRO app, and then uploading those images to our Image Enhancement edit. Kitchen Before and After This is a spectacular property and it has been beautifully prepared. However, the before image of the kitchen still appears quite dull and lifeless. This is in stark contrast to the bracketed and enhanced finished shot which truly showcase just how special this home is and is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers. Outdoor Living Area Before and After This is a great example of how impressive the wide-angle lens feature is on the iPhone 11. The amount of detail we are able to capture in frame is simply remarkable for a smartphone. When edited using our Image Enhancement edit, you really can produce a magazine-quality result. Bedroom Before and After As you can see with the final bedroom image, the detail is very clear and crisp not only internally but also with the view outside. This is a great way to highlight the flow of the home and draw the viewer's attention to the amazing outlook. Conclusion There's no doubt about it: with a few simple tips, you really can produce a professional result using the iPhone 11 with the wide-angle lens feature for your real estate photography. As we have shown, by using the CameraPixels PRO app and our HDR Image Enhancement, you can elevate your property marketing head-and-shoulders above the competition. If you'd like to give our Image Enhancement edit a try for yourself, click here or sign up for FREE at BoxBrownie.com today. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Instagram 101: How to Successfully Build Your Business in 20 Minutes a Week
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Staging + 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits
Listing a looking little lackluster? Whether your latest listing is vacant or the outdated decor of the current owner isn't exactly drawing in the buyers, there's a quick and simple solution. Even better? It's wallet friendly. Find out more in this week's Friday Freebie. Free Virtual Staging Edit and 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits, courtesy of BoxBrownie.com Your listing photos are the first things buyers see—and the first thing that draws them in. If your photos leave something to be desired, it can result in everything from lower offers to higher days on market, and even to a listing that doesn't sell at all. But sometimes it's not the photography that's the problem—it's the subject of those photos. That's where virtual staging comes in. Like real-world staging, virtual staging adds appeal to a home by adding attractive furnishings and decor. And because it's all accomplished digitally, virtual staging is substantially more affordable than traditional staging. Now RE Technology readers can try virtual staging for themselves—at no cost. For a limited time, BoxBrownie.com is offering our readers a free virtual staging edit, plus four bonus photo edits. Here are just a few ways virtual staging and photo edits can benefit your listings: Affordably stage both vacant and occupied listings Help buyers envision different uses for a room—e.g., digitally transform a bedroom into a home office Reduce clutter caused by the current occupant's belongings Remove seasonal items like Christmas or Halloween decorations Optimize your listing photos for color, composition, and more Transform daylight shots into warm, attractive twilight shots And more! Ready to get started? Claim your FREE virtual staging edit and bonus photo edits now!
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
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How to Run Instagram Ads for Your Real Estate Business
Promoting your real estate business on social media is a solid part of online marketing campaigns. The abundance of platforms, however, creates a paradox of choice for real estate professionals. They often have to spend a lot of money advertising on various social media until they can find the most efficient one. Despite the fact that, ultimately, there are no perfect options, Facebook and Instagram are viable choices since they have a huge amount of ad features and a great audience. In this guide, we will take a look at how we can run Instagram ads for real estate. But first, let's talk about why we should post ads on Instagram.
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Let Listing Pictures and Video Do the Talking on Instagram
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Are Your Real Estate Photos Enticing Buyers?
You're well aware high-quality listing photographs are a key component to your success as a real estate agent. But here's a few stats, courtesy of RISMedia, that help quantify just how vital they are: Homes with high-quality photography sell 32 percent faster. Homes with more photos sell faster. A home with one photo spends an average of 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market. For homes in the $200,000 to $1 million range, those that include high-quality photography in their listings sell for $3,000-$11,000 more. High-quality photographs have a great sway in determining whether or not a property transacts. So, if you're looking to move a current property, or if you want to take advantage of all-time cheap social media advertisements to generate interest in your coming soon listings, now's the time to seriously consider the quality of your images.
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When Should You Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Marketing?
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How to Conquer Instagram for Virtual Selling for Real Estate
While many of us are aware that Instagram is a rapidly growing social media platform, many real estate professionals have not figured out the best ways to make an investment in Instagram be a profitable venture. Michael Tomasetti and Michael Glazer from Back At You Media delivered a fascinating Coffee Chat, breaking down the mysteries of Instagram into plain English. They showed us how Instagram can help build your brand AND become a way to capture leads, especially among younger homebuyers. Here are their three suggestions for winning on Instagram: 1. Set up an Instagram BUSINESS account If you have a personal Instagram account and would like to get more serious about using Instagram as a lead gen source, convert your account to a business account. Here's a guide from Instagram on how to set up a business account. With a business account, you will receive analytics and better ways to target your local audience. 2. Use video Videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and 2.1x the amount of comments on Instagram. There are ways for you to post a one-minute video, and using IGTV, you can post a FULL 3D virtual tour as well. 3. Use hashtags Instagram posts with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes and 392% more comments than those without hashtags (source: Augorapulse). Although you can post up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, data shows that seven hashtags generate the most engagement, while more than nine are perceived as spam. The best types of hashtags are localized, but not TOO specific. Here's a good example: #RealEstateMilwaukee. 4. What content should I post on Instagram? Teasers to new listings and posts Behind-the-scenes! Q&A Prompts Invitations to virtual tours Design and home maintenance tips Watch the entire recording below to get a 101 course on the best ways to use Instagram: More Resources If you would like to learn more about how Back At You can help you win on Instagram and other social media channels, click here. Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Thursday, May 21 Earn a Client for Life by Taking Credit for the Listing Exposure and Leads You Are Generating with Trent Gardner of ListTrac Friday, May 22 Learn How to Capitalize on the Pent-Up Demand with Jack Markham of Zurple If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and he will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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How Many Hashtags to Use and 6 Other Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents
Social media isn't just for high-schoolers, celebrities, or big businesses. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all free, easy-to-use tools that, when managed correctly, can be a powerful way to build your brand and create a reliable source of new rental leads. Social media is especially important for the "digital natives" — all the Millennials entering the housing market — but 69% of all US adults have a social media account. A lot of agents probably are already using social media, so we all probably recognize its potential, but don't know what to post, when to post, and what tools are at their disposal. Don't worry. Rental Beast is here to help. We've developed a guide to Instagram tips for real estate agents.
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How to Use Your New Smartphone Camera Like a Pro
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Real Estate Marketing Health Check (Episode 1)
Ever wondered how you can improve your online marketing through your images? Sometimes it's hard to know exactly where our marketing ranks when we are so close to it and are very familiar with the properties we are showcasing. Often it can take an outsider's expert opinion to highlight some simple yet potentially incredibly important areas that can be improved. For this very reason, we have launched the free Real Estate Marketing Health Check. This is where we will perform an unbiased review of your existing property marketing and let you know what could be done to improve your images. Today, we've been sent a listing in New York found on Zillow to analyze, so let's take a look.
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How to Improve Your Real Estate Photography
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Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
As a real estate agent, you are always on your phone. Answering calls, replying to emails and then all of your other time gets occupied by social media. If you have Instagram already, we have compiled a list of a few top real estate accounts to follow today. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivational quotes, interesting photography, or humor, these real estate accounts are key to starting you off on the right foot for the day:
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Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos
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3D Walk-throughs Aren't Just for Listings: Capture These 6 Local Spaces to Boost Engagement and Business Opportunity
As a real estate professional, a meaningful connection to your community is vital to the success of your business. But we know you've heard the same advice on the subject over and over--host events, be a source of community information, volunteer, etc. Today, however, we're going to introduce you to a high-tech way to connect to your local market--and, bonus, it's sure to dazzle and engage consumers in your area. That strategy? Capturing community spaces in 3D walk-throughs. Not only does this help relocating buyers become more familiar (not to mention creating sight-unseen opportunities) with your community, but it also adds confidence and comfort to the home search through knowledge of local establishments, helping real estate consumers decide which neighborhood suits them best. "Increasingly, especially when we're talking about suburban redevelopment, you're not only choosing the house, you're choosing the neighborhood and the places that are part of that neighborhood," says Charles Nitschke, Chief Integration Officer, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group. Nitschke is part of a growing group of savvy real estate professionals around the country who are tapping into the power of Matterport's technology to capture three-dimensional models, or "digital twins," of various community establishments and businesses in their market areas. Here are examples of six local spaces you can capture in your community to boost consumer engagement, lead generation and awareness of your real estate brand. Schools So you've got school ratings, school district zoning, and other information on your real estate website. That's a great start, but you can take things to a whole other level by including 3D walk throughs of those schools where people can virtually experience and learn about the facility for themselves. Nitschke finds that this is especially useful for markets with colleges or universities. "[Institutions] are tremendously interested in being able to show off their space to attract students, to be able to walk the parents and students through the facility, to get comfortable with it before they start travelling to narrow down their final school selection." After scanning their first school, Nitschke's brokerage, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group, approached another. Next summer, they will scan Idaho College's athletic department and then scale out into dorms, classrooms, and eventually the whole college. The 3D scan will be available on the college's website and on their brokerage's site, said Nitschke. "It's a big part of becoming that digital mayor, becoming that tour guide for the community." Local art galleries Lisa Larkin is the designated broker for RE/MAX Select in Tucson, Ariz., and she has long understood the power of co-branding with influential local figures. For years, her team has worked with Diana Madaras, a high-profile local artist, to host client appreciation events at her gallery, license her art on their marketing materials, and more. When Larkin and her team discovered Matterport, they offered to scan a new gallery space she had just purchased so that she could put it on her website. It's now featured prominently on her site's front page. They put the scan on their website too, under a relocation tab where people new to Tucson could see different places and businesses around town. The result is mutually beneficial: real estate consumers learn of an important local artist, and art consumers learn about a local real estate company that's differentiating themselves through the use of innovative technology. Event and recreational spaces Microbreweries are a big trend across the country, and they tend to attract a savvy, upwardly mobile clientele—an ideal real estate customer. A new agent at Sotheby's Tomlinson Group captured a local brewery as a way to break into the market and to introduce himself to the owner of the brewery. That introduction led him to listing the owner's house when the owner decided it was time to downsize. Theaters, concert venues, gyms, and other similar spaces are also excellent candidates for 3D reality capture. These popular locations service what equates to a large audience every year, many of whom will visit their website where your Matterport scan is located. That means this untapped audience will have the chance to see your 3D digital twin on a consistent basis and the opportunity to learn about your real estate business. Places of worship Sotheby's Tomlinson Group parlayed their digital twins of local schools into an opportunity to scan a 60,000 sq. ft. mega church and its 60,000 sq. ft. athletic facility. Along with building awareness for their brand, the scan is also connecting their community to church-facilitated services that they may not have otherwise known existed, such as substance abuse and domestic violence programs. "If you were to walk into this large church, try to figure out where to go to find those services, to familiarize yourself with what's available, or even to get the process started, it would be an intimidating process to go down that road," says Nitschke. The digital twins of the church helps community members understand what's offered, where to go within the church, and how to reach out. The church is even leveraging Matterport "Mattertags," to embed digital media (in this case video) into their digital twins. Every week, they add their sermons in a Mattertag for people who missed the service or want to listen again. Your office While creating 3D digital twins of local spaces is a great form of passive marketing, let's not forget one very important space you should also capture—your office. "It's fantastic to send out to clients so that they know where they're going to be going, where they're going to be meeting and take some of the apprehension out of that process," says Nitschke. Unlike your office, the digital twin is available 24/7, and it can help current and potential clients feel more comfortable with your business. Sotheby's Tomlinson Group has also scanned their title company and has future plans to scan their mortgage vendor's office, too. "When the consumer is getting ready to go to closing day, they're able to navigate the building where the title company is so they know where to go from the parking garage to the title company, what the reception desk looks like, what the conference room that they're going to be signing in looks like. It just takes a lot of that stress out of an already stressful situation by being able to walk them through," says Nitschke. How Can I Get Started? We've talked about capturing some very big, important spaces in your community. If that seems intimidating, it isn't. Starting with local businesses you're already familiar with will streamline the partnering process, but creating the digital twin itself is really quite simple. It's a natural step in building relationships for an industry that relies on that ability. "I'm finding the more that we get involved in these community spaces that are incredibly important to how and why and where people choose to live, the relationships start to build on one another," says Nitschke. "Shooting this facility ends up leading to an introduction to somebody to shoot another facility, and so we're kind of growing very naturally through collecting these spaces." Once you've captured your first community space, be sure to put it on your website and promote it wherever you can. Lisa Larkin's brokerage, RE/MAX Select, has even created a website dedicated solely to 3D tours of local spaces, as well as a Facebook page for that website. An easily accessible collection of 3D digital twins of community spaces also helps real estate consumers get a better sense of what a neighborhood's all about—far better than traditional real estate tools and MLS data can. Traditional tools offer "no depth to what a community is all about, and this allows us to give them a much better idea of what the difference is between some of these neighborhoods," says Nitschke. For more in-depth information about capturing community spaces, including marketing strategies, check out our recent webinar here. And try Matterport yourself with your free Matterport account to get started with 3D differentiation.
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10 Ways Virtual Staging Can Make You More Money
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Tips to Present Your Listing in Its Best Light
At BoxBrownie.com, we (unfortunately) see hundreds of photoshoots where homes have been presented poorly and agents are missing the chance to showcase the property in its best light. Having magazine-ready imagery is crucial in marketing the home effectively and gives you the greatest chance to receive the best price. In this post, we analyze 10 images from a recently listed home, and our co-founder, Brad Filliponi, outlines key areas to help present the property to get the best result.
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Instagram's Latest Change: What It Means for Your Business
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Cameras and Scanners
We all remember cameras from our past: the film, where we dropped the film off to get our pictures, the pictures which we ended up throwing away, and of course the negatives we saved just in case. Around 2000, many of us started using a digital camera. We were so proud to buy a 2.1-megapixel camera for hundreds of dollars! Doing my research for this article, I stumbled across a news article published July 26th, 2001 which said that merging a PDA (personal digital assistant) and a camera was like chocolate and oranges. The article continues with why not have a can opener or a tear gas attachment for your PDA? I guess the author of that article was skeptical about what would become a revolution in the world of photography.
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Repurposing Your Listing Photos: 3 Timeless Shots that Live on Beyond the Sale
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[Best of 2019] Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in September and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. One of the biggest agent concerns is finding ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace of other agents. Why, then, do so many agents copy other agents? From websites to scripts, originality is sabotaged at every turn. And this is most apparent when it comes to an agent's photo. Nine photos out of 10 are absolutely identical. The hands are either on the hips or arms are crossed. Is it any wonder that consumers have the notion that all real estate agents are alike? Step away from the pack during your next photo shoot. Here are some ideas from the pros.
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Is Your Headshot Killing Your Business?
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How to Grow Your Business with Leads from Instagram
Real estate is more visually driven than ever before and to be a successful real estate agent, these days you need to know how to utilize all the tools. That is exactly what Marki Lemons-Ryhal explained when she shared her tips and best practices to help your Instagram business boom during her recent appearance on the Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Increase Your Presence and Leads Quickly with Instagram and IGTV. Lemons-Ryhal is listed in the top 10 percent of REALTORS in the Chicago area and has earned the REALTOR Achievement Award and The President's Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS. She shares her expertise by speaking at conventions and other classes to teach agents to use social media to benefit their business.
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Enhancing Photos and Virtual Staging: Know the Rules
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How Much Do Bad Real Estate Photos Cost You?
Before the average buyer even considers visiting your property, they will look at your photos. With so much competition in the real estate market, you cannot afford what you lose when you just take a few pictures with your iPhone. The gap in photo quality between the average smartphone and a professional photographer's equipment is substantial. But you also miss out on the great additional services a professional real estate photographer offers. (A couple of great examples are twilight and aerial photography, which capture your property at the perfect time of day and the most ideal angle.) Below, you'll find what bad or even average real estate photos cost you with every listing.
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13 Spooky Listing Photos that Will Terrify Prospects
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based, and what better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like the other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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14 Easy Real Estate Photography Tips
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The Ethical Use of Photoshop in Real Estate Marketing
Marketing or Misleading? The home buying process now starts online, which makes it critical to present your listing in the most appealing way possible. From creative word play in your property description to engaging imagery in your online tour, the intent should be to attract attention to the home, never to misguide offers. But digital manipulation is ubiquitous in online marketing, and recent advances in photo editing technology have created challenges in defining what is presenting a property in a positive light—and what is outright misleading.
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Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
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Analyzing the Good and Bad of a Property Photo Shoot
Today, we're analyzing a recently completed photoshoot of a property and will highlight what could be improved and what already looks great in the images. The goal of this blog is to give some tips and suggest things to look out for when shooting your next listing.
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Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You Money
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Instagram
Out of all social media, Instagram users are the most likely to "take action" on posts. Because of this, Instagram has become a very welcoming place for businesses. Engagement is encouraged in a much stronger way than on other social media platforms, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to advertising on Instagram. Take a look at these ten ways to Increase your real estate leads on Instagram and take your profile to the next level.
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6 Head Shots to Stop Taking
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Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
Professional photographers make a bunch of tweaks to your photos behind the scenes that have a huge impact. Here is a guide to talking the photography talk even if you can't walk the walk. Use the guide to communicate changes you may need or to criticize your colleague's inferior photos--up to you!
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
June is Entrepreneurs' DIY Marketing Month--and who's more DIY when it comes to marketing than real estate agents? We'd be remiss if we let the month pass without acknowledging all the hard work you do to market your brand and your listings. After all, to keep up with today's marketing trends, you need to employ a host of multimedia skills--from graphic design to video creation to photography and beyond. To keep your knowledge fresh and your skills up-to-date, we've compiled this guide of 23 resources to help grow your mastery of multimedia marketing.
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Most Real Estate Agents Aren't Using the Right Photo File Type
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How to Shoot a House for Under $16
Real estate photography can quickly become expensive, which is less than ideal. However, creating high quality professional images can be achieved at a fraction of the cost. To demonstrate this, BoxBrownie's real estate photography guru and co-founder Brad Filliponi is going to shoot a property with a smartphone. You will learn the key tips on the most important areas in the home so your listing will stand out.
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How to Attract Real Estate Leads on Instagram
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Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips
Want your listing to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible? Make sure you listing photos are as good as they can be. In this article, BoxBrownie founder Brad Fillponi shares his expert tips and tricks to nail those all-important shots. By following these simple steps, you can ensure you are showcasing everything your listing has to offer in your photos.
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How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on Instagram
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4 Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Business with Instagram
No matter what platforms you prefer for marketing your real estate business, there's no doubt that visual marketing is a massive key to attracting qualified real estate leads. That's just one reason why Instagram, one of the most popular social platforms in the world, is also among the best places online to promote your real estate business. Having a plan based on proven practices is crucial to Instagram success, and we're here to help you get started with four tips for growing your real estate business with Instagram.
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57 Hilariously Terrible Real Estate Photos
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Top 5 Beginner Camera Tips for Real Estate Photography
Starting off in real estate photography? Not sure where to begin? We're here to help! This article will explore five practical tips for anyone starting off in real estate photography that will help speed up your workflow and improve image quality.
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Building Your Brand on Instagram? These Tips Can Help!
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
Whether you're a new agent or a seasoned pro, chances are you're always looking for that competitive edge over other local agents to score the hottest new listings in your area. From your (perfectly on-brand) listing presentation to your rock-solid knowledge of the latest neighbourhood sales, you've got the tools you need to nail the appointment. While those factors can certainly help sway a seller's decision and win you the handshake, one thing is certain: in today's market, sellers have a LOT of questions.
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[Best of 2018] The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
Have you noticed the following cube icon popping up everywhere lately? It started appearing on Realtor.com in 2017, and just this autumn, you may have noticed it on Homesnap, a property search app that's free to 900,000 Realtors nationwide through their MLS. It's the Matterport icon, and its appearance on a listing indicates that a 3D property tour is available. While 3D property tours are what Matterport is best known for, did you realize that this tool also offers a wealth of visual assets that you can use in your marketing? Here's a rundown of all that Matterport offers. 1. High-resolution Listing Photos Photographs are typically the very first thing most people see of your listing—and what draws them in or drives them away. If your listing photos are of poor quality, you risk turning off potential buyers. When your listing is scanned for a 3D property tour, Matterport also captures hundreds of high quality photographs. If you balked at "hundreds," don't worry. Matterport employs machine learning to automatically select the best photos for your listing in Matterport Instant Galleries. That means agents don't have to spend time collecting and curating photos—you have an MLS-ready gallery of photos once your 3D tour has been created. "[Instant Galleries] are great. We are using these for all our inside images," says Beth Riggs of Amanda Howard Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty. 2. Teaser Videos Want to cut through the noise of social media and capture the attention of local consumers? Try teaser videos or animated GIFs. Movement within GIFs and video stands out and draws the eye. Real estate professionals get automatic videos and GIFs with their Matterport 3D tours. You can share them on social media and in emails to drive greater interest in your listings. They're effective, too—a Matterport customer survey shows that 76 percent of respondents say they attract more home buyers on social media with Matterport 3D. 3. Virtual Reality Looking for a fresh way to 'wow' buyers? Let them tour listings via virtual reality. Not only does this position you as tech-savvy agent, it also potentially cuts down on in-person listing tours. Consumers who view listings via virtual reality are better able to narrow down which homes they'd like to see in person, saving agents time. Matterport 3D tours are automatically converted into virtual reality, and can be viewed via Google Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus, or Gear VR headsets. Keep headsets in your office to use with clients when selecting which properties to tour. Want to impress sellers? Take a VR headset to a listing presentation and show sellers a sample listing, mentioning that you'll do this for their home, as well. "Consumers get more discerning about their choices and sellers want to present their properties in the best light possible," says a representative from Greg Lynn Sotheby's. "Open houses are only a couple of hours a week, but when you have Matterport virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." 4. Floor Plans Differentiate yourself from other agents by including floor plans in your marketing. This helps consumers better understand the layout of a home, and how their own furniture and belongings may fit. Matterport generates floor plans two business days after your 3D tour is created, using dimensional data captured during the scan. All you have to do is press 'Order' on the Matterport platform, and floor plans are automatically prepared for you. Live Examples of Matterport Marketing Assets Want to see what the visual collateral mentioned above looks like? Check out these two examples of homes that were captured with a Matterport camera, and the automated content that was created: http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1178carollane/?mls http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1234californiaway/?mls Visit Matterport.com to learn more.    
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Whether it's the memories a family made in their old home or a buyer's dreams for their new one, agents use stories to build emotional connections. Instagram has a similar business approach. Originally a platform for posting pictures of lattes and fancy food, Instagram has evolved into a social media giant where people can create and share their own "stories."
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What's the first thing buyers see — or the first thing they're looking for — when they find a listing? Those crucial property photos. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that potential buyers spend just 20 seconds looking at the first photo before they decide to keep looking or go somewhere else. And though it's tempting to play the part of both agent and photographer, reports show that — on average — homes with professional photos sell faster, too. So we're diving into the case for why professional photos matter — and how to make them happen.
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Ah, the dreaded headshot photo. Some love it, most hate it. Many real estate agents take one when they first become agents and use it for the rest of their careers. If your photo is outdated enough, it'll make it so that when you meet with your clients, they're greeted by someone who looks nothing like the person they envisioned from the picture on the website.
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