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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
Where would your dream home be? Would it be a rustic farm hidden in the woods or maybe a luxury condo in Manhattan? Would the interior be more traditional, have shiplap walls, or the latest modern trend? Yes, we love great real estate photos that really capture the perfect house. This post, though, is a tribute to the other kind that we've all seen.
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Top 5 Beginner Camera Tips for Real Estate Photography
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Building Your Brand on Instagram? These Tips Can Help!
Real estate statistics consistently show that buyers do their search online. Some put it at 84 percent of Baby Boomers and 94 percent of Millennials using various websites as their primary search for real estate. With these numbers, it's no wonder so many businesses turn to social media apps to build their brand. One popular app to build your brand online is Instagram. If you're unfamiliar with Instagram, it is a social media app that is entirely based around photography. It allows you to share pictures and short videos with people that follow you. The percent of adults using Instagram has grown from 28 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2018. Twenty-one percent of Baby Boomers and 34 percent of US millennials use Instagram, and overall, Instagrammers are the social networkers most likely to follow brands. With these statistics in mind, we put together the basics to help you enhance your Instagram game and close your listings faster.
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
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[Best of 2018] The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #2 in our countdown. See #3 here. When it comes to choosing listing photos, more is typically better. Consumers want a thorough understanding of what a home looks like before they reach out for more information. But if you can't upload a ton of photos, due to time or budget restraints, what is the bare minimum number of photos you should add to your listing on the MLS?
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
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How to Take Real Estate Pics Like the Pros
Excuse the cliché analogy, but photography really is the jelly to your content's peanut butter. Without it, your online presence would be dry and subpar at best. With real estate being as dependent on visuals as it is, you're practically expected to be a professional photographer (or at least be exceptional at pretending to be one) in order to produce the quality images that clients have come to expect.
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How to Use Instagram Stories Ads for Real Estate
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Safe Selling: How Your Headshot Can Deter Predators
We know that predators often find their next victim by browsing Realtor photos online. What are they looking for in those photographs--and what draws them to one agent over another? Like many things in life, it's all about power. Predators seek power over others, but are deterred by those who project power. Being cowards themselves, predators instead look for individuals who seem weak or subservient. So how can you convey power in your Realtor headshot? Watch this week's "Safe Selling" video to find out: The body language and expressions that intimidate predators The posture and facial expressions that attract predators The two types of agent headshots: professional vs. intimate Why professional photos actually earn you more business For a deeper dive into this topic, see Reducing the Risk of Being Targeted. For social media safety advice, see Setting Expectations in Your Marketing. Tune in next week for more safe selling tips!  
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The Case for Professional Listing Photos
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
Photos are often the first thing a potential buyer sees, and they leave a big first impression — buyers spend just seconds looking at that first photo before deciding whether they're interested. Houses are huge investments, so even if a home looks stunning in person, a bad photo can sour buyers on it instantly. Many real estate agents hire professional photographers and consider the cost to be an investment in their own marketing (and time-saving) that'll pay off in the long-run. Though we encourage agents to bring in outside expertise, we also understand that it's an investment not everyone can make. So if you're playing the part of photographer and agent, check out these tips and apps that you can use to show your listing in the best possible light (there's really an app that can help you find the best light!):
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Realtor Headshot Photo: Why They Matter and How to Get Your Best One Yet
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No Image, No Active Listing... PERIOD!
In this day and age, it is ridiculous to be on a property site and see active listings with no images included. If we want to give sellers the marketing exposure their property deserves--and buyers the shopping experience they require--then it's time to get us past this problem once and for all! I received a property alert today for properties that matched my search criteria for $800,000 homes. Three of the six properties sent to me had NO photos!
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How to Update Your Photo without Losing Your Look
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Better Real Estate Photographs
Listing photos are arguably the most important component of marketing a home for sale. Not only are photos the first thing a potential buyer will see when searching listings online, they also take a starring role in listing flyers, postcards, and other marketing assets. Are your photos showing your listings in their best light? If your real estate photography skills could use a polish, then check out this week's Friday Freebie! Today, we're highlighting a free guide that offers specific tips on everything from the best angles to shoot each room to critical composition and editing techniques. Read on to learn more! Free Download: How to get 2D photos from a 3D camera This week's Friday Freebie comes to us courtesy of Matterport, the leader in cutting-edge 3D property tours. While you likely know about the company's three-dimensional virtual tours, did you know that Matterport's Pro2 3D camera can also produce high-definition property photos, floor plans, virtual reality walkthroughs, and more--all from a single, low-cost session? In this guide, Matterport shares best practices for obtaining eye-catching 2D listing photos from their 3D camera. Even if you don't own a Matterport camera, this guide offers solid advice for capturing photographs of every room in the house. Here are some of our favorite tips: Living room - Shoot from each corner of the room, and capture three walls to show depth of space. Kitchen - Shoot from the perspective of both the owner (the cook) and the guest (the diner). You can do this by pretending the camera is, for example, the guest and placing it where the guest would likely stand. Bathroom - Take two shots, each pointing at one corner of the bed--one shot with windows prominent, the other focused on the closet or other important room feature. Composition - Keep the "rule of thirds" in mind when composing shots. For indoor shots, this means the floor, wall, and ceiling should each take up about one third of the image. These are just a few of the tips you'll learn when you download the guide. The guide also offers advice on shooting exteriors, selecting and editing photos, and (our favorite!) a shooting/editing checklist you can print out and take with you. Ready to get started? Download Matterport's FREE guide today!    
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Instagram: Best Practices for Social Success
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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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Drone-in-a-box for Real Estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing
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The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
When it comes to choosing listing photos, more is typically better. Consumers want a thorough understanding of what a home looks like before they reach out for more information. But if you can't upload a ton of photos, due to time or budget restraints, what is the bare minimum number of photos you should add to your listing on the MLS?
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8 Accessories that Give Your Smartphone Superpowers (Part 1)
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How to Secretly Use Instagram as Your Photo Editor (without Posting)
From Photoshop to Lightroom to free programs like GIMP, there are a ton of photo editing tools for real estate agents to choose from. But despite all of those options, have you ever wanted to just, well... run that listing photo (or social media graphic) through Instagram instead? We know, we know—Instagram is really just supposed to be a fun, basic photo editing app, and not a "professional" tool. But let's forget all that today and just acknowledge that Instagram does make your images look pretty darn cool, and that it's perfectly okay to want to use this handy app as a photo editor. But here's the complication: Instagram is set up so that once you run an image through its filters, you have to post it to save it. What if you just want to use Instagram's filters and not post to the image at all, but save it for use elsewhere? Can that be done? Happily, we're here to tell you that it can—but you have to be a little bit crafty about it and employ some workarounds. Here is our quick hack for using Instagram as a photo editor, no posting required.
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25 Resources for Mastering Real Estate Photography, Video and Beyond
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
Real estate agents - are you looking for new ways to differentiate yourself in 2018 and win listings for less? Top agents from RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, Century21, and more are flocking to all-in-one marketing services like Matterport that provide both traditional and cutting-edge marketing at affordable rates. With Matterport, real estate agents can get HDR photos, teaser videos, floor plans, 3D walkthroughs, and virtual reality from one fast, easy 3D scan. By getting traditional and cutting-edge marketing assets from the same one-stop shop, they are able to reduce their per-listing marketing expenses and offer stand-out marketing like virtual reality for all of their clients (and not just a select few). This is helping them attract more home sellers and buyers alike. Learn how it all works in Matterport's most recent webinar. In fact, according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker, 62 percent of U.S. consumers would be more likely to choose an agent that offers virtual reality property tours over an agent that does not. What's more, virtual reality tours can save you and your clients time on unnecessary showings. The survey found that 84 percent of prospective buyers would like to see video footage of a home, and 77 percent would like to be able to take a virtual reality tour before visiting a listing.
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Rules of Instagram Engagement for Real Estate Agents
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Real Estate Property Photos: Drones and Aerial Photography 101
Are you ready to present a bird's eye view of your next listing? Or do you want to show an out-of-town buyer the lay of the land around a prospective purchase? Either way, drones are the latest real estate tool that will let you take your photography to a new level and help you stand out from your competition.
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Instagram Posts for Realtors
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4 Free Photo Editing Tools for Real Estate
You are a real estate professional, not a photographer! But as a real estate agent, photos are a huge part of showcasing the homes you sell. With so many photo editing tools at your fingertips, you no longer have to stress about taking the perfect photo or purchasing high-end photography equipment. Although photo editing software can be expensive, there are a few free tools that you can use. This week, I tested four of some of the most popular free photo editing software tools, and here are my thoughts!
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The Low-Cost Way to Generate More Real Estate Leads
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Should You Post Your Client's Photo on Social Media?
You just listed a home, sold a property, or started working with a new client and the first thing you want to do is brag on social media. It's okay, we all do it and working in the real estate industry, a client-centered marketing focus is necessary to show leads and clients why you are the perfect real estate professional for them. However, before posting your client's photo on social media, take your client's opinions into consideration.
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Why Use Instagram for Real Estate?
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5 Tips to Finding Images for Your Website
Images communicate, draw attention and create interest. Images can keep people on your website if chosen correctly or lead people to leave your website. When choosing images for your website, it is important to choose images that are high quality, relevant, aligned with your brand, aesthetically pleasing and attention grabbing. So where can you get great images? Here are five ways we get images for our own site.
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Photos Taking Up Too Much Space? A Few Tips to Compress
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Real Estate Property Photos: Property Photography 101
Whether it's services or goods, an aesthetically pleasing picture will attract more eyes and drive more leads. Real estate property photos are no exception to this rule. If you're starting out and don't want to invest in a professional real estate photographer, or are looking to cut some costs, we've put together a beginner's guide you can use to create compelling real estate photos for your own listings. With this guide and practice, you can create better listing photos that will grab the most eyes!
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Tips on Choosing the Right Instagram Username
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Win More Business from Your Sphere: 3 Ways to Tweak Your Marketing
The ads and flyers you run to your geographic farm often act as an introduction to you, your brand and your business niche. It's acceptable (and expected) that your Just Listed flyers explain who you are and what you do. But when it comes to marketing to your sphere — the people who know you best — it's important that you work to reinforce your value proposition, not introduce it. Because while a refrigerator magnet with your face and email on it may be a suitable giveaway for 500 people in your farm, it's a weird gift to offer the cousin who bunked with you every summer at Camp Lakota. Your goal, then, is to make Cousin Jim feel more special than anyone in your CRM. Here are three ways you can tweak your marketing to better appeal to your sphere contacts.
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6 Tips for a High-Octane Instagram Account
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How Visual Storytelling is Shaping Real Estate
Have you ever heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” This famous idiom is based on the idea that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image – and marketers took note of this powerful idea. Visuals have long been a cornerstone to a successful marketing strategy, to the point where an estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018. The Power of Visual Storytelling Can you imagine trying to sell a home using only text? Difficult, right? The challenge is that people form a first impression in a mere 50 milliseconds, so when they hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of it three days later because of the unique story that was told.
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More Updates from Instagram!
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Professional Looking Photos Don't Have to Cost a Fortune: Smartphone Photography
Not long ago, you either had to have a professional grade camera (along with the knowledge of how to use it) or hire a professional photographer to take your listing photos to compete with the images you see in magazines and on the web. Thanks to the advancement of today's mobile technology, you can take and edit professional looking images on your phone. Taking great photos on your mobile device isn't just point and shoot; some skill is required. However, there's no secret to amazing photos; with just a few tips and tricks, you can capture the perfect image and add the finishing touches right from your phone. Clean Your Lens This might seem like a given, but you would be surprised at how many people post blurry images due to oil residue or dust particles that have collected on their lens. Your phone is constantly traveling between your pocket, purse, or bags; the lens is being touched; makeup and other things are falling on it, and even the oil from your hands creates a film on it. Keep a glass wipe handy and wipe the lens before using the camera. Composition (Using Gridlines) Rule of Thirds By turning on your camera's gridlines (which can be found in the settings section in almost all mobile devices), you will enable a series of lines (two vertical and two horizontal) superimposed on your screen which will separate your image into nine sections. The "rule of thirds" is a photography principle that states that by placing focal points along the intersecting lines, your photo will appear more balanced, leveled, and create a more natural flow throughout the image.
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How to Use Technology to Make Gorgeous Listing Photos
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Add Your Entire Listing to Instagram? It Can Be Done!
On February 22, Instagram launched an update that is poised to change the way real estate professionals use the network to help promote listings. Is the suspense getting to you yet? How about now? Okay, okay, I'll tell you what the update is... You can now add multiple photos and videos to the same post! You can post amazing listing photos all in the same piece of content now (and a few more cool ideas, but I'll get to that later). I'll wait for you to scoop your jaw off the floor. Want to know the BEST PART? It's beyond easy; there are no extra steps beyond your normal workflow to post something to Instagram. Here's how to do it; we'll use the example of my dog Ben, because he is cuter than some stock photos of a house. Step 1: Open Instagram as you normally would to post a picture or video. Notice anything different? You now have the option to select multiple photos or videos, as highlighted in red box below. If you don't see it, check your app updates to ensure you have the latest version of Instagram installed.
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Learn to Convert 95% of Your Listing Appointments
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Quick Tips for Taking Better Listing Photos with Your iPhone
Done correctly, photography can capture the essence of your listings and inspire potential buyers. Are you following the best practices? In this video the pros at Bay East Video share the secrets to taking better real estate photos and truly showcasing your listings. The insight at 0:50 is key!
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The Best Real Estate Drone Footage Is Less Drone Footage
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29 Resources to Help You Master Real Estate Video and Photography
For years, articles about real estate photography have consistently been among the best performing articles on our site. But in 2016, a strange thing happened--articles about real estate videos began to dominate. It's not just typical YouTube videos, either. In 2016, the rise of new technology like Facebook Live, augmented reality, and virtual reality changed the landscape of real estate multimedia. To help our readers get a grasp on all the new trends shaping the current media landscape, we've rounded up our best articles on real estate video, photography, and graphic design from 2016 here. Crash Course in Real Estate Video If you want a quick way to build your video production skill set, consider the following four articles your syllabus for Real Estate Video 101. Your first reading is The Beginner's Guide to Video Marketing for Real Estate to get grounded in the basics of real estate videography. Next, put theory into action with this series of progressively more challenging assignments. Once you're finished, you'll have created your first video, and learned the basics of new technologies like Snapchat and Hyperlapse: Video Challenge for Beginners: How to get started with easy, free video tools Intermediate Video Challenge: How to get ahead using video Advanced Video Challenge: Livestreaming, buying new tools and crushing Snapchat
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Best of 2016: 5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
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How Instagram's New Features Impact Your Real Estate Business
Instagram has changed a lot over the past year, with August heralding the introduction of several game-changing updates. Among these was Stories, a popular method of sharing photos and videos as a collection visible to the user's followers for 24 hours. Since then, Instagram has added even more features to help users connect with potential followers. Links! Instagram is now introducing the ability to add links to posts. These links will appear under the image's "see more" button, ensuring they don't clutter the picture. This means that only those who are serious about your image's message will actually see the link, helping generate quality interest. Initially, this functionality will be limited to verified accounts—those belonging to popular public figures, brands, and celebrities. Eventually, however, this feature should be available to everyone. Once it is, try using it to link to your listings' landing pages, your website, social pages, etc. Just keep in mind, the end game should be to drive your traffic to somewhere you can capture lead information.
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How to Make Your Listings Stand Out with Facebook 360
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How to Take Incredible Listing Photos
Are you taking the best photos possible of your listing? If you aren't, it might be the reason the listing is still on the market. First impressions are so important and that's why you need quality photographs of your listing. Learn the tricks to using a DSLR with Dave Dugdale!
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Fear of Facebook Live? How to get over it (and get tons of exposure)
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Google's Pixel and Daydream Can Be Game-Changing for Real Estate Video and Photography
A few weeks ago, we wrote about how the new iPhone 7 could help DIY real estate professionals improve their listing videos and photography. Well, it seems only fair that we do the same for the new Google phone—Pixel. What unique ability does Pixel offer real estate professionals? Is it a worthy competitor for the iPhone? Does it have a headphone jack? What the heck is Daydream? Get all these answers and more...right now! Pixel Like the iPhone 7, Pixel has some nice new features that a DIY agent can use to improve their listing video and photography. The phone has the highest-rated smartphone camera ever by DxOMark—a company that specializes in the analysis of image and video quality in cameras, lenses and smartphones. Some quick thoughts on their findings: 12.3 MP camera & f/2.0 lens means the phone can record high detail in most lighting conditions—you won't need perfect lighting to capture clear shots of your listing The laser detected auto-focus will help you in capturing video without losing focus The white balance is accurate, so you can capture both indoor and outdoor shots and get a good representation of natural color The camera can record 1080p at 120 fps, so you're able to shoot video in slow motion at the second highest resolution available The camera can also record in 4k at 30fps, so you're able to shoot video in the highest resolution available The camera doesn't appear to have the equivalent of the iPhone's dual camera system and shallow depth of field. However, Pixel's ability to capture in low-light conditions, as well as its excellent and accurate color detail, is a great boon for real estate agents looking to improve the quality of their video and photography without paying a professional. While these are not revolutionary changes, they are significant enough to have an impact.
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How the iPhone 7 Can Improve DIY Real Estate Video and Photography
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New Drone Rule Affecting the Real Estate Industry
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), most commonly known as drones, are making an impact in many aspects of life. In the past, being able to use drones for commercial purposes, including in the real estate industry, had been complicated and limited to operators who had an FAA Section 333 exemption. That just changed. The first operational rule from the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems became effective August 29, 2016. If you have been following the development of drones for commercial use, here are three significant changes to note with this ruling: A pilot's license is no longer required. A section 333 exception is no longer required. A remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating from the FAA is required, if you don't have a pilot's license. Overall, with this rule, the FAA is making drone technology more accessible to the commercial sector. Real estate is one area where anticipation and expectation is high because with drones, one can take breathtaking video footage and make a distinguishable impact in the marketing piece of the property.
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Instagram for Real Estate: New Updates Make It Easy to Engage
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The Photography Tips You Need to Sell Your Listings Now
The photos you put in your listings have the power to convert an interested viewer into a potential buyer. That means your photos are the first tool you have to start selling a property. Take these tips to make effective real estate photos. Watch 2:24 to see how you can copy a pro photographer's techniques.
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Summer School: 3 Online Training Opportunities for Real Estate Agents
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Professional Tips to Take Awesome Listing Photos
Photos can make all the difference when you're marketing a new listing. But not everyone has the budget to hire a professional. Pro photographer Jared Polin goes over the simple steps he takes when he's working on a listing so that you can learn those skills yourself. Check out the 1:10 mark for his secret.
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5 Tips for Better Real Estate Photos
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Don’t Get Lost in the Instagram Panic: 3 Tips for a Killer Feed
Instagram recently announced some big algorithm changes that are causing a great deal of panic. According totheir blog, rather than displaying in the familiar reverse-chronological order, Instagram will now be organizing users' feeds "to show the moments [they] believe [users] will care about the most." The new algorithm update was expected to be released to all users on March 29th, causing Instagram users to flood their feeds with "Turn on Notifications" posts. In response, Instagram has reassured the public that they're still in the testing process and this new algorithm update will only be released to a small audience for now. So, the question is, when Instagram does release this update to the general public, what will it do to your feed? Here are three tips to make sure your followers will keep seeing your content. Too busy to manage your social pages? Let us do the heavy lifting! 1. Post Engaging Pictures Images are the foundation of your Instagram content strategy. Think about your audience — who you want to reach. Do you work mostly with millennials or first-time homebuyers? How about retired military personnel? Different groups will be drawn to different images. Remember to have fun with your pictures! What's your favorite coffee shop? Did you see a great play in your local theater? Does you dog have a favorite park? Snap some photos and start sharing! When it comes to this new algorithm update, the more your audience engages with your pictures, the more likely they'll display at the top of your followers' feeds.
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5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
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4 Considerations for Using Drone Photography in Real Estate Marketing
Aerial photography is quickly being adopted as an essential component of savvy real estate marketing programs across the world. By using drones, aerial photographers create stunning photos that show properties in visual context to the surrounding area. This is especially ideal for waterfront properties, large estates, and properties with unique geographic features. Top agents know that drone photos and videos make for amazing marketing content and featured images on listings, websites, and social media. As the technology becomes more accessible, interest in aerial photography is at an all-time high. Businesses specializing in aerial imaging are popping up in nearly every major market, and some agents are even investing in their own aircraft to create the images themselves. However, many real estate professionals still hesitate to employ this technology due to misinformation and confusing regulations around the industry. Before hiring an aerial photographer or making the investment yourself, there are a few essential things to consider. Regulations Due to the confusing laws surrounding commercial drone use, some real estate agencies have gone as far as implementing a company-wide policy of no aerial photography. This is largely because of the grey area created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the regulatory agency responsible for the drone industry. Beginning in 2012, the FAA implemented the so-called Section 333 Exemption, which is required for all commercial drone operations. This exemption was hard to attain and required a long waiting period to receive. Beginning in 2016, the FAA announced new registration requirements for all drone operators (commercial and recreational). The new system created more accountability in the industry by requiring all drones over 0.55 pounds to be in a federal database and tagged with a corresponding license number. Any drones used in real estate marketing must be tagged with the correct registration, which can now be easily obtained online through the FAA website.
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7 Tips for Better Interior Listing Photos
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Real Estate Photography Essentials
Top agents know that professional photography can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of their real estate marketing program. High-quality photos not only attract more attention to your listings, but show that you are willing to go the extra mile to make your listings look as good as possible. This makes sellers happy, creates more buzz for your agency, and enhances the professionalism and integrity of your brand. These days, the caliber of real estate photography ranges from low-quality cell phone pictures to professionally rendered HDR and multi-layer composite images. Developing a relationship with a good photographer or taking the time to learn how to capture and edit your own photos is essential to growing as an agent. It’s important to know what to look for when hiring a photographer or what gear to purchase if you plan to snap the images yourself. Here are a few things to consider if you want to improve your listing photos.
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15 Resources for Better Real Estate Photos and Videos
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Best of 2015: Why Reusing Listing Photos Could Mean Legal Trouble
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in March and is #2 in our countdown. See #3 here. That house you sold in 2012 has just come back on the market. You know you still have a picture somewhere--there it is--and the home still looks pretty much the same. You upload the photo and relist the property. No problem, right? Well, actually, you could be stepping into some dangerous legal territory. We spoke with Larry Lohrman, a real estate photographer and blogger in Salem, Oregon. He frequently writes about issues at the crossroads of real estate and photography. One of the most common topics of discussion on his blog is usage rights for photographs commissioned from professional photographers. "I have a friend who's an agent and photographer in Seattle," he says. After a conversation about just this subject, Lohrman's friend went back to his office of more than 80 agents and asked around. "Down to a person, no one" -- not the managing broker, not a single agent -- "understood that when the agents pay a photographer for photos, they aren't getting ownership of the photos. They're only licensing those photos for a specific time and purpose." A number of recent high-profile cases have brought this issue to light, and may be cause for concern if you're not 100% sure of the legal status of your listing images: In 2008, photographer Liz Ordonez-Dawes was awarded more than $12 million when the court agreed that her client's distribution of seven photographs to third parties constituted copyright infringement. In 2013, Palm Beach County photographer Andy Frame sued several websites over misuse of his photos of Olivia Newton John's home in Jupiter, Florida. In 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed against CoreLogic for allegedly tampering with and distributing proprietary photographic works to their MLS clients.
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Best of 2015: 13 Listing Photos that Will Scare Prospects Away
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13 Amazingly Awful Property Pics that Shouldn't Have Been Listed (Plus 5 Gorgeous Examples)
I always thought that the posting of property photos was rather high up on the list of priorities for a real estate agent—you know, to give prospects a rough idea of what their potential new home looks like. We're encouraging real estate and property management professionals to make the most of their resources with the Agent Success Kit... as, based on the photos below, it appears some aren't taking their job seriously. Or maybe they were just thinking outside the box? You can judge for yourself: 1. "Jackson Pollock used to live here, apparently..." 2. "...and Doctor Dolittle here. This part of town is great for celebrity spotting."
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Instagram, Thanksgiving and Your Best Content Yet!
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The 3-Shot Approach to Better Listing Photos
Not sure what to focus on when taking listing photos? Even if you have a solid grasp of lighting and composition fundamentals, it can be easy to overthink how to best capture the essence of a home. Enter this three-step method for telling the "story" of a home. Inspired by photojournalism, this technique lets you convey the essence of every room in a house with three easy shots. You'll never be stuck deciding what to photograph again! Wide Shot The wide shot conveys a sense of place. It acts as an overview that establishes where we, the viewers, are. The "primary exterior shot" required by most MLSs is generally a wide shot--it showcases the outside of the home and as many property features as possible. When shooting interiors, use the wide shot to establish where we are (kitchen? master bedroom?) and show as many attractive features of that room as possible.
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13 Listing Photos that Will Scare Prospects Away
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Six Tips for Better Real Estate Photos
When today's home buyers are ready to go from online shopping to in-person viewing, we all know that listing photos can be the deciding factor. Recent research revealed that a listing with between 10 and 15 photos has the best chance of generating leads. But they can't be just any photos of course. To have the strongest impact, your listing photos have to be good. Whether you're hiring a professional or taking your shots yourself, here are 6 tips that will help you create better real estate photos for your listings: 1. Plan Your Shots Before the camera starts clicking away, create a shot list to organize your shoot, gain efficiency and make sure you don't miss important photos. No one likes scheduling a reshoot because they forgot to take a picture of the laundry room! Start your list by writing down every room of the house, as well as including exterior shots of the front and back of the property. Then round out your list by including features you plan on emphasizing in the listing description. Be sure to print your list and bring it with you the day of (or give it to your photographer), so you can check things off as you go.
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Free Photo Resources for Real Estate Agents
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6 New Headshot No-No’s for Agents
If you've read our DO's & DON'Ts of Real Estate Headshots, you know that your agent photo is a critical component of your marketing. In this very personal business, your face is your brand more often than not. But no matter how confident you are in real life, stepping in front of the camera can be unnerving and even intimidating. To help you keep your cool—and avoid looking like one of these agents—we've put together this list of headshot no-no's that you can refer to on picture day. What NOT to Do in Your Agent Headshot DON'T take a selfie Some things you can DIY. This is not one of them. For the best results, you should hire a professional photographer. The advice and trained eye of a pro during the shoot is invaluable. DON'T distract from your face The focus should be on you, so clients and prospects can instantly recognize you. That means no loud patterns, no crazy background, no props, no pets and no other people. The exception might be including your partner if you are part of a real estate team, but you should still have a solo photo taken too.
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How Professional Photos Will Sell Your Property
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Why More Photos of Listings are Valuable to Realtors
Consumers love photos of just about everything on the internet. Just look at the amount of photos on people's Facebook posts, their dreams and inspirations on Pinterest, the number of photos you look at when researching vacation hotels, and even the number of photos of used cars on automobile listing sites. For Realtors, how many photos is enough to show on your listings? Some take the less is more strategy with the hopes of generating a lead by withholding photos. But this is counter to what consumers want from listening to many home buyer panels and it is also counter to the growing online transparency trend in every other industry that targets consumers. How can more photos in your listing or on property specific websites benefit you in your business? Below is a list of 10 different reasons why more photos can help your business. They may not apply in every situation, but you can probably identify with a number of them. 1. Differentiate your online marketing strategy. If you compete for sellers at listing presentations, you could differentiate yourself from other agents by explaining how you will take and use more photos of all the interior and exterior features in the online marketing strategy for selling the home. 2. Sellers will value the work and effort. Even with referrals or repeat business that you did not have to compete for in a listing presentation, sellers will notice and appreciate you taking more time to take more photos of the home, and use that in trying to maximize the value of the home in the shortest time. 3. Qualify initial leads to determine their interest. Most initial leads are not qualified, so sending them more photos of the home will help determine if they really want to see the home. This eliminates wasting your time with appointments with prospects not qualified.
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5 Easy Composition Tricks for Better Listing Photos
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Easy Tips for the Perfect Headshot
Who am I? It's the age-old philosophical question that you probably didn't get into the real estate industry to try and answer... but alas, your prospective clients will want to know. Real estate agents were some of the first professionals to use a headshot to brand themselves, and it's little wonder why. A client chooses to work with a REALTOR® to make the biggest and most important purchase of their life, and in doing so, is understandably looking to work with someone they both trust and feel comfortable with. As much as clients will want to know your professional credentials, they will also want to know you. As a REALTOR®, a good headshot is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to open that door. Nearly ubiquitous across all of your marketing materials and prominently displayed on your website, your business cards, LinkedIn and Facebook, headshots have become more important than ever in dictating not just that a client remembers you, but how. To help you achieve the best possible headshot, here are a few good ideas on how to approach them. How Recently Have You Updated? Keep your headshot updated. Not on a daily basis, but your headshot should look like the you of today and not the you of 10 years ago. Flattering, certainly, but natural and current. If your client can't recognize you in person, you're probably not off to the best start.
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3 Fun Instagram Apps for Real Estate
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Why Reusing Listing Photos Could Mean Legal Trouble
That house you sold in 2012 has just come back on the market. You know you still have a picture somewhere--there it is--and the home still looks pretty much the same. You upload the photo and relist the property. No problem, right? Well, actually, you could be stepping into some dangerous legal territory. We spoke with Larry Lohrman, a real estate photographer and blogger in Salem, Oregon. He frequently writes about issues at the crossroads of real estate and photography. One of the most common topics of discussion on his blog is usage rights for photographs commissioned from professional photographers. "I have a friend who's an agent and photographer in Seattle," he says. After a conversation about just this subject, Lohrman's friend went back to his office of more than 80 agents and asked around. "Down to a person, no one" -- not the managing broker, not a single agent -- "understood that when the agents pay a photographer for photos, they aren't getting ownership of the photos. They're only licensing those photos for a specific time and purpose." A number of recent high-profile cases have brought this issue to light, and may be cause for concern if you're not 100% sure of the legal status of your listing images: In 2008, photographer Liz Ordonez-Dawes was awarded more than $12 million when the court agreed that her client's distribution of seven photographs to third parties constituted copyright infringement. In 2013, Palm Beach County photographer Andy Frame sued several websites over misuse of his photos of Olivia Newton John's home in Jupiter, Florida. In 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed against CoreLogic for allegedly tampering with and distributing proprietary photographic works to their MLS clients.
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Simple Real Estate Photography Tips: Shooting Outside
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The Art of the Realtor Headshot
In an age where potential clients are frequently searching the internet for a real estate agent, maintaining a web presence with an up-to-date headshot can turn out to be an invaluable tool in the technology savvy real estate agent's arsenal. Approximately 80 percent of home buyers begin their search online and a real estate agent's headshot is often the first impression that will either win their business, or send them packing to a more professional looking agent. A headshot should not only convey a friendly, professional demeanor, but it should also be current. Some experts recommend updating headshots every two years. If it's been two years or longer, here are some tips to create the perfect headshot to invite potential clients to your business. Headshot Do's One way to create a clean, professional headshot is to go out and hire professionals to get the job done. There is no shame or vanity in hiring a professional photographer to take the pictures. This will ensure that the shot is in focus and that the subject looks presentable. According to Connect Realty: "Surveys show that 100 percent of respondents feel more comfortable hiring agents with a professional photograph. It gives clients the idea that you hold yourself to a high standard and do things properly at 110 percent." Another important consideration for a headshot is hair, makeup and wardrobe. Some experts recommend hiring a makeup artist for the shoot. This will help to ensure that ALL (yes, men and women) agents are made up to look as best as they can. When choosing outfits for the photo, wear a favorite business outfit that is appropriate to the marketplace in which you do business. This will ensure the ultimate comfort level and will help you exude confidence and friendliness in your photograph.
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5 Most-Loved Listing Photos and Best Practices for Capturing Them
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Mastering Multimedia: The Best Photo and Video Posts of 2014
Photography and video articles are consistently among the most popular on our site. And it's no wonder--unless you hire a professional for your photo and video needs, agents have to learn everything from the ground up. This includes everything from lighting, choosing the right camera equipment, editing, and beyond. That's a lot to get a handle on! In 2014, we published multiple articles about photography and video. We've rounded up the best posts of the year here to give you a single list of resources to refer to when you're looking for ways to improve your multimedia skills in the year ahead. 1. Create the Perfect Real Estate Video with Your iPad Agents and brokers who do not use the all-in-one studio applications of the iPad are essentially buying a Porsche and leaving it in the driveway, using it just to listen to the radio. Eighty-five percent of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video (Invodo), making videos an essential part of any marketing plan. Here are a few tips that Krisa says will help you create awesome real estate videos with your iPad. 2. Photos too large for upload? Take these simple steps to resize them.Many Realtors® upload photos to their MLS and other real estate web sites. Photos that are taken at a high resolution (high quality) save as large files; sometimes, too large for upload to those web sites. We receive a lot of calls asking for assistance resizing photos when the file size is above the website's limit. Below are simple steps for both Window and Mac users. 3. Headshot and Video Style Tips for Real Estate AgentsA successful branding strategy will make potential buyers feel like they know you, before they have met you in person. Appearing polished in your headshots and video-marketing materials goes beyond vanity – it is how potential clients will perceive you. Follow these on-camera tips to elevate the professionalism of your branding materials.
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5 Reasons to Use Instagram as a Real Estate Marketing Tool
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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Leads!
If you're wondering how you can take advantage of social media for your real estate business, know that visuals trigger increased engagement among social media users. Pictures mean more traffic and ultimately more leads! Content that includes a visual representation of some sort--be it a photo, an infographic, a chart or a video--is much more likely to create a buzz among your fan base than a text-only message. Depending on the focus of your business, utilizing social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest can help you tell the story of your property through images. Even Twitter, with its 140-character policy, has recognized the importance of visuals in social interaction and updated its functionality to better accommodate visual communication. In fact, Twitter has concluded that including a photo in a tweet increases the likelihood of retweets by 35%. Including photos in your social media strategy will get you more likes and shares, which ultimately results in a wider advertising reach. Irrespective of the platform you choose, the message needs to be relevant, clear and well-designed.
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How Many Listing Photos Do You Need to Get Leads?
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5 Quick Photo Editing Tools For Real Estate
As someone who plies their trade as a designer here at Lone Wolf, a common refrain I hear is that regular PCs don't have anything to edit photos with. A standard Windows PC has long come equipped with MS Paint, but as anyone who has tried to use it for more than the simplest tasks can tell you, it's not really a great tool for the job. Most people don't have access to a heavy duty tool like Photoshop and could really use something lightweight for handling tasks like resizing a photo for putting on your website or sending in an email. Here's a few different services you can use to handle your photo editing needs. To use these services, all you'll need is a desktop browser (PC or Mac) and Adobe Flash enabled. Photoshop Express What better to use when you don't have access to the full Photoshop app than Photoshop Express? Bringing much of the functionality of the desktop app into a streamlined, online version, this gives you loads of flexibility for the advanced user who knows their way around photo editing.
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5 Keys to Choosing the Right Camera Equipment for Real Estate
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Lessons from the Worst Real Estate Photographers
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: I was hoping this column wouldn't be necessary. But there's a new book that recently came out that proves it is – Terrible Real Estate Photos by Andy Donaldson. I understand Andy didn't take these bad photos. He just found and collected them from the Internet – from actual home listings. It's depressing to think about: Some real estate agent or FSBO do-it-yourselfer actually looked at these rooms and thought to themselves, "Oooh, selling point!" One lesson learned: Take the time to clean the shampoo and deodorant containers out before taking a bathroom shot. (And check out the plumbing thoroughly, too!) Ok, so that's an extreme example. And it's probably something you're going to want to disclose to a potential buyer. And as for this photo: That's one of those things you're probably going to want to paint over before listing the house. (Well, that and thoroughly check the attics and crawl spaces.)
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The 4 Biggest Listing Photo Mistakes
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Trend Watch: Are Time Lapse Videos the Next Big Thing in Real Estate?
Instagram made headlines on Tuesday with the release of its new video app, Hyperlapse. The app lets users create time lapse videos right from their mobile phones. Good looking videos, we might add--a built-in stabilizer ensures that none of the footage you capture is too shaky or too jarring to the viewer. Of course, with every fancy new app or tech tool comes the big question--is it relevant to real estate? Video is a big part of real estate marketing, so the answer here is 'yes.' Because Hyperlapse lets you create videos with a playback speed of up to 12 times that of 'real time,' you can show tours of entire neighborhoods or even the way morning light moves through a room in just a few minutes. Hyperlapse is barely 24 hours old, so we haven't seen any real estate videos created with the app just yet (though you can see 20 fun, non-real estate examples here). But if you've already downloaded the app and are looking for inspiration before getting started, check out these 'old-fashioned' (read: professionally filmed) time-lapse property videos here and here. At the moment, Hyperlapse is only available for iPhone. Wired reports that Instagram is interested in developing an Android version soon, but the app's image stabilization technology will require changes to Android's camera and gyroscope in order to work. If you're an Android user who's been bitten by the time-lapse bug, you can still create a time-lapse videos with just a little editing finesse. Visit the next page for a tutorial on achieving this effect in iMovie and Windows Movie Maker.
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5 Tips for Making an Unforgettable First Impression Online
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Tips for Taking Better iPhone® Photos
We all know that photos drive the real estate search experience. In fact, nearly 90% of prospective home buyers surveyed said that photos were more important than any other feature, edging out virtual tours and interactive maps by more than half. So how can you take advantage of the technology at your fingertips to take better photos? From free apps to robust paid tools, there are so many options in the App Store that it can feel daunting to choose just one. We polled our tech-savvy team to find out which apps are worth the money and which free products can brighten up even the darkest photo. (Another tip? Wipe off your lens—just like any other camera, the lens on your phone can get grimy.) Keep the Format in Mind Every search portal displays images differently. Househappy, for example, crops photos to a square format. So it's worth considering image format when taking photos with your phone so that you don't lose an important element of the property. Most free photo editing apps, like Litely, include cropping features so that you can frame your image. VSCOcam, another free app, also allows you to save each image as a high resolution file, so that you don't lose any of the details that make your property unique.
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Headshot and Video Style Tips for Real Estate Agents
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Photos too large for upload? Take these simple steps to resize them.
Many Realtors® upload photos to their MLS and other real estate web sites. Photos that are taken at a high resolution (high quality) save as large files; sometimes, too large for upload to those web sites. We receive a lot of calls asking for assistance resizing photos when the file size is above the website’s limit. Below are simple steps for both Window and Mac users. Windows Solution: Use the Image Resizer for Windows, courtesy of CodePlex. This utility will allow you to safely and quickly resize your photos. Although designed for windows XP, I have been able to install this program on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and even Windows 8. Here is how: 1. Go to the URL: https://imageresizer.codeplex.com/ 2.Select the “DOWNLOADS” tab. 3. Halfway down the page, you will see a green icon and the words “Image Resizer.” click this Click on that hyperlink to begin downloading the utility.
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The Home Across the Street is NOT a Palace
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Selfie Style: Tips from Instagram
Is it possible to take a selfie of a house? Not only is it possible, it's imperative—88% of prospective homebuyers say that they want to see photos first. Instagram has set the bar for visual inspiration, with tastemakers, celebrities, and brands posting to the photo-driven social network. So it makes sense that sellers and agents look to the platform for tips on how to best represent homes online. We rounded up the five most important tips for achieving the ultimate "house selfie." 1. Snap the details. While it's important to include major features and overall rooms, it's also helpful to include details that make the house unique. Whether it's crown moulding, built-in shelving, or luxe fixtures, show why your home stands apart. 2. Take lots of photos. Taking the "perfect" photo creates a lot of pressure. Once you get into the flow, it's easy to snap dozens of pics. The more, the better—you'll find that it's easier to experiment with composition and lighting when you know you have a large reserve of shots. 3. Be a ruthless editor. Since you have so many photos to choose from, it will be easy to narrow down the best images. Consider diversity when selecting photos to represent your home, both in terms of style and what is shown. Ask for input from trusted sources when reviewing your final selection.
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11 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Real Estate Photographer
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Robo Agents and Their Tools
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: There was a long period when the real estate industry stubbornly refused to change with the times. Agents and brokers had to be dragged – kicking and screaming – into the age of technology. They faced a steep learning curve and scaled it admirably. Today, agents are not only technological whizzes, but some are at the forefront of using technology in real estate. Two of the newest tech gadgets being utilized by agents to photograph or take videos of their listings are the stuff of sci-fi dreams. Google Glass As the debate rages over whether Google Glass is legal to wear while driving, in movie theatres, and – soon, I'm sure – in Vegas casinos, the real estate industry is wholeheartedly embracing the technology. Google Glass looks like a pair of glasses with a rectangular projection on one side. That projection is actually a small Android computer that includes a screen, camera and microphone. Google Glass owners, at this point, are an exclusive, by-invitation only bunch, ponying up $1,500 for a pair. In other words, it's not available to the general public right now.
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