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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
As we round the corner towards Halloween, that means one thing--the season of overly decorated listings is upon us. But never fear, there's a way to make sure your listing photos remain high quality (and not frightening to buyers) throughout the holiday season. That very timely strategy? Virtual staging and photo editing. Read on to learn how you can try it out at no cost in this week's Friday Freebie. Free Virtual Staging Edit and 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits, courtesy of BoxBrownie.com Scary home decor isn't the only thing that can mess up your listing photos. As a real estate agent, we're sure you've seen it all—clutter, mess, poor lighting, ugly furnishings and beyond. Sometimes a seller just won't work with you to prepare their home for a photoshoot. Or maybe the home is empty and it needs a little "dressing up" to pique buyers' interest. Whatever the case may be, virtual staging and photo editing can help you present the best possible version of your listing to the world. And BoxBrownie.com wants to help you do just that. That's why they're offering RE Technology readers a FREE virtual staging edit, plus four listing photo edits. Here are just a few things these edits can help with: 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! Want to try it for yourself? Claim your FREE virtual staging edit and bonus photo edits now!
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Five Fall Photo Faux Pas
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How to Take Professional Photos on Your iPhone or Android Phone
Want to market your property like a professional but can't find (or get access to) a good photographer? Or maybe you're simply looking for an innovative way to take real estate photos yourself and save a few dollars. Well, get excited because today, we're going to teach you how to shoot real estate like a professional using only your smartphone! In this article, you're going to learn: Why you need to be shooting bracketed photos for real estate How to easily set up bracketing on your iPhone and Android How to have your photos edited professionally (for only $1.60 per photo!) Why You Need to Be Shooting Bracketed Photos for Real Estate Bracketing is essentially where you take multiple photos from the same angle at various exposures. The photos are then blended to create a final shot that looks true to the eye. This is essential when marketing real estate as it's the only way to represent your property correctly. To illustrate this point, let's say you're marketing a property that has a beautiful view outside. If you don't use bracketing, the window detail will be blown out in your photo, which will retract from a major selling point of the property. By using bracketing, you'll essentially capture all of the detail required and, once blended, the result will be a stunning photo true to the eye which showcases the stunning view outside. How to Easily Set Up Bracketing on Your iPhone To set up bracketing on your iPhone, you'll need to download an app called CameraPixels PRO (which costs $10) on the App Store. There is a free version called CameraPixels Lite, but we don't recommend it as it has limited functionality. After downloading CameraPixels PRO, you'll need to enter the settings below: 1) Open up CameraPixels PRO Click on ISO and set to 20 (this is very important) Click on Mode Click on Bracketing Click on Set 2) Under "Image" Resolution: 12.2MP x 4032 x 3024 Crop: 4:3 Quality: 100% Stabilisation: 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 Now when you take a photo, it'll shoot seven shots automatically! Just make sure you always use a tripod when bracketing, as all the exposures need to align up perfectly. iPhones Models We Recommend iPhone 11 iPhone X (with Moment wide-angle lens) How to Easily Set Up Bracketing on Your Android You'll need to download an app called "Manual Cam" on Google Play. The free version is fine to use. Below are instructions on how to setup Manual Cam on your Android phone. 1) Open Manual Cam2) At the top left, click On "RAW" or "JPG" symbol. Set it for JPG.3) At the top right, click on the "Clock" symbol. Set for 3 seconds.4) At the bottom left, click on the "AW" symbol. Set White Balance to Auto.5) At the bottom middle, click on the "AF" symbol. Ensure it is set for Auto Focus.6) At the bottom right, click on the "- +" symbol. Set ISO for 40.7) At the bottom right, click on the "mountain" icon. Set to BRK. Set exposure bracketing to 5F and 3.0 8) At bottom right, click on the "Cog" symbol. Image quality is 100% Timer – 1 second Image Count – Single Lapse – OFF Now when you take a photo, the phone will automatically shoot five brackets at various exposures! Just keep in mind when shooting, you must always use a tripod to ensure all the brackets align up perfectly. Android Phones We Recommend Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S10 Samsung Galaxy S9 (with wide-angle Moment lens) Note: At the time of writing this article, there are no apps available on Android (including Manual Cam) that will allow you to shoot bracketed whilst utilizing the phone's wide-angle lens. How to Have Your Photos Edited Professionally Once you've taken your shots, you'll need to get them edited and blended professionally. To do this, you'll need to use our Image Enhancement (HDR Bracketed Images) edit, which only costs $1.60 per photo edited. After transferring the photos from your phone to your computer, you'll need to: 1) Sign in to BoxBrownie.com2) On the Dashboard, click on Image Enhancement3) Under Image Enhancement: HDR Bracketed Images, click on Add New Job4) Enter in your Job Title, Number Of Outputs and Additional Information5) Select which of the 16 steps you would like applied to your images6) Upload your images then click Next7) Submit your job Within 24 hours, you'll receive an email containing a link to your completed photos. Conclusion Marketing a property professionally is now extremely affordable and accessible. All you need is a late model smartphone and a bracketing app to unlock this insane functionality. Bracketing combined with our Image Enhancement (HDR Bracketed Images) edit is essential to produce a final shot that looks true to the eye. Every real estate professional needs to be using this technique to ensure their listing is represented correctly. 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 October 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie blog.
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How to Create a Virtual House Tour
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
Looking to up your real estate photography game? In this article, we are going to talk through all the crucial elements that go into effectively shooting a property from start to finish. Even if you're new to real estate photography and have never shot a property in your life, this blog will help get you started with some really simple and easy-to-understand tips and tricks. Not only will we go into how to take that perfect image, we will also give you some recommendations on the right gear to purchase along with camera settings, bracketing, property preparation, and the all-important image enhancement and editing. Step One: What Camera and Tripod to Buy Finding the perfect camera to get started is easier said than done. There are plenty of options on the market and it can get pretty overwhelming if you're new to property photography. For this tutorial, we have used the Nikon D7200. However, this model is discontinued with the D7500 now the next model up from Nikon. This fantastic camera will set you back about $1,100 (at the time of writing this blog) and is a great all-around option for real estate photographers. We recommend using this camera with the Nikon 10-24mm lens (approximately $900), which will allow you to take wide shots and capture the perfect amount of the space. For the majority of the time, you should aim to shoot at approximately a 12mm focal length, as we are using the APS-C camera, which is the equivalent of shooting at 18mm on a full-frame camera configuration. It's important to note that if you shoot too wide, the images may not display the property properly. We also use the Nikon SB-5000 flash to fill out dark shadows while still producing an accurate color in the finished product. To ensure the shots are steady and perfectly angled, we use the Manfrotto tripod and a Neewer Trigger Ball Head. If this set-up is a little out of budget, we recently wrote a blog on how to shoot real estate using an iPhone 11. Step Two: What Camera Settings Should You Use There are countless settings that we could go into and many of them may depend on the exact type of camera you are using. Instead, we will detail here the main camera settings we use and recommend. Set your ISO to 100, which will allow you to capture the highest quality of image. We also recommend shooting in Aperture priority with the aperture set at f8 or above to ensure a sharp image every time. Always be sure to shoot on auto-bracketing mode. This is where your camera will shoot five separate brackets at two exposure values of difference each time you hit the shutter button. Each of these images can then be blended together during the editing phase to produce a dynamic finished product that highlights every detail in the room. If you'd like to learn more about bracketing, you can take a look at one of our previous blogs here. Step Three: How to Prepare the Property Preparing the property is an essential step in effective real estate photography. While every property is different, there are some easy-to-remember tips and tricks when preparing a property. If you'd like a handy guide to help you remember, you can download our Pre-Photography Checklist. Always remove any unnecessary clutter like shampoo bottles and soaps in the bathrooms, bins in the kitchen, kid's toys and tissue boxes etc. It's also always a good idea to straighten the tapware, cushions, towels, bedspreads and furniture to ensure a neat-and-tidy appeal. By opening all the external doors, you can create a more spacious feel and flow to the shot, and the same goes for the window blinds and curtains. Switch on all the lights to add extra appeal to the space and don't forget about the range hood, kitchen pendant lights and bedside lamps. Step Four: How to Shoot the Property When it comes to real estate photography, the aim is to shoot quickly and efficiently. Remember, this is someone's home and tenants or homeowners aren't going to be too keen for you to spend all day walking around their house. Start at one end of the home, line up the shot, half-press the shutter so it auto-focuses and then press the shutter. Providing you have set up your bracketing settings, the camera will then take five shots automatically. Move through the property, making sure to capture all the key rooms, including the kitchen, bedrooms, living spaces and bathrooms. If the bathroom is tight, you may need to shoot slightly wider to capture the layout of the room. When it comes to the exteriors, try to include some foliage in your shoot wherever possible. This will give you a bit more pop in the final image. Step Five: How to Get Your Images Edited We offer editing via our Image Enhancement HDR bracketed function for as little as $1.60 per image. To get started, all you have to do is sign up at BoxBrownie.com and log in to your dashboard. Select Image Enhancement and then the HDR Bracketed Images option. Click to start a new job and then simply enter your new Job Title, your number of total outputs and then upload your images from the property shoot. That's it. It really is as simple as that. Within 24 hours, you will receive your professionally edited images, ready for marketing your listing. Conclusion Shooting a property may seem like a daunting task, especially if you're new to real estate photography—but it doesn't have to be that way. With these simple steps, some correct bracketing, and the help of our professional editors, you too can produce outstanding images that will take your property marketing to the next level. 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. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
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How to Sell a Property in 7 Days
"I recently virtually staged a home that was on the market for six months. It sold in seven days this time!" These are the ecstatic words of Brittiny Howard from Brittiny Howard of EXP Realty, who was thrilled with how virtual staging helped her sell a property that was stuck on the market. Like Brittiny, many other real estate agents are employing virtual staging within their business and are seeing higher sale prices and faster selling times for their listings. But What Exactly Is Virtual Staging? Virtual staging is the process of digitally adding furniture to an empty room. Professionally staged rooms are more attractive to the eye and help buyers visualize the space better. So How Will Virtual Staging Benefit Me? In today's technology-driven world, 90 percent of buyers start looking online, where you only have a few moments to catch their interest. Virtual staging can help you represent your listing more professionally and generate more interest. In fact: 83 percent of staged properties sell for the asking price or above Homes that are staged sell 75 percent faster than those that are not It's a fraction of the price of traditional staging You can virtually stage indoors or outdoors! But What Happens When My Client Shows Up to an Empty Property? Oh no! Your client is expecting this beautifully staged property and they show up to an empty property. Well, you got them there. Now for the next part… What a lot of real estate agents have had success with is printing out a brochure that shows the virtually-staged images. This provides the client with both perspectives of the property: furnished and unfurnished. Some agents even do the reverse. They list the pictures of an empty property online then print out the staged images to show the client when they arrive at the property. What's the Best Way for Me to Virtually Stage a Property? BoxBrownie.com offers professional virtual staging at extremely competitive rates (only $32 per image). Our outputs are photorealistic, so you won't be able to tell the difference if the property was physically staged or not. Turnaround times are super quick as well: less than 48 hours for virtual staging, which is perfect for getting your listing up ASAP. We also offer unlimited changes (if required) to the image at no extra charge. 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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How to Shoot Real Estate with Only an iPhone 11
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Instagram 101: How to Successfully Build Your Business in 20 Minutes a Week
Instagram. If you have not tried it yet, it is one of the most fun and engaging social media platforms today. It is underutilized by real estate agents and is a great way to grow your business. The United States is the largest user of Instagram. The current forecast is that by 2023, this photo and video sharing app is projected to reach 126 million active users in the United States alone. There are an estimated 1 billion Instagram monthly active users worldwide.
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Staging + 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
NAR reports that, in 2019, a whopping 93% of home buyers and sellers turned to the internet to help with their home search. With so many potential prospects looking at your listings and digital ads, there's no room for error in how you present properties. Above all else, consumers are taking a critical eye to each property photo. Buyers are determining whether your listing is worth their next step, while sellers are assessing your marketing abilities based on how you present your active listings and how attractive your listing ads are.
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How to Run Instagram Ads for Your Real Estate Business
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Let Listing Pictures and Video Do the Talking on Instagram
Are you searching for a new and exciting way to connect with potential buyers in your market? Instagram is a perfect resource for real estate agents and brokerages. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Instagram is a treasure chest. Imagine showing your target market every delightful property in your portfolio without seeming intrusive or overly "sales-y." Sharing great listing images on Instagram isn't difficult. In fact, developing this type of content and seamlessly integrating it into your current marketing strategy is easier than you'd believe.
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Are Your Real Estate Photos Enticing Buyers?
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When Should You Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Marketing?
Note: The COVID-19 pandemic has made marketing on Instagram cheaper than ever. If you're considering advertising on the social media platform, now is an opportune time. More than one billion people use Instagram every month. However, the appeal of the network isn't so much its outsized user base, as impressive as it is, but rather how well the platform lends itself to marketing, and in particular, real estate marketing. Consider:
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How to Conquer Instagram for Virtual Selling for Real Estate
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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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How Many Hashtags to Use and 6 Other Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents
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How to Use Your New Smartphone Camera Like a Pro
New smartphone cameras are taking astonishing pictures. Add built-in editing software that uses Artificial Intelligence and the result is even photo bugs are ditching their bulky equipment to shoot with their phones. Welcome to the future of photography. Smartphones are well on their way to replacing more than tablets and PCs; they also are well on their way to replacing SLR cameras. If you have the newest Pixel, Samsung or Apple iPhone 11, you can take photos that, until now, you could only take with professional equipment. Here are ways you can use your new phone's camera like a pro:
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Real Estate Marketing Health Check (Episode 1)
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How to Improve Your Real Estate Photography
If you're a regular reader, you may be familiar with our previous article covering how to take great photos of the bedroom for your real estate listings. For a room that we spend so much time in each day, it's amazing that it's so often forgotten by most agents in favour of the living areas and hero shots. Hopefully, since reading our article you have been able to put some of those tips into practice and are nailing the elusive high-quality bedroom photo. In this article, we will be focusing on the rest of the home with some of our top tips for improving your real estate photography, both on the interior and exterior of the property. To make it even easier, we have taken ten images from one home to help highlight how to put these tips into practice.
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Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
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Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos
Let's face it, if you want to sell a house, visuals are key. Having vibrant, inviting and attractive photos of the homes you are trying to sell is paramount. The point is, you cannot overlook the idea of having a visually stunning photo of the property. Based on the an article by The Close, featuring 23 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos, we've compiled a list featuring some of these useful tips. Here are nine 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
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10 Ways Virtual Staging Can Make You More Money
Real estate is an old school business, but adopting new technology is having a huge impact on savvy agents' bank accounts. Don't get stuck in the past. Here are just a few ways virtual staging technology can make you more money.
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Tips to Present Your Listing in Its Best Light
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Instagram's Latest Change: What It Means for Your Business
Since its founding in 2010, Instagram has become one of the top social media platforms in the world. According to Hootsuite, Instagram attracts one billion users each month. A recent announcement from Instagram's CEO, Adam Mosseri, shared that the platform would be removing public likes. In a follow-up tweet, the company said they wanted users to "focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get." Their main focus is to make users' well-being and mental health a priority, rather than popularity.
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Cameras and Scanners
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Repurposing Your Listing Photos: 3 Timeless Shots that Live on Beyond the Sale
Real estate is a hyper-local business, and your photos should help you sell your expertise in your market. Prove that you're a specialist in everything from the architectural style of homes to the natural scenery and popular hot spots by getting extra mileage out of your listing photography. Repurposing your listing photography investment can save you money on an independent lifestyle shoot. Ask for these three shots from your real estate photographer to use on social media, your website and print marketing materials:
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[Best of 2019] Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
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Is Your Headshot Killing Your Business?
We've all seen them: Realtor headshots on for sale signs, bus benches, business cards, you name it. But do they actually make an impression on potential buyers and sellers? In an industry where a Realtor's image is their brand, it's hard to think that those carefully crafted photos are a waste. To find out if a real estate agent's photo, whether it be a selfie, cartoon or glamour shot, was affecting the amount of business received, Transactly set out to poll potential buyers and sellers from across the US.
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How to Grow Your Business with Leads from Instagram
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Enhancing Photos and Virtual Staging: Know the Rules
Did you know that enhancing a listing photo could be a violation of your local MLS rules? It could be if you run afoul of your local MLS guidelines. There's another catch: the rules surrounding enhancing photos and using photos are unique to each MLS. Knowing your local MLS guidelines about listing photos "dos and don'ts" is essential, especially if you are uploading images that use virtual staging technology.
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How Much Do Bad Real Estate Photos Cost You?
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13 Spooky Listing Photos that Will Terrify Prospects
'Tis the season for ghouls, ghosts, and all things that go bump in the night. However, if you're looking for something really scary, you need only look at some of the listing photos uploaded to MLSs around the country. Often, the most frightening thing about a bad property photo is that an agent thought it would somehow attract potential buyers. In the spirit of the season (and a good laugh), we've rounded up 13 of the scariest listing photos around. 1. Heeere's Johnny! The best way to show how "open and airy" your new listing is? Frame a random person in the hacked up opening of the basement door. Bonus points for flash-induced red-eye. It only adds to that perfect "The Shining" vibe! Tip: Keep people (and pets) out of your listing photos. Insist that your sellers be out of the house--or at least far from the room you're currently shooting. That also means no accidental appearances of the photographer in the bathroom mirror! There's no hope for that basement door, though.
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
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14 Easy Real Estate Photography Tips
The old cliché "a photo is worth a thousand words" is nowhere more true than in the world of real estate listings. And forget words, really: We're talking dollars and deals here! Nothing pulls buyers to open houses like stunning real estate photography. That's why it's so important to think of property photography as an investment. The more buzz you can build around a listing, the more competition you're going to drive. The photos are what's helping prospective buyers decide whether a listing is worth seeing in person. Photos will get them daydreaming about setting up their life in the house before they've even stepped across the threshold. And photos are what buyers are going to be looking at later, when they're back at home — pondering second visits and offers, maybe thumbing through a whole stack of flyers and brochures from a day of open houses. And beyond that, the best real estate photography also impresses your sellers and further wins them over as clients. Here's how to take your listing photos to the next level:
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The Ethical Use of Photoshop in Real Estate Marketing
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Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
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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Analyzing the Good and Bad of a Property Photo Shoot
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Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You Money
Time is money and you need to make the most of both, especially in real estate. Don't waste your time acting like an amateur real estate photographer snapping photos with your iPhone. For around $150, you can have a pro do the job and return the photos to you in as little as 14 hours. Hire a professional and get back to doing what you do best--selling properties.
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Instagram
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6 Head Shots to Stop Taking
Whether you're just starting to build your business or you're revamping your image, you probably need a new head shot. Head shots are typically used on all Realtor marketing materials, and we're talking EVERYTHING from business cards, to yard signs, bus benches, and even billboards. When someone in your neighborhood starts thinking of buying or selling, you want them to think of your smiling face. However, you want a head shot that makes them think to call you, not turn you into a meme for internet ridicule. I know they say all publicity is good publicity, but here are a few head shot trends to close the doors on.
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Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
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How to Shoot Bedrooms
Trying to achieve some great images of a bedroom for your next listing? Brad Filliponi, co-founder of BoxBrownie and experienced real estate photographer, has you covered. In this blog, he is going to share his secret top tips on how to take ideal shots of bedrooms.
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
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Most Real Estate Agents Aren't Using the Right Photo File Type
As a real estate agent, you can easily school anyone on the hidden costs of investing in opportunity zones, no problem. But technical photography file terminology might not necessarily be your forte. Don't worry--we got you. Here, we define key photography vocabulary terms so you can market your property without losing your mind.
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How to Shoot a House for Under $16
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How to Attract Real Estate Leads on Instagram
How to Grow Your Account and Get Followers After doing the basics and setting the stage for growing your account--converting to a business profile, adding an awesome bio and profile photo, and creating an aesthetic--we have a few more tips for how to gain followers organically on Instagram.
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Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips
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How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on Instagram
Currently, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Is yours one of them? If your business is not on Instagram yet, you are missing out on potential leads and eyes from over 500 million daily users. Fortunately, it's easy to get started. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your business profile up and ready and plan your next real estate post.
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4 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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