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How to Use Instagram Carousel to Boost Your Business and Win More Listings
For real estate, Instagram is a great social platform for agents to expand their network, market properties, and acquire more listings. Predominantly through images, Instagram gives power to agents, teams, and brokerages looking to show off their businesses and listings. Instagram offers a variety of promotional options. One of the hottest new ways to give your listings a big boost and make your sellers smile is by leveraging the power of Instagram carousels. What's an Instagram Carousel? An Instagram carousel is a post or ad containing multiple photos or videos that you swipe or click through one image at a time. According to a study from Socialinsider, carousel posts produce the most organic (unpaid) engagement on Instagram. Carousels average 1.92% average engagement per post, compared to 1.74% and 1.45% average engagement for image and video posts, respectively. More impressively, some agents trace their big business boosts specifically to Instagram and its carousel posts, according to the social media experts at Curaytor, a marketing firm for top sales agents. When used correctly, it creates more engagement with your target audience and keeping their interest. Creating an Instagram carousel post involves selecting multiple images to make a post. You add a caption and copy, plus "tags" you want to include. You create a "tag" on Instagram by attaching a specific label to a post, picture, video, or status to group it with other content that uses the same label. Tags help you reach more people on Instagram with your messages and photos. A carousel post lets you share up to 10 images or videos as a single post. Therefore, you have an opportunity to create posts that have a punch. Here are some strategies for enhancing your business with an Instagram carousel: Copy is as crucial as imagery: Having appealing images in your Instagram carousel is vital for successful real estate marketing. However, it's also important to make sure you create powerful copy as well. Even if you have fantastic photos in your carousel post, it may be ineffective if the accompanying content doesn't get the message across. For example, for a listing post, compelling copy often raises curiosity about the listing you're promoting or prompts interest by asking a clever question. Highlight the property's most powerful features: The beginning of your Instagram carousel post should start the most dramatic photo of your listing. In most cases, it should also be a full house photo. In the carousel, highlight and explain the home's key features, such as hardwood floors, a built-in wine cellar, modern countertops, energy-saving air and heating systems, and other memorable features that make this home stand out. Tell a story: The advantage of a carousel post versus a single image post is that it allows you to tell a story. Every listing has a story, from its unique features and benefits to its location and history. With the right photos, graphic text, and video clips, you can tell an interesting and convincing story for each of your listings with a carousel post. Don't use all the carousel slots: While a carousel post can hold up to ten images or videos, that's a maximum limit, not a goal. It's best to select a few photos that are more likely to engage your audience. Having too many images can have the opposite effect. Like most communication channels, the attention span on Instagram is minimal. Less is often more when it comes to an effective carousel post. Leverage video content: Adding video clips to your carousel may seem like a time-consuming process, but it's simpler than you think. Since today's smartphones can take high-quality videos, you'll have the opportunity to showcase a listing's best feature in a way that a photo can't. Videos also make people stop scrolling to watch, increasing their attention span to your post. Like images in a carousel, it's essential to make sure the videos included helps improve your message to your target audience. Don't add a video to check a box. Show off your market: Instagram carousel posts are a great way to showcase your local market, something you can't do with a single image post. A local market post allows you to give context to your listings: what does the neighborhood look like? The local community and its amenities? You can provide a behind-the-scenes recap with a carousel post. ABC – Always Be Creative: Because carousel posts offer you more variety and versatility, this is where your creativity can shine. Don't know where to start? Follow other agents on Instagram known for their success with Instagram. You can find many with a simple Google search. Review their creativity to help inspire ideas of your own. You can create a carousel post with customer testimonials recommending your business, promoting a new service, or recapping a local event. Using Instagram carousels can be a great way to keep in touch with your customer base and win more leads. Remember, if you have any questions about technical challenges when using social media, you can connect with a Tech Helpline specialist with a click, call or email. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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5 Tips For Great Vacation Rental Photos
Vacation rental photos are different compared to photography of homes listed for sale. However, a good real estate photographer can easily learn to navigate the vacation rental market. In finding the right place to stay, homebuyers and vacationers have different ideals, mindsets, and approaches to the task at hand. Plus, there's not just one type of person who enjoys traveling. Getting away for a vacation means conquering a bucket-list goal for some people, and simply breaking away from the daily grind for others. Despite the differences of vacation rentals and long-term homes, they each have one awesome thing in common: Photography makes a world of a difference in the number of successful and high-quality bookings and sales. To demystify some of the techniques behind vacation rental photography, we explored the professional photography styles of booking websites like AirBnB, VRBO and RedAwning. Read on to learn more about the elements of all great vacation rental real estate photography. Break the Real Estate Photography Rules (and Get Away With It) Like the spontaneous nature of travel, vacation rental photographs are free to break a few rules of typical real estate photography. For these special home listings, people are looking for a break in the everyday. On top of plans for seasonal travel, lots of people are busy daydreaming about the vacations they would take if money were no object. In that way, unique vacation rental photos can help your wildest dreams feel within reach. Half the charm of vacation rental listings is in the quirky characteristics of the property, and all of the novelty experiences that will be at hand throughout the vacation. The other half is having a safe and secure place to live temporarily, whether it's for a long weekend or an extended stay. Vacation rental photography is as much about breaking and bending the rules as it is about inspiring new lifestyles and philosophies. Keep the top five defining characteristics of good vacation rental photography top-of-mind for your next shoot: Include People of All Abilities No one should be hesitant to take a vacation due to a fear of missing out on some of the best experiences, like having a unique place to stay. Accessibility can be the defining factor in why you choose to book a hotel that follows accessibility code over a unique stay at a private vacation home. To be more inclusive of people with disabilities, get to know the features of an accessible home and how to best show them through photographs. Take care to avoid any 'visual blockers' like too much furniture, and show each room from multiple angles. Accessibility in a vacation rental might look like any of the following: Wider Spaces: For people with wheelchairs, space is important for navigating a vacation home comfortably. There should be room to move around the house and turn around without bumping into anything inside of the house, through doorways and on the sidewalks and streets surrounding the property. Photos can show adequate spacing between furniture and room layouts, as well as wide-open hallways, doorways and walkways. Appliances and Utilities: Lowered sinks and appliances aren't standard in all homes, but they can make a massive difference in vacation expectations for someone with a disability. Bathrooms and showers might have specially adjusted plumbing, or a shower stall without a tub and with supportive bars or benches. Other Accessible Features: This could include anything that makes normal use of the house easier for people who are not typically able-bodied. Light switches, ramps, beds, elevators could be the deciding factor in someone's dream vacation. Fill Rooms With Natural Light Reassure potential guests that there is no pressure to be 'on' while they're vacationing. Use natural light to welcome vacationers into the home as they are. In most cases, this means skipping the use of artificial light and external flash entirely — unless there are no natural light sources. Draw the shades and blinds of every room open, and shoot at a time when sunlight sets a particular mood in the home. A vacation rental photographed on an overcast day might fill every room with a pure white glow, while photographs of a home at golden hour in a room with a view says something entirely different. In either case, the natural lighting should complement the best features of the architecture, style, and overall design of the home. In typical real estate photography, relying on natural lighting can limit the view of a home's interior design, and other important structural features of the house. For vacation rental photography, the stakes for a comfortable stay are much lower. Natural lighting creates an organic invitation to an effortlessly stylish getaway. Promote Relaxation It's no secret that most people want to relax and unwind on vacation. You can communicate the relaxing qualities of a home through photos of a space that's visually balanced. For real estate photographers used to stitching together multiple photos, take note! The lens you shoot with shouldn't be too wide — a full frame 16mm lens is the widest recommended for vacation rental photoshoots. Otherwise, you risk making some unnatural-looking lines in the photo composition that aren't ideal for vacation listings. You should shoot and edit vacation rental photos with the goal of making space look as naturally serene and inviting as possible. Try shooting at a lower angle than the standard chest-level MLS photos — AirBnB recommends about four feet high — to capture the feeling of cozying up in a warm cabin, luxurious bathtub, or enjoying breakfast in a happy little breakfast nook. Highlight the Amenities When people look for the perfect vacation rental properties, they are usually weighing the pros and cons of the included amenities. In a big city, that can be anything from a nearby playground, day spa, or a nighttime cityscape view. In a more rural setting, vacation amenities might include a well-curated garden, gym or recreational area. There's no one-size-fits-all list of amenities for a vacation rental. That's part of the excitement in the vacation home search. Another important distinction of vacation rentals from real estate photography is the use of vertical photos. While verticals should be used sparingly, you can use them to effectively show off the unique interior design features of the vacation rentals. In a vacation rental setting, it's easy to appreciate the novelty details, like themed figurines, plants and other signs of a well-traveled life. Small features like this give an exciting glimpse of how staying there might feel. Carry a Shot List In traditional real estate photography, you might aim to get a simple set of photos that covers every inch of the property. It's not always necessary to carry a shot list. For great vacation rental photos, quality over quantity is what matters. That's why we recommend carrying a list of the most important amenities in the home before you arrive, and capturing a few styled angles of each room. Below is an example of a shot list you might use to prioritize your next vacation rental shoot. Main Rooms Take two to three photos of each key room or amenity: Bedrooms Kitchen and Dining Common Areas Outdoor or Recreational Spaces Additional Rooms and Details Take one to two photos of each key room, detail or amenity: Bathrooms Balconies, patios, and gardens Hot tubs Gym Rooftop Exterior view Accessibility Features: Take one to two photos of each, when available: Wide-open entryways are visible in all main rooms Ramps, stairways, elevators, safety bars Handicap parking Shower stalls, plumbing, appliances, light switches With this list in mind, you can showcase the potential of a space in the way it functions, and the way it might make you feel on vacation. Vacation Rental Photos Made Easy The key to great vacation rental photography is showing how one rental is the ideal place to relax, get away from the everyday, and still feel perfectly at home. Ultimately, your vacation rental photos should be inviting, exciting, and maybe even a little bit unusual — in a good way. There's not just one type of vacation rental that works for everyone, so keep the unique features, style, accommodations and amenities front of mind when shooting. Helping vacationers find their next home away from home can be that simple. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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3 Massive Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Photographer
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Do You Own Your Real Estate Photos?
When a home's been listed for sale and arrangements have been made for a photoshoot, who owns the property photos once they've been taken? On the one hand, you have the professional real estate photographer who pushes the camera shutter button and takes the shots. On the other hand, you have the listing agent who's licensed by the state to handle real estate transactions and is ultimately responsible for the images. A professional photographer may be beholden to her artistic integrity and feel strongly about intellectual property laws and copyright ownership. But real estate agents owe a fiduciary obligation to the homeowners and brokerage companies they work with. Not only that, but the agent is most likely the one footing the bill for the property photos. So, the question as to who owns property photos is a polarizing one, to say the least, and many industry professionals have weighed in their opinions. There are legal complications to consider, too, but to present arguments for both the agent and the photographer, we'd rather stick to the guidelines that dictate how property photos get used before, during, and after a real estate sale. Who Owns Property Photos? Answer: it depends on the photo. Some photographers will negotiate the rights to property photos because of their resale values. But just as a car loses value the moment it gets driven off the dealership lot, property photos lose value as soon as the home is sold. For instance, MLS guidelines state that property photos mustn't be reused to market the same home for a future sale. In other words, images that are uploaded to the MLS need to be fresh and current and portray how the home looks today. This governing principle alone already throws a wrench in the photographer's case to own the property photos she takes. Moreover, uploading reused photos can be flagged as fraudulent by the MLS system, especially because aspects of the home may have changed over time. Depicting homes in their current state makes the listing more transparent and authentic. Not only is this an ethical way to do business, but it also helps speed up the sale of the home and protects the listing against "unruly activity" notices from MLS or other marketing platforms. Privacy Consider this: property photos depict someone's private home. The personal property depicted in the photos belongs to the homeowner. Thus, selling or distributing these photos outside of the sale of the home — unless the photographer has signed an agreement directly with the homeowner — infringes on the homeowner's privacy rights. This is yet another reason why real estate agents and homeowners should own the rights to property photos. Once the home is sold, it's up to the homeowner to decide how the photos will be used going forward. More often than not, homeowners will want pictures of their homes' interiors and exteriors taken down once the sale is completed. Every week, homeowners contact HomeJab and ask us to take down images of their homes for privacy reasons. And we happily comply. The Photographer's Portfolio Some photographers argue that owning property photos strengthens their portfolios and helps them attract new customers. This perspective further muddles the question as to who owns property photos. As we mentioned above, due to listings guidelines that devalue property photos once the home is sold and privacy concerns from the homeowner, owning the rights to property photos creates more liabilities for real estate agents and homeowners than it does for the photographer. So, does this mean that photographers can't use any of the photos they take during the shoot? Not necessarily! Copyrights of images in the public domain (i.e., neighborhood photos, points of interest, landmarks, historical buildings, statues, etc.) should absolutely remain with the photographer. For example, if a photographer captures a beautiful shot of a historic landmark from the balcony of the property, he could rightfully request ownership of that photo for reuse in other mediums. What's more, these types of photos could really beef up the photographer's portfolio and do wonders for procuring new clientele. It's become a common practice among real estate agents to demand ownership of all photos taken by the photographer. The agent may even request that the photographer sign away rights to all of their photos. But when it comes to images in the public domain, the photographer shouldn't have to sign off or give away the rights to them, especially because these images have a strong resale value. The photographer could even generate passive income through the reuse of these types of photos. Finally, if real estate agents want to own the rights to these kinds of photos, they should expect to pay a premium. For more info on real estate photography services and pricing, or to schedule a shoot, check us out here! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Win Clients with Real Estate Photography and These 6 Features on Facebook and Instagram
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Why Real Estate Photography Is Important In A Seller's Market
It's a hot seller's market! Real estate listings are scarce. Meanwhile, buyers are lining up around the corner, ready to make an offer on their dream homes. With homes flying off the shelves, real estate agents may be tempted to forego professional real estate photography altogether. They figure that the home will sell itself. "I can skip a few steps," the agent says. "I don't need photos." But just because homes are selling like hotcakes doesn't mean that agents should ignore a crucial marketing step: To include high-quality real estate photography in their listings. To prove our point, below are five solid reasons why real estate photos are super important, even in an aggressive seller's market. The Stats According to Realtor.org, 92% of homebuyers surfed the internet while searching for a home. Not only that, but a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors found that among buyers who used the internet to search for homes, 89% thought that clicking through property photos was useful. Moreover, listings that featured just one photo averaged 70 days on the market compared to the 32-day average of listings with over 20 images. These stats show that professional real estate photography can help sell homes faster no matter the state of the market — whether it favors the buyer or the seller. Get More Listings A listing without professional photos is like a waffle cone without ice cream. One feels incomplete without the other. So, to set yourself apart from other agents, ensure that your listings are loaded with high-quality real estate photos. Not only will this bode well for your brand image, but it could also expand your sphere of influence among prospective buyers and help you score more listings! After all, when sellers research you online (and they will), they'll expect to see quality media. If the listing is between you and another agent, you can emerge victorious by making sure that your listings are packed with superb real estate photography. But don't stop there: if you really want to sweep the seller off her feet, you can include real estate video content, 3D tours, and exciting aerial drone footage in your listings. Take that, Other Agent! Get More Leads Want to rank higher in Google? You'll need to host exclusive, high-quality, and eye-grabbing media that'll generate more clicks and drive more traffic to your site. To optimize your presence in Google search results, you'll also need to apply some SEO best practices. For starters, edit the image filename so that it's searchable and SEO-friendly. Be descriptive without going overboard. For example, instead of a filename titled "IMG_001.jpg," try "2-story-townhouse-Boise-Idaho," if that's what you're going for. The latter has a nice (clickable) ring to it, don't you think? Also, make sure that your Alt Tags are optimized for SEO so that the image can define itself to web crawlers and appear more relevant against search queries: Classic townhouse with modern gourmet kitchen Boise Idaho. Lastly, why spend money on paid social and Google Ads when you can generate organic traffic using impeccable real estate photos that convert leads into customers? Virtual Open Houses In today's tech-driven world, hosting a virtual open house, or offering 3D real estate tours, can help sell the property even faster. Better yet, a virtual tour can take the legwork out of showing the property in person, especially when a potential buyer sends you a last-minute request to view it. Thus, the advent of the virtual tour allows you to work more efficiently. For example, you can send the prospective homebuyer a link to the tour to sustain their interest in the property while sorting out your schedule behind the scenes. What's more, some sellers may not be comfortable with the thought of others visiting their homes post-pandemic, which is why a virtual tour comes in extra handy. At HomeJab, our virtual tour services can offer seamless 3D real estate experiences for your customers. Homeowners Deserve the Best When asked why he hustled on plays that had little effect on a game's outcome or on his team's standing, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio said, "Because there's always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time… "I owe him my best." At HomeJab, we believe that homeowners also deserve the best, no matter the size of their homes. Although a lower-end home might be a small deal for the agent, it's nonetheless a big financial investment for the homeowner. Therefore, it deserves as much energy and hard work as one would pour into a higher-end home. And there you have it — five solid reasons why professional real estate photography matters in a seller's market. Ready to schedule your shoot? To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How Virtual Staging Sells Homes
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Staging the Exterior of Your Home for Real Estate Photography
Want your listing to make the best first impression possible? Share this home seller-focused article with your clients to ensure the exterior of their home is picture perfect! As you prepare to sell your home, there is bound to be plenty of last-minute worries running through your head: Did I get rid of everything from that room? Is the kitchen as clean as it could be? Do I need to stage? However, it's completely normal to become so preoccupied with concerns about the inside of your home that you neglect the outside. The exterior of your home, including the yard, paintwork and driveway, are just as important when making sure your home gives a strong impression. In fact, since the exterior is first seen by potential buyers, it might be even more important than how you have presented the inside. Some steps to take before photography We know how tempting it is get a real estate photographer there right away to start snapping, but there is a basic checklist you should follow before beginning to take photos of your home. Ensure your green spaces are looking neat. Your grass should be freshly mowed for a clean look. If not, ensure that it isn't overgrown at the very least. Similarly, trees and shrubs should be non-intrusive and trimmed down for aesthetic purposes. Consider your pathways and driveways. Are they clear of any potential obstacles? Make sure that any leaves, sticks, or other unsightly objects have been cleared. Your footpaths should always make for a smooth walk. Another tip is to relocate your garbage cans to your garage while you take photos – nobody wants to look at garbage cans when considering a home! Lastly, before photos of the exterior are taken, move your car out of the way. Your car can be a distraction in the photos and potentially cover up some of your curb appeal. Do all of your flowerbeds look their best? A flowerbed should only ever be photographed containing blooming plants or covered in fresh mulch. You want to avoid taking photos of flowerbeds covered in dead plants, gardening equipment, or other debris. A layer of fresh mulch can work wonders in the winter when your flowerbed might be looking bare. Conceal unsightly elements of your yard. Sometimes, these things are fairly easy to hide. Be it toys that belong to your kids or dog, a stray garden shovel, or some laundry pegs, they can simply be removed from your grass. However, if you have an unsightly air conditioning unit, this would be tougher to conceal. You might be able to use shrubbery or a potted plant to your advantage here. Showcase your outdoor living area. If your home boasts a comfortable decking or patio area, it is a great idea to spend some time capturing its essence through photography. Ask your photographer to show off the outdoor living area in its best light, especially if you have luxuries such as a nice seating area, barbecue, or swimming pool. Consider your doors and windows A photo of your front door can be an intriguing one. If you list this image first, it can build excitement about what lays behind the door. However, do note that this tactic only works if your front door is clean, well-presented, and any panes of glass are thoroughly washed. Consider adding a welcome mat or other pieces of porch furniture to really make the front of your home look appealing. Creating a sense of warmth through your external photography is key to getting potential buyers on-site. For more exterior tips as well as interior ones, check out our Prep List! Jack Vale is a writer for Scaffold Store, a scaffolding manufacturer and retailer. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
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How to Prep Your Listing for a Photo Shoot
Real estate photos are the best way to make a strong first impression on a buyer, but it's important that a listing is properly prepared before the photo shoot begins. Share this article with your clients to ensure their home is picture perfect and ready to sell! We've prepared this comprehensive guide to get your listing camera-ready and one step closer to selling! In this article, we cover three key sections to the home prep process — exterior shots, interior shots and virtual staging — and it's all you'll ever need to help your real estate clients prepare their home before the real estate photographer is scheduled to arrive. How to Prep the Home Exterior Ever heard of the phrase, "It's not about what's on the outside but what's on the inside that counts?" Yeah. No. When it comes to real estate photography, the outside counts just as much as the inside. And with the bulk of your life taking place indoors, it's no wonder that a home's exterior is often overlooked during the prep process. That said, below are five areas to consider when prepping the exterior sections of your home. Keep in mind that an impeccable exterior can help your property score a great first impression! 1. Yards and Landscaping A well-groomed front yard, ideally with some flowers and plants that pop, can certainly set the mood for the rest of the home-viewing experience. What's more, a home's exterior and front lawn are usually the featured image in show sheets, so you'll want to make sure that the outside sections of your home are as photogenic as possible, starting with your grass. Grass should be trimmed uniformly for a clean and consistent look. There should be no unruly patches of grass or overgrown shrubs that distract from a uniform look. On the other hand, if your front lawn is comprised of Astroturf or synthetic grass, be sure to spot-clean any stains that may have set into the grass over time. 2. Pathways and Driveways Are there tire streaks on the driveway leading up to the garage? Are there trash and recycling bins lined up against the curb waiting to be collected by the utility company? Are there any other obstructions that might further distract from the main focus of the image (i.e., your home?) When it comes to real estate photography, these are important questions to consider! So make sure that these areas are unobstructed before the photographer arrives. And lastly, we know that you're super proud of your sweet ride, whether it's a '95 Corolla or a '21 Maserati, but homebuyers aren't very keen on viewing pictures of your car (so maybe save that for Car and Driver magazine?) 3. Unsightly Elements Piggybacking off Step #2, you should check for unsightly elements that could derail your real estate photography efforts, such as tricycles parked on freshly mowed lawns, water hoses coiled over rusty pipes, and stray garden shovels staked into the soil. Seriously, not even the adorable child swing hanging from a branch of your olive tree is safe. In real estate photography, less is certainly more. 4. Windows and Doors If you're already prepping the front and back exteriors of your home, we'd like you to take a moment and glance at each exterior section. (Go ahead. We'll wait.) Alright, so now that you're back, may we ask, Where did your eye go? What exactly did you see? A basic interior design trick is to design around a conversation piece in every room. This conversation piece could be a blush wingback chair or an exquisite marble top coffee table that your eye will be immediately drawn to. And then, as you survey the rest of the area, everything else centered around the design will sort of just make sense. You can apply the same technique to your home exterior and really up the ante in your real estate photography game. For example, you might not know the house number for your neighbor down the street, but you know that her door is painted in a "school bus yellow" that you can't help but notice as you drive past. Before you splash a gallon of yellow paint on your front door, ask yourself if there could be a "conversation piece" to your home exterior that your real estate photographer can capture during the photo shoot. This should be something eye-grabbing, such as an ornate door knocker or a comfy seating area. At the very least, you should aim to keep your front and back doors clean and presentable. That goes for window panes, too. 5. Outdoor Entertaining Does your home boast an appealing deck, patio area, or gazebo? If your home is rich in outdoor amenities, use them! Good real estate photography showcases exterior areas in your home where the prospective buyer can imagine themselves spending time. This can be a BBQ grill area, swimming pool, or zen garden. Remember, your goal is to entice the homebuyer to set up a viewing of your property right away, and a flawless photoshoot (highlighting exteriors as much as interiors) is the quickest way to accomplish this. (For more on exterior home prep, check out this article!) How to Prep Your Home Interior At HomeJab, our photographers are instructed not to rearrange items in your home when they arrive to snap pictures. This is why the below three steps to prepping your home's interior are crucial. Before we dive in, note that a home is best captured when empty, so no photobombing with your pets and guests in the background, please. Also, our photographers don't photoshop items out of the pictures they take free of charge, so if you don't want that lava lamp on your nightstand to be featured, please do your best to remove it. 1. Declutter In real estate photography, knickknacks are no bueno; that goes for the spice jars on the kitchen counter and the piles of bills on the dinner table. To ensure that all interior rooms are camera-ready, please put away all personal care items including laundry bags, toys, pet beds, food, and water bowls. It's also recommended that you remove personal photos, such as framed pictures or photo albums that are otherwise on display. And lastly, if you care to leave towel linens hanging on rods in the bathroom, opt for colors like white and beige to offer a neutral palette to the viewer. 2. Lighting Light is an important element to consider when prepping your home for the real estate photographer. Make sure that all light bulbs are working properly and that they're switched on. Also, leaving all doors open in each room can help brighten up your spaces even more and aid the real estate photographer in capturing more depth to your spaces. 3. Cleanliness To prepare for the perfect interior shots, your home should be sparkly clean and uber tidy. To that end, ensure that all beds are neatly made, vacuum and clean all carpets and rugs, empty out all sinks, showers and bathtubs, lower all toilet seats, wipe all counters, surfaces and mirrors, and put away all waste bins. We can't stress enough that when it comes to real estate photography, visual details matter, which is why you should strive to conceal electric wires (if possible) and to arrange furniture items in an aesthetically pleasing way. For instance, you can fluff up the pillows on your couch and arrange them through color coordination. (To access HomeJab's bulleted Prep List, click here!) How to Prep For Virtual Staging But what if there's nothing inside of your home to prep? Not a single chair, table, or desk to sit at? Worst of all, what if the items in your home aren't photogenic at all? What if they're bonafide eyesores like that jungle-themed wallpaper in the bathroom or the red leather sofa in the living room? At HomeJab, we can agree that, for the most part, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to real estate photography, you'll want to err on the side of caution, and that includes subduing loud, jarring elements by replacing them with warm, neutral colors. The good news is that our virtual staging services can either fill in those empty spaces or remove unsightly items from the picture, swapping them out for modern furniture and decor instead! When planning a virtually staged home, be mindful of best practices and rules to avoid misrepresenting your property. Some MLSs think that virtual staging presents an ethical issue based on misrepresentation, which is why there should be a disclaimer in your listing stating that your home is virtually staged. If so, the disclaimer should note that items depicted in the room are meant to help the prospective homebuyer envision what the home can look like and not what it actually looks like at the time the pictures were taken. We also recommend including pictures in your listing showing the current state of the room. This way you can help clear any confusion or misrepresentations on your listing. Finally, don't let the photoshoot prep process overwhelm you! At HomeJab, we make it incredibly easy to start with your best foot forward. Just follow this guide and book your real estate photographer when your home's ready for its closeup! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Friday Freebie: Up Your Listing's Appeal with a Twilight Photo Edit
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4 Reasons Why Waiting on Your Real Estate Photographer Is a Bad Idea
Is waiting on your real estate photographer's schedule keeping you from growing your business? At HomeJab, we'd like to help you prevent this tragedy! Below are four definitive reasons why waiting on your real estate photographer is a bad idea, and why booking with us can help you win more listings and sell more homes on the fly. 1. Efficiency With so many business directives to check off their list, from generating leads to closing deals, the busy real estate agent simply can't afford to be at the whim of a photographer's schedule. In fact, it's quite the opposite: their day needs to be less stressful, better managed, and more productive. So, rather than wait for your go-to photographer to reply to your texts, emails, and even social media DMs, why not skip these time-consuming attempts at communication and schedule a professional real estate photographer with HomeJab in no time? 2. Time Is Money When it comes to running the gamut of a successful real estate business, speed is the name of the game. Period. A savvy real estate agent understands this wholeheartedly, which is why the faster you list your property, the faster you can say "cha-ching!" on your way to the bank. What's more, booking your real estate photographer with HomeJab can keep you ahead of the curve by outsmarting ibuyers like Zillow and Opendoor, who are aggressively pitching homeowners with a quick close. 3. Flexibility Let's be honest: your go-to real estate photographer also moonlights at weddings, snapping pics of happy brides and grooms, amirite? Look, there's nothing wrong with that, but you'll want a reliable service that offers you complete flexibility when it comes to hiring a real estate photographer. Not only that, there's the homeowner's schedule to consider, too. Between virtual Zoom meetings, kids' playdates, and other home engagements, you'll need to hash out scheduling details with the homeowner accordingly and ensure that photo shoots are timed precisely. This is where HomeJab's on-demand scheduling comes in handy. By booking with us, you can make sure that your professional real estate photographer arrives at the optimal time, to a tidy, picture-perfect home. Our scheduling process is so flexible, you can even book around the landscaper's schedule and show off that awesome curb appeal! 4. Win More Listings Imagine speaking with a prospective seller. They're looking to work with a dedicated agent who can list their home and sell it yesterday. Now, imagine telling that seller that you have the wherewithal to schedule a professional real estate photographer to snap exquisite photos of their home as soon as tomorrow! That's the beauty of HomeJab: we provide a swift solution to a pain point that simply can't wait. Besides scoring some major brownie points by impressing the seller with your speed, once you're able to schedule photos right away, the homeowner's committing to working with you. Boom! You've just won another listing, and all you had to do was use HomeJab to connect with and schedule a professional real estate photographer within 24 hours. By the way, this makes us the fastest and most efficient media production service in the real estate industry, but who's bragging? (To view our amazing portfolio of impeccable real estate photography, click here!) To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How to Beat Zillow, Opendoor and Win More Listings
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How Drones Can Help Drive Interest in Today's Real Estate World
As with so many of the unique challenges in the COVID-19 real estate world, technology is helping to bridge the gaps and allow buyers to fall in love with homes from a distance. Aerial drones filled a valuable niche in real estate marketing even before the pandemic, but their use has only grown more prominent during the last year. With creative use of drone footage, you can help buyers fall in love and help sellers show off their properties from a whole new perspective. Why Drones Truly Took Off in Real Estate in 2020 The challenges posed by COVID-19 and precautions in place to prevent its spread have impacted every part of life, including real estate. Many markets have restrictions currently in place that make touring homes and neighborhoods in person impractical. And while there are some more "open" communities around the country, many real estate clients won't be comfortable making tours in person. Virtual tours and online research have taken an even more important role in buying a new home than ever before, with drones providing valuable footage that simply can't be obtained in any other way. How Buyers Are Adapting to Shopping in the COVID-19 Era The good news is that even with all of the unique challenges we have faced recently, buyers are still very interested in purchasing homes and sellers still want to find the right buyer for their properties. Today, buyers rely on virtual tours for learning about the homes and neighborhoods that pique their interest. They are looking for detailed footage that really helps them fall in love with a home and neighborhood. This includes all of the photos/video that you're already used to gathering from ground level, but a view from above can really help tie the whole package together. That's where aerial drones enter the picture. Normal Home Footage Is Great, But It Has Some Key Limitations With a high-quality smartphone equipped with the right apps and accessories, you can capture great footage of a home from ground level. Drones don't replace that footage, but perspective and scale are also limited when capturing footage from the ground. You can show off individual rooms or provide an impression of how the home looks from the curb, but there's no way to get a holistic view of the property from the ground. So by all means keep creating those great, detailed virtual tours with your phone, but don't forget to include a view from above. Drones Provide a Unique Perspective That Can't Be Captured Any Other Way When you're trying to capture everything that a property has to offer, there's simply no substitute for the unique perspective that drone footage provides. It shows how the whole property fits together, and how it has been maintained. If the home is situated in an area with beautiful, natural views, aerial footage can perfectly show off that natural landscape around the home. If it's in a more densely populated, urban community, then a view from above shows how the home fits into the neighborhood. Helping Buyers Fall in Love with Neighborhoods Is More Important than Ever Savvy buyers know that they're shopping for a neighborhood just as much as they're shopping for a home, and that hasn't changed in the COVID-19 era. Of course, how buyers connect with those neighborhoods has changed a great deal. Traveling to visit a potential new neighborhood is challenging, and in many markets the buyer won't be able to see much even if they did make a trip. But they still want to get a feel for the neighborhood, find how close key services will be located, see what they'll do for fun, and discover how their potential new home is situated within the larger community. Drones and aerial views can help put that all in perspective. How Drones Can Help Capture the Essence of Each Neighborhood While virtual tours work great for homes, they are much more difficult to pull off when you're trying to showcase an entire neighborhood. Even if you get great footage of a few local businesses and attractions, it's hard to show how everything is connected within the neighborhood. An aerial view of the community provides a completely different perspective, allowing buyers to see how they'll move through the neighborhood, imagine what their daily routine would be like, and discover what they'll do for fun. For a home located in a rural area or deep in nature, an aerial view will highlight the privacy of the space and the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Drone Footage Is as Valuable for Sellers as It Is for Buyers We have talked plenty about how drone footage can help buyers fall in love with homes and communities, but the other side of that coin is just as important. When you're selling a property for a client, you want them to know that you're doing everything possible to market their home and overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 era. Providing drone footage – in addition to new standbys like virtual tours – shows sellers that you will leave no stone unturned when it comes to marketing their home. A commitment to using the best marketing tools available is great for helping sellers find buyers, and for earning referrals from satisfied sellers once the deal is closed. Getting Started with Drones Is Easier than You Might Think Becoming an expert with drone photography/video takes practice and time, but it's not too difficult to get started. Just remember that before you film with a drone, especially in public, you'll want to check out local regulations for drone use. The first thing you will need is a drone, and there are entry level models with basic cameras, often available for less than $100, that are great for practicing. More advanced models – which you'll eventually want for capturing pro-quality footage – start at around $500 and rise from there. If you wish to use your own camera, you can also purchase a drone capable of carrying cameras of any size. Once you have the equipment, it's just a matter of practicing, reviewing your footage, and getting comfortable with the process. When challenges arise, the most adaptable industries discover new ways to get things done. The real estate world has adapted in so many ways to COVID-19, and many of those adaptations will continue to provide value even when things return to normal. Drone footage is an excellent way to show off your listings/ markets now, and should remain a valuable tool well into the future. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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[Best of 2020] 6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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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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