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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
In real estate, buyers and sellers hope that the perfect home is out there—ideally, it's within an arm's reach. In 2020, 76 percent of home buyers initially viewed the homes they purchased online using a mobile device. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Pew Research says seven in 10 Americans consider using Facebook as a part of their daily routine. Knowing this, it's no wonder real estate agents cited social media as the best source for high-quality leads, followed by MLS websites. Now the question is no longer "should" you use social media for your real estate listings. Instead, it's "How do you use social media to portray your experience and personality in one shot?" For most real estate agents, the secret to a professional social media presence is using extraordinary photography. Done right, it gets high-value clients to envision working with you by bringing their thumbs to a screeching halt. From there, your job is to move the conversation into the real world. In this post, you'll learn how to use features of Facebook and Instagram to captivate serious buyers and sellers. It's a good idea to save this page now, so you can refer back to it as you learn the ropes of social media. Why Are Facebook and Instagram the Best Platforms for Real Estate Agents? Facebook and Instagram are two of the most widely-used social media platforms. There's a good reason for this: Here, content creation is user-friendly, versatile, and appeals to multiple generations of buyers and sellers. Research shows that people on both platforms, young and old, are more likely to interact with visual content like photos and videos. More importantly, people remember information better when it's paired with relevant images. That means people will remember the way a stunning house listing made them feel—days after the first impression. Facebook and Instagram both use multiple computer learning models, or algorithms, to personalize what people see on their news feeds. In other words, these social media platforms distribute your content based on how viewers interact with it—or don't. Social media success doesn't always come easy, but using professional real estate photography can help you conquer algorithms and delight homebuyers. For social media to be a worthwhile investment, you must know who your ideal client is, and what they're looking for as a buyer or seller. The visual component simply gives your hard work the credibility it deserves. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Facebook Facebook is an enormous network—only second in the country to YouTube—with a user base of mostly adults between 30 and over 65 according to Pew Research. It's the most popular social network for older folks, and its steady growth means it's not going away any time soon. As a real estate agent, you need to create a Facebook Business Page. This is separate from the personal profile you might use to share family pictures, vacation photos, and information unrelated to your work. What People Like to See on Facebook People like Facebook for its informative approach to community development. There is more room for text, links, and smaller images. You should use Facebook to influence existing communities where your potential buyers and sellers are already active. According to the social media pros at Buffer, Facebook users want to see content that is immediately relevant to them, so it makes sense that the current algorithm for posts looks like this for most people: Family and friends Subscribed pages and groups Suggested pages and groups Paid advertising When using Facebook to promote property listings and other content, keep these features in mind: Facebook Reactions: Post extraordinary photos to influence emotions Facebook Groups: Connect with local enthusiasts Share Links, Multimedia: Create your business page experience 1. Facebook Reactions: Post Extraordinary Photos to Influence Emotions Scrolling through Facebook updates can be an emotional roller coaster. People enjoy aimlessly scrolling because the ups and downs of emotional reactions are seriously entertaining. Facebook users can react to posts and comments with a full slate of emotions — Like, Love, Care, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. The more emotional reactions you get, the more favorably your content is sorted by the algorithm. Few things evoke emotion like stand-out photography! Aim to flaunt the "stunning curb appeal" of your listings by opting for professional real estate photos that stand out with color, perspective, and a dynamic composition. The concept of Facebook emotions seems silly, but it drives decision-making in the real world. It only takes one 'Wow' or 'Love' reaction to influence the high-quality leads of serious buyers. Other ways to get more emotional reactions with real estate photos: Write your brand story: Share advice, industry tips, and lessons learned as a real estate agent. Use photos from previous listings, or re-share posts from years past to celebrate new milestones, memorable properties, and advice for best practices 2. Facebook Groups: Connect with Local Enthusiasts When you manage a Facebook Business Page, all of your home listings and regular updates about work should be posted there. You can take your Page a step further by using it to join Groups of people with shared interests, locations, and careers—to name a few. The example shared here is from "Fairfax County Realtor Forum," a public Group with 5.4k members interested in what real estate agents have to say about the housing market there. Regular Facebook users can join these groups too. You should use your Business Page—not your personal profile—to join or start professional groups. This way, people interested in working with you have an appropriate place to contact you. In using social media, a little good judgement goes a long way. Some Facebook Groups are specifically made for networking, and others have strict rules against soliciting or self-advertising. You can still build a positive reputation and gain followers by joining conversations that aren't directly about buying and selling homes. This is a great way to ensure your page following keeps expanding. Learning more about your community can also give you good insight on what people are looking for in a home. You can learn to anticipate who's moving in, who's moving out, and the problems folks encounter along the way. One common problem for sellers doesn't appear until their items are long gone from the property. It's harder to generate interest in homes that aren't staged with furniture. It's easy to see why a buyer would hesitate to pass on an online listing where the function and feel of a space just aren't there. You can use virtual staging to show buyers how the rooms in a property will effectively end their search. A couple of Florida-bound retirees will be looking for a completely different layout from a young professional who needs a home office. At HomeJab, our team can take the lead on virtual staging, or real estate agents can choose some particular pieces or styles of furniture and decor from an online catalog. More tips for interacting with Groups: Use photo posts as conversation starters: Asking open-ended questions gets your followers sharing their ideas with you, and chatting with one another. Start a new group where one doesn't exist yet, if you see the need and the opportunity. Tag the people, businesses, and locations where relevant and appropriate: This can help grow your network of followers. Your clients get the satisfaction of sharing official updates for things like buying or selling a home, while you get an instant referral for like-minded friends, family members, and acquaintances that are seeking a good realty experience. 3. Share Links, Multimedia: Create Your Business Page Experience Stunning aerial views of this unique property are worth a double-take. The real estate agent here includes multiple photos, and links to different resources with information that Facebook users will appreciate. Another great way to expand your Facebook Business Page audience is to spend as much time sharing useful information and posts from other relevant accounts as you spend creating your own content. Link sharing is one BIG advantage Facebook has over Instagram. When you share links on Facebook, it is formatted with the information, pictures, and headlines you want to share. Sharing links directly to your Page gives people a reason to keep following you. It diversifies the type of content people see from you, making your Page more useful to your followers, and more favorable for the algorithm. That's why HomeJab introduced Property Pages to help real estate agents drive traffic to one convenient branded profile. Sharing this link on your Page gives your followers a way to share home listing information with their network—without the hassle, distractions, and tediously retracing steps. One of the best perks of having a Business Page on Facebook is the Insights tools, where you can get a clear picture of your social media performance. At the same time, you can keep an eye on the Facebook Business Pages of competitors to quickly compare your data with theirs. And it's not a bad idea to occasionally share the news updates and personable posts from your competitors. Doing this can actually boost your reach—the number of people who engage with your content. Plus, watching and learning from other successful Pages—especially ones that are successful in your niche—is a great way to inspire and re-shape what you do. It's an easy way to assess your audience's interest without completely straying from your social media strategy. More on sharing likable links: Multimedia content is key – A healthy mix of text posts, images, and interactive content is best for a better algorithm. That means sharing a blend of links to your home listings, albums of home walkthroughs, and video content will keep you cycling in more feeds. Experiment with the built-in features like Facebook Marketplace and Targeted Ads when your strategy allows. Video Engages Audiences – When you upload videos of home listings directly to Facebook, your engagement can skyrocket. Videos should be between 3-5 minutes for a favorable algorithm treatment. Remember that Facebook is all about effectively sharing information worth revisiting later. Managing a Facebook business page should enable your clients to keep you in the loop, and contact you as seamlessly as possible. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Instagram The Instagram user base is largely made up of younger adults aged 18-29, and older adults are significantly less active on this platform in general. It's considered more of a niche platform, but don't underestimate the value of it—millions of people are on Instagram at any given moment. What People Like to See on Instagram Importantly, the Instagram algorithm does not favor timeliness, so creating relationships is as important as creating content. The Instagram algorithm is determined by these factors: Interest – General topics, themes, and lifestyle trends that users follow. Recency – How often a user is on Instagram, relative to the accounts they follow. Relationship – This is measured by the number of comments, tags, and shares between accounts. Less frequent users will simply get a brief "greatest hits" feed with just a few posts that are relative to the factors above. Use Instagram to share your all-time favorite photos, and aim to foster an intimate audience connection. On this platform, you can share photography with minimal distractions. The interface is best suited for mobile devices, where graphics take up the majority of the screen. Here are some features to keep in mind when posting real estate listings to Instagram: Explore Feed: color welcomes viewers to your listings Carousels: More images, more fun Link in Bio: Inspire with your call-to-action 1. Explore Feed: Color Welcomes Viewers to Your Listings Each user on Instagram has an Explore feed. Find yours by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your home feed. This feature looks like a digital quilt of posts from other accounts you may be interested in following. Here, it's the sunny blue skies or hazy purple at twilight that will lure curious homebuyers to your posts. The professional photographers at HomeJab can take care of the color grading for you with a virtual dusk treatment that highlights the property, and maintains its real-life features. HomeJab has digital photo processing down to a science, so you'll receive a package of photos ready for posting. Consistently using professional photography in your real estate listings means you don't need to worry about getting the filter right. More ideas for showing up in the Explore feed: Follow and interact with accounts like yours, and the clients you want to attract. Pay attention to the hashtags folks in your niche are using, and cycle through them with your own posts. The Instagram algorithm favors posts that use hashtags relevant to the text in the post Celebrate Social Media Holidays – It's the best place to make vibrant, thematic posts celebrating social media holidays like #NationalHomeownersDay 2. Carousels: More Images, More Fun When you post multiple images—up to 10 at once—you can encourage users to thumb through them with the carousel feature. Seeing a home online is always going to be different than seeing it in person, but convincing people to take that step is vital! You can get creative with the strategy behind using a carousel to inspire action. One of the most difficult things to do on Instagram is to entice people to interact with you beyond the platform. Imagine seeing the first few images of a stunning virtual tour or an upcoming open house—swiping through a carousel of photos that show just the outside of a beautiful home could be what convinces someone to seek a full walkthrough. Here are more ways to play up the interactive elements of Carousels: When you make Carousel posts, re-share them in the app with Stories. This is another great way to link your followers directly from their home feed to your profile. If you have a wide-angle photograph that doesn't quite fit into one Instagram slide alone, split it up into multiple images for one carousel post. The easiest way to do this is by going into your photos and saving the original image to your phone three or four times. Make a Carousel to progressively show the wide angle photo. Oddly satisfying—right? Add minimal graphics that give details about the listing. The 'Just Listed' digital sticker here subtly adds to the impact of the photo. Canva is a free and simple graphic design tool. 3. Link in Bio: Inspire with Your Call-to-Action If you don't see the level of engagement that you want from Instagram, consider rewording your messages to ask for it. It can be tough to convince people to navigate away from Instagram because there aren't many ways to share direct links. That's why having a consistently updated and relevant link in your Instagram profile—your *link in bio*— message is so important. If you're ever worried about the ephemeral nature of social media, you're not alone. But that investment of time and resources doesn't have to be wasted just because a home listing goes off the market. From there, it becomes useful for your branding and portfolio as a real estate agent. That's why it's important to—as often as possible—plan and create 'evergreen' content in bulk. This kind of content is always going to be relevant to your audience's needs, and it's always going to be worth sharing as a part of your brand story. Good evergreen social media content can include photos from your successful sales, like the example used here. This is an effective way to throw in a personal anecdote, a quote, or experience that represents your philosophy on the industry. Here are more ways to make the most of your bio link: You can make the bio link more dynamic with other free services like Linktree. This is an effective way to link relevant new listings, news and market data, links to your contact information, and your other social media profiles. Or, skip the separate link service, and routinely update the link in your bio with a limited-time feature. Of course, this means planning out the details behind posting and removing a link when it's time, but it's one way of pressing the urgency of clicking the link to a limited-time offer, like an event page for an open house. These are just a few of the features on Instagram that naturally attract high-value homebuyers and sellers seeking representation. You can use Instagram to help others envision what a dream home looks like. Remember: Time + Consistency = Success How long will it take to be successful with Facebook and Instagram? Your success depends on the quality of posts on your platform, and how closely you tailor a strategy to use it. Use professional real estate photos consistently to build your following from the ground up, whether you're revamping an old business profile or starting from zero followers. You will always benefit from learning the ropes of real estate and communication in the online market. Choose a social media platform, and explore all of the built-in features to make your profile stronger. Over time, you'll enjoy the free or low-cost marketing opportunities social media brings. Contact HomeJab for Picture-Perfect Real Estate Listings At HomeJab, we know that one snapshot can completely change the first impression you make on clients. Social media is a free or low-cost tool you can use to exponentially grow your marketing audience. Hardly anything compares to the reach and convenience of a strong social media presence. Our team will set you up for success in representing buyers and sellers by raising the bar for professionalism in real estate. Contact HomeJab to learn more about what captivates serious homebuyers who are searching for that picture-perfect home. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Why Real Estate Photography Is Important In A Seller's Market
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How Virtual Staging Sells Homes
Have you ever played The Sims? This popular video game gives users the ability to virtually create a home filled with furnishings and accessories to their liking. With over 20 million users worldwide, it remains as popular today as when it first appeared in 2000. Wouldn't it be great if you could use this property tech idea to help sell more homes? Well, now you can with virtual staging. It starts with a little imagination to complement the floor plans, and some 3D software applications to highlight a portion or all the spaces within a home. Virtual staging is a great marketing tool that helps compel a home buyer to make the purchase. What is virtual staging? The digital creation of furniture, decor, and accessories within a home for use in virtual tours to be shared on a digital device. Why is this technology growing in popularity? Buyers want the ability to experience a home's full potential before making an appointment to view it and sellers want fewer interruptions in their daily lives. Virtual staging frees homeowners from the stress of physical staging and lessens the amount of time required to prepare the home during the listing and marketing process. As a real estate professional, you can use the virtual staging technology as a great tool to showcase a vacant home or unclutter a well lived-in one. No Moving or Renovations Required When selling a home, you may want the virtual tours to highlight a minimalistic design, but what if the current homeowners don't live this way? Instead of having to come up with a polite way to get the seller to move their things off the counters and put away excess possessions, you can start with a clean slate by using virtual staging. You can virtually remove items then add in just the right amount of furniture for your 3D tours to enhance the flow of the floor plans. You want the potential buyer to focus on the room dimensions and layout without getting lost in the confusion of too much stuff. Are there odd shaped areas in the house? Some spots can be difficult to place furniture in, but with virtual staging it is easy. Instead of trying to fill a space with a limited collection of real furniture, you can handpick virtual furniture to complement weird shaped areas within the floor plans. Show the buyer the best possible layout of your listing without rearranging existing chattels. If the home could use some updating, you can give the buyer an idea of what it could look like after a renovation. New paint, updated cabinets and multiple flooring options can all be virtually staged, allowing the buyer to form an emotional connection with the home. Cost Effective Traditional staging can be expensive, depending on how long the furniture is required to remain in a home. Every 24 hours that ticks by costs money that neither the current owner or you want to spend. Welcome virtual staging, where for a one-time fee you can achieve the look you want for your 360° tours and save money. According to Real Estate Magazine, virtual staging costs about $50 to $100 for each room in comparison to around $500 in the first month for physical staging. Options to virtually stage a property range from DIY software to hiring a third party specializing in the field. Professional real estate photographers offer this service along with photographs, virtual tours and square footage calculations. Virtual staging eliminates the need to move furniture back and forth from staging a home to purchase stage. Avoid worrying about spending extra money on hiring a mover to shuffle furniture in and out of the house and the possible damage to walls and fixtures in the process. Elimination of extra costs and hassle keeps your seller happy. Virtual staging enhances your 3D tours and helps the home come to life for potential buyers. Limitless Possibilities Staging a home is not new to the real estate industry, but virtual staging is a concept that is growing in popularity. Since the pandemic, consumers are more aware of the ability to visit a property without being physically present. As both buyer and seller embrace technology, virtual staging will become the new normal. Distance is no longer a deterrent when it comes to buying a home. Whether you live across the street or across the world, you can make informed decisions about the size, type and layout of a potential home all at the tip of your fingers. Virtual technology is opening doors and helping the consumer confidently buy their dream home before they see it up close and personal. According to an article in the New York Times, homebuyers are submitting offers on properties before ever setting foot in them. One reason for these early offers is because the buyers have the ability to virtually walk through and experience the home online. Accurate square footage calculations and immersive floor plans help the consumer understand the layout. Add in some virtual staging to simulate the buyer's preferences, and you have a great marketing tool. Make sure to keep your target market in mind so as not to overdo the staging with too much color or crazy furniture. Not everyone can afford the 72" HD TV or remodelled kitchen cabinets. Enhance the Space, Don't Disguise It There is no doubt about it—virtual staging can help get a home sold. Adding in some great looking furniture and changing the look of a property helps the consumer visualize living there. But don't let your listing be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Make sure you explain in detail what part of the property has been virtually staged. One buyer recently stated, "I felt deceived and the photos were misleading" after viewing an MLS listing online. The selling agent failed to completely explain that the house had been virtually staged and the potential buyer was disappointed when viewing the property in person. Be obvious when describing how each portion of the home has been staged. Clearly indicate "before" and "after" depictions of every virtually staged area. It is up to you as a real estate professional to inform the consumer and initiate the conversation about the potential of the property. Use extra resources to show the fit and flow of the floor plans by making sure to include accurate square footage, room dimensions—and for an added 3D user experience, get some advanced measurements like those offered with an iGUIDE. Virtual staging is not about tricking a buyer into viewing a house; it is about opening the door to possibilities that are often hidden behind a whole lot of sellers' treasures. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees, but with a cleverly staged home everyone can see from a different point of view. Virtual staging takes the pressure off the seller, but most consumers still want to physically visit a house. As a real estate agent, it is important that you inform your customers the home will look different in person. You don't have to know how to play The Sims video game to appreciate one of the best ways to stage a home—you just have to make sure your SIM card is working when the phone starts ringing with inquiries about your virtually staged listing!
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Staging the Exterior of Your Home for Real Estate Photography
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
A revolution is about to hit the real estate industry. We've reached an inflection point that will create a major change for property search websites. WAV Group expects that sites will feature 3D tours instead of still photos as the primary display in the next three to five years. 3D tours create digital scans of a property, and the best part is that you do not need to put on one of those goofy headsets to make you feel like you are walking around in the actual home. The experience provides a perspective that flipping through still photos will never provide, such as walking down a hallway. One of the greatest innovations in 3D tours is the combination of interior home scans with exterior drone footage. This gives the consumer the ability to walk out the door into the back yard (or front yard) and take a good look at the house and the neighborhood—or the ocean views, if you are l3D tours are made of 360° scans and create a virtual rey experience that is immeasurably better than still photos. Brokers and agents who get 3D tours on every property are going to jump out ahead of those that do not. Moreover, those that convert their websites to 3D tours first have a chance to beat the portals and regain market share from consumers. Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow Group, indicates that the 3D experience is going to be "the next big thing" in property marketing. But I feel they will struggle to take advantage of the trend. Zillow's problem is that they are not listing agents (at least not yet). Zillow tried to put out software for free to anyone to capture home scans on their phone, but the product is not anywhere close to the experience that you get from a Matterport, iGuide or Asteroom scan. If agents do not pay for these scans and send the content to Zillow Group, it will be difficult for them to take the lead as a portal. The best part of these 360° scans is the production of floor plans. Michael Vervena from iGuide says that the accuracy of these scans from equipment like the Ricoh Theta Z1 360° camera placed on the iGuide Planix base will capture room dimensions to an accuracy of 0.5% or greater. When you look at the research performed by the National Association of REALTORS®, consumers list photos as the No. 1 most important information along with property details and then floorplans at No. 3. Zillow research puts floor plans at the No. 2 most important information consumers seek. Another big advantage of 3D tours with floor plans is engagement. Consumers spend a lot more time on the site and are more likely to inquire about a listing. Moreover, lead quality goes way up. The home buyer starts with location, beds and baths. From there, the process is about taking properties off the list. It takes less time to tour a property using this new technology than it does to find your keys and hop in your car. Floor plans are also incredibly helpful at understanding if you will fit in with a specific house; people want to know if their furniture will fit. This is where virtual staging from BoxBrownie comes in handy. It also helps solve the other problem of showing the home seller's old-and-outdated furniture handed down from their step-grandmother. Some of the details that the industry has not worked out yet include cost of the tours, ownership of the data, and hosting fees. The cost of the tours has come down a significant amount. Compare the $3000 cost of a Matterport tour plus monthly hosting with iGuide's $299 tour tour and no hosting fee. In fact, iGuide even provides the agent with a downloadable version that can be played from their phone, computer, tablet or even sent via text. Asteroom is considered less expensive in comparison, but it is more of a DIY solution. Most of the tours today include the professional photographer, causing data ownership to be all over the board. For instance, Matterport and Asteroom claim ownership of the data. iGuide does not. As for the hosting fees – not a fan. I am sure that the vulture capitalists backing these startups want the recurring revenue from hosting, but it is really just an egregious tax on the Realtor. If MLSs want to do something great for their members, hosting these 3D scans is a future member benefit that would be adored by their customers. In addition to these 3D tours being pushed front and center on property search sites in the future, I believe that they will become the first engagement experience between an agent and a buyer. If you have not checked out Urban Immersive's experience of a home walkthrough or a Virtual Showing by iGuide, try it. The agent can literally meet the customer online and show the home, pointing out features and answering questions for the client's convenience. These are bold predictions; feel free to disagree. But if you want to take a moonshot in your business and grow market share through investing in developing a better experience for consumers, then this is definitely it. Here is a virtual showing sample from iGuide:
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How to Prep Your Listing for a Photo Shoot
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Friday Freebie: Up Your Listing's Appeal with a Twilight Photo Edit
If there's one thing listing agents don't need help with during this era of record low inventory, it's selling homes. But you know what never hurts to have a bit of extra assistance with? Making your listing more attractive to more buyers (and if a bidding war just happens to result, all the better for you and your client). In this week's Friday Freebie, we're going to highlight an offer that jazzes up the first thing buyers will likely see of your listing—the exterior listing photo. With this free photo edit, you'll draw in buyers and make them feel like they've found their dream home at last. Free Virtual Twilight Photo Edit, courtesy of HomeJab First things first: what is a twilight photo? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like—a photo of your listing's exterior at twilight. Twilight photos are effective because they make your listing look like a warm and inviting safe haven. By evoking those feelings of "home" in the potential buyer, you create an emotional attachment to the home in them—perhaps even to the extent that they'll do anything to own that home. Now you can try out the effectiveness of a twilight photo for yourself at no cost. HomeJab is offering RE Technology readers one free twilight photo edit. All you need to do is provide a high resolution version of your listing's exterior photo. Then HomeJab will edit and deliver the photo within 24 hours. That's it! Ready to get started? Get your FREE virtual twilight photo edit today!
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4 Reasons Why Waiting on Your Real Estate Photographer Is a Bad Idea
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How to Beat Zillow, Opendoor and Win More Listings
At HomeJab, we believe in impeccable real estate photography to optimize your listings and generate more qualified leads. When looking for a new home, buyers will seek out the highest quality visuals available to them. In this article, we'll show you how to beat Zillow, Opendoor, and other iBuyer models by controlling your exclusive content, speeding to the market, and setting up virtual open houses. Control Exclusive Content Rather than handing your IP to Silicon Valley on a platter, or entangling yourself in Zillow's 3D app or in Matterport — two platforms that won't let you access source files — you should opt for the exclusive control of your content. Listing videos, virtual tours and drone footage are surefire ways to engage viewers and generate more interest for your listings. And HomeJab's real estate photography services can help you achieve these goals! You can also showcase your listings with high quality, value-add neighborhood guides in both video and blog format. Use this opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective buyers and convey your unique personality and brand. What's more, web crawlers love to index sites that feature exclusive, quality content. In other words, owning and controlling your listing media will help you outrank Opendoor and Zillow for local keywords. With exclusive content under your control, who knows? You could even start a bidding war for your listing, something that the iBuyer model, for example, simply can't offer. Speed to the Market Speaking of the iBuyer model, although this can be an attractive option for buyers who are looking to close fast on their homes (averaging 2-3 days from the offer date), this model won't yield a higher sales price because of its AVM (automated valuation model) algorithm. To beat the iBuyer model, you must act swiftly once you have an exclusive agreement to sell from a new client. If you can list the home right away and generate offers within days, the appeal of the iBuyer gets severely diminished. One of the next few steps will be to get your real estate photography game on, and HomeJab's arsenal of top real estate photographers can deliver on-demand high-quality photos, videos, and aerial shots to optimize your listing within 24 hours. Virtual Open Houses Another way to beat Zillow, Opendoor, and win more listings is to offer the buyer a glimpse of their dream home before inviting them for a tour. With virtual access to homes and floor plans on the rise, you'll want to remain ahead of the competition by optimizing your listings to include these, and ensure that your real estate photography efforts are second to none. This will also show off your real estate chops by positioning yourself as a formidable player in the field. HomeJab's 3D virtual tours will capture your customer's imagination and engage their interest by offering an effective, affordable, and high-quality virtual experience. Virtual tours can also cut down on foot traffic through the home, sparing the homeowner from "window shoppers," and procuring more qualified traffic through the front door. Furthermore, keeping open houses virtual will lead to more competition among buyers and drive up prices with minimal aggravation for the seller. In today's growing remote environment, video conferencing technology also allows for shared and streamlined virtual tour viewings. Finally, exquisite real estate photography is a must-have in all three areas above. At HomeJab, we'll make sure that you put your best foot forward when it comes to optimizing your real estate listings and elevating your game to brand new heights. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How Drones Can Help Drive Interest in Today's Real Estate World
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[Best of 2020] 6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
There are just 10 publishing days left in 2020, and we're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in May and is #10 in our countdown. Stay tuned tomorrow for #9! With social distancing the norm, open houses and in-person walkthroughs are on pause, leaving many agents wondering how they can replicate the feeling of live showings to prospective buyers. While we recommend using Homesnap Stories to create a sequence of visuals like videos, photos, text, stickers and emojis to showcase your personality and emulate the walkthrough experience for prospects, photos are still very much a necessary and indispensable component of listings.
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Friday Freebie: Dress Up Your Listings with this Virtual Staging Offer
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Five Fall Photo Faux Pas
Most people won't hop in a car and drive out to see a listing until they've already examined it online and determined they like it. That's why it's important to take plenty of great photos of your listing. The quality and quantity of your images can have a big impact on how desirable buyers find your listing. Equally important is the content of your photos. Make sure you make a great first impression to attract more showings by taking care of these fall staging essentials before you send out your photographer.
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How to Take Professional Photos on Your iPhone or Android Phone
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How to Create a Virtual House Tour
It's every real estate agent's dream--a property with a breathtaking view that absolutely blows the socks off your potential buyers. But what happens when you're creating a 360° virtual tour and all the spectacular window detail is blown out and not clear in the photos? In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a virtual tour without losing the window detail so you can showcase the property in the most accurate light possible. How to Set Up Your 360° Camera For this tutorial, we will be using the Ricoh Z1 and we will be taking bracketed shots to ensure we can capture the breathtaking outlook without losing both the internal and external focus. By using the bracketing technique, we will be capturing many different exposures which we can then blend together using our 360° Image Enhancement service. If you'd like to learn more about what bracketed images are, you can check out our previous blog here. In this case, we will be programming each bracket manually, and below is a list of the settings we will be using. Pair your 360° Ricoh Z1 camera with the Theta app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Select the "cog" icon in the top right-hand corner Set the Shooting Method to "Multi Bracket" Set the Self-timer to "10sec" Set the File Format to "JPEG" Next, your image size should be set to "670x3360°" (or the highest number possible on your device). Please note, this can't be changed in multi-bracket mode. Once you have adjusted these settings, simply select "Done" in the top right-hand corner Then, click the "+" button to set your first bracket Set the Aperture to 5.6, Shutter Speed to 1/3200, ISO to 100 and WB to 5600K, then simply select "Done" You can then repeat steps 8 and 9 so you finish with seven brackets at the following shutter speeds Shutter Speeds: 1/3200 1/1250 1/640 1/320 1/160 1/50 1/13 Now each time you take a photo, it will shoot seven photos automatically at the different exposures that you have programmed here. It's important to note when taking your brackets, some of the images will likely be completely over-exposed. This is normal, and the reason for this is we have tried here to create a setting that will capture enough brackets when shooting in almost any environment. This includes a really bright sunny day right through to a dark basement. Unfortunately, the Ricoh Z1 doesn't use a light meter when bracketing, so it's up to us to try and guess the exposures that will allow us to capture the property in full detail. Shooting Brackets with Your 360° Camera Now that your camera is all set up and configured, it will automatically capture seven shots each time. Once you are ready to begin shooting, you simply need to select the shutter next to the camera and hide so you are not captured in the shot. The Wi-Fi range on the app may not be fantastic, so try to find a hiding spot not too far away from the camera itself when taking the shots. As the camera captures the images, be sure to check the results via the app on your phone to ensure all the spectacular detail outside the window is being captured. Don't panic if it takes you a few tries to get the exact settings required to shoot a property on your 360° camera. This is completely normal, and once you have the configuration correct, it's easy and fast. If possible, try and shoot the home at midday, which will ensure the sun is overhead rather than shining directly into the camera. This is even more important when capturing outdoor areas to limit solar flares on the camera lens. As with most real estate photography, always have the blinds open, turn all the internal lights on, keep the camera as close to eye level as possible, and ensure the home has been prepared properly prior to starting the shoot. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property for the shoot, you can download our free Pre-Photography Checklist. It's always best to remove any unnecessary items from the room, but if this isn't possible, we offer Item Removal and Virtual Staging for 360° images. Conclusion Capturing professional 360° images doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming. By using these bracketing techniques, you can ensure your virtual tours stand out from the crowd and showcase the property in the best light every single time. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based. What better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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How to Sell a Property in 7 Days
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How to Shoot Real Estate with Only an iPhone 11
It's no secret that as real estate agents or property managers, we are always trying to get ahead of the pack. Elevating your marketing above the rest could be the difference between securing your next sale or missing out to your competitor down the street. In this blog, we are going to prove you really can shoot real estate using just the iPhone 11. This latest release from Apple features an awesome wide-angle lens that is simply insane and, when paired with the CameraPixels PRO app and HDR Image Enhancement, it can really help set your property marketing apart from the rest. What Is Bracketing? Bracketing is used by photographers to take multiple shots of the same image at different exposures which can then be combined into the finished product. This process produces an HDR image or a High Dynamic Range image that can highlight important details of the property you're shooting, particularly homes with a fantastic outlook or view that you want to capture. Typically, the photographer will shoot approximately seven images at different exposures which can then be uploaded to BoxBrownie.com using the Image Enhancement edit. Our team of expert editors will then combine these shots into one image to create a fantastic, professionally finished product. You can find out more about how HDR bracketing works in this previous blog. How to Bracket on the iPhone To set up bracketing on your iPhone, you will need to download an app from the App Store called CameraPixels PRO. There is a free version of the app. However, the functionality is limited and we recommend you download CameraPixels PRO version (approximately $7) and enter the below settings: 1. Open up the CameraPixels PRO app Click on ISO and set to 20 (this is an important step) Click on Mode Click on Bracketing Click on Set 2. Under 'Image' Resolution: 12.2MP x 4032 x 3024 Crop: 4:3 Quality: 100% Stabilization: On 3. Under 'Bracket' Type: Exposure Image Count: 7 Images EV Step: 1.0 F-Stop Flash: Off 4. Under 'Intervalometer' Timer: 1 Sec Image Count: Single Lapse: 1 Sec Click Save As Preset Give the Preset a name Once these settings have been programmed, it's just a matter of preparing and shooting the property as you normally would. For some handy tips on preparing the home for photography, check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Each time you take a photo using the CameraPixels PRO app, the phone will automatically take seven shots. The most important tip is to make sure you always use a tripod when taking bracketed images as all the exposure images must align perfectly to produce a professional result. Comparing the Finished Results The examples below highlight the before and after results from shooting bracketed images using the iPhone 11 via the CameraPixels PRO app, and then uploading those images to our Image Enhancement edit. Kitchen Before and After This is a spectacular property and it has been beautifully prepared. However, the before image of the kitchen still appears quite dull and lifeless. This is in stark contrast to the bracketed and enhanced finished shot which truly showcase just how special this home is and is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers. Outdoor Living Area Before and After This is a great example of how impressive the wide-angle lens feature is on the iPhone 11. The amount of detail we are able to capture in frame is simply remarkable for a smartphone. When edited using our Image Enhancement edit, you really can produce a magazine-quality result. Bedroom Before and After As you can see with the final bedroom image, the detail is very clear and crisp not only internally but also with the view outside. This is a great way to highlight the flow of the home and draw the viewer's attention to the amazing outlook. Conclusion There's no doubt about it: with a few simple tips, you really can produce a professional result using the iPhone 11 with the wide-angle lens feature for your real estate photography. As we have shown, by using the CameraPixels PRO app and our HDR Image Enhancement, you can elevate your property marketing head-and-shoulders above the competition. If you'd like to give our Image Enhancement edit a try for yourself, click here or sign up for FREE at BoxBrownie.com today. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Instagram 101: How to Successfully Build Your Business in 20 Minutes a Week
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Staging + 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits
Listing a looking little lackluster? Whether your latest listing is vacant or the outdated decor of the current owner isn't exactly drawing in the buyers, there's a quick and simple solution. Even better? It's wallet friendly. Find out more in this week's Friday Freebie. Free Virtual Staging Edit and 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits, courtesy of BoxBrownie.com Your listing photos are the first things buyers see—and the first thing that draws them in. If your photos leave something to be desired, it can result in everything from lower offers to higher days on market, and even to a listing that doesn't sell at all. But sometimes it's not the photography that's the problem—it's the subject of those photos. That's where virtual staging comes in. Like real-world staging, virtual staging adds appeal to a home by adding attractive furnishings and decor. And because it's all accomplished digitally, virtual staging is substantially more affordable than traditional staging. Now RE Technology readers can try virtual staging for themselves—at no cost. For a limited time, BoxBrownie.com is offering our readers a free virtual staging edit, plus four bonus photo edits. Here are just a few ways virtual staging and photo edits can benefit your listings: Affordably stage both vacant and occupied listings Help buyers envision different uses for a room—e.g., digitally transform a bedroom into a home office Reduce clutter caused by the current occupant's belongings Remove seasonal items like Christmas or Halloween decorations Optimize your listing photos for color, composition, and more Transform daylight shots into warm, attractive twilight shots And more! Ready to get started? Claim your FREE virtual staging edit and bonus photo edits now!
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
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How to Run Instagram Ads for Your Real Estate Business
Promoting your real estate business on social media is a solid part of online marketing campaigns. The abundance of platforms, however, creates a paradox of choice for real estate professionals. They often have to spend a lot of money advertising on various social media until they can find the most efficient one. Despite the fact that, ultimately, there are no perfect options, Facebook and Instagram are viable choices since they have a huge amount of ad features and a great audience. In this guide, we will take a look at how we can run Instagram ads for real estate. But first, let's talk about why we should post ads on Instagram.
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Let Listing Pictures and Video Do the Talking on Instagram
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Are Your Real Estate Photos Enticing Buyers?
You're well aware high-quality listing photographs are a key component to your success as a real estate agent. But here's a few stats, courtesy of RISMedia, that help quantify just how vital they are: Homes with high-quality photography sell 32 percent faster. Homes with more photos sell faster. A home with one photo spends an average of 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market. For homes in the $200,000 to $1 million range, those that include high-quality photography in their listings sell for $3,000-$11,000 more. High-quality photographs have a great sway in determining whether or not a property transacts. So, if you're looking to move a current property, or if you want to take advantage of all-time cheap social media advertisements to generate interest in your coming soon listings, now's the time to seriously consider the quality of your images.
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When Should You Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Marketing?
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How to Conquer Instagram for Virtual Selling for Real Estate
While many of us are aware that Instagram is a rapidly growing social media platform, many real estate professionals have not figured out the best ways to make an investment in Instagram be a profitable venture. Michael Tomasetti and Michael Glazer from Back At You Media delivered a fascinating Coffee Chat, breaking down the mysteries of Instagram into plain English. They showed us how Instagram can help build your brand AND become a way to capture leads, especially among younger homebuyers. Here are their three suggestions for winning on Instagram: 1. Set up an Instagram BUSINESS account If you have a personal Instagram account and would like to get more serious about using Instagram as a lead gen source, convert your account to a business account. Here's a guide from Instagram on how to set up a business account. With a business account, you will receive analytics and better ways to target your local audience. 2. Use video Videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and 2.1x the amount of comments on Instagram. There are ways for you to post a one-minute video, and using IGTV, you can post a FULL 3D virtual tour as well. 3. Use hashtags Instagram posts with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes and 392% more comments than those without hashtags (source: Augorapulse). Although you can post up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, data shows that seven hashtags generate the most engagement, while more than nine are perceived as spam. The best types of hashtags are localized, but not TOO specific. Here's a good example: #RealEstateMilwaukee. 4. What content should I post on Instagram? Teasers to new listings and posts Behind-the-scenes! Q&A Prompts Invitations to virtual tours Design and home maintenance tips Watch the entire recording below to get a 101 course on the best ways to use Instagram: More Resources If you would like to learn more about how Back At You can help you win on Instagram and other social media channels, click here. Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Thursday, May 21 Earn a Client for Life by Taking Credit for the Listing Exposure and Leads You Are Generating with Trent Gardner of ListTrac Friday, May 22 Learn How to Capitalize on the Pent-Up Demand with Jack Markham of Zurple If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and he will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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How Many Hashtags to Use and 6 Other Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents
Social media isn't just for high-schoolers, celebrities, or big businesses. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all free, easy-to-use tools that, when managed correctly, can be a powerful way to build your brand and create a reliable source of new rental leads. Social media is especially important for the "digital natives" — all the Millennials entering the housing market — but 69% of all US adults have a social media account. A lot of agents probably are already using social media, so we all probably recognize its potential, but don't know what to post, when to post, and what tools are at their disposal. Don't worry. Rental Beast is here to help. We've developed a guide to Instagram tips for real estate agents.
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How to Use Your New Smartphone Camera Like a Pro
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Real Estate Marketing Health Check (Episode 1)
Ever wondered how you can improve your online marketing through your images? Sometimes it's hard to know exactly where our marketing ranks when we are so close to it and are very familiar with the properties we are showcasing. Often it can take an outsider's expert opinion to highlight some simple yet potentially incredibly important areas that can be improved. For this very reason, we have launched the free Real Estate Marketing Health Check. This is where we will perform an unbiased review of your existing property marketing and let you know what could be done to improve your images. Today, we've been sent a listing in New York found on Zillow to analyze, so let's take a look.
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How to Improve Your Real Estate Photography
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Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
As a real estate agent, you are always on your phone. Answering calls, replying to emails and then all of your other time gets occupied by social media. If you have Instagram already, we have compiled a list of a few top real estate accounts to follow today. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivational quotes, interesting photography, or humor, these real estate accounts are key to starting you off on the right foot for the day:
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Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos
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3D Walk-throughs Aren't Just for Listings: Capture These 6 Local Spaces to Boost Engagement and Business Opportunity
As a real estate professional, a meaningful connection to your community is vital to the success of your business. But we know you've heard the same advice on the subject over and over--host events, be a source of community information, volunteer, etc. Today, however, we're going to introduce you to a high-tech way to connect to your local market--and, bonus, it's sure to dazzle and engage consumers in your area. That strategy? Capturing community spaces in 3D walk-throughs. Not only does this help relocating buyers become more familiar (not to mention creating sight-unseen opportunities) with your community, but it also adds confidence and comfort to the home search through knowledge of local establishments, helping real estate consumers decide which neighborhood suits them best. "Increasingly, especially when we're talking about suburban redevelopment, you're not only choosing the house, you're choosing the neighborhood and the places that are part of that neighborhood," says Charles Nitschke, Chief Integration Officer, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group. Nitschke is part of a growing group of savvy real estate professionals around the country who are tapping into the power of Matterport's technology to capture three-dimensional models, or "digital twins," of various community establishments and businesses in their market areas. Here are examples of six local spaces you can capture in your community to boost consumer engagement, lead generation and awareness of your real estate brand. Schools So you've got school ratings, school district zoning, and other information on your real estate website. That's a great start, but you can take things to a whole other level by including 3D walk throughs of those schools where people can virtually experience and learn about the facility for themselves. Nitschke finds that this is especially useful for markets with colleges or universities. "[Institutions] are tremendously interested in being able to show off their space to attract students, to be able to walk the parents and students through the facility, to get comfortable with it before they start travelling to narrow down their final school selection." After scanning their first school, Nitschke's brokerage, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group, approached another. Next summer, they will scan Idaho College's athletic department and then scale out into dorms, classrooms, and eventually the whole college. The 3D scan will be available on the college's website and on their brokerage's site, said Nitschke. "It's a big part of becoming that digital mayor, becoming that tour guide for the community." Local art galleries Lisa Larkin is the designated broker for RE/MAX Select in Tucson, Ariz., and she has long understood the power of co-branding with influential local figures. For years, her team has worked with Diana Madaras, a high-profile local artist, to host client appreciation events at her gallery, license her art on their marketing materials, and more. When Larkin and her team discovered Matterport, they offered to scan a new gallery space she had just purchased so that she could put it on her website. It's now featured prominently on her site's front page. They put the scan on their website too, under a relocation tab where people new to Tucson could see different places and businesses around town. The result is mutually beneficial: real estate consumers learn of an important local artist, and art consumers learn about a local real estate company that's differentiating themselves through the use of innovative technology. Event and recreational spaces Microbreweries are a big trend across the country, and they tend to attract a savvy, upwardly mobile clientele—an ideal real estate customer. A new agent at Sotheby's Tomlinson Group captured a local brewery as a way to break into the market and to introduce himself to the owner of the brewery. That introduction led him to listing the owner's house when the owner decided it was time to downsize. Theaters, concert venues, gyms, and other similar spaces are also excellent candidates for 3D reality capture. These popular locations service what equates to a large audience every year, many of whom will visit their website where your Matterport scan is located. That means this untapped audience will have the chance to see your 3D digital twin on a consistent basis and the opportunity to learn about your real estate business. Places of worship Sotheby's Tomlinson Group parlayed their digital twins of local schools into an opportunity to scan a 60,000 sq. ft. mega church and its 60,000 sq. ft. athletic facility. Along with building awareness for their brand, the scan is also connecting their community to church-facilitated services that they may not have otherwise known existed, such as substance abuse and domestic violence programs. "If you were to walk into this large church, try to figure out where to go to find those services, to familiarize yourself with what's available, or even to get the process started, it would be an intimidating process to go down that road," says Nitschke. The digital twins of the church helps community members understand what's offered, where to go within the church, and how to reach out. The church is even leveraging Matterport "Mattertags," to embed digital media (in this case video) into their digital twins. Every week, they add their sermons in a Mattertag for people who missed the service or want to listen again. Your office While creating 3D digital twins of local spaces is a great form of passive marketing, let's not forget one very important space you should also capture—your office. "It's fantastic to send out to clients so that they know where they're going to be going, where they're going to be meeting and take some of the apprehension out of that process," says Nitschke. Unlike your office, the digital twin is available 24/7, and it can help current and potential clients feel more comfortable with your business. Sotheby's Tomlinson Group has also scanned their title company and has future plans to scan their mortgage vendor's office, too. "When the consumer is getting ready to go to closing day, they're able to navigate the building where the title company is so they know where to go from the parking garage to the title company, what the reception desk looks like, what the conference room that they're going to be signing in looks like. It just takes a lot of that stress out of an already stressful situation by being able to walk them through," says Nitschke. How Can I Get Started? We've talked about capturing some very big, important spaces in your community. If that seems intimidating, it isn't. Starting with local businesses you're already familiar with will streamline the partnering process, but creating the digital twin itself is really quite simple. It's a natural step in building relationships for an industry that relies on that ability. "I'm finding the more that we get involved in these community spaces that are incredibly important to how and why and where people choose to live, the relationships start to build on one another," says Nitschke. "Shooting this facility ends up leading to an introduction to somebody to shoot another facility, and so we're kind of growing very naturally through collecting these spaces." Once you've captured your first community space, be sure to put it on your website and promote it wherever you can. Lisa Larkin's brokerage, RE/MAX Select, has even created a website dedicated solely to 3D tours of local spaces, as well as a Facebook page for that website. An easily accessible collection of 3D digital twins of community spaces also helps real estate consumers get a better sense of what a neighborhood's all about—far better than traditional real estate tools and MLS data can. Traditional tools offer "no depth to what a community is all about, and this allows us to give them a much better idea of what the difference is between some of these neighborhoods," says Nitschke. For more in-depth information about capturing community spaces, including marketing strategies, check out our recent webinar here. And try Matterport yourself with your free Matterport account to get started with 3D differentiation.
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10 Ways Virtual Staging Can Make You More Money
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Tips to Present Your Listing in Its Best Light
At BoxBrownie.com, we (unfortunately) see hundreds of photoshoots where homes have been presented poorly and agents are missing the chance to showcase the property in its best light. Having magazine-ready imagery is crucial in marketing the home effectively and gives you the greatest chance to receive the best price. In this post, we analyze 10 images from a recently listed home, and our co-founder, Brad Filliponi, outlines key areas to help present the property to get the best result.
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Instagram's Latest Change: What It Means for Your Business
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Cameras and Scanners
We all remember cameras from our past: the film, where we dropped the film off to get our pictures, the pictures which we ended up throwing away, and of course the negatives we saved just in case. Around 2000, many of us started using a digital camera. We were so proud to buy a 2.1-megapixel camera for hundreds of dollars! Doing my research for this article, I stumbled across a news article published July 26th, 2001 which said that merging a PDA (personal digital assistant) and a camera was like chocolate and oranges. The article continues with why not have a can opener or a tear gas attachment for your PDA? I guess the author of that article was skeptical about what would become a revolution in the world of photography.
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Repurposing Your Listing Photos: 3 Timeless Shots that Live on Beyond the Sale
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[Best of 2019] Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in September and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. One of the biggest agent concerns is finding ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace of other agents. Why, then, do so many agents copy other agents? From websites to scripts, originality is sabotaged at every turn. And this is most apparent when it comes to an agent's photo. Nine photos out of 10 are absolutely identical. The hands are either on the hips or arms are crossed. Is it any wonder that consumers have the notion that all real estate agents are alike? Step away from the pack during your next photo shoot. Here are some ideas from the pros.
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Is Your Headshot Killing Your Business?
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How to Grow Your Business with Leads from Instagram
Real estate is more visually driven than ever before and to be a successful real estate agent, these days you need to know how to utilize all the tools. That is exactly what Marki Lemons-Ryhal explained when she shared her tips and best practices to help your Instagram business boom during her recent appearance on the Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Increase Your Presence and Leads Quickly with Instagram and IGTV. Lemons-Ryhal is listed in the top 10 percent of REALTORS in the Chicago area and has earned the REALTOR Achievement Award and The President's Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS. She shares her expertise by speaking at conventions and other classes to teach agents to use social media to benefit their business.
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Enhancing Photos and Virtual Staging: Know the Rules
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How Much Do Bad Real Estate Photos Cost You?
Before the average buyer even considers visiting your property, they will look at your photos. With so much competition in the real estate market, you cannot afford what you lose when you just take a few pictures with your iPhone. The gap in photo quality between the average smartphone and a professional photographer's equipment is substantial. But you also miss out on the great additional services a professional real estate photographer offers. (A couple of great examples are twilight and aerial photography, which capture your property at the perfect time of day and the most ideal angle.) Below, you'll find what bad or even average real estate photos cost you with every listing.
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13 Spooky Listing Photos that Will Terrify Prospects
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based, and what better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like the other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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14 Easy Real Estate Photography Tips
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The Ethical Use of Photoshop in Real Estate Marketing
Marketing or Misleading? The home buying process now starts online, which makes it critical to present your listing in the most appealing way possible. From creative word play in your property description to engaging imagery in your online tour, the intent should be to attract attention to the home, never to misguide offers. But digital manipulation is ubiquitous in online marketing, and recent advances in photo editing technology have created challenges in defining what is presenting a property in a positive light—and what is outright misleading.
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Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
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Analyzing the Good and Bad of a Property Photo Shoot
Today, we're analyzing a recently completed photoshoot of a property and will highlight what could be improved and what already looks great in the images. The goal of this blog is to give some tips and suggest things to look out for when shooting your next listing.
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Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You Money
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Instagram
Out of all social media, Instagram users are the most likely to "take action" on posts. Because of this, Instagram has become a very welcoming place for businesses. Engagement is encouraged in a much stronger way than on other social media platforms, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to advertising on Instagram. Take a look at these ten ways to Increase your real estate leads on Instagram and take your profile to the next level.
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6 Head Shots to Stop Taking
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Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
Professional photographers make a bunch of tweaks to your photos behind the scenes that have a huge impact. Here is a guide to talking the photography talk even if you can't walk the walk. Use the guide to communicate changes you may need or to criticize your colleague's inferior photos--up to you!
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How to Shoot Bedrooms
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
June is Entrepreneurs' DIY Marketing Month--and who's more DIY when it comes to marketing than real estate agents? We'd be remiss if we let the month pass without acknowledging all the hard work you do to market your brand and your listings. After all, to keep up with today's marketing trends, you need to employ a host of multimedia skills--from graphic design to video creation to photography and beyond. To keep your knowledge fresh and your skills up-to-date, we've compiled this guide of 23 resources to help grow your mastery of multimedia marketing.
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Most Real Estate Agents Aren't Using the Right Photo File Type
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How to Shoot a House for Under $16
Real estate photography can quickly become expensive, which is less than ideal. However, creating high quality professional images can be achieved at a fraction of the cost. To demonstrate this, BoxBrownie's real estate photography guru and co-founder Brad Filliponi is going to shoot a property with a smartphone. You will learn the key tips on the most important areas in the home so your listing will stand out.
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How to Attract Real Estate Leads on Instagram
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Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips
Want your listing to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible? Make sure you listing photos are as good as they can be. In this article, BoxBrownie founder Brad Fillponi shares his expert tips and tricks to nail those all-important shots. By following these simple steps, you can ensure you are showcasing everything your listing has to offer in your photos.
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How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on Instagram
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4 Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Business with Instagram
No matter what platforms you prefer for marketing your real estate business, there's no doubt that visual marketing is a massive key to attracting qualified real estate leads. That's just one reason why Instagram, one of the most popular social platforms in the world, is also among the best places online to promote your real estate business. Having a plan based on proven practices is crucial to Instagram success, and we're here to help you get started with four tips for growing your real estate business with Instagram.
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57 Hilariously Terrible Real Estate Photos
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Top 5 Beginner Camera Tips for Real Estate Photography
Starting off in real estate photography? Not sure where to begin? We're here to help! This article will explore five practical tips for anyone starting off in real estate photography that will help speed up your workflow and improve image quality.
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Building Your Brand on Instagram? These Tips Can Help!
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
Whether you're a new agent or a seasoned pro, chances are you're always looking for that competitive edge over other local agents to score the hottest new listings in your area. From your (perfectly on-brand) listing presentation to your rock-solid knowledge of the latest neighbourhood sales, you've got the tools you need to nail the appointment. While those factors can certainly help sway a seller's decision and win you the handshake, one thing is certain: in today's market, sellers have a LOT of questions.
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[Best of 2018] The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
Have you noticed the following cube icon popping up everywhere lately? It started appearing on Realtor.com in 2017, and just this autumn, you may have noticed it on Homesnap, a property search app that's free to 900,000 Realtors nationwide through their MLS. It's the Matterport icon, and its appearance on a listing indicates that a 3D property tour is available. While 3D property tours are what Matterport is best known for, did you realize that this tool also offers a wealth of visual assets that you can use in your marketing? Here's a rundown of all that Matterport offers. 1. High-resolution Listing Photos Photographs are typically the very first thing most people see of your listing—and what draws them in or drives them away. If your listing photos are of poor quality, you risk turning off potential buyers. When your listing is scanned for a 3D property tour, Matterport also captures hundreds of high quality photographs. If you balked at "hundreds," don't worry. Matterport employs machine learning to automatically select the best photos for your listing in Matterport Instant Galleries. That means agents don't have to spend time collecting and curating photos—you have an MLS-ready gallery of photos once your 3D tour has been created. "[Instant Galleries] are great. We are using these for all our inside images," says Beth Riggs of Amanda Howard Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty. 2. Teaser Videos Want to cut through the noise of social media and capture the attention of local consumers? Try teaser videos or animated GIFs. Movement within GIFs and video stands out and draws the eye. Real estate professionals get automatic videos and GIFs with their Matterport 3D tours. You can share them on social media and in emails to drive greater interest in your listings. They're effective, too—a Matterport customer survey shows that 76 percent of respondents say they attract more home buyers on social media with Matterport 3D. 3. Virtual Reality Looking for a fresh way to 'wow' buyers? Let them tour listings via virtual reality. Not only does this position you as tech-savvy agent, it also potentially cuts down on in-person listing tours. Consumers who view listings via virtual reality are better able to narrow down which homes they'd like to see in person, saving agents time. Matterport 3D tours are automatically converted into virtual reality, and can be viewed via Google Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus, or Gear VR headsets. Keep headsets in your office to use with clients when selecting which properties to tour. Want to impress sellers? Take a VR headset to a listing presentation and show sellers a sample listing, mentioning that you'll do this for their home, as well. "Consumers get more discerning about their choices and sellers want to present their properties in the best light possible," says a representative from Greg Lynn Sotheby's. "Open houses are only a couple of hours a week, but when you have Matterport virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." 4. Floor Plans Differentiate yourself from other agents by including floor plans in your marketing. This helps consumers better understand the layout of a home, and how their own furniture and belongings may fit. Matterport generates floor plans two business days after your 3D tour is created, using dimensional data captured during the scan. All you have to do is press 'Order' on the Matterport platform, and floor plans are automatically prepared for you. Live Examples of Matterport Marketing Assets Want to see what the visual collateral mentioned above looks like? Check out these two examples of homes that were captured with a Matterport camera, and the automated content that was created: http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1178carollane/?mls http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1234californiaway/?mls Visit Matterport.com to learn more.    
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How to Take Real Estate Pics Like the Pros
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How to Use Instagram Stories Ads for Real Estate
Whether it's the memories a family made in their old home or a buyer's dreams for their new one, agents use stories to build emotional connections. Instagram has a similar business approach. Originally a platform for posting pictures of lattes and fancy food, Instagram has evolved into a social media giant where people can create and share their own "stories."
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Safe Selling: How Your Headshot Can Deter Predators
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The Case for Professional Listing Photos
What's the first thing buyers see — or the first thing they're looking for — when they find a listing? Those crucial property photos. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that potential buyers spend just 20 seconds looking at the first photo before they decide to keep looking or go somewhere else. And though it's tempting to play the part of both agent and photographer, reports show that — on average — homes with professional photos sell faster, too. So we're diving into the case for why professional photos matter — and how to make them happen.
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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Realtor Headshot Photo: Why They Matter and How to Get Your Best One Yet
Ah, the dreaded headshot photo. Some love it, most hate it. Many real estate agents take one when they first become agents and use it for the rest of their careers. If your photo is outdated enough, it'll make it so that when you meet with your clients, they're greeted by someone who looks nothing like the person they envisioned from the picture on the website.
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No Image, No Active Listing... PERIOD!
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How to Update Your Photo without Losing Your Look
Time passes and you change: your clothing style evolves, you change your hair, and you grow older. Still, when someone bumps into you around town, they should recognize you from your photo. That means keeping your photo up to date. Your agent profile photo represents you online, in flyers, in ads, on business cards, and in many other places. It helps build and maintain your brand, creates a first impression, and is one of the first steps to building client relationships. However, changing your photo means running the risk of losing presence you've built on your current image if people don't recognize you as the same agent.
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Better Real Estate Photographs
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Instagram: Best Practices for Social Success
Since the beginning of the social media era, individuals and businesses alike have embraced their online presence and shared their journeys for the world to see. However, 2017 proved a challenging year for many networks when several saw a decline in social use, especially among major players like Facebook and Twitter. Despite this trend, one social network has continue the climb upward: Instagram. Now is the time to improve your Instagram presence and make the most of your opportunities as Instagram's monthly active users increases and more attention is driven to the platform.
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
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Drone-in-a-box for Real Estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing
Real estate has become the number one industry in North America that uses drones for marketing purposes. And the numbers projecting the growth of the drone industry are staggering: 10 million drones were sold worldwide last year; that number is expected to nearly triple by 2021 Drone industry value was estimated at $3.3 billion in 2015; by 2025, it's expected to be $90 billion NAR reports that the interest in using drones for marketing is already pervasive: 44 percent of members either use drones for marketing (14 percent), report that someone in their office uses drones for marketing (12 percent), or plan on using drones for marketing (18 percent). CREA is also monitoring the development of drone use in real estate. Drones have transformed real estate marketing when it comes to listing a property. Overall, the impact of drones has made aerial photography commonplace. Soon, most sellers may request it for their property listings.
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The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
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8 Accessories that Give Your Smartphone Superpowers (Part 1)
Want to soup up your mobile phone? Rather than relying on apps for that (as we so often do), let's head down the road less travelled instead. Today, we're exploring the world of physical accessories that work with--and enhance--your smartphone. Enter the World of Smartphone Accessories That's right, we're ditching the digital in favor of things that attach to or sync to your phone and boost its functionality. And we have to say, there are a LOT of different types of mobile phone accessories--so much so that we've broken up this article into two parts. Today, we're taking a look at accessories that enhance the multimedia capabilities of your phone, and make those photos and Facebook Live videos so much better.
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How to Secretly Use Instagram as Your Photo Editor (without Posting)
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25 Resources for Mastering Real Estate Photography, Video and Beyond
When it comes to their skillset, real estate agents are a bit like a Swiss Army knife. They need interpersonal intelligence, negotiation know-how, sales chops, and a whole lot of patience. But when you started out in real estate, I bet nobody told you how important multimedia skills were to the job—and how many different types of media you'd need to be comfortable with. From taking property photos, to creating listing flyers, to shooting video, agents in today's DIY digital age are expected to be media whizzes. Of course, there's only so much time in the day. To lessen your workload, we advocate automating where possible, and then filling in the gaps with a little do-it-yourself chutzpah. To that end, we've combed through our library of educational content to find the best, most helpful articles on media of all sorts—everything from photography to graphic design to virtual tours and beyond. Consider it your crash course in multimedia skills for real estate.
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
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Rules of Instagram Engagement for Real Estate Agents
Though it doesn't have as many users as Twitter and Facebook, Instagram offers companies a rate of return for branding products and services on the platform almost 60 times that of Facebook. And compared to Twitter, it provides 120 percent more user interactions. Instagram for real estate agents is the cash cow of digital marketing and lead generation platforms. But achieving customer interactions isn't simply a matter of posting the right photos or videos—ones that prompt a response. In fact, identity and community management are more important than the click rate of photos and videos! Even a popular photo or video cannot generate enough customer interactions to qualify as a successful lead generation strategy. However, a moderately high number of clicks from new and would-be customers on a large quantity of photos is a sign of a building brand on Instagram. These are the four Instagram Rules of Engagement for your social media battle:
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Real Estate Property Photos: Drones and Aerial Photography 101
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Instagram Posts for Realtors
How many times have you posted on Instagram in the last week? The last month? Instagram used to show the most recent posts from accounts you're following, but they have recently adopted Facebook's content algorithm so you don't have to post quite as often. However, Instagram still prioritizes people who post more often. Tips for Posting on Instagram
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4 Free Photo Editing Tools for Real Estate
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The Low-Cost Way to Generate More Real Estate Leads
Want to get more visual assets and reduce your marketing expenses? With Matterport's all-in-one media solution, real estate agents can generate everything they need to market a property online and offline from the same fast, easy system. From a single 3D shoot, agents can get hi-res photographs, 3D virtual tours, and 2D floor plans - and give buyers exactly what they're looking for. In a recent survey of home shoppers conducted by realtor.com, buyers listed high resolution photographs and 3D virtual tours as the top two things they're interested in seeing on an online listing. That's no surprise—a strong visual marketing strategy has long been crucial to selling listings faster and for more money. A 2015 study from Real Trends shows that agents who consistently use professional photography earn 100 percent more in average Gross Commission Income (GCI) than those who never use professional photography. This echoes Redfin's famous 2010 study, which found that listing photos shot with a DSLR camera (implying that they were likely taken by a pro photographer) sold for between $934 to over $16,000 more than listings that weren't. Today, advanced technology like Matterport is enabling Realtors to take their visual marketing strategy to the next level. In the amount of time it takes for a typical photoshoot, Matterport's Pro2 camera can scan an entire listing and offer the following:
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Should You Post Your Client's Photo on Social Media?
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Why Use Instagram for Real Estate?
Do you have an Instagram account? Are you active on your Instagram account and getting results? If you were to go into Instagram, you'd see that there are millions of advertisers using it, and that there are a lot of benefits in using their platform, as well. The Stats There are two major stats that convinced us Instagram was the way to go:
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5 Tips to Finding Images for Your Website
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Photos Taking Up Too Much Space? A Few Tips to Compress
When you see a warning that your storage is 90 percent full, you might begin to panic. And you probably know exactly what's causing your problem: your photos. For most real estate professionals, photos and videos have become both a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing because powerful visuals help sell homes. But they are also a curse because they are data hogs. Yet, there are ways you can use less space on your device without losing all the luster of your great photos. Let's take a look at some of the things you can do to reduce the amount of space your images are taking up on your phone and your laptop.
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Real Estate Property Photos: Property Photography 101
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Tips on Choosing the Right Instagram Username
To become successful at digitally marketing yourself and your brand, it is important to have a presence across most social media platforms. Since Facebook expanded its ad platform to include Instagram as well, it's important to build your presence there, too. Along with a presence, it is even more important to have an identity on social media. One of the first steps in creating that identity is picking out a strong Instagram handle or username. For those of you who already have an Instagram account, you may even want to go back and change that username if you find yours isn't as strong or identifiable as it could be! First, Here's What NOT to DO
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Win More Business from Your Sphere: 3 Ways to Tweak Your Marketing
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6 Tips for a High-Octane Instagram Account
As social media continues to evolve and grow in popularity, Instagram is the platform on steroids that dominates the social media game, making it the fastest growing social media platform across the planet. Consider this: in less than six years, we've shared over four times more photos than there are human beings on earth! It's mind boggling how much our society loves to consume enthralling media – and businesses have long understood the power this visual storytelling behemoth holds for brand building, user engagement and what it could mean for their bottom line. Instagram by the numbers:
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