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How to Improve Your Real Estate Photography
If you're a regular reader, you may be familiar with our previous article covering how to take great photos of the bedroom for your real estate listings. For a room that we spend so much time in each day, it's amazing that it's so often forgotten by most agents in favour of the living areas and hero shots. Hopefully, since reading our article you have been able to put some of those tips into practice and are nailing the elusive high-quality bedroom photo. In this article, we will be focusing on the rest of the home with some of our top tips for improving your real estate photography, both on the interior and exterior of the property. To make it even easier, we have taken ten images from one home to help highlight how to put these tips into practice.
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Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
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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How Visual Storytelling is Shaping Real Estate
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More Updates from Instagram!
Last week, Instagram released new enhancements to their My Story feature. Just two months ago, I called it the “B-movie version of Snapchat.” Well, I’m here to tell you Instagram has shed that skin and has throttled the My Story feature into A-list territory. Folks, Instagram was a content sharing and marketing dream before these updates were launched. Now, Instagram can certifiably say that it is a POWERHOUSE of a social network and can, quite literally, do it all. It’s time you learn how to harness that power for yourself!
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Professional Looking Photos Don't Have to Cost a Fortune: Smartphone Photography
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How to Use Technology to Make Gorgeous Listing Photos
Are your listing photographs eye-catching enough? Your photos need to make an impact and stand out to potential home buyers. These tips from Mark Richardson will help add visual interest to your photos. The result at the 18:24-minute mark is a game changer.
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Add Your Entire Listing to Instagram? It Can Be Done!
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Learn to Convert 95% of Your Listing Appointments
Are you interested in elevating your marketing approach to win more listings and outsell the competition? Matterport's 3D tours and virtual reality walkthroughs are the key to engaging buyers and delighting sellers — while differentiating your services from the competition. Register for Matterport's webinar on Feb. 28 to learn how agents and brokers from RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, and more, are using 3D and VR to win listings and outsell the competition. In a recent customer survey, 74 percent of real estate professionals agreed they win more listings, while 90 percent stated they have a stronger brand because of Matterport. It's true—real estate brokers and agents are seeing immediate results after using Matterport in their listing presentations and online marketing. Here's the proof: The Creig Northrop Team of Long and Foster Real Estate, the number one team in Maryland in transaction volume since 2006, improved their sales transactions by 10 percent after committing to use Matterport for all their listings. Cressy and Everett Real Estate, one of RealTrends' top 250 brokerages in the United States, receives an average of 10,000 visits monthly to Matterport 3D tours on their website. HomeVisit, a Matterport service partner, has seen a threefold increase in demand for 3D tours year-over-year. There's a reason brokers and agents are realizing such success: Home buyers are 65 percent more likely to email an agent and 95 percent more likely to call after seeing a property with Matterport 3D versus listings displayed only with pictures, according to realestate.com.au.
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Quick Tips for Taking Better Listing Photos with Your iPhone
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The Best Real Estate Drone Footage Is Less Drone Footage
A primer for hiring drone videographers for real estate marketing In military parlance, they're called UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles. "Drone" suggests the device operates autonomously, implying that it doesn't require years of training to pilot. There's probably no selling that military acronym to the public today, as "drones" have become a popular way for people to capture extreme recreational exploits, or in the case of real estate, powerful listing visuals. In the late 90s, it was digital cameras that allowed real estate professionals to capture creative visuals and quickly turn around property content. Then, there was the Internet. Alongside 3D tours, aerial photography is the latest advancement in real estate marketing that has agents scrambling for ways to offer it to their clients. The fastest, easiest way to get started with drone photography is to hire a professional. Every major market has a licensed person or marketing company with certification for operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the most recent formal legal terminology. For years, the only form of legal structure the FAA could apply to monitoring drone flight was what already existed: actual pilot licenses. To tackle the rapid growth of consumer-level drones, they settled in 2016 on "remote pilot certification."
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29 Resources to Help You Master Real Estate Video and Photography
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Best of 2016: 5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in March and is #5 in our countdown. See #6 here. Every day we see an increase in people replacing their digital cameras with their smartphones to take pictures. This is mainly because manufacturers are adding some incredible lenses to smartphones that make it a very convenient device to capture daily moments and upload them quickly to social media apps. Smartphone cameras do not provide the quality photos that a good digital camera can provide, which are recommended for listings. Nevertheless, here at Tech Helpline, we see a trend of agents using their smartphones to take pictures for their listings. For this reason, today we will show you some quick tips on how to get the best possible image using an iPhone with iOS 9. All features listed below are available on the iPhone 5 or newer. 1. Use Auto Focus (AF) This is the most important feature to use. Without using this option, your image could appear blurry or lose detail. Here is what you do: Tap the area on your screen that you wish to focus on, remove your finger and wait a couple of seconds to allow the camera to focus on the subject before taking the photo. You can also tap and hold the area on your screen, until the yellow "AE/AF LOCK" appears (Auto-Exposure/ Auto-Focus Lock). This will allow you to take photos from different angles without losing focus on the subject.
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How Instagram's New Features Impact Your Real Estate Business
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How to Make Your Listings Stand Out with Facebook 360
We don't have to sell you on the importance of adding strong visuals to your real estate listings. As a real estate professional, you know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and directly contributes to the emotional decision making process of making a home purchase. Many of us spend hundreds of dollars on companies that can produce virtual tours, or empty our budgets on expensive professional equipment so we can showcase our listings. Not every home we list requires that kind of technological investment, but all of them will require engaging, attractive visuals. The technology landscape has changed, and people no longer want to jump in the car and drive to see 10 random homes in a day. (Neither do we.) The modern consumer relies on the convenience of viewing homes online at their leisure. Your challenge as a real estate professional is to make your listings stand out from the rest without breaking the bank. Well, thanks to Facebook's new 360 feature, you can do that for free from your mobile device. You can give tours of exquisite home features, neighborhoods, yards, and so much more. And you can do it in minutes from your mobile device. With Facebook 360, you can now place your prospective clients in the center of the action, ensuring there's something to see and experience at every angle. Create a story with your photo that encourages your followers to explore your property the full 360 degrees. See our live Facebook example (You may have to be logged into Facebook to view it properly):
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How to Take Incredible Listing Photos
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Fear of Facebook Live? How to get over it (and get tons of exposure)
At this point, it's impossible to ignore: Facebook Live is a game-changing feature for the social media behemoth. Millions of live stream videos are posted each day, and stats show that people spend triple the time watching live stream videos than traditional video posts. Plus, Facebook is doubling down on helping their users get more views by automating alerts when a friend or page goes live. In short, Facebook Live is only going to get bigger — and so is your opportunity to use it as a free brand-building tool! If you're too scared to try it, we have a few easy exercises and best practices to get you started in private. 1) Practice to an audience of one To give the feature a test, head over to your personal page. On this page, you can practice a live stream by setting it to stream only to yourself. Click on the "Live" button in the top left, just below the search bar. Immediately select "Only me" as the audience for your video, then give it a test! Once the post is up, watch it a few times to see how you did.
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Google's Pixel and Daydream Can Be Game-Changing for Real Estate Video and Photography
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How the iPhone 7 Can Improve DIY Real Estate Video and Photography
Apple released the first iPhone eight years ago. Now it's 2016 and we're up to iPhone 7. Much has changed since the first version of the phone, but not much has changed since the previous. Basically, the new iPhone is shinier, available in black, and will no longer support your primitive headphone wires. These updates don't really impact real estate—outside of the fact that you'll look cooler without your headphone wires all tangled up. The camera updates, on the other hand, have the potential to significantly improve DIY real estate videos and photography. Let's take a look. iPhone 7 The standard iPhone 7 camera has been enhanced with several features typically seen in DSLRs. Optical image stabilization allows for more stable control of your camera. This stabilization should account for your jitters and enable your photos and videos to stay in focus in spite of these shakes.
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New Drone Rule Affecting the Real Estate Industry
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Instagram for Real Estate: New Updates Make It Easy to Engage
Social media is constantly changing, and people are always trying to keep up. Recently, some changes were released by Instagram that could create a big boost in your real estate business strategy. A social network that was once thought to be reserved for pictures of coffee and fancy food, Instagram now has 400 million active users, 85% of top brands, and 60% of users logging in daily, making it the second most engaged social network after Facebook. Recently, Instagram released two major changes to their platform. The first, more business-oriented change, is that they created a Business Profile option. The second is that they created a "Stories" feed, similar to Snapchat. Want to know how these updates can (and should) change the way you use your Instagram page? Here are some tips to help. Instagram for Business Instagram is more than just a way to network with friends. Since Instagram is known for its visual appeal, many users also follow businesses. In fact, according to Instagram, about half of users follow a business on the platform. However, what's more important is that engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. If you're looking to connect with clients, this is a great platform to do so. Before you choose to convert your personal profile to a business one, there are a few things you should know. The first is that Instagram is gradually releasing this feature. If it isn't available to you yet, it should be in the near future. Next, in order to convert your Instagram profile to a business one, it must be connected with a Facebook business page. Finally, your business profile cannot be set to private. The process to switch over is very simple. You can read more about it here.
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The Photography Tips You Need to Sell Your Listings Now
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Summer School: 3 Online Training Opportunities for Real Estate Agents
The kids may be out of school, but class is still in session for agents who want to gain new skills this summer. Just this week, we learned of three new educational opportunities in areas like listing photography and social media. All options are offered online, too, which means that you can work through them at your own pace while powering through the busy season. Here's a quick rundown of each: #GetSocialSmart Academy For years, Katie Lance has been real estate's go-to guru on all things social media. It's likely you've heard her share her knowledge on stage at real estate conferences, or read her name in any number of industry publications. On Tuesday, Lance launched her latest knowledge sharing venture, the #GetSocialSmart Academy. It's a web-based "learning portal" featuring social media training videos, downloadable materials, and live webinars. The content is based on Lance's 6-week coaching program, and covers topics like content strategy, blogging, Facebook advertising, Instagram, Pinterest, video marketing, livestreaming, LinkedIn, Twitter, and beyond. Until June 30, Academy membership is available at a deeply discounted "early bird" rate. Check out GetSocialSmart.com to learn more. Looking for similar training opportunities? Check out The Paperless Agent and/or their Real Estate Digital Marketer (REDM) certification course.
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Professional Tips to Take Awesome Listing Photos
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5 Tips for Better Real Estate Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words. We all have heard that saying haven't we? It's very true. Whether it's on a menu, a book cover or on a billboard, pictures convey information far more quickly and easily than words. When a potential buyer is scrolling through your listings, do they check out the best looking photos first? An ideal way to showcase your listing is to hire a professional photographer. A professional knows how to use light to their advantage. They understand depth of field, perspective and how to frame a photo properly among many other things that are involved with making a great photo (as always, be sure to look at a photographer's portfolio to ensure their style will best represent what you want to achieve). But sometimes you don't have the time or the budget to hire a professional. You might already be at the property, you have an in-phone camera and you might only have one opportunity to get the photos you need for your listing. Here are a few simple steps you can take to turn a so-so photo into something that will help market your listing. 1. Less is more If you can, ensure the property is de-cluttered. Clean counters, properly made-up beds and toys put away will do wonders for how a place will show for prospective buyers.
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Don’t Get Lost in the Instagram Panic: 3 Tips for a Killer Feed
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5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
Every day we see an increase in people replacing their digital cameras with their smartphones to take pictures. This is mainly because manufacturers are adding some incredible lenses to smartphones that make it a very convenient device to capture daily moments and upload them quickly to social media apps. Smartphone cameras do not provide the quality photos that a good digital camera can provide, which are recommended for listings. Nevertheless, here at Tech Helpline, we see a trend of agents using their smartphones to take pictures for their listings. For this reason, today we will show you some quick tips on how to get the best possible image using an iPhone with iOS 9. All features listed below are available on the iPhone 5 or newer. 1. Use Auto Focus (AF) This is the most important feature to use. Without using this option, your image could appear blurry or lose detail. Here is what you do: Tap the area on your screen that you wish to focus on, remove your finger and wait a couple of seconds to allow the camera to focus on the subject before taking the photo. You can also tap and hold the area on your screen, until the yellow "AE/AF LOCK" appears (Auto-Exposure/ Auto-Focus Lock). This will allow you to take photos from different angles without losing focus on the subject.
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4 Considerations for Using Drone Photography in Real Estate Marketing
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7 Tips for Better Interior Listing Photos
If an attractive primary exterior photo is what first draws prospects to click on your listing, your interior shots are what really sells the home. These are the photos that show potential buyers where they could be living--the kitchen that could be theirs, the bedrooms that their kids could grow up in. Interior photos can be tricky to master, however, and it's easy to drive property searchers away with images that are too dark or poorly composed. To help you make the most of your inside shots, we've rounded up a bunch of tips for capturing photos that buyers will love. 1. Be mindful of lighting Psychologically speaking, people are more attracted to light images than dark ones, so it's important to get your lighting right. One of the biggest causes of too dark photos are windows that are too bright or "blown out" and make the rest of the room look dark by contrast. To avoid blown out windows, be mindful of the time of day you're shooting. Shooting in early morning light or during the "golden hour" before sunset is ideal, as the soft light of that time more closely resembles interior lighting. You can also aim to shoot on overcast days to mitigate the effects of a too-bright sun. For more on lighting, see this article.
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Real Estate Photography Essentials
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15 Resources for Better Real Estate Photos and Videos
Photography and video articles are consistently among the most popular on our site. And it's no wonder--unless you hire a professional for your photo and video needs, agents have to learn everything from the ground up. This includes everything from lighting, choosing the right camera equipment, editing, and beyond. That's a lot to get a handle on! In 2015, we published multiple articles about photography and video. Two even made it into our Top 10 Articles of the Year! (You can see them here and here.) While we've omitted those two to avoid repeating ourselves, but you can see the rest of the best photo and video posts of the year below. This gives you a single list of resources to refer to when you're looking for ways to improve your multimedia skills in the year ahead. Photography Tips and Tricks Are your listing photos missing that certain je ne sais quoi? Paying attention to things like lighting, staging, and composition principles can make a big difference. These five articles offer advice for making your photos compelling to viewers: How Professional Photos Will Sell Your Property 5 Easy Composition Tricks for Better Listing Photos Most-Loved Listing Photos and Best Practices for Capturing Them Simple Real Estate Photography Tips: Shooting Outside 6 New Headshot No-No's for Agents
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Best of 2015: Why Reusing Listing Photos Could Mean Legal Trouble
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13 Amazingly Awful Property Pics that Shouldn't Have Been Listed (Plus 5 Gorgeous Examples)
I always thought that the posting of property photos was rather high up on the list of priorities for a real estate agent—you know, to give prospects a rough idea of what their potential new home looks like. We're encouraging real estate and property management professionals to make the most of their resources with the Agent Success Kit... as, based on the photos below, it appears some aren't taking their job seriously. Or maybe they were just thinking outside the box? You can judge for yourself: 1. "Jackson Pollock used to live here, apparently..." 2. "...and Doctor Dolittle here. This part of town is great for celebrity spotting."
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Instagram, Thanksgiving and Your Best Content Yet!
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The 3-Shot Approach to Better Listing Photos
Not sure what to focus on when taking listing photos? Even if you have a solid grasp of lighting and composition fundamentals, it can be easy to overthink how to best capture the essence of a home. Enter this three-step method for telling the "story" of a home. Inspired by photojournalism, this technique lets you convey the essence of every room in a house with three easy shots. You'll never be stuck deciding what to photograph again! Wide Shot The wide shot conveys a sense of place. It acts as an overview that establishes where we, the viewers, are. The "primary exterior shot" required by most MLSs is generally a wide shot--it showcases the outside of the home and as many property features as possible. When shooting interiors, use the wide shot to establish where we are (kitchen? master bedroom?) and show as many attractive features of that room as possible.
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