No matter what kind of pages you’re creating for your real estate website, professional photography is key. Studies show that pages with photos get 94% more views! Not only does photography make your pages more eye-catching, it also helps to organize the content on the page and makes your site more visible to search engines.
Why Use Professional Photos?
If you want to use photography for real estate purposes, it’s important to use high-quality pictures. While you can sometimes get good pictures with a cell phone, it’s usually best to hire a professional photographer.
Good photography has been shown to increase the sales prices of listings, so using it to market yourself or your brokerage is a good idea.
Real Estate Photographer
Additionally, you might want to ask your photographer to take some “lifestyle” photos of the neighborhood. These are the types of photos that potential homebuyers are interested in when they’re looking for a new home. Lifestyle photos might show people walking their dogs, cycling on a nearby trail, or enjoying a meal or drink at a local restaurant. When you hire a professional real estate photographer, be sure to ask for additional photos of the neighborhood, including amenities and nearby attractions. You might also want to ask for “lifestyle” photos of the neighborhood, which show potential homebuyers what it would be like to live there.
Make sure to save the photos you have so you can use them for blog posts later on.
Browse your Old Listing Files for Photos
Search through your old listing photos from when you’ve sold homes in the past. You might be surprised at how many pictures you have. If you’ve listed a few homes of the same type, then you have a lot of photos that can be used for blog articles. For example, if you’ve listed a lot of waterfront property, then you probably have a lot of good pictures of boat docks, sunsets, etc. that can be used in a post about your experience as a waterfront listing agent.
Having an AgentFire website gives you access to a bunch of free, high-quality images that are perfect for your real estate website. On top of that, we also have a gallery of free and premium images that you can choose from.
Websites that Offer Free Photos for Commercial Use
You may still need that perfect photo even after sorting through your old files. For these shots, browse the internet for free licensed photos.
There are a few websites that we really like to go to when we need free photos. UnSplash, Pexels, and Pixabay.com are all great options that usually have good quality pictures. Another option that you might want to try is Creative Commons. The licenses on the photos can be different on each website, but sometimes you might need to credit the photographer. Even if you don’t need to, it’s always nice to do so.
Professional Stock Photos for Purchase
Also, many of these websites have a section devoted to real estate photos. After checking out some free image websites, it’s a good idea to look at some popular stock photo websites that offer good quality photos for real estate at a reasonable price. These websites usually have a lot more photos available than the free ones, and the quality is usually quite good. There’s often a section on these websites devoted to real estate photos.
If you only need a few photos, stock photo websites usually have reasonable prices. We like iStockPhoto.com, Dreamstime.com, and Shutterstock.com.
All of the aforementioned websites provide both subscription plans and packages of credits that can be bought separately as needed.
Using Your Own Photos
You should always have your cell phone with you when you’re exploring your community. You never know when you’ll see something worth taking a picture of, like a beautiful building, a local music venue, or a new restaurant. If you’re in the real estate business, it’s especially useful to have a collection of local photos that you can use later when you’re writing content for your website.
Make use of natural lighting whenever possible, and don’t hesitate to try out different photography settings on your phone. Take a look at the various filters and exposure settings that are included on your phone.
Once you have taken photos with your phone, you will need to edit them before adding them to your blog. While most phones have some editing capabilities, it is still worth having a separate program on your desktop. There are many affordable options available, including some that are free. Here are a few that would be good for most real estate blogs.
- FastStone Image Viewer – FastStone is a no-frills photo editing program that loads quickly and provides most tools that a Realtor would need for blog photo editing. It’s free for personal use, and the commercial license is very affordable.
- Photoshop Elements – Adobe’s Photoshop suite is the industry standard for photo editing, but most agents don’t need all the tools available in the flagship product. The Elements version is inexpensive and offers a wealth of tools and features.
- GIMP Editor – For tech-savvy real estate agents, GIMP Editor is an open-source solution that offers many of the same features as Photoshop, but for free.
It’s important to compress your images before adding them to your blog posts. Large image files can slow down page load times. A file size of 100kb is traditionally the maximum size recommended for SEO, but smaller files load quicker. The editing programs listed above can be used for image resizing. Your web designer can also use “lazy loading technology” (plugins are available for WordPress) to make sure pages still load quickly, as images aren’t loaded until the user scrolls down.
SEO for Blog Images
Search engine optimization (SEO) for images in blog posts can be done in several ways. One way is to make sure that the image file name includes keywords that are relevant to the blog post topic. Another way is to use the “alt” text attribute of the image tag to describe the image. This text is used by search engines when they index images, so it provides another opportunity to include keywords. When you start inserting images into blog posts, also start optimizing these images for search engines by including keywords in the file name and “alt” text attribute.
Create your Image File Name
Give your image a relevant and descriptive filename, like Craftsman-Home.jpg, to help you find it later in your media library.
5 Real Estate Photography Tips to Catch a Buyer’s Eye
Tip1: Assemble the Necessary Equipment to Create Real Estate Photography
Real estate photography techniques are the most important thing for you. So, the basic lists of equipment that will help you present real estate profitably:
The lens is the most important part of the camera. Cameras for taking pictures are regularly improved and updated. New, better models are released every year. Of course, you don’t need a very professional camera to take real estate photos. A camera with a good lens that has a wide focal length of 24-28 mm is enough. The lens is the most important part of the camera.
Choose a camera with high ISO characteristics for better results. Newer models are more productive. To make beautiful real estate photography, pay attention to cameras with such capabilities:
- ISO from 160 to 6400.
- Select the autofocus point.
- Color sensitivity settings.
You can also immediately order lenses that will help you create real estate photos:
- Wide-angle lenses.
- Lenses with image stabilization and others.
You’re not going to get great shots if your camera is shaky and blurry. So make sure you have a tripod with long legs that you can put anywhere in the room or yard.
Tip2: Think Over the Shooting to the Smallest Detail
When you do real estate photography, you have to try on the role of a professional photographer and buyer. At first, you can take a few standard shots of the object:
- Two photos on a wide-angle lens in the living room, kitchen, bedroom.
- One photo of the bathroom. If the room is spacious and large, then one picture is not enough here.
- One or three photos of the yard, if it is a private house, not an apartment.
- One or two photos of the facade of the house.
- One photo of additional rooms, for example, a garage or a storage room.
You can make the real estate photography more attractive by adding exclusive and unique shots.
When planning or during the shooting you should take into account such moments:
- Take photos of objects in the early morning or early evening when the sun is softer for the best results. Stand on the side of the object that is lit up by the sun so the shadows are shown well and the contrast is preserved.
- If you want your real estate photos to attract buyers, remove any unnecessary elements that could negatively affect the overall perception of the room. If you’re shooting in a room where people live, tactfully ask them to remove any unnecessary items so they don’t end up in the camera lens. Explain that this way you’ll be able to find a buyer for the property sooner.
- A good photo of a house should show as much of the area as possible, while keeping the main subjects in the center or at the level. The photo should also be bright and large.
- If you want to stand out as a real estate photographer, try adding some close-up shots to your repertoire. This technique is seldom used by realtors, but it can really make a property pop. Showing potential buyers some detailed photos of a home will help them to see its potential more clearly.
- It is important to keep the camera straight when taking pictures of a property from any angle, in order to avoid distortions that can’t be fixed in the editing process.
- Creating the right compositions with well-designed elements will create an impression of a professional made photo. During a photo shoot, you should always make sure that all lines of objects or furniture are straight. This creates a more professional impression in the photo.
Tip3: If Possible, Don’t Use the Flash if You are Shooting Outdoors
Natural light is the best option for real estate photography. No equipment for artificial lighting creation will be able to convey the shades naturally, as it really looks. Plus, natural lighting will make the photos realistic, then potential buyers will not have an “expectation-reality” difference when viewing the object.
To get good real estate photos in natural light, set the aperture to f8 and adjust the exposure. Longer focal lengths make the camera more likely to shake, so use a tripod and turn on the timer for high-quality pics.
To get successful real estate photography, you can take a series of pictures with different settings if your camera supports bracketing mode. Bracketing mode takes several frames with different exposures, which you can then combine in an editor, like Adobe Photoshop, to get a large exposure range.
In order to take high-quality pictures indoors, you may need to use additional light sources or a flash. Be sure to go into the room and estimate the amount of light. Most often, the interior is filled with light from windows and interior lighting; however, this may not be enough light to produce a high-quality image. Therefore, you can add continuous light or install a flash. The latter option is more acceptable because it provides flexibility in interior lighting.
Tip4: Take the time to process real estate photography
In order to improve the photos you have taken, try to improve the colors so that they look more presentable and professional. If necessary, remove any unnecessary elements that could affect the overall perception of the image.
There are several programs you can use to edit real estate photos, such as online tools like pixlr.com or professional programs from Adobe, like Photoshop or Lightroom. The latter programs offer a variety of tools for cropping, color correction of images, enhancing the clarity of details, changing saturation settings, and more.
It’s important to edit real estate photos carefully to get the best results. Even if you plan and prepare for the photo shoot as much as possible, you may still end up with a curved exposure, a broken horizon, sharp shadows, or insufficient light. But all of these issues can be fixed with the help of a good editor.
While it is important to have quality real estate photos, it is also important to not over-process them to the point where they no longer look natural. This could mislead potential buyers.
Tip5: Ensure Copyright Protection for Your Real Estate Photos
It’s a shame when someone invests time, effort, and money into creating content to promote real estate only for someone else to shamelessly steal it all. Photos are particularly vulnerable to this since if they’re not protected, other realtors and agencies can easily save and repost them on their own platforms. This could result in someone else getting the commission because they liked the photo even though they didn’t do any of the work.
A watermark can be anything that establishes the ownership of a photo, such as a logo, phone number, website, or name. This will let others know that the photos are owned by your agency when they are published on other websites. This will prevent others from copying the photos and claiming them as their own.
Follow these rules when creating a watermark on real estate photos:
- Place it on the full screen, but make it transparent so as not to prevent people from evaluating the object.
- Do not make the watermark too small and do not place it in places with a solid background – it can be masked in any editor.
- Do not place the watermark in the corner of the picture, where it can be easily cropped without losing the essence of the picture.
How to apply a watermark on real estate photography
Adding watermarks to your photos is a quick and easy way to protect your copyright and ensure that your photos are identifiable. Visual Watermark is a simple, professional watermarking program that makes it easy to add watermarks to your photos.
Visual Watermark is an easy way to protect your work and discourage others from stealing it. Showing your clients and competitors that you work honestly and professionally will be appreciated. This is a great way to stand out from other real estate agents.
If you’re about to shoot your first real estate listing, be sure to make a note of these tips and follow them. Remember that you’re taking photos for potential buyers, not for yourself. So, use real estate photography to show all the advantages of the property, as well as any significant flaws that might affect the price.