Today, almost all home buyers start their search on the Internet and photos are an integral part this internet experience. Thus, it is important to use inviting photos to make the right first impression.
Yet, it does not matter whether it’s a $400,000 condo or a $5 million dollar home. Most photo presentations by real estate agents on the MLS, whether you see them at Redfin.com or Zillow.com, are pretty bad. Learn More.
It gets technically better toward the higher price range as agents often begin to contract the photography to the professionals. But even professional photos sometimes have shortcomings. Learn More.
Why Smart(er) Photos?
As a seller, you should care about Smart(er) Photos. Simply said, Smart(er) Photos increase buyer interest and motivation which will make them more likely to make an appointment to view your home and offer a higher price.
To elaborate, there are three important things that Smart Photos do:
Smart Photos make the best first impression: The vast majority of home buyers today begin by perusing homes for sale online. Usually, they are not reading the details. They are appreciating the photos. They will spend viewing photos of homes they like. They are more likely to become motivated by better photos.
Smart Photos increase the worth and price of the home: Smart Photos make your property shine by demonstrating that the seller was a responsible steward, the seller has pride in ownership, and definitely, the seller took care of the property. The sellers also appear to know what they are doing and doing everything to get the highest price for their home. The buyers always value the homes no more than the sellers believes it is worth.
Smart Photos screen out unqualified buyers: Buyers quickly determine whether the property suits them or not from the Smart Photos. Only the best fit potential buyers who can afford it will bother to make an appointment with their agent to view your property. You are less likely to get lowball offers from under-qualified buyers.
Smart Photos Sell Your Home
In either case, it works against the sale of the home by not providing sufficient compelling reasons why the buyers should purchase the property.
By contrast, Smart Photos sell your home in the following ways:
Highlight the Comparative Advantage: Smart Photos highlight your home’s comparative advantage against other offerings in your neighborhood. It highlights your neighborhoods comparative advantage against other neighborhoods that the buyers might consider. We used the below photo and others to highlight the excellent schools and extracurricular available in the neighborhood.
Shows Pride in Ownership: Smart Photos demonstrate pride of ownership by showing how well the home has been maintained and the extra mile the owner went to make the home comfortable and distinctive. This is also a chance to show the owner’s personal touch and personality. This includes decorative items or even a footpath in the garden.
Points Out Home and Neighborhood Amenities: Smart Photos set your apart from the competition and increase your homes competitive advantage by pointing all the amenities, features, and qualities of your home and your neighborhood, many of which may be overlooked by the casual observer or agent. Often these include local shopping, school, parks, and entertainment.
Showcases the Owners in Positive Light: One aspect of home buying is also aspirational – if you can show happy people and a well-lived-in house, so much the better. People want to live in nice homes and be happy in them. If personal effects like photos demonstrate that, leave them in the photo – don’t “declutter” them.
Smart Photo of Exterior includes various times of day: The sun may be predominantly shining on back or front of the house at different hours of the day. Sunlight makes better photos. In addition, different times of the day casts different shadows and colors. Night time view may also be interesting if there are the right kinds of lighting. Smart Photos take advantage of these varying conditions and where advantageous, take multiple occasions to take the photos. Below photos of the same home were taken at different hours.
Multi-Platform Photo Presentation
Finally, Smart Photos also include multiple platforms to make the photo presentation more interesting and informative while accentuating the positive aspects of your home. These include Fish-eye, 360 panoramas, HDRs, videos, and drone footage.
Fish-eye: For still images, fish-eye is useful for putting more of a room or space in a single image or helping to make smaller enclosed spaces look larger. It can also produce some interesting effects. A bathroom shot using fish-eye was shown above. Here’s a photo of the kitchen area of the same home.
HDRs: High-dynamic-range imaging is a new method of digital photography which takes multiple pictures at different exposure settings and combines them. The process shows more detail by revealing underexposed areas. The resulting photos also produce warmer feel. Here’s the same kitchen using HDR. (Source: Smart Realty)
360 Panoramas: With today’s digital cameras combined with a wide-angle lens like the fish-eye, you can take multiple shots of the entire room and stitch them into a spherical photo. When viewed with the right software, the potential buyers can scroll left, right, up, and down, all the way around the room. Though the MLS is not yet capable of showing 360 panoramas, they can be used effectively in an online Open House at the home’s own www website.
Cinematic Panorama: Rather than stills or 360 panoramas, cinematic panoramas show still images in a very wide format which you could scroll left or right. This can be useful in situations where most of the interesting details are at eye level and you do not need to see much of the ceiling or floor.
Videos: Though the MLS is not yet capable of showing videos, they can be used effectively in an online Open House at the home’s own www website. If not a live video, we will optionally incorporate video slide shows. Here’s a sample video from Youtube:
Drone Footage: Today, drones are cheap enough and they make such an impact that drone photography and videos are becoming a real option in the higher end markets. Here’s a sample video from Youtube:
All in all, Smart Photos have the technical competence and the business savvy rarely matched in the industry. And whether it’s a $400,000 condo or a $5 million home, a true gem or a diamond in the rough, we invest a high level of attention and care, making each and every property we sell shine. You won’t be disappointed.