Realtor Magazine states that the number one thing buyers study when visiting a real estate website is listing and neighborhood photos.
Picking the best real estate photos for your website is crucial for your overall business and conversion rate. Not only that, but photo placement and how the user is able to access pictures is also important. Read in this post how pictures can be converted to a popular Pinterest board and how that helps you in your real estate business.
As a rule of thumb, you should keep your listing photos at the top of the page, so viewers will clearly see them without having to scroll through other information which may not interest them. Also, keep in mind that too much post-editing of pictures is not recommended. Here are the top 3 options you can go for when building your real estate photos portfolio.
1. Hiring your photographer
If you decide that the best option for you is to hire a photographer for your real estate photos, you should pick one that’s professional and credible, with plenty of favorable reviews from clients.
Your fellow agents may also refer a photographer they worked with if they were satisfied with his services. If you don’t have an unusually large budget, you can opt for an amateur photographer that has plenty of reviews from peers and clients.
It should be mentioned that hiring a real estate photographer comes with a price. Don’t expect great results from cheaper photographers or from a very small budget. Keep in mind that when looking to hire a photographer for your real estate photos, research can mean the difference between total satisfaction and a complete flop.
Also, this is a great moment to touch upon your real estate about page, since your photographer can take pictures of your office, your employees and some pictures of yourself as well. You can use them in blog posts, bio pages or the about page – the choice is yours.
All in all, hiring your photographer for your real estate photos can be a great benefit for you and your business. You’ll have more time to devote to other aspects related to your website, such as building an inviting homepage or focusing on real estate landing pages. If you have the budget for it, hiring a photographer is worth it in the long run.
Advantages of hiring a photographer:
- An experienced photographer is a great asset to your team – he can take photos for listings, photos of your office and team as well as edit any other photos to perfect your website.
- You’ll have more time for things that matter – your business for example. You won’t have to deal with looking through stock photos or shooting them yourself.
- Once you find a well-reviewed professional photographer that you can work with, you won’t need to worry about photos anymore – make sure you have the budget for it.
Disadvantages of hiring a photographer
- You may have some trouble explaining your vision to your photographer. He may want to enforce his vision of the photos he’s taking, which could end up in the wrong kind of pictures.
- You could stumble upon someone that’s not diligent enough to finish the work in time.
2. Taking your photos
If you don’t have the budget for a professional real estate photographer and stock photos are not your thing, taking your real estate photos is the next best thing.
If you’re able and willing to take pictures of neighborhoods and properties yourself, you may need to touch up on the basics of photography and buy yourself a semi-professional camera.
After you started to get the hang of it and had your first shooting sessions, it’s time to read up on more advanced photography techniques. The key to awesome looking real estate photos is editing software – you’ll need to familiarize yourself with photo-editing software to change the contrast, brightness, and lighting of your photos.
The most popular photo editing software includes Photoshop and Pixlr, with the latter being more user-friendly and more accessible to users.
If you plan to do your shootings with a smartphone, you can use mobile apps which allow editing on the go. The most popular mobile apps for photo editing include Lately, Snapseed and VSCO Cam. Check out this article to find out more about popular real estate mobile apps in 2018.
Whichever option you pick for editing your photos, remember not to alter them too much since your audience may find it deceiving. Always remember to try taking your pictures in the sunny hours of the morning, due to the tremendous natural lighting available.
Advantages of taking your photos
- You learn a new and valuable skill which will prove handy in the future.
- You can post your photos directly to social media and in real time, building your online presence even further.
- You won’t have to pay for it.
- You control any aspect related to vision, making sure that the photos you take fit your brand and ideal.
Disadvantages of taking your photos
- You will have to spend some time learning the tricks of the trade – how cameras and their accessories work.
- You will have to invest in a semi-professional camera.
- Your results may be disappointing at first.
An example of how your images could turn out without a professional edit touch.
3. Using stock photos
If you’re not too keen to pick up photography and don’t have the budget for a professional real estate photographer, using stock photos is your last option. The biggest problem with stock photos is that although some stock photos are great and usable, most are of poor quality and should never end up on your website. Plus they cost money too.
The most popular stock photos websites are Thinkstock and Shutterstock – you will need to devote a great deal of time to find the best real estate photos on these sites.
Advantages of using stock photos
- You have access to excellent quality photos at a fraction of the price of a real estate photographer.
- Finding high-quality stock photos requires less time than learning photography yourself.
Disadvantages of using stock photos
- You may have a hard time finding relevant real estate photos for your website.
- Even when you do find relevant high-quality photos, several other brokers or agents may be using the same photo on their site, which can hurt your brand.
Although all three options are great for your real estate website, the best option would be a mix between the three – using professional photos for your homepage & about page, stock photos for blog posts and your own pictures for properties.