Selecting a Real Estate Photographer (Part 1)


Elevated angle exterior photo taken from a camera mounted atop a 25′ tripod.

Technology and the internet have helped and enhanced few industries as much as real estate sales and marketing.  With just a few clicks or taps, anyone can use their phones, tablets and computers to see dozens of photos of properties, walk through homes on video tours, and fly over homes and neighborhoods by way of drones.

As digital cameras become less expensive, more capable and as common as cell phones, more people use their cameras to take photos and create marketing content for properties they wish to sell. Entrepreneurs and hobbyists alike need only build a Facebook page and place a Craigslist ad to put themselves in the real estate photography business.

Likewise, many agents, brokers and owners see their phones and pocket cameras as ‘time-and-money-saving’ tools that will allow them to get that listing posted to the MLS before the ink from the seller’s signature dries on the listing contract.

A well-staged home illustrates less is more.

So with almost everyone owning a decent camera, why would anyone pay to have real estate photos taken when it’s so easy to do yourself?

Before I answer that, let’s look at some facts about property buyers’ behavior.  The visual content included in a real estate listing is usually the first thing that catches a shopper’s eye when they arrive at your listing.  Your listing photos are often the first and ONLY impression you make on the shopper – both about the property and your agency.

Rosalind Clarke, a senior sales associate with the Corcoran Group in Palm Beach, Florida said, “If things look shoddy or unprofessional, not only are buyers going to find the property unappealing, they’re going to associate you with being shoddy and unprofessional.”

Jacky Teplitzky, executive vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York said, “Good photos will grab people’s attention and help you sell a home. Bad pictures will absolutely give you trouble, because you won’t have any calls on it, and nobody will come to see it.”

US News & World Report found that bad photography was the #2 reason for “torpedoing” a home’s sales price.

Natural light photography is the best way to assure that the property the buyers came to see will match the photos that first caught their eye.

A 2016 study of over 1 million home sales conducted in 2016 proved listings that can be described as having “natural light” sell faster.

So let’s look at that question again.  Why would anyone pay to have real estate photos taken professionally when it’s so easy to do yourself?

My answer is another question in return: What costs more – a couple hundred dollars for professional photos, or lowering the asking price by thousands of dollars after a month of no activity?

A $10,000 reduction in asking price pays for a lot of photography, even when splitting the commission.

So there’s my business case for investing a few hundred dollars and a few hours to have a proven professional photograph your property.  But how do you judge who is a ‘proven professional’?  What should you look for in their work?  What questions should you ask?

Check out Part 2 for those answers.  Or if you’re in a hurry, just call me. 719-966-7590.

Posted in Business/Marketing, HDR, Photography, Real Estate Photography, Real Estate/Architectural | Comments Off on Selecting a Real Estate Photographer (Part 1)