This is an interesting take on real estate photography by a Realtor. She has some great insights and advice on what to do with your point and shoot cameras.
Interesting read from the Chicago Tribune. Lots of useful advice for Realtors and homeowners alike in this article as it relates to photography.
In a previous blog I discussed how easy it was to schedule your virtual tours. You can call me (316.644.7559), email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or order via my web site (www.MirandaMultimedia.com). Any of those three methods is guaranteed to get you in touch with me quickly.
I know text messaging is an extremely valuable method of communication but it’s not the best way to schedule your tours. I love text messaging but I can’t guarantee you that I won’t miss your text message. There’s a lot of information that comes across my phone and an occasional text message does get by me every now and again. I would hate to miss an opportunity to serve you.
Feel free to contact me at any of the methods above if you have any questions.
Well, Spring has sprung…finally! I didn’t think it would ever get here. With the Spring season comes lots of listing activity and lots of tours. My schedule has been filling up quickly and this time of year it’s important to plan ahead. My shooting schedule has been consistently booked about a week out. A great way to stay ahead of the curve is to contact me as soon as you schedule the listing appointment. Don’t wait until you’ve already got the property on the market because it may be several days before I’ll be able to get out there to photograph it. A lot of Realtors that I shoot for on a regular basis schedule the listing date around the photo shoot. This not a bad idea, especially if you do not want to take any photos yourself. Remember, there is a new MLS guideline that requires at least one exterior photo in MLS within 7 days of the listing date. If you find yourself with a new listing, but on the back side of my schedule, please take a few photos of the property yourself so your client has something out there for prospective buyers to see. I’ll get there as quickly as I can!
This post will provide a few tips for having the home ready for your photo shoot. Feel free to share with your clients.
Generally, the smoothest shoots are the completed when no one is in the home. I can move about the house adjusting blinds, furniture, personal items as needed for the shoot. I realize this isn’t always realistic, so maybe some insight as to the methodology of the shoot will be beneficial.
The photo shoot is not the time to complete listing agreements, property disclosures, etc. You will have to keep jumping from room to room to get out of lens view and I’ll have to keep asking you to. It breaks up the rhythm of the job and the order in which the home is shot.
Usually, the shoot begins and ends outside. Your sign and flyer holders are removed and stills of the front and the back of the home are shot. It’s best to have as few cars as possible around the front of the house. If you would like to attend the photo shoot please park at least 2-3 homes away. Please have the homeowners put their car(s) in the garage or park them at least 2-3 homes away.
After shooting the exterior I will then move inside for the first pass through the house shooting still images. These are done with the camera on either a tripod or a monopod so that resulting images are level and well framed. It’s always best if the home is ready for the photos shoot when I arrive. Below is a link to some tips that you can provide your sellers to prepare for the shoot.
After all of the still images have been shot, I place the camera on a rotating head and begin shooting 360° panoramas of the larger rooms in the house. Typically panoramas of smaller rooms like bathrooms and laundry rooms are not done. When possible partial panoramas of smaller rooms will be completed, giving the viewer a 180° view or larger. Once the panoramas inside are complete, I move outside to shoot panoramic images of the front and backyard if necessary. Please note, if there are cars parked in front of the home, or if there are trash carts lining the street, a panorama of the front of the home will not be completed. Depending upon the size of the home, the photo shoot can take anywhere from 45-90 minutes.
Back at the office, post production begins. The images are downloaded from the camera, adjusted for sharpness, contrast, tone and Photoshop enhanced as needed. All of the images for the panoramas are stitched together to form one large, wide photograph that appears to moving in your virtual tour. When the images are ready they are incorporated into the virtual tour, descriptions added, uploaded to the server and distributed where necessary. The whole process from shoot to final upload can take 4-5 hours depending upon the size of the home and the number of images in the tour.
I hope this provides some insight to the virtual tour process. Feel free to download the Virtual Tour Preparation Guide here.
I’ve mentioned social bookmarks in my newsletters before, but I feel it bears repeating. Social networking sites are HUGE! It seems everyone is on them whether they are at work or at play. Massive amounts of information is being passed along via social networking sites as you read this. It could be anything from simple status updates, “I’m sitting on the patio,” to family pictures, or…your latest LISTING! I try to post most of the tours I create on Facebook. Why? It’s not my listing. True, but I’m a photographer and it’s what I do! It spreads the word. The same can be true for your listings. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other networking sites out there, exposure is good and you should capitalize on it. And… it’s free!
Posting your tours to social bookmarking sites is easy. If you’re using the new Full Screen, HD Tours you find a “Share” button in the upper right hand corner of the tour. Hover your mouse over that button a list of social networking sites will appear. Just select your favorite and post to that site. Look for this button.
If you’re using my standard tours, at the bottom of our tours you’ll find a social bookmark bar. Click the button for your favorite networking site, follow a few steps for that site and it’s posted! Your traffic goes up, your exposure goes up, and the opportunity to get that home sold has just increased. Make sure your clients know about these bookmarking links too. They can post your tour on their pages as well. Before you know it, your tour is viral! I posted a tour for an agent several weeks ago on Facebook. Their clients viewed it and posted it on their Facebook pages. They had 114 hits on the tour in one evening!
Now, go out there, get social, and get seen!
This post is actually a link to another Blog that will answer the question about whether video will kill virtual tours. Active Rain is the largest real estate network blog out there. It is an invaluable source of information for Realtors or anyone remotely involved with the real estate industry. Here’s the link: