Why Real Estate Photography is The New Vanilla Extract

Here’s a cheeky trick realtors use to make houses on the market seem more homely:

Place 2 caps of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then pop it in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour. Within 20 minutes the whole house will smell divine.

You’re welcome.

But you know what’s even more effective than having your home smell like the inside of a birthday cake? Getting a professional real estate photographer to shoot the listing.

Home buyers spend approximately 60% of their time viewing photos of the property when first browsing listings online. Compare this with only 20% of their time reviewing the property description and the realtors notes.

Further still, not only will professionally shot listings get more interest (up to 118% more views), but they sell / rent 50% faster than non-professionally shot competitors. And they tend to be bought or rented about 40% closer to the listing price, according to the WSJ.

So, in summary, properties that have a professional real estate photographer shoot the listing exponentially improve the chances of the property being:

  • considered as an option
  • bought or rented quicker
  • bought or rented for more money

Put simply: if you are looking to rent or sell your property then the photography you use must be as good as it possibly can be. This means it should be shot by a professional real estate photographer.

IMOTO Photo - www.imotophoto.com, 2014

IMOTO Photo - www.imotophoto.com, 2014

Check out the growth airbnb experienced once they started offering professional photography services to their hosts. Coincidence? We think not.

Why is this? What do real estate photographers do differently?

First off, real estate photographers bring an experienced eye. They know what sells, and what doesn’t. While you might think a photo of every room is a sign of transparency, a real estate photographer will know that a picture of your non-descript second bathroom is not only unnecessary, but it actually cheapens the experience for the would-be buyer /renter. Shot selection is critical in this game.

Secondly, your real estate photographer will know how to bring the right emotion to each shot. With a little bit of art direction, the photographer can make the world of difference. They’ll know which features to highlight, and which to avoid.

Thirdly, your photographers are thinking about angles and lights. You might feel the room looks great from the door; but in reality shooting from the window makes the room feel bigger, and there is less danger of dodgy silhouettes to distract the eye.

Finally, the photographer has the proper equipment. Light readers, tripod, DSLR camera, etc. Your real estate photographer will also use post-production tools to crop the photos and enhance colors. They can make the mundane look extraordinary. And this translates to money in your pocket.

Who should pay for the professional photographer?

The agent. Many will pull out their trusty iPhone to take some snaps, others will use something a little more appropriate (like a camera). But at the end of the day, this is not the place to be cutting corners. Insist they hire a professional to take the photos. It’s a cost that will most likely pay for itself many times over…

Still not sure? Compare the photos below:

A good eye and the right experience takes the "meh" to the "hmm", and perhaps all the way to "mmhm".