Tips for Maximising the Impact of Your Property Images
A decade ago, the way in which properties were marketed for sale was surprisingly different from those of today. Print advertising was the major player, the likes of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au were still in their infancy, “Highlight” and “Premiere” listings had not yet been thought of and on-line was an extremely cost-effective alternative to expensive newspaper campaigns. But when I first started in real estate over a decade ago, one thing sticks out in my mind more than anything else: In our marketplace at least, professional photography was the exception, rather than the rule and the majority of property photography was done by agents on their own digital cameras.
In those days, professional photography alone was enough to make a property stand out among all the others that were for sale, such was the overwhelming mediocrity that was the industry standard at the time. But times have changed, and professional photography is now an expected norm among both agents, and real estate consumers. Put simply, it is a must have if you are selling your property. But if everyone is doing it, then how do you make your property stand out?
How your property is marketed will have a massive affect on the price you obtain. But you cannot get the maximum amount of benefit from your marketing campaign if the property is presented poorly in the first place. Having outstanding presentation is the first step to getting some great, eye-catching images to use in the marketing campaign. It’s important to be highly critical – How you live in your property is now how you should sell it.
Prior to your photo session, make sure your property has been de-cluttered as best you can. You only get one chance to get the right shots so make it count. De-personalise by removing family photos from the walls and replace them with some attractive but simple art pieces. Colour co-ordinate these with your current décor and furniture so that everything works in unison. Don’t be afraid to add some flourishes either – A bowl of fresh fruit or a bottle of bubbly can add colour, character and atmosphere to your photos.
TIP – If your property carries a luxury price tag, you may want to consider engaging a professional home stager. These people specialise in setting properties up to sell and in some of the more expensive areas, where buyers are more discerning, this is a very common marketing tool.
A popular method of photographing properties for maximum impact is to shoot the property on dusk, upon the setting of the sun where the sky will glow with spectacular colours and artificial lighting can be used to add extra effect. In simple terms, the images tend to be much more striking and eye catching and as a marketing weapon used strategically, can be a great value adder.
This usually costs a bit more than a standard day-time session but is worth the money if used for the right property. Generally speaking, it works best if your property has a particularly striking outdoor living aspect such as an attractive pool or entertaining area or scenic views. Don’t automatically assume it is the way to go however, as some properties are more suited to daytime photo sessions. For a standard two bedroom rental apartment a twilight shoot is probably an over capitalization, unless it happens to have city views or something of the like. I have noticed some agents automatically using dusk photography on every property they list, regardless of whether or not it is suitable for the properties themselves, and as I see it that is just poor marketing. If it’s overdone or used incorrectly, the value of it is lost.
MAKE SURE YOU GET A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER
This is of the utmost importance. Great photographers, just like great agents, can add massive value to your property. But just because your photos have been taken professionally does not guarantee they will be good. I have seen shocking photos used in marketing campaigns that were taken by supposed “professionals”. I have personally had experiences with photographers who simply point and shoot without giving any real thought as to the best angle or adjustments that could be made to enhance the quality of the shot. This is not what you want and if it costs a bit more to get someone who actually cares about the quality of their work, then SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY!
TIP – Ask your agent to provide you with examples of their photographer’s past work and ask them why they use that particular person.
PLAN AND EXECUTE THE “MONEY” SHOT
The “Money Shot” (also referred to sometimes as the ‘hero’ shot) is the main image your agent will be using as the thumbnail in the marketing placements for your property. This should feature the best, most attractive aspect of your property and will be the visual hook that attracts the attention of buyers who are searching properties in your area. Some properties have an obvious money shot – An out-door pool/entertaining area, a deck with stunning views, or a spectacularly renovated kitchen are all common ones. This is the most important out of all the photos that will be taken – First impressions can make or break your sale.
Don’t assume your main photo needs to be an outdoor front-of-house shot either – Sometimes a property can lack street appeal but may offer far more attractive features behind closed doors. The best aspect or feature of your property should be the first thing buyers see when they first encounter it. If you have a good agent and a good photographer, you should be able to get plenty of guidance on this.
ONE FINAL THING…
Once again, having the right agent can help you get the greatest benefit out of your property photos. I have seen beautiful homes have some lovely photos taken, only for the agent to stuff it all up by uploading them in the wrong order, or worse, tampering with them unnecessarily. Having great photos is useless unless your agent knows what to do with them, so ensure you are getting someone with the marketing acumen to maximize the benefits of your hard work in preparing the property, and the photographer’s great work at capturing it. As always, feel free to contact us directly for FREE expert advice.