The right property pictures and styling will drive up buyer interest

In real estate photography, there are photos and then there are faux pas. Work with your vendors to help them showcase their property in the best possible light.

We’ve all seen those property ads where the photos are memorable for all the wrong reasons – rooms stacked with boxes, digitally enhanced images that don’t make sense or the pool filled with leaves.

While small in the grand scheme of things, they can be the difference between a potential buyer deciding to visit a property or continuing to scour the listings.

Marketing is all about appearances, which is why getting the property presentation right is crucial to the success of your sale campaign.

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It’s important to work with vendors to get their home ready for the photo shoot.

What buyers want and need

Buyers’ agent Rich Harvey makes a living out of reviewing property listings. As Managing Director of Propertybuyer and president of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia (REBAA), he has seen it all when it comes to property photos.

According to Rich, buyers are often frustrated by the tricks commonly used in real estate photos that provide an inaccurate representation of the property.

“Some agents are very clever at using wide-angle lenses to make a room look bigger, or really zooming out for views that you can’t really see when you’re there unless you’re on tippy toes looking through the bathroom window,” Rich says. “Just as there’s truth in [good] advertising, we’d like to see truth in photography.”

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A realistic interior is far more appealing to buyers and will increase your open home attendance.

Tips for real estate photography that works

Producing photos that buyers respond to is the ultimate goal, but it is only by educating vendors and working with a skilled photographer that you will generate compelling photos.

Here are some tips that will take your real estate photography to the next level:

1. Be diplomatic
Don’t make your vendor feel like you are attacking their personal style or possessions. Explain logically why you are suggesting a change – for example, by removing some items of furniture you can make the room appear much bigger.

2. Go pro
Your vendor has employed a professional to sell their home, so encourage them to also invest in professional photography to market it.

3. Don’t assume knowledge
Most vendors don’t know real estate marketing like you do – actively work with them by providing lots of styling tips that are tailored to their target market.

4. Avoid over tinkering
It is possible to go overboard with Photoshop. You want the images to look like a realistic depiction of the property, not a piece of abstract art.

5. Get the light right
Any photographer will tell you their biggest challenge is lighting. You and the vendor can help things along by determining the best time of day for the photography session (often depending on season and which direction the property faces) as well as internal lighting options.

“Mood lighting is really good, so those afternoon/evening shots at dusk work well when everything is lit up. Middle-of-the-day stark contrasts are really bad,” Rich says.

6. Less is more
Decluttering is the first advice most agents should impart to their clients. Show vendors previous properties you have sold and explain how the arrangements compare to your first home visit.

7. Hold a practice run
Too often it’s only when the photos come back that you realise something wasn’t removed from the camera’s gaze. Do a pre-photo inspection to ensure the vendors haven’t missed anything such as garbage bins.

8. Collaborate
While the photographer’s skill is in capturing fantastic images, as the selling agent you are the one who knows what buyers are looking for. Use this knowledge to guide the photographer for the best outcome.

“It’s all about leading a horse to water,” Rich explains. “Some buyers see through it, but ultimately it has to lead buyers to click on the online advertisement and make an effort to go to the open home. Photography is the bait that draws them in.”

If you are looking for an experienced photographer or photo re-toucher with real estate expertise talk to Campaigntrack today.

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Adam Zuchetti

Sydney-based Adam Zuchetti is a successful renovator and property journalist with a passion for our built environment. Having covered both the Australian and UK property markets, and with qualifications in interior design, Adam is the go-to guy on all things real estate.