Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 is the Year of Real Estate Video

Consider some of these stats:
  • YouTube exceeds 2 billion+ views a day which is nearly double the prime-time audience of all 3 major networks combined
  • The average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube
  • By using video you have a 50x better chance of ranking on page 1 of Google
Why video? Video has the ability to increase your business, build better relationships, and amplify your credibility. Videos of neighborhoods and communities are like catnip for consumers. People searching for local info about your area will find your videos and then find you. Video evokes emotion and helps tell the story of a property or place. A bad video is worse than no video, so make sure it is impressive!

But it needs to be a great video... because your videos reflect on you, your properties and your work.

Videos do not replace photos... You still need quality photos for MLS and flyers, etc.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The best time to shoot real estate photos

One of many decisions a Professional Photographer has to make is whether to shoot a project during daytime or at night. The most important parameters photographers use to determine the best time of day to do a photo shoot are natural and artificial lighting, the size and quantity of windows and openings and of course, the size of the area to be photographed.

Something that’s unknown to most is the fact that shooting interiors during the day present its own challenges. Contrary to popular belief ("shoot in the middle of the day with bright sun and blue sky"), that is actually the worst time of day to shoot a property! The difference between the (cooler) color temperature and high intensity of the light outdoors, contrasted with the much darker and warmer (orange) color temperature of the light indoors, makes shooting interior photo/video extremely difficult. And the results are mixed at best. 
Shooting on an overcast day or at dusk creates a much more pleasant blend of interior and exterior light. The light is soft and indirect, unlike during the middle of the day. Instead of blown out, white windows, you can see through the windows to the outside view.

The ambient light inside the home is much more beautiful than dealing with harsh, streaming sunlight coming through windows, washing out all of the colors. Too bright highlights and dark shadows can make for an unpleasant look. Shooting after dark actually removes all traces of that super bright, cooler, outdoor sunlight and the results can be stunning. Throw in a roaring fireplace and some well placed lit candles, and you can have a photo/video tour that really pops and stands out from the pack!

Exterior shots at dusk and twilight are also preferred. More than preferred, they are magical and envoke our primal instincts for a safe warm home. That first impression is the lasting one!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why it’s important to use great photo’s

If you are a listing agent and selling a client’s home is your goal, then you want to keep potential buyers interested in the listing as long as possible. As a potential buyer, looking to purchase a new property... it is amazing at the amount of real estate listings with poor-quality pictures, or worse; some listings contain no pictures at all. Guess what happens when they click to view the details of a listing and it has dark, blurry, pixelated pictures? They exit the listing page faster than you can say waste-of-time. That first impression kills it for the listing and for future business for that realtor!

 If you cannot produce excellent photos yourself, you should hire someone to do it for you and figure that expense into your budget. Why waste all the money invested in ads, flyers and listings with poor photos. Poor photos are dark photos, poorly framed views, bad HDR photos and cluttered photos.
  1. Better quality pictures = more interested buyers!
  2. More interested buyers = more homes sold!
  3. More homes sold = more money for you!
  4. More homes sold and quality pictures = more new listings!
The first impression is the lasting one!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    HDR photos... the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The HDR photo technique is effective at capturing the dynamic range of light. Unfortunately, HDR can result in unnatural grunge colors, edge bloom and stormy skies. This is nice for artistic photos, but NOT for real estate and architecture.  Most HDR photography is done wrong and is way over-used. These horrible HDR photos are showing up everywhere lately because they are easy to shoot and run through a batch processor. There is no substitute for great lighting and no shortcuts to excellent photos!.

     However, occasionally an HDR photo is needed and an 'expertly crafted' Fusion HDR photo can be stunning and faithfully realistic. With my 4 years experience using the HDR techniques, I have learned how to produce more natural HDR photos by using three different HDR fusion methods and strobe lighting,  blending layers of multi-exposure photos into perfectly balanced, stunning photos. The drawback is the time required to produce natural HDR photos

    That first impression is the lasting one!