There’s nothing quite like bad real estate photos.
We’ve all been guilty of it. You’re at your last scheduled walkthrough… and you want to be over with the day. So you take a few grainy, dark photos and think, “Good enough.”
Unfortunately, the listing photos are the most critical element of many listings — and a terrible photo won’t warrant callbacks.
At least we can laugh at ourselves.
What makes a real estate photo bad?
Not everyone has an eye for photography, but most people can tell when a photo is hilariously bad. A bad photo:
- Shows off the worst characteristics of a space.
- Appears obviously and laughably Photoshopped.
- Shows the real estate professional themselves in a bad (or awkward light).
Some properties, of course, are just funny. Real estate photographers undergo a lot of training to bring out the best in properties that are small, rundown, or just sketchy.
But never forget professional photography’s ultimate goal- to entice a potential buyer. And maybe a potential buyer will be more likely to look at a listing if the real estate pictures are a little unusual or a little weird.
Let’s look at some of the most phenomenal real estate listing photos taken by real estate agents.
Bad Real Estate Photos That’ll Make You Laugh
Hold up, I think someone’s trying to communicate with us. pic.twitter.com/GPOzus6zBf— Bad Realty Photos (@BadRealtyPhotos) June 30, 2015
Bovine scarecrow dressed as middle aged woman looking for bovine scarecrow dressed as middle aged man for fun times and maybe more. pic.twitter.com/Q4ZhYzd9RN— Bad Realty Photos (@BadRealtyPhotos) May 1, 2017
“Honey, I found the ladder! It was in the fitness studio that we also use as a utility room and study where we keep the musical instruments” pic.twitter.com/uL709NIYAu— Bad Realty Photos (@BadRealtyPhotos) July 12, 2017
“Okaaay, thanks for coming everyone. First item on the agenda: The Kid’s birthday party – What went well / areas for improvement” pic.twitter.com/YQEjS37RtJ— Bad Realty Photos (@BadRealtyPhotos) May 10, 2017
How can you take better real estate listing photos?
“Oh no, it’s me — I’m in this picture.”
You’re not alone if you’ve just realized you’ve been taking bad photos. It’s not easy to take a professional photo.
Here are some tips for getting better results.
- Invest in the right equipment. Maybe your smartphone has enough resolution to take a great picture. But it probably doesn’t. Ultimately, the right light will matter more anyway — remember the golden hour.
- Stage the property first. A living room isn’t going to photograph well if it’s full of clutter, no matter how talented you are. At a minimum, make sure it gets cleaned up.
- Consider a virtual tour or video tour. Virtual tours can help bring some personality to a property in a way that a photo can’t.
- Hire a professional real estate photographer for your most important listings. You may not be able to afford them for every listing photo, but you can do a photo shoot for your luxury or high-end properties.
- Don’t overdo it. Sure, use a wide-angle lens to make a property look less claustrophobic. But don’t filter your listing picture until it looks unrealistic. The more unrealistic your photo looks, the less likely people are to “buy” that it’s real.
- Take a class in real estate photography. You can avoid truly terrible real estate photos by taking a class — you’ll get tips on how to stage properties, use natural light, and use the same software and tools a professional photographer might.
You can even use services that clean up your photos after taking them. These services are “virtual staging” companies — they can take things out of your photos, add things to your photos, and even change day to night.
Conclusion: Some people could stand to take a photography class
Some of these properties are just bad. But others could have been redeemed through some great photos.
Knowing how to stage and take photos is an important part of being a great real estate agent. If your photos are coming out more like the ones above, you might want to join a real estate team or hire a professional.
When was the last time you took a cringe-worthy photo?
Yes. Often, they matter more than text. People look at photos first — and photos can say a thousand words. The best listings have well-crafted real estate photos or videos and 3D walkthroughs. Today’s buyers want to see everything on the page.
Most real estate photos are distorted because the realtor uses a “fish eye lens.” Sometimes it’s necessary; a place can feel claustrophobic or cramped if you photograph it. But other times, it’s used to make a property look much bigger than it is.
A real estate photographer should always avoid depicting a property, unlike its real-life appearance. If someone comes to see the property expecting to see something else, they’ll be disappointed, and you’ll waste your time. You want people in the door, but you don’t want people misled.
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