How many times have you searched the MLS for a client to find the 'Perfect Dream Home' for your clients and come across the absolute worst photos you have ever seen?
As a Realtor®, we are charged with the business of selling our clients most expensive possession. We meet with the client, get all the information and take the listing. Then we whip out our 'Smart Phone' and wander through the property taking shots of all the rooms. After about 15 minutes we have enough pictures to post a listing.
When asked, the reply is usually... 'I don't need a professional photographer because my iPhone has a 9 megapixel camera and that means it takes really good quality pictures!' said every professional camera-phone Realtor!
Sounds like a good argument considering that previous Smart Phones had a much smaller megapixel capture. But let's look at this from a strictly mechanical view.
You pay upwards of $600.00 for your Smart Phone. It does everything that your home computer can do. It is loaded with hundreds of Apps that you will never use. It has a great contact list and all the phone numbers that you need at your fingertips and ... it also has a camera.
The lens on my iPhone 5S is 1/16" wide. Quite small actually. Internally it has some hardware and software to capture light and save an image. It even has a flash for those dark areas.
Just because your phone has a camera does not mean it is meant to replace a professional photographer and their camera. I shoot with a Canon 60D and multiple Speedlite flashes to fill all the dark areas with abundant light. I also shoot High Dynamic Range (HDR) images where you don't need flash.
But guess what? I cannot make a phone call with my camera! I can take excellent pictures with my camera, but if I want to make a phone call, I must use my phone.
For those of you who want to continue to use your Smart Phone to take pictures, please remember to do the following things to make the picture look better:
1. Turn your phone sideways so it takes the picture wider than it is tall.
2. Use a flash! Open all drapes! (I see this issue all the time.)
3. Clean the house first. If the client won't do it then you do it or hire Molly Maid to come in.
4. Watch your angles. (Are those legs I see?)
5. Remove extra furniture, worn rugs, and items you don’t use: put away papers, toys, etc., especially from stairs.
6. Make sure appliances are spotless.
7. Close the lid!
8. Remove as much clutter as possible.
9. Don't post pictures upside down.
10. Stop the car before you take the picture.
11. Hide pets. (Hello there doggie!)
12. Hide people.
13. Don't use Photoshop to add or remove things or to create crazy results.
14. Most Smart Phones do not have a setting for the different types of light you find in a home. This is why your pictures may look yellow. When this happens, you should edit it so it has a neutral colour to it. Whites should be white and not yellow!
These are just a few of the items that I see on a daily basis while searching the MLS.
If you do not want to hire a professional photographer, discuss it with your client and get them to pay the cost. It will make their home look better and may just get more people looking for it.
Remember... Just because your Smart Phone has a camera does not mean you should use it in place of a real camera. Go out and by a point and shoot one from Canon or Nikon. You will not be disappointed!
Or better still, Hire a Professional after the places is cleaned!!!
This week's Featured Article is contributed by John Burke, a professional REALTOR based in Toronto, Ontario with Royal LePage Connect Realty. Prior to his career in real estate, John was in the Printing and Graphics business, working as a professional photographer during those years. Check out his RESAAS profile ›