Listing Video boosts your image, gains massive buyer views

It’s just simple statistics. When a listing also has a video attached to it the views go up! Your search results are better, your image improves in the eyes of the buyers as well as your seller! Still only a small percentage of listing agents use video to promote their listings. Why? There are several reasons.

  • They are budget conscious and think it’s too expensive.
  • They assume they have to go on camera and are too shy.
  • They don’t know what to do with the video file once they receive it and don’t know how to maximize the video’s potential to promote the listing as well as help in personal branding.

Let me give you a few tips in regards to these reasons.

  • I assume you have a marketing budget for each property you list. How much is it? 5%? 10% 15? of your potential commission? We have different options for video. When discussing your needs with your photo/video specialist you may become surprised finding that there may be a budget conscious option for your video that will still look amazing. Have a conversation and ask for a package deal.
  • Some people are more open to be on camera than others. You don’t need to be an HGTV start to say “Hi, I’m Mary! Welcome to my new listing at 123 Maple street!” Just this one line alone can give a warm and welcoming feeling to your potential buyers. They may like you so much that they would like to work with you directly and now even use a buyer’s agent!
  • Once you receive your video – what do you do with it? Here’re some tips. Ask for a non-branded MLS-friendly link. So you can post it on MLS and where other agents can see it. Ask for 1-minute long version, so you can post it on your Instagram. Longer versions are great for posting on Facebook and LinkedIn. In this day and age these 3 platforms are essential to use if you are involved in any B-to-B sales. Successful selling is about having a great product and exposure to as many potential buyers as possible. Additionally you can create a page on your website where you can post your video and photos of this listing. Creating a separate property landing page with address in URL is also a good idea and will help with your search results on Google. Finally, give the video to your home owners! They will be ecstatic to show off their home on their social media platforms! How about your fellow agents? Let them share it too and bring you a buyer!

We hope this has been helpful and that you will start using video tours of your listings to help you sell faster and for more money. Call us today to schedule: (470) 420-4237.

 

Team Headshots

Individual headshots are great! You should update your at least every couple years. We all change with age and it’s best to look and represent yourself with your most current appearance.

But what if you work in a team? Yes, we recommend a good team shot too. Sometimes it’s hard to take a perfect team shot if there are more that two people in it. So, we have a unique system where we can take individual headshots and then composite your team shot from individual photos. That way everyone looks great! Call/text us today (470) 420-4237 to set up your team photo! We travel to your office all over Atlanta and Metro area.

Prepping Your Home For Real Estate Photos

WHY BOTHER?

Simple. Because your first showing happens online. Your photos didn’t catch the eye of your potential buyer on the internet? Forget about seeing them walk through your door. First impressions count! Follow these steps to prepare you home for real estate photoshoot. (YOU CAN ALWAYS SCHEDULE YOUR PHOTOS NOW: (470) 420-4237)

 

LET’S BEGIN! HERE’RE SOME GENERAL TIPS

Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
Replace all burned out light bulbs
Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
Turn all ceiling fans OFF
Turn all TVs OFF
Turn all computer screens OFF
Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
Make all beds
Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
Place all shoes/jackets in closets

 

EXTERIOR

Often the first photo your buyer will see is an exterior shot. Think curb appeal!

Close garage doors
Remove cars from driveway and front of home
Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
Remove empty planters
Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
Remove visible water hoses
Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

 

BACK YARD
It’s a peaceful place to relax!

Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
Clean pool
Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
Hide pool cleaning supplies
Turn on pool fountains/water features
Remove visible water hoses
Remove trash cans

 

KITCHEN
People spend a lot of time looking at kitchen shots. This is where yes or no decisions are often made.

Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)

Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

 

DINING ROOM
Let them imagine a nice family meal here!

Clear table, dust and polish the table top

Use decorative place setting if available

Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers

Straighten all chairs and space them evenly

Remove child seats/booster chairs

 

LIVING/FAMILY ROOM
Place to rest and entertain

Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

Remove kid’s toys

 

MASTER BEDROOM

Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available

Press bed linens and bed skirts

Clear nightstands of all personal items

Store away phone/tablet charging cables

Remove all clutter from top of dressers

Remove family photos from walls

Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

GUEST/KID ROOM

Remove personalized names from walls
Remove wall stickers/posters
Remove diaper genies
Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

BATHROOMS

To be spa-like the bathroom must be clear of all personal items

Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
Put toilet seats down
Close closet doors
Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
Remove floor mats

 

PETS

We love pets! But their presence should be minimal during the photoshoot

Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

 

THE HOUSE SHOULD BE SHOOT-READY WHEN WE ARRIVE

We look forward to taking photos of your home!

We want the photos of your home to be the best they can be. This requires teamwork and cooperation that will result in an outstanding online presence when your home goes LIVE on the market.
When we arrive to take photos of your property, we ask that all staging and cleaning be done prior to our arrival. To efficiently maintain our busy schedule and deliver the level of service our clients expect, we can not spend unnecessary time at the home waiting for it to be cleaned, dusted, de-cluttered, etc.
Please review the previous sections for tips on preparing your home for real estate photography, and note that we are not responsible and will not partake in any of the following duties while photographing your home:

WE DO NOT:

Move or re-arrange furniture
Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter
Pick up toys or yard items
Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels)

“Photoshopping” out vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords is sometimes possible at additional charge.

SCHEDULE PHOTOS NOW: (470) 420-4237

How often do you update your headshot?

Because so often I don’t recognize you on your business card photo. Perhaps it was taken 10-20 years ago? When phones still had cords attached to them?

Updating your headshot every couple years is a good rule of thumb. Maybe even more often if your looks change. Ladies love changing hair style and color, we lose or gain a little weight, clothes styles change. These are all good reasons for an updated headshot.

I specialize in simple business headshots. The kind you’ll be proud placing on your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Your thumbnail avatar is often the first impression people get about you. Keep in mind that it’s showing up tiny on all these social media platforms, so a close headshot is better than waist up or full body shot.

I bring all my lights and equipment and set up in your office. If you have a good size conference room, that will work great! Groups of 10 and more get a discount. Book today (727) 418-9016

Here’re a few samples of real estate agent headshots I recently did.

Photoshoot at Surena Rugs Store

Last month I had a great time doing a photoshoot at Surena Rugs. The owner asked me for some advice on proper lighting when they take photos of their new merchandise. And while there I was able to take a few photos of their store. How is your website looking? Facebook page? Your cellphone photos looking just so-so? Call me today (727) 418-9016 and let’s schedule an architectural photoshoot! Interior photos of your shop can make a big difference when clients search businesses and look at their photos online. I have all day, half-day and 2 hour sessions available at different prices!

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Shooting Empty Spaces – 5 Tips

I shoot real estate in Atlanta and pretty much all over Metro Area, like Marietta, Alpharetta, Kennesaw and so on. Occasionally I am booked to shoot a brand new home that hasn’t been staged or a vacant home where all furniture and belongings have been removed. One might think, well, that should be easy, in and out in 20 minutes! Not so. Yes, perhaps you will spend less time figuring out your compositions and hiding lights behind furniture but there are still challenges.

1) Beige, beige, beige

Yes, most new construction homes in Atlanta have beige paint on their walls. Many have beige tile, beige counter tops and beige rug. Beige! I’m not against beige, neutral works great as a starting pallet for a new home buyer. For a photographer it can be a nightmare. Everything seems to be a blur so you have to work carefully and light the rooms just right to create some contrast.

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2) No place to hide your flash

Sure, you can try your best HDR technique but I try to go further. Even when there isn’t much to show in the room but the room itself it doesn’t mean you have to go extremely wide with your lens. Zooming in just a little gives me extra room along the walls to place my remote lights. Also I often place a light on the floor bouncing it’s light off the wall from about 2 or 3 feet. That provides a bit more light and texture across the carpeted area of the room.

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3) Closets and bathrooms

With one flash in the room and only ambient light in a closet or bathroom they will look as dark holes on the photo. So to create even lighting and some interest beyond the room itself I place remotely triggered lights both in the closet and bathroom. It creates character and mood.

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4) Balancing flash and ambient light

Many times the rooms will not have any lamps to help you with lighting so you will have to add more power to your flashes in addition to whatever ambient light you will get. I use at least two SB-80 Nikons in one room to make the light look more even and at the same time to be able to use fast enough exposure to not blow out the windows too much.

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5) Opportunity to be creative

It’s easy to be creative in a nicely staged homes, lots of compositions to play with. Empty home? Different game. Be creative with your kitchen shots, use all the lights you have to light up the cabinets, to create depth in your photos. Kitchens and baths sell, remember? Help your Realtor sell that home! Take good exterior shots, see if there’s anything interesting in the neighborhood. Offer a short video tour.

Practice and get these things under control and you will produce good real estate photography even when you are shooting empty homes.

Twilight Photos In Marietta

What You Need To Know About Twilight Photos In Atlanta and Marietta

Have you ever seen a featured listing in Atlanta on Realtor.com or Zillow and Trulia and it really stood out to you? Chance are you saw some twilight photos of that home. Especially if the house is outfitted with elegant lighting and landscaping is lit up too. It just looks magical. Sometimes I create my own light to accent darker areas of the property. There are only a few minutes of magic light when the sun sets. I get to capture those minutes and create beautiful photos of your listing. I work in Atlanta and Metro area. My pricing is here.

Why not add twilight photos to your listing? Call me today (727) 418-9016 and lets schedule our evening photoshoot!

Here are a few samples from my latest twilight session.

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Time To Use Video In Real Estate Marketing

Are You Using Video In Real Estate Marketing in Atlanta?

Because if you aren’t, you may be missing some clients. I once made a property video for a client and a buyer bought it site unseen after he watched the video on his iPad while on the plane 30,000 ft in the air.

video-in-real-estate-marketingSearch Google for a property address. If that property has a video tour it will pop up in the top of the results! You can place a video link in your MLS, On Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia. All my video are made with purchased copyrighted soundtracks, so you will never be kicked off if you load it directly to Facebook!

Do you know you can now also directly upload videos to LinkedIn? THIS IS HUGE! Think about it. The more eyeballs you will have on your listing, the higher your chances are for selling that property quickly. And that’s what your seller wants. That is what you want too. I charge $200 for small homes, and $300 for properties over 2,000 sq.ft. Currently I include drone video in all my property video (if drone use is allowed in your area). Call me today (727) 418-9016 or send me a message to schedule your property video! Here are a few samples.

I make real estate videos anywhere in Atlanta, Marietta, Kennesaw and other towns of Atlanta Metro area. Ask me also about property photos, twilight photography, drone pictures and your headshots!

Headshots for Real Estate Agents

In this age of thumbnail profiles your photo, even thought small, is what your friends and clients first see. Before they even read your bio or feed on your wall they see your little thumbnail photo. It’s you in your car, doing the “duck face”, or selfie in the elevator or maybe your bathroom (does the background look sanitary?). It’s all fun! Until you are trying to look for a job. Yes, most HR people will look through your social media profiles and, possibly make some unjustified conclusions. Don’t give them a reason, make yourself look good with a professionally taken headshot.

LinkedIn is a great place to connect and build a network with other professionals. Want it or not, you will be judged by how you look. There are a few reasons you must have a professional headshot if you work in a big city like Atlanta or any small town.

  1. You want to look professional.
  2. It is part of your branding.
  3. You will be taken seriously.
  4. You will look appealing and recognizable.
  5. Makes you stand out.
  6. It’s your shot at doing more business.

I work with professionals in Atlanta and all Metro Area. Give me a call (727) 418-9016 or send me a message to schedule your headshot session!

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Taking Real Estate Interior Photos – What Is The Best Method?

Best Method for Real Estate Photos in Atlanta

Hello, Atlanta Realtor or any other professional who cares about Real Estate Photography. Before I go into details, I have to say that the described methods of taking real estate interior photos is a matter or preference and justified cost. I’ll show and explain why I prefer a multiple lights set up over single mount-on flash or HDR.

I’ll try to explain using this small simple bathroom. This is from today’s photo shoot, there’s no editing (just brought a little brightness up on HDR), straight out of the camera.

This is an HDR photo

(high-dynamic range), which is accomplished by taking several shots at different exposure settings and then blending them using software. It is not a bad shot. What HDR allows you to do is produce a single shot with everything in it exposed properly: the windows are not blown out and the shadows don’t go to extreme black. I’ve seen decent HDR shots when a photographer takes at least one shot with flash before compiling them. When no flash is used (like in this shot), lots or orange and yellow colors show up in the picture, which can somewhat be reduced in photoshop. But overall look is very flat.

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This is a shot taken with a mount-on flash.

The issues are obvious, heavy shadows, much brighter in the foreground, and some areas are not lit properly. It is possible to achieve a good shot with a mount-on flash, but the setting has to be just right. preferably no fans or other standing object in the front as they will cast shadows. The best way to take a shot with single flash, when possible, is by pointing it up or even backwards towards the wall instead of forward. That will give you a larger bounced ray of light and will soften the shadows. Another problem with this method is that it’s harder to accommodate much of ambient light, so the interiors end up with lots of flash light, and little natural light.

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In this shot I used three speedlights.

One in the shower, one bouncing off the wall near floor to lighten up the front of the cabinet and one more above my head, bouncing into the wall behind me. I had little time to play and adjust the lights, but you can see how much more definition there is in this photo. There’s also a doze of character, which potential buyers can easily identify with.

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In my view using a miltiple lights method for interior real estate photography will produce more interesting photos. They more often than not will take a little more time in the field (I often spend two hours shooting a 3,000 sq.ft home, where an HDR or single-flash shooter can be done in one hour). But there’s a little less time used for Photoshop manipulation. I personally enjoy spending more time behind the camera than in front of the computer screen.

I shoot real estate photos and video in Tampa Bay, and some times a little further. You can see samples of my work on Flickr.