Archive for the 'Better Buyer Experience' Category

How to take Incredible Listing Photos

Create Instant Online Curb Appeal by taking Incredible Listing Photos

Of course, Flash Gallery does this for you, but wouldn’t it be great to learn how to take your own Photogenic photos? Now you can! Read ourPhotogenic Photo Tips, before you start shooting, and you’ll guarantee yourself the best listing photos you’ve ever taken, which means your Flash Gallery will look its absolute best!

Getting Started
First, properly prepare for the photo shoot by scheduling a date and time after you’ve reviewed the tips below. It will impress your sellers, save you lots of time, and avoid the embarrassment of returning to the property to re-shoot. We’ll prepare you to look like a professional photographer, so smart and savvy!
  Special note: If its been three months since you last shot photos, or the blooming season has changed, re-shoot! Be sure your photos are an accurate representation of the property for a buyer coming to see it today. Remember, you can change your photos in your Flash Gallery as often as you like for free, so keep it fresh!

 

Select a camera with a large lens (not more mexapixels) 
The larger the lens, the more light can come in, and thus, the more color. This single feature above all else determines the color quality in your shots. Pay less attention to megapixels. You will likely never need a photo larger than 1 MB for your marketing needs, unless submitting a magazine cover shot, so look for the lens with the largest glass surface area. This will provide the best color and detail.  Special note: my personal favorite for high quality color is the Canon Powershot Series. The Vivid mode will knock your socks off. Set your camera to shoot at a Medium or Large setting: 1600 x 1200, or 2272 x 1704.

 

Wide angle 
You will want a camera with a 28mm lens, which comes standard now in most compact cameras, because it will allow you to fit an entire room into one single shot. This is by far the best way to convey floorplan. Try to include all doorways and hallways and hints to where they lead. But be careful with lens accessories. You really don’t need them. I’ve noticed that I get a “barreling” effect (edges curving) with my 24mm lens. The smaller the number on the lens, the wider the shot, but the more barreling.  Special note: Virtual tours use a circular “fisheye” lens, ranging between 8-16mm, so they only take two shots of a room to capture 180 degrees in each direction. This short cut, however, creates the extreme barreling effect which causes the spinning and disorientation commonly associated with virtual tours, and outright avoided by more and more buyers today because, nausea aside, it fails to give them an honest view.

 

Zoom 
When it comes to the zoom, the optical zoom number is the most important. Pay less attention to the digital zoom, which kicks in artificially after the optical zoom range ends, and tends to make the photo blurry and pixelated (spotty dots). Avoid the digital zoom. I recommend getting closer to your object of detail, rather than zooming, and if you do zoom, do not exceed the camera’s optical zoom function. Real estate photos should first capture wide angle, landscape views, so the buyer may take it all in, but you may want to add close up details of special amenities or private views that may be missed in the “big pictures”. These shots add an “artful eye” and draw viewers deeper into the picture. It can also give them a better sense of what it feels like to be there.  Special note: To keep the viewer oriented in the home, be sure these detail shots follow a wider angle view photo that contains the feature you are drawing attention to. This is very helpful for selecting the photo order for your Flash Gallery.

 

Use a good flash
Cameras that allow for external mount flashes are best. An external mount flash allows you to control the direction of the flash, so that it doesn’t get blocked by the length of the lens. Either way, always use a flash, but try to angle it away from windows and mirrors so you don’t get a flash spot in your picture. Also, the flash helps in rooms with little natural light to prevent blurry photos due to underexposure. If a room is already very bright, the flash may be overkill, so test the shot with and without the flash on to strike the most natural color balance. Special note: To override the camera’s “programmed” instinct to fire in low light, you may have to find the icon on your camera that has a lightning bolt with a line through it in order to manually turn off the flash.

 

Time of Day
Determine the direction the front of the house faces. If it faces east, the best time to shoot will be in the morning when the sun is shining directly on the front of the house. If it is facing west, it will be later in the afternoon. You may consider shooting a beautiful west-facing backyard in the afternoon or early evening to emphasize the sunset. You may opt to shoot different areas at different times. Plan areas to shoot based on the time of day when the sun is to your advantage. Natural light is always the most flattering and it gives an honest sense of how it feels to be inside the home. Special note: When in doubt about directions, or there’s tremendously tall trees blocking the light, shoot at high noon.

 

Prepare the shooting area
Secure pets, small children, and any other moving objects that may interfere with your shoot, this includes turning off TVs and computer monitors. As much as you may love dogs, most buyers do not want to see them in the pictures. Move all parked cars, ladders, and any unsightly or brightly colored objects like trash cans and any other debris out of the shooting area.

 

Read full list of tips at: http://flashgalleryhomes.com/believeit/26/

FREE Ultimate Listing Tool

There’s a company that has just released a new, revolutionary product for real estate agents that simplifies their internet marketing and gives buyers a faster, more attractive, more enjoyable FULL SCREEN view of homes.

The company, Flash Gallery Homes, www.flashgalleryhomes.com, understands real estate agents are not able to promote the properties they represent online in an elegant, appealing way.  Sometimes, the technical know-how is missing; in other cases, there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all done.  However, because online marketing for real estate is so important, Flash Gallery Homes is proud to announce a streamlined web-based solution to these concerns with its newest Flash-based platform.

“Our goal is two-fold: simplify effective marketing for agents so they can sell homes faster and create a better experience for buyers by improving the way they shop for homes online,” said Angelina Shamrock.  “We’ve designed Flash Gallery Homes to add instant online curb appeal to listings, giving buyers exactly what they expect – attractive display of large photos, modern technology, and access to everything they want to see, all within the first 30 seconds of their initial click.”  Besides setting a new standard for easy and attractive home viewing online, the system provides valuable agent tools, including open house announcements, printable brochures, daily visitor tracking, and much more.  The Flash Gallery Homes platform also works perfectly for brokerages aiming for an elegant, effective, and consistent look across all of their listings.  Plus, the Galleries are easily integrated with an agent’s own individual website.  Just by joining, agents or brokers will automatically receive a Free Gallery.

Setting a new standard for easy and attractive home viewing online, Flash Gallery Homes utilizes a unique universal Flash-based platform to ensure that buyers using practically any type of computer (including Mac) are able to view the enticing listings rapidly with no tech issues or incompatibilities.  The full screen mode is a customer favorite – allowing buyers to see all the details they expect.  Another really unique feature the platform offers is “Street View,” which enables buyers to virtually drive up and down the property’s street to see the big picture.  To encourage the maximum possible benefit from the system and give every listing that professional edge, Flash Gallery Homes even provides complimentary expert photogenic photo tips and tricks to agents. http://flashgalleryhomes.com/believeit/26/           

Founded and directed by Angelina Shamrock, a licensed real estate broker and photographer who boasts credits for shooting 9 professional real estate magazine covers, Flash Gallery Homes is setting a new standard for viewing homes online while helping agents sell homes faster than ever by increasing online curb appeal.  For more information, call (828) 357-8234 or visit http://www.flashgalleryhomes.com.