With a good expose, real estate can be marketed more efficiently and quickly. But for this you need strong images that give a first overall impression and create a certain living feeling. Here you can find photo tips for real estate agents – for subject selection, light and editing as well as 360-degree images.
An impressive real estate presentation is not so difficult: With only few photo tips brokers get the best out of their pictures. Photo: Sergey Nivens/ fotolia.com
Bright, spacious 3-room apartment with roof terrace and gallery – as attractive as some properties are, they don’t always show up just as well in photos. And if you want to stand out even more from the mass of ads, you can enhance your expose with pictures in 360-degree view.
Photo tips for real estate agents: 7 tricks from a professional photographer
Architectural photographer Tom Schrade Photo: private
Whether you’re using a smartphone or a professional camera, these tips from Nuremberg architectural photographer Tom Schrade will help you put your property in the right light.
Photo tip 1: Take your time
"I’ll take a quick picture’ – this sentence is quite typical. Not every landlord or agent has a lot of time, especially when the tenants are still in the apartment. Of course one does not want to disturb for a long time. But often you only see afterwards that something doesn’t fit: The picture is blurry, too dark, too bright or there are objects to see, which have an unfavorable effect on the room. That’s why I always plan some time to let the room have its effect on me. This is the only way to capture the atmosphere. I call this a sense of space."
Photo tip 2: Create a sense of space
Lounge corner with feel-good character: Photos of a real estate ad should always radiate a pleasant atmosphere. Photo: Tom Schrade
"In pictures, I always try to create a sense of space. That means: When I look at the photos, I feel comfortable and can imagine living in the depicted apartment. This succeeds better with a furnished apartment, because with furniture and other objects emotions can be better conveyed. If the property is already empty, I can still create a positive feeling of space with the right technique. For example, I can create a feel-good atmosphere by paying attention to suitable lighting conditions. (see photo tip 5)"
Photo tip 3: Choose a suitable motif and image detail
Instead, you should focus on one area in the room and set the scene for it. Photo: immowelt.en
"A furnished apartment should be absolutely tidy, because order brings peace into the picture. For the photo I can arrange furniture more beautifully and put a few decorative pieces on the table or closet or on the shelf. In a living room with an old-fashioned oak cabinet that fills the entire wall, with crocheted doilies and dark velvet couch set, unfortunately, you can not do much. In such a case – tastes are simply different – I would simply not show the room. Here applies: Less is more.
Once I have decided on a motif or an area in the room, I take a few test photos. I look through them right away, because I often notice little things that get in the way: whether it’s the clothes horse on the balcony in the background or the open milk carton and the bottle of dishwashing liquid on the kitchen counter. This can be quickly cleared away – with great effect: the room immediately appears much tidier and calmer.
It is also important to choose a suitable image detail. Often you cut furniture or other things that do not fit at all to the rest of the picture. For example, if I want to take a photo of the sofa corner with a coffee table and I crop the dining table next to it, it doesn’t look harmonious. One solution would be to move the dining table to the side for the photo. Or I crop the picture afterwards accordingly."
Photo tip 4: The perspective is important
If you hold the camera straight, the photo gains clarity due to the perspective. Photo: immowelt.en
"When shooting indoors, you want to get as much space as possible, if not the whole room, on the picture. With a professional camera I clearly recommend a wide-angle lens for this purpose. With the smartphone, you should definitely avoid one of the most common mistakes: tilting the camera. Many people do this automatically to capture more space. But this causes wall lines to run crookedly toward each other and the perspective to become distorted. They don’t get more of the room in the picture that way either. Some also stand on a ladder, so they achieve the same distortion effect.
My tip: shoot from a height of about one meter. To do this, I bend my knees a little or hold the smartphone lower. The camera should be as straight as possible. In addition, I photograph a room from all four corners if possible, because from the corner I can photograph the most space – later I can choose the best from all images. I would not place myself between the door frame or in the hallway."
A 2D effect is quickly created in outdoor shots of houses, namely when the photographer shoots a building head-on. If he also tilts the camera, the perspective distorts even more. I achieve a 3D effect by photographing the building more from the side and thus the longitudinal facade is visible. But. With higher houses you should avoid the frog perspective – the edges converge optically towards the top. Instead, it can be photographed from the second or third floor of an opposite building. If it is not accessible to the public, you must of course ask for permission beforehand.
Photo tip 5: put the property in the right light
"The best time to take pictures is during the day, when it is bright outside. Shade is ideal for interiors. If the blazing sun shines through the window, the picture will be overexposed. Here I can remedy the situation with a blind or try again at a later time. Outdoor photos, on the other hand, are too dark when backlit, or light reflections can also occur. With a professional camera, I can use the aperture and shutter speed to regulate the amount of light and also set the appropriate exposure value. With a smartphone, I can focus the exposure on the respective subject by tapping on it – the selected image area then becomes brighter and sharper.
However, the lighting conditions can be unfavorable, for example because the sky is very cloudy or because a room has no window. Under no circumstances would I use additional lighting for more brightness. There is a risk of overexposure, cast shadows form and the different light sources often create different color tones of the lights. I prefer to take a picture that is too dark and then brighten it up afterwards."
Photo tip 6: discreet post-processing is allowed
With image editing programs, photos can be brightened without distorting the motif. This creates a friendlier atmosphere. Photo: Tom Schrade
"If pictures are too dark or too bright, you can still save some afterwards. Post-processing is perfectly fine as long as you don’t distort the photos. Brightness, lighting and contrast as well as color settings can be used to optimize images. Just by more brightness and warmer colors the photos look immediately much more friendly. In addition, it is possible to crop the image to achieve a good and harmonious image ratio."
For the exposes on immowelt.Photos in landscape format are best. Because this way the room can be captured better. For large rooms, the 16:9 format is recommended, a good standard format is 3:2 or 4:3.
"Classic programs such as Photoshop Elements or free alternatives such as GIMP and Paint are suitable for this purpose.net. For the smartphone there are now good and free apps for image editing, for example PicsArt Photo Studio, Snapseed or Photoshop Express. Some smartphones already have an editing program pre-installed, where various factors such as white balance or exposure value can be adjusted in the settings. As a rule, the default settings are set to automatic, which is how I would leave them."
You do not use your own pictures? This article tells you everything you need to know about copyright law.
Extra tip from a pro: which camera?
It doesn’t have to be the SLR camera: Good real estate pictures are also possible with less elaborate cameras. Photo: memorystockphoto/ fotolia.com
"Good pictures are possible with a smartphone as well as with a professional camera. If you’d like to try your hand at the latter, you don’t necessarily have to buy an expensive SLR camera. I recommend a system camera instead. This is a type of digicam with a detachable lens and similar features to an SLR, only much cheaper.
In general, the more expensive a project or property is, the more likely I would prefer a professional camera, if not hire a photographer who specializes in architecture. No matter which camera you choose – as long as you follow all the tips, nothing can go wrong. The most important thing is: allow some time, shoot test photos, look at them, remove any interfering factors and take pictures again. This is how to achieve the desired effect in the real estate advertisement."
Photos with an all-round view: 360-degree images as a special extra
The 360-degree shot allows realtors to present properties even more realistically. Photo: Photographee.eu/ fotolia.com
Real estate professionals can use 360-degree images to present a property in even greater detail. You can take the pictures with the all-around view yourself with a full-spherical camera or hire a professional company to create virtual tours. However, anyone presenting these online must ensure that the 360-degree images can also be viewed on smartphones, tablets and the like. can be played out. On immowelt.de this is possible.
Aerial drone photography: A bird’s eye view of real estate
Real estate in Berlin, including private lake – aerial photography by drone makes the property look even more impressive. A company that offers this throughout Germany is for example Immoviewer. Photo: immoviewer.com
If you want to go one step further, you can opt for aerial real estate shots: These shots provide a special perspective and can fully capture larger properties. Such recordings are possible by camera drone: specialized companies offer photographs, but also video recordings of the property as a complete package. The cost of this is in the low three figures – but can be higher depending on the effort involved.
Tech-savvy real estate professionals can fly their own drone, but there are a few things they need to keep in mind when doing so, and when photographing from the air. The most important things in a nutshell:
- In Residential areas flying with the drone is usually prohibited – only with the consent of the property owner may the real estate professional fly over his property.
- Also, for takeoff and landing on the property, the owner must give his or her permission give.
- If a Neighboring property flown over or photographed, its owner must also agree.
- People, personal belongings like underwear on a clothesline and License plate should not be photographed if possible – or only with explicit consent.
- In the case of architectural buildings it may be necessary to Approval of the architect to get some information in order to be allowed to illustrate it.
- Depending on Environment further flight bans may apply for other reasons – for example, because a hospital is located in the vicinity. Then brokers need a flight permit.
In addition, drone pilots have some Basic requirements must fulfill:
- You have to Liability insurance specifically for the drone lock.
- Should the drone at night or higher than 100 meters fly or is heavier than five kilograms, do you need a Ascent permission of the national aviation authority.
This also applies to Flights in no-fly zones.
- Is your drone heavier than 250 grams, they must equip it with an Badge mark, on which their name and their address stand (this applies starting from the 1. October 2017).
- drone owners whose drone more than two kilos weighed, must provide proof of knowledge – even Drone license named – have (this applies from 1. October 2017).
In general: taking beautiful real estate pictures yourself is easy with a few tricks – but for 360-degree pictures and aerial shots you need more technical equipment and knowledge. In addition, the effort increases. Alternatively, if you want to save yourself the trouble but are willing to shell out some cash for professional real estate photos, you can hire a company to do it for you.