Everything you need to know about real estate visuals

Real estate
Mar 13, 2020 by Joy Habib
12 MIN

We at Meero know a thing or two about producing great images for real estate. In our four years of existence, we have perfected the art of producing photos that turn properties into homes. 

We have helped seal thousands of deals by streamlining the process of image sourcing. In 2019 alone, we have conducted over 50,000 shoots in 50 countries around the world. If we take pride in these numbers, it’s because our extensive experience has allowed us to gather in-depth knowledge of the real estate industry. 

One thing is sure: in the ever-evolving market of real estate, images are a force to be reckoned with. Visuals are a key component of a successful marketing strategy. We know that the codes of visual marketing can be hard to master, from sourcing professional photographs to producing quality videos to getting a grasp of virtual reality tours. 

So we have decided to share everything we know. These tips will help you unleash the power of images to boost your real estate visual marketing.

1 - The new state of real estate

 

2 - How to source images more efficiently

 

3 - What you need to know about real estate photography

 

4 - Make the most of tech innovations

Real estate photo of a living room

© Meero

1 - The new state of real estate

We’re not going to lie: new technologies have disrupted the industry over the past 20 years. The way properties are sold, bought and rented has changed, and industry players have had to adopt new practices to reach evolving audiences. Not sure you’re equipped for the new decade? Read on: we list the main things to keep in mind to stay relevant, thanks to visual content and beyond. 


1- The challenge of selling to millennials 

Still think of Millennials as the younger generation? Think again. They’re between 25 and 40 and they’re the biggest demographic of home buyers. 

According to the NAR (National association of realtors), they make up 37% of home buyers in the USA. As their purchasing power grows, millennials become prime targets for marketers across industries. 

And what do millennials turn to when planning a new purchase? The internet. 

Millennials are called digital natives for a reason: they grew up with the internet and are accustomed to the speed and agility of digital tools. And on the internet, images matter more. Real estate listings that feature images are 10 times more consulted. Read on to find out more about the importance of photography on the internet and for millenials. 

 

2- Curate your online presence

Unless you’re a professional digital marketer, the task of establishing an online presence can seem daunting. But there are some easy and necessary steps you can take to make sure your prospects find you and reach out to you. Building a website that’s optimized for SEO? Writing blog posts to help conversion? Making the most of social media? 

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about the best real estate marketing strategies in this article. Keep in mind that if you want to stand out online, you need to have strong visual branding. Coherent and recognizable images are a must-have if you want to build a loyal following. 

An optimal blend of online and offline marketing goes a long way. Digital tools are powerful, but there’s something extra special about shaking hands with your partners and prospects during real-life events. There’s nothing quite like good in-person networking: make sure to check out our pick of conferences to attend as a real estate professional. 

 

3- Equip with the right real estate app!

Ok, we know that sometimes, digital can seem more like a challenge than an opportunity. But with countless tools and apps available, any realtor can hack their way into becoming more productive and organized. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tools on the market and asked our partners to share theirs. Here is a definitive list of the digital resources you will need to get a headstart. 

These tools might come in particularly handy when you’re managing properties across wide areas. In this particular case, mastering your visual strategy at a global scale can be particularly challenging. But there are some things you can do to scale up your visual strategy without compromising on quality. 

 

2 - How to source images more efficiently 

One of the major effects the internet has had on real estate is globalizing the market. It has become easier to manage properties across time-zones. For big marketplaces, geographical proximity is less important than volume. 

Global marketplaces make it easier to sell, rent or buy properties anywhere in the world. These marketplaces can do a lot remotely, but sourcing great original photos remains a challenge. 


1- Don’t get stuck with stock photos

Let us get one thing out of the way: when it comes to real estate, stock photos are always a bad idea. This also applies to other industries, where a general overload of eye-catching images has tipped the scale in favor of authentic, original photos. While it might be hard to sell products or experiences with stock photos, it is almost impossible for real estate. 

Buyers and renters typically want to see what they are getting before committing to a visit. You can’t do away with featuring photos of the properties you’re listing. We know this can be tedious when you cover wide geographical regions, and we’re here to help. 

 

2- Invest in professional photography 

When it comes to real estate photos, there is nothing quite like a professional photographer. And we’re not just talking about the importance of good equipment. Listings with high quality photos receive 47% higher asking price. And that’s because professionals have the eye to make the best features of a property stand out. So it’s worth it to hire real estate photographers. 

Details that might easily be overlooked by a non-professional will surely grab the attention of a trained photographer: selecting the right wide-angle lens, the right aperture, making sure that the vertical and horizontal lines in the photo are straight…

Sourcing good photographers can be a challenge when you’re a marketplace catering to an entire country or region. This is where we come in: with our large network of partner photographers around the world, we find the right one for you in the area where your property is listed. Check out how we helped Fotocasa, the first real estate marketplace in Spain


3- Adapt to regional preferences

One thing about good real estate photography: it can be highly subjective. While certain best practices are universal, some preferences vary widely depending on geography and culture.

Your best bet is to trust the experts to apply the formula that works best on their markets. Here’s a glimpse of what works for the booming real estate market of the Gulf Countries: it’s one of the most dynamic in the world thanks to recent legislation allowing foreigners to own properties. This dynamic market sets the tone for new trends such as Virtual Reality and 360 tours. 

Real Estate Photo of a bedroom

© Meero

3 - What you need to know about real estate photography

Working with a professional photographer is a winning bet when it comes to creating listings that work. It will save you time and money in the long run by making your properties sell faster. Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for to make sure that you make the most of your professional photography investment.


1- Professional photographers and where to find them

If you’re investing in professional photography, you should make sure that the credentials of your photographer match your expectations. While a photographer’s experience, portfolio, and post-production skills matter, interpersonal skills such as listening abilities also play a huge role. Price is another determining factor that will influence your final choice. We’ve put together a list of characteristics to look out for while choosing a photographer. 

We know that a good photographer is hard to find. This is why we choose our partners very carefully: our photographers go through a strict vetting process and have our complete trust when it comes to taking show-stopping photos.

 

2- Know what you want  

While you can rely on the expertise of professional photographers, it helps to know what you want. From a business perspective, it is important to keep the potential buyer or seller in mind. Some proven tricks have been shown to pique their interest. 

Important elements that can be overlooked include photos of the facade and the exterior. It’s a good way to show your audience the first thing they will see if they actually visit the property. Another trick is to show the outside from the inside. 

If your property has a nice view, flaunt it! Working with an expert like Meero is a way of making sure that the latest business findings are applied to your listings. We learn lessons from our wide pool of clients and apply them to everything we do. 

 

3- Set the scene!

A lot can be said about the art of home staging. While we can’t all become interior designers overnight, there are a few best practices to keep in mind while preparing for a photoshoot.

The first one goes without saying: clean and declutter the space before the photographer arrives. 

In terms of decoration, neutral is the way to go: not everyone appreciates flashy designs. Anything too pronounced and your potential buyer or renter might be unable to picture themselves living in the property you’re trying to sell. The idea is to present the space as a blank canvas where someone would want to write the next chapter of their story. Emotions and storytelling play an important role when it comes to real estate photography!

Real Estate photo of a building facade

© Meero

4 - Make the most of tech innovations

Here at Meero, we’re big believers in the power of 2D photography. But we’re also tech enthusiasts, and we strive to master any innovation that enables businesses to access high-quality visuals. In the real estate industry, it is always a good idea to go beyond still photos and give your prospective buyers a true-to-life feel of the property they want to acquire. 

 

1- Give video a shot!

It’s not a tech innovation per se, but it has become increasingly easy to share video content on the internet over the past 15 years. This has led to a major revolution in the world of real estate marketing. Buyers and sellers alike recognize the power of videos: according to the National Association of Realtors, 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with an agent who uses video. 

Much like for photos, DIY is not the smartest option. Non-professional videos can send the wrong message and be tiresome to watch (shaky hand effect, anyone?). Professional videos on the other one might tip the scale in your favor by featuring the strongest selling points of a property in a smooth and coherent way. 

 

2- Elevate your standards with drone photography

Showcasing the unique exterior of a property is always a good idea. And what better way to do it than from up above? Drone photography allows you to show off properties from a unique vantage point. Drone photography was once reserved to high-end listings but times are changing: listings across the spectrum are starting to offer aerial views. 

 

3- Take them on a virtual tour

Virtual reality for real estate listings is more accessible than you might think. And with 77% of homebuyers preferring to take a real estate virtual reality tour of a property before visiting, you might want to take advantage of this technology! It has also become possible to add various sound effects to make the visit more realistic or to provide audio descriptions. 

By allowing your potential clients to take a tour from the comfort of their own home, you free up a considerable amount of time. Some softwares also allow you to personalize the furniture and the interior according to your client’s tastes.  

 

4- Tap into the power of AI 

Post-production is a necessary step of real estate photography. Raw photos need a considerable amount of editing before being appearing in a listing. Variables such as lighting, saturation and colors need to be adjusted, and small defects have to be erased. The editing process is costly and time-consuming: this is why we are striving to automate it. 

By training our algorithms with millions of photos edited by professionals, we have developed an AI technology capable of reproducing those edits. This technology allows us to scale faster by reducing post-production times. And it can help you work faster and sell better!

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