The exterior photo serves as your bait as to whether they might want to see the rest of your space or not. That is why it is important for a seller to know how to do exterior real estate photography.
Imagine a house listing without pictures, simply relying on wordy descriptives. Will statements such as “come home to magnificent views of the city..” be enough to pique your curiosity? Chances are, you will just breeze past the hyperbolic adjectives and sales pitch, especially if you are a jaded buyer, or someone who doesn’t like to read. But, if there are pictures to back up a property ad, then you’ll likely pay more attention and delve deeper.
Let’s face it, most people are highly visual when it comes to marketing collaterals. As a potential buyer, you want to have an image associated with the house or office building being advertised. It should be able to encapsulate the salient features of the property in a nutshell to get the client excited. In most cases, the exterior photo serves as your bait as to whether they might want to see the rest of your space or not. That is why it is important for a seller to know how to do exterior real estate photography.
So, what is real estate exterior photography?
Pictures of your property’s facade or exterior photography real estate can have a lasting impression on the person viewing them. These are the ones readily seen when you browse the internet. As an agent or broker, you want to tease the buyer. The property owner may have spent thousands of dollars for that curb appeal therefore it should be showcased nicely through pictures. Real estate exterior photography will also increase the chances of moving the property much faster from an agent’s listing portfolio.
How to do exterior real estate photography (or tips on how to take exterior real estate photography)
While it is ideal to hire a pro, here are exterior real estate photography tips that will surely compose awesome snapshots in case you are DIYer, or on a tight budget:
1. Prep it nice
Composition of exterior photography real estate and framing is key to a good photo. Let’s put it this way, when you are going to have your own portrait taken, you make sure you are well-groomed, with your hair and makeup being on point. You will also try to clean up nicely. You want to look good overall so that it translates into a beautiful photo, which you will frame beside your bed table. The same goes for your property.
You know how a house is featured on TV shows where everything is spruced up - no toys lying around, no clutter whatsoever? And the furniture is immaculate, like dust has never landed on it? It will need a good deal of organization and planning, depending on your space and its size, though. This practice would mean increasing the chances of selling
the property fast and easy. You should stage your property as much as possible by doing the following:
● remove unpleasant stuff like trash, dried leaves, etc.
● take your beat up car elsewhere, keeping it hidden in sight and borrow a fancy one which you can display parked in your garage to add a bit of sophistication to your real estate.
● if you have a front yard lawn, trim your grass and prune your plants. While you’re at it, throw in some flowers to add more vibrance to the landscape.
● clean your surroundings, hardscapes, and other property features
● check the symmetry of your fixtures
● dress up your porch
One small difference on your exterior real estate photography could cost you a buyer, which otherwise would have been a done deal from the get go if you only posted a great-looking picture.
2. Don't block the sun
When it comes to exterior real estate photography, you can do away with expensive lighting and rely on natural illumination. However, you will find that although the sun is shining bright, it can create distracting shadows that get stretched out, especially when it’s overhead where they will be cast over the property. Needless to say, this can be unflattering, and miss out on getting neater shots with just the right amount of shadowing. As such, you should exploit the sun by checking first how it affects your images by taking test pictures at different times during the day.
When shooting your property, the sun should be at your backside. Otherwise, where the house itself has light emanating from its back, you lose the features in shadows. Without the correct exposure, you will make the sky disappear aside from having a dull-looking exterior. Note that the windows and anything that shines will be glaring in photos, which you can fix by angling your camera differently. In case you’re taking pictures either at dawn or dusk, you must keep the space lighted.
3. Cloudy days cannot be that bad
You might think that the overcast sky is a sign that they’re not agreeing with you in terms of taking great pictures. In fact, clouds are the reason why wide-angle lenses came to be. As such, you can play with it to your advantage!
Some of you who may have dabbled in photography at the very least may know studios use a flash diffuser to avoid harsh lighting, especially on portrait shots. A cloudy day has a natural diffusing effect which can reduce glare. This will help bring out the fine features of your property, where strong lighting isn’t necessary yet can still create a mood.
4. Shoot in the dark
While most will prefer shooting real estate exteriors during the day, you will be glad to know that it will just look as attractive even with night photos, ideally about 30 minutes from sunset. The skies give off a luminescence in the dark which can be matched by turning on your property’s lights from both exterior and interior. The effect will be warm and luxurious. This would even bolster your selling proposition because it will enable you to showcase the property from day to night.
5. Think outside the box
When you think of exterior real estate photography, of course you’ll have frontal shots that show the overall shape of the property by default. However, there are cases when you take a certain angle and instead of conveying the beauty of the entire space from the outside, what happens is that either the sidewalk or driveway inadvertently becomes the focus. Hence, your photo composition should include shooting from the corners in front, either below or above your eye level. This angle not only captures the curb appeal but also provides depth to the space.
Knowing the best angle for your property is not by any means a way of deceiving buyers into thinking that you are selling a flawless piece of real estate. However, presentation is everything. You can choose not to show an unattractive neighboring house by filling your frame with just the facade of your property. Or you can curate your image such that you can exclude the imposing trashcan you have on the sideway by shooting from another perspective so it doesn't show.
6. Highlight uniqueness
Houses especially in gated villages may be cookie-cutter properties but there are personal touches to each and every home which you would like to highlight as if saying, “ i’m special”. It could be a well-manicured front lawn, hardscape such as a garden fountain, or even your masonry work that features natural rocks. If your real estate boasts of sweeping views, you should present it on photo as well, taken from the perspective of the property while showing a substantial amount of it in the frame. You don’t go shooting the ocean view for example standing at the tip of your front yard.
7. Your camera has a tripod and a timer for a reason
When taking exterior photography real estate, you should exploit your camera’s timer feature and peripherals such as the tripod. These will reduce blurring which is typically due to shaky handling. The tripod stabilizes your camera so that there will be less distortion which happens when you hold the camera with your hand.
Another advantage of using both the timer feature and tripod is you get perfect vertical lines. You can also get added height and better angle with the help of a tripod’s
extendability, which would prove a bit difficult if you’ll just tiptoe while balancing the camera in your hand. Given the tripod heads such as the ball type and gimbal, you are able to precisely move the camera vertically and horizontally to get the angle you want. You also consider these options when you are shooting the exterior at dusk when there is low light.
8. The devil is in the details
When you capture the image of your facade, you should ensure that all the interesting elements that make up your property are included. These may be your nice little patio on the right side, water features such as a walk fountain or pool, landscaping with pine trees, even your fully-automatic garage. There will be buyers who would want to know right away if you have a swim pool or a porch. As such, it saves time and helps the buyer decide faster if your pictures show these important characteristics.
9. How about some aerial shots?
Feeling like your house image is taken by a paparazzi? Take your real estate exterior photography up a notch by capturing your property layout overhead with the use of drones. It also shows how your property relates to its surroundings and gives you a perspective of its floor plan. Many agents prefer to have such photos in their listings because they can provide the most gorgeous view of your real estate and even add drama especially if your house is expansive. After all, with so many side by side listings, you would want yours to stand out in order the grab the attention of real estate hunters, even the ones who seem to have seen them all. An aerial shot of the property will cover more ground with its elevated positioning such that you can capture everything with just one image.
10. You can use a bit of retouching
In spite of all the meticulous planning and execution of your real estate exterior photography, you will realize that you will still need a bit of digital manipulation. The images should be compelling enough to convince buyers to invest their hard-earned money in your property. Thus, it can't be helped that your shots may have imperfections because of lighting, angle, color, among other factors.
Thanks to Photoshop and Lightroom, you will be able to edit your images in terms of correcting the colors, adjusting ambient exposures, erasing unsightly items or blemishes, straightening lines, tweaking the crispness of the image, etc. All these without changing the actual photo significantly that it will almost be far from the real thing. In short, you are simply enhancing the beauty that your property already has.
Here at Homiesfoto, we provide real estate retouching service with the best price/performance. Check us out and see for yourself.
Now you know the importance of exterior real estate photography with the above helpful tips, especially that real estate sales is a very competitive industry. An agent may be juggling multiple properties at a time. As such, it takes strategic planning and proper execution in order to come up with pictures that spell a world of difference when it comes to attracting potential buyers.
You have to consider crucial factors on how to take exterior real estate photography such as the time of the day, tidying up the exteriors, curating the visibility of elements, and photo editing so you can produce the right images for a property you are putting on the market. Such are just part and parcel of all the hard work vendors and agents pour into their listings. Your engagement with the customer through high-quality images of your property, which will need some sort of investment, can lead you to selling it a lot quicker. Remember, in a sea of seemingly similar real estate, you wouldn’t want an ok picture or anything you can put out there without giving it much thought. Ultimately, your snapshot should be able to encapsulate everything that a client requires your property to have