Outside of Price, Photos are the Most Important Marketing Component

Posted by: Ryan Ward on December 3rd, 2009

Bad photos seem to be a part of many a real estate agent’s marketing plan. You’ve seen the fuzzy, blurry or pixilated pictures. My personal favorites are the ones that have the real estate agent’s rear view mirror in the picture and bad-real-estate-photothen, to no one’s surprise, it will be the only photo on the listing.

It took me about 1 minute to find this one (shown left).

The disregard of the most important marketing piece that we as agents have full control of boggles the mind.

A decent camera is cheap from a business perspective and 10 minutes to get out of the car and take a few pictures seems well worth it to me, but, that’s obviously not the case for all amongst us.

A decent camera is cheap and an appropriate camera is not cheap, but is still inexpensive for the ROI. The pictures are certainly worth the expense though. I enjoy photography so I take my own photos. If you aren’t into taking your own photos, let a professional handle the work load for you.

Locally, you can get 25 high resolution photos and a virtual tour for about $100. It would take anyone 3 or 4 hours to get out the property, take the photos get them back and edit them so the time involved to hire a pro may be worth it.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers over the last few years offer up opinions about what you need and what you don’t need if you want to take great real estate photos and most don’t have any idea what is required to take them. If you don’t use a digital SLR camera, you won’t have the capability required to take exceptional photos of your listing.

To shoot the interior of a home, you need a true wide angle lens, but not a fisheye.  A wide lens will keep straight lines straight and allow you to see a whole room.

I have a Nikon digital SLR and I use an ultra wide lens to shoot interiors. I thought my previous lens was wide, but, I recently purchased an ultra-wide and it became immediately clear how important it is. I have a listing where the owners just upgraded the kitchen from Corian to Granite and I went back to re-shoot the new kitchen. Below are the before and after photos which are taken from essentially the same spot.

It’s immediately clear how important the wide angle lens is to this photo as the feel of the kitchen is entirely different because of the wider and deeper field of view the new lens provides.

Look at these two photos:



Which one is going to feel better to a potential buyer (forget the granite, think space here)? Which one looks bigger?

Look at them again. The only difference is the lens.

There really isn’t a comparison here. Photos like this are the only way that you can actually show enough of a room to give a potential buyer who is relying on the photography to give them a sense of space while viewing photos an accurate feeling of the space it’s much closer to what the eye would see if you were in the kitchen.

Only when we see the before and after pictures can we begin to appreciate the importance of the correct photography equipment and the perceptions we impress upon potential buyers when we use the right equipment.

If you can’t afford to go out and spend $1,200 or more on a camera, the lenses and the flashes required to do this, hire someone to do it for you! It will help you sell your listings and it will help you get more listings because you can show potential sellers how much better your marketing will be than the competition. Most agents won’t hire a pro and don’t own the equipment to shoot something like this by themselves.

Take control of your marketing and sell more houses. The most important aspect of any real estate marketing campaign for a home is the photography. Make the most of it and it will more than pay for itself.



6 Comments on “Outside of Price, Photos are the Most Important Marketing Component”


Another option to consider if you want to achieve a wide angle perspective is a Canon G10 or G11. These run about $400 to $500 so they are more budget friendly. The wide angle lens comes standard on this camera. This camera leans more towards a point & shoot style but it is bulkier than your standard point & shoot but not nearly as bulky as a digital SLR.


Great tip on the wide angle lens. I think photos are extremely important too. A tip for the outside of a home – water down the pavement surrounding the home and leading up to the door.

Marc Rasmussen

I completely agree with you. I invest in $100 to hire a professional photographer for each listing. It really does pay off in my opinion

Gainesville Real Estate

We were able to find competent photographers on craigslist for under $100/home – which includes visiting the home, taking photos, and photoshop cropping and touch-up. Wide angle lenses are definitely the way to go for real estate.


I definitely agree that the photo is one of the most important features of selling a home. It is nearly impossible to sell a home with a bad photo. If you cant afford a good camera there are several cheaper options. Hiring a photographer is relatively cheap and easy. Try looking on craigslist or hiring a college student. Photography students are great because they are often just as good as professionals and are willing to work for very cheap (probably to eat, so consider food as payment).


During a recent survey of 1000 renters,78% of them said properties with photos were important or very important.


Lead generation has also proven to increase when properties have photos compared to not.

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