The short answer is – of course not! Smart phones and point and shoot cameras do not have the ability to produce real estate photos that can compete in todays highly competitive listing market.
Today we can take pictures, listen to our favorite music, watch a movie and make a phone call with a device smaller than our hand. Some real estate agents are finding cell phones are handy for taking pictures of properties they are listing. Some clients may think photos made with point and shoot cameras or cell phones are okay. But as a professional, you should want more for you clients. High quality photos can make a difference when selling a property in a short time or letting it languish on the market.
Here’s some research that could make you a believer in better quality photos. First, most searches for homes are done online—more than 90 percent of them. And what does their eye go to first? It’s not to the expertly worded description. In fact it is the primary photo, the one designed to show a residence’s curb appeal, that first catches a viewer’s eye.
You can do a lot with cell phone cameras, but professional quality interior photos can only be made with professional equipment, software and knowledge. Professional cameras, as opposed to point and shoot cameras, give you the ability to change lenses. That means you use a super wide-angle lens to get that beautiful view of an entire space rather than just a portion of it. Or you can use a “fast” lens to add special effects, like isolating the foreground from the background. But according to Photography Life, ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) cameras give you many other advantages.
- You can make upgrades to a ILC camera. A myriad of different types of lenses and accessories are available.
- Sometimes you can’t photograph a property when the sun is shining bright and the lighting is best. With a high end camera you can adjust the lighting as needed, or shoot in very dim light.
- If you have the knowledge you can control aperture and shutter speed. If you are a novice to photography, aperture is the opening of the lens through which light passes. Shutter speed controls how long the lens is open. These two controls, along with ISO (a camera sensor’s sensitivity to light) are all adjusted together in full manual mode to capture just the right shot.
Point and shoot cameras and cell phones are more compact and less expensive than professional cameras so many real estate agents like to use them. However, there is a better option when it comes to getting excellent pictures of a client’s home. Real estate photography is a growing industry and since pictures are more important to home sales than ever before, many agents are employing professionals.
If your client scoffs at the idea of using a professional, here are some statistics that may change their mind.
- The title of an article in the Wall Street Journal says it all—“20 Seconds to Love at First Sight”. If you don’t have the right photo to showcase the listing, you could lose a potential sale in just 20 seconds.
- Redfin, a brokerage based in Seattle, said that homes with nicer photos as opposed to those made with point and click cameras mean more money in the seller’s pocket. A good photo could mean $934 to more than $116,000 between the final and asking price.
Moving from a point and shoot or smart phone photos to hiring a professional is not expensive. Our prices are reasonable and the benefits far outweigh the costs. Better pictures can mean quicker sales, better commissions and most importantly happy clients.