Whether you’re a veteran realtor or a newcomer to the real estate scene, you know that quality photos are deal-makers. And since photo better-ifying is our jam, today we’re helping you realtors out there rock out by showing how photo editing can boost your real estate business.
We spoke to realtors in the busy Seattle market, who gave us the scoop on how photo editing can help professionals create high-quality listing photos, stand out with inventive visual marketing, and take headshots you’ll love.
Easy editing for your property photos
If you’re just starting out in real estate and can’t always spring for professional photo editing, you may want to consider editing property photos yourself. We promise, this is not as scary as it sounds! PicMonkey has a whole slew of tools that are particularly helpful for editing property photos; here’s a couple of our favorites:
- Dodge and Burn. When shadows get so dim you can’t make out all of a home’s features, Dodge is your hero: it selectively targets tones within a certain range (lights, mids, or darks) and brightens accordingly. Burn is Dodge in reverse, dimming its targeted tones rather than lightening them. Check out our video tutorial to see how they can work for you.
- Levels. If you’d like your whole photo to look just a tad lighter (or darker) rather than just certain tones, check out our Levels tool. It’s an excellent balance between sophisticated control and simple-Simon ease of use.
We recommend these tools for DIY real estate photography because they make it easy to highlight a home’s best qualities, without your end result looking over-edited.
Quick fixes for common issues
As our real estate experts told us, even if you always have professionals take your property shots, there’ll be moments when a photo is perfect … except for that stray watering hose you just noticed. Or that unsightly trash can. And if you’re crunched for time, running said photo by your designated expert may not be an option.
Enter Clone. Clone is a certified wonder-worker, letting you copy pixels from any spot in your image to any other spot. This is great for getting rid of distracting extras in your property photos, whether they’re the aforementioned lawn accoutrements, weird wall art you asked your homeowner to take down, or furry friends sneaking their way into the shot.
For a walkthrough on how to use Clone, try our quick-and-easy tutorial.
Creative marketing materials
Some realtors hire professional photographers. Some go rogue with their own shots. But however they take photos, there’s little doubt that it’s important to stand out with creative marketing. In saturated markets, arresting visuals can help new realtors connect with customers, and remind experienced agents’ customers why they love them so much.
In the age of social media, there’s any number of ways to reach out to past or prospective clients. Of course, you want your communiques to be relevant, informative, and entertaining, or you run the risk of sounding spammy. Here are a few of our favorite ways to engage clients:
- Postcards. Postcards provide just enough real estate (hardy har har!) to highlight your achievements without overwhelming a reader. Plus, they’re simple to design: at their most basic, they’re an image and a colored text box.
- VIP invitations. Several of the realtors we spoke to throw housewarming parties for their clients and clients’ friends, which we would like to formally encourage all realtors to do forever. If you decide to get in the party spirit, why not make the occasion extra-special with a custom invitation?
- Social posts. Make your Facebook or Twitter presence stand out with graphics tailored to each channel. (This might also be a place to throw on a fancy filter, if you felt like it. Just sayin’, no pressure.)
Bonus: If you’ve built a rapport with a group of clients, you can take that postcard idea and make it weird. Try postcards that show kooky holiday capers, neighborhoods swarmed by tsunamis of money, funny before-and-after shots of a home being staged—it’ll tickle your clients, and since they already know you do wonderful work, it won’t turn them off.
Professional headshots you’ll actually love
Ah, the dreaded professional photo. A professional headshot is often your customers’ first insight into who you are, but many realtors admit that they’re not exactly in love with their professional photos. (We may have heard the phrase “canned photo in a conference room” once or twice.)
Well, they say you can’t find love until you love yourself, so why not take matters into your own hands and get that headshot looking spiffy? PicMonkey’s got a few ways to make it happen:
- Photo retouching magic. Remove distracting bumps and blemishes, banish under-eye shadows, and smooth away stray hairs in our powerful-but-naturalistic Touch Up tab. If you’re thinking, “Nah, I couldn’t do that,” allow us to au contraire the heck outta that notion! Give one of our simple touch up tutorials a try.
- Better backgrounds. Our textures give you the ability to reimagine your headshot with a new (and more interesting) background. Wanna learn how? It takes like two minutes.
With a simple photo editing tool at your fingertips, it’s that much easier to keep your headshot current and looking fabulous.
This article wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful folks of the Sunshine & Brooke team at Windermere and Team Franz + Joe at Coldwell Banker Bain. Thank you for sharing your time, expertise, and sandwiches with us.