Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Freeze Frame! (yes I know I am dating myself!)

This is going to be a long rant so grab a cup of coffee.

Photos, videos, virtual tours. We all do them, (usually, and if your REALTOR doesn't you need a new one). But there is a fine line between good photos, bad ones and OMG this home is featured in Life and Style!!!!

Photos are the number one marketing tool and serve 2 distinct purposes:

#1: REALTORs use them to showcase the listing, attract buyers, and show the sellers that they are working hard on their behalf, and
#2: buyers go online to www.realtor.ca to see what is available and view the photos to see if they like the yard, if the kitchen is big enough and in the simplest of terms: "Can I picture my family here?".

The harm that the lack of photos does is obvious. Having no photos screams "Run for your lives! This is a handyman special!!!".  But bad photos, be they out of focus or with a fisheye lens or taken with the wrong aspect ratio are a bit more insidious: blurry photos don't allow the potential buyer to actual see the property and it becomes lost in the many listings, fisheye photos just make you dizzy and the wrong aspect ratio doesn't allow the buyer to properly judge room size.  Now you are asking: "Sherry, what do you mean the wrong aspect ratio?". Glad you asked because its a huge pet peeve of mine.

CELL PHONES! We all have them and I will not dispute that the cameras on them are pretty amazing but for some unknown reason no one thinks to turn them sideways when they are framing pictures. Little known real estate fact #5: We don't upload directly to realtor.ca. First we upload to our Real Estate Board Database which then uploads to realtor.ca once a day (usually midnight) and each database will resize and screw with our photos. So if your aspect ratio is wrong then your photos gradually get smaller and more wonky.

Okay so now onto OMG photos. Much like your collections (see my blog: Less is more), OMG photos can be a distraction during a showing and can actually alienate a buyer. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard: "Wow! The photos are so much better than the house!", well let's just say I would be retiring.

But that's just it, the potential buyer then wanders around the house mildly miffed that he or she has been duped. Now don't get me wrong, it's a know your audience kind of thing. If you are selling a million dollar property? Absolutely, it should look like a magazine spread and I strongly encourage the idea of hiring a professional photographer complete with assistant and lighting to do the shoot.  It will cost about $1000.

So where does that leave us. Oh right! Accurate photos taken with the correct aspect ratio (see I have said it enough, now you have a new term bouncing in your head) and mildly tweaked for colour and light. Believe it or not it is better to take photos on a dull, overcast day with all of the lights on and a forced flash than on a bright sunny day and then tweak them with a program before uploading. There should be plenty of different angles of each room to give the potential buyer an idea of space and flow. I have lots of sellers who like to take their own photos and some of them are pretty good, but please do not be upset if I come and take my own. You may have missed an angle or two or I may want to tweak your staging to make the room show to its best potential.

There should also be exterior photos showing your yard at its best. So if you think there maybe a chance that you are moving next year, planning is everything! Call me or grab your camera (and if you use your phone please turn it sideways!) and snap some shots just after you have mown the grass and weeded the flower beds. Remember what it felt like when you came on your house hunting trip in April five years ago and you saw nothing but dirty, nasty, melting snow banks? We want to remind buyers that it's just a phase and that Cold Lake is capable of being pretty and we have the photos to prove it!

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Freeze Frame! (yes I know I am dating myself!)

This is going to be a long rant so grab a cup of coffee. Photos, videos, virtual tours. We all do them, (usually, and if your REALTOR does...