The Magic Hour?

What happens when you hit "submit" on a brand new MLS listing? You may be surprised. There is a Facebook group called Bad MLS photos that I commonly see updates from. It is remarkable for me to see what some agents consider acceptable sales photography. Dirty laundry, dirty plates, people, pets, pizza boxes; well, as you can probably imagine, these are just the beginning. It is both funny and sad. I'm going to show you some very easy (and free) tips on shooting real estate that have served me well, and I am far from a photographer. But first, let's go back to the question at the beginning of this post, and why it matters.

Data syndication is a common practice of distributing MLS listings to numerous websites. For example, in my local market 89 distinct websites receive data from our MLS, and there is a high likelihood that your local MLS service practices similar syndication procedures. This means that as soon as you hit "submit" on your new listing it essentially goes viral, all over the world. Customers choose listings based on this information, and as you already know, we are visual creatures. Now do you see the implications of bad photos? Why does the term "clickbait" even exist? And what are the psychological triggers behind the process? That last one is perhaps a topic for an entire book, but you get where I'm going here. Pictures are crucial in today's sales environment.

So here are a few simple tips:

1. De-clutter.

2. Turn on all lights, inside and out.

3. Shoot just after sunset. This is the famous "Magic Hour".

4. Stand in the edge or corner of the room to maximize the space perceived.

5. Frame "low" to expose walking spaces.

6. Turn your camera or phone sideways (horizontal).

7. Do not zoom in, on anything, ever.

There you go. Seven easy tips that will do wonders for your sales career. Can you think of some more? Put them in the comment box and happy shooting!

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