Apple Valley Ohio Lake Community by Sam Miller

head_left_image

Creating The "WOW Effect" in 60 Seconds Using Photo Editing Software

If a picture is worth a thousand words it is safe to say that bad photos can kill your home sale faster than a buyer with a 500 credit score trying to obtain PMI.  More than 80 percent of all home buyers are using the internet to narrow down the selection of homes they will ultimately view.  The question is will the photos you display online cause the buyer to want to buy your listing or will the photos you are displaying cause them to eliminate your home from their "Must See" list.

Apple Valley Golf Course

You may find this difficult to believe but the two photos above are essentially the same photo.  The photo to the left is an original unedited photo and the photo to the right was edited while still on the iPhone 4 using a 3 dollar app called Photogene.  I created this blog because the majority of the photos I see on the MLS and on websites like REALTOR.com are typically so dark you would think they were taken in the middle of the night.  I actually took the photo to the left minutes before dark as an example of what you can do in less than 60 seconds and editing the photo on your iPhone without the use of a computer.  If you saw two real estate advertisements side by side which photo would catch your eye and which one would you skip over?

Now imagine the amazing photos and marketing you could create using a quality digital SLR camera, a tripod and Adobe Photoshop.   

Sam Miller Team of REMAX Stars Realty (740) 397-7800  Knox County Ohio Real Estate

Comment balloon 56 commentsSam Miller • August 27 2011 11:55PM

Comments

I so agree!  I have won listings because I point out how bad their last set of photos were.    The buyers are just going to pass right on by if the pictures don't entice them!  

Posted by Catherine Ulrey, Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist (Keller Williams Capital City) about 9 years ago

Dear Sam, I put this forward to the 'larger' group, but it is sooooo true!  I could not agree more.  I actually did a blog post about photos a few months back.  Night & Be Safe.

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) about 9 years ago

Dark unattractive photos cause home buyers to skip over a a listing while great listing photos generate serious interest, showings and sales. 

Posted by Carol Miller, Apple Valley Lake (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam....Brad Anderson had a great post today about 10 great apps for photo editing....here, you show us why we need something.  Huge difference between the photos!

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) about 9 years ago

Catherine - Exactly and I agree with your comment "The buyers are just going to pass right on by if the pictures don't entice them.  

Pam - Thanks for helping this blog gain exposure to a "larger" group.  Feel free to post a link here to your photo blog you did a few months back.  

Carol - I agree.  When a buyer skips over a home because of dark photos it is the kiss of death to a real estate listing.  

Larry - Thanks and I am going to look for Brad's blog.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam, what a great job of photo editing you did with this app.  GOing to check it out.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) about 9 years ago

Good morning Sam. Drives me insane when I see a million dollars listing accompanied by one out of focus picture. Curb appeal may bring them in but the listing pics decide which ones get the drive by. Nice post.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 9 years ago
Lora - Thank You! If you are using an iPhone I can recommend a few other useful photo apps. Randy - That drives me crazy as well. I also shake my head when I see interior photos of a bedroom that basically only highlight the head board of a bed...this is a sign that the agent doesn't have a remotely adequate real estate camera with a wide angle lens.
Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam, I'm glad I came across your blog. Pictures are sooo important to listings. I love the effects of the photos. Good reminder I need to get to photoshop.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 9 years ago

Sam -- this is a great example of the difference photo editing can make.  I use Picasa and Picnik and my son uses Photoshop.  Between us, we can make some dramatic improvements in the online presentation.  I can't believe though that you got such good results with an iPhone app -- that is fantastic!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) about 9 years ago

Photoshop Rocks!!!  I love to use it, it just takes time to get through the learning curve.  Long time no connect, glad to see you are still around!!!

Posted by Mary Macy, Top Agents Atlanta Metro (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) about 9 years ago
Pamela - Thanks for commenting. If you are not wanting to spend a lot of time learning Adobe Photoshop there is a scaled down version called Photoshop Elements which is very robust and there are other apps like Picasa. If you are on a Mac be sure to check out iPhoto...it rocks and is an easy to learn photo app that has some powerful features yet it is fairly simplistic.
Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Maureen - Happy you enjoyed the photo comparison.  I have found that when I am doing a presentation with a seller that the real client connection power comes from showing them the original unedited photo with the color corrected / edited photo.  A side by side comparison is visually powerful.  Here is a money making tip...do this on expired listings showing the seller the photos the original listing agent used and then show them what those photos could have looked like using your talents.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

I love illustrations such as this to get some of the Realtors who are submitting the "white outs" or the pictures that are so dark that you can't even see what they are trying to share.  Great application and illustration.

Posted by Barb Van Stensel about 9 years ago

Mary Macy - Thanks and I am still around and having more fun in real estate than ever before.  The challenges of this market have energized me to keep looking for even better ways and we are constantly focused on improving our systems.  Adobe Photoshop is one of my 3 all time favorite programs but I have to admit that it took me some time to learn the basics.  I believe that many in our business can produce really nice digital images with an app like iPhone, PhotoShop Elements or Picasa.  For me I just knew that Photoshop is the standard and it would keep getting better and better and it has.  Like you said "Photoshop Rocks!!!  

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Barb - Thanks!  Didn't mean to skip over your comment but I was commenting on Mary's when you posted.  I agree with you that using before and afters make it so much easier than trying to explain the difference.  With the examples visually right in front of the client it is so easy to just ask "Which photo do you like better?" and your point of difference is made instantly creating what is known as "The Wedge".

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Quote of the day #2 bad photos can kill your home sale faster than a buyer with a 500 credit score trying to obtain PMI.   It is so easy to get good pictures or hire a pro to take them for you. No excuse for having bad pics in the MLS.

Posted by Daniel H. Fisher, MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC (www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544) about 9 years ago

The difference between the photos is drastic, learning some basic software editing skills can really help us make a picture into something that stands out. 

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 9 years ago
Great pictures and thanks for the info. I really like to showcase my homes with great pics and this new app should help..
Posted by Adam Kutchuk Murrieta, Short Sale Specialist Rated 5 Stars (Realty Works) about 9 years ago

Everything about that picture is improved, the clouds are great, the light on the golf course really stands out, you wouldn't know how improved the picture is if you didn't have the before and after. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Daniel - Thanks!!!  I had a feeling my quote would strike a chord with someone.  

Morgan - Exactly!  I wasn't joking when i posted that I edited that photo in less than 60 seconds using nothing more than a basic photo app and my iPhone 4.

Adam - Thanks for commenting and if you download Photogene I think you will be smiling from ear to ear within 10 minutes of testing it out.  I need to do another iPhone photo editing blog using "AutoStitch".  It is another nifty little photo app that creates wide panoramic photos using photo stitching and it is done entirely from the iPhone...it is SLICK.

Eileen - Thanks!  I should have also mentioned that their is a Photogene app for the iPad as well.  I like it equally as well and the larger screen size of the iPad creates an advantage when you are trying to tweak a photo that has a lot of smaller details.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

I have seen interior photos that looks like the picture was taken with the lights off and all windows closed submitted on BPOs and listing. It shows that lake of care by the agent. Take the time to make a "WOW" impression the first time.

Posted by Carolyn Nelson, Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert! (Realty One Carolina, LLC) about 9 years ago
I am going to check out photo gene pronto. How did you move the edited iPhone photo from the iPhone to the blog post?
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 9 years ago

Carolyn - I have seen the same thing where the photos were so dark you wondered if the kitchen even had cabinetry or counter tops.  It truly doesn't take but a few extra minutes to make a poor photo presentable for a BPO.

Cheryl - I emailed the edited photos from my iPhont to my laptop, dragged them into an app I use called "Pages" and did a quick screen capture of them and posted them as a screen shot jpg image using my Mac.  The entire emailing and screen shot took less than 2 minutes and I can utilize all different kinds of boxes, picture frames and shadows within the "Pages" app.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

So that is Adobe Photoshop huh? Can you run that on a Mac do you know??I have a Mac and love it so much but there are some programs that just don't work on it! Iphoto does several things but I don't think it can do that!

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Rosalie - Adobe Photoshop is available for the Mac and I personally use a Mac.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam - That was done on the iPhone?  Now, I'm really impressed.  That was very well done.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 9 years ago

"A picture is worth a thousand dollars" - Me

Posted by Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin (M3 Realty) about 9 years ago

Christine - It was indeed shot and edited using a Verizon iPhone 4 using the Photogene app.

Pat, Ben and Martin - Now that is some great inspiration!

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Great side by side photo comparison showing what is possible in just 60 seconds with an iPhone and a cheap photo editing app.  

Posted by Carol Miller, Apple Valley Lake (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Good Evening Sam, excellent information, I will go check out the application.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA (Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA) about 9 years ago

Sam - It is so easy to use photo editing software to enhance MLS photos, it is a mystery why more agents don't do it.

Posted by FN LN about 9 years ago

 

I will definitely check  this app fro my ipad if they offer one. . thanks 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 9 years ago

Just got it. .$2.99 for iPad and it looks like it can be used for albums and collages as well.. . now to the learning curve. . thanks again

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 9 years ago

Yes, it is pretty amazing what you can do with specific software these days. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 9 years ago

Awesome. I purchased the app before I even finished reading your post.  Next... autostitch.  Thank you!

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 9 years ago

It's amazing what you can do with a little time and a good photo editing program.  These days, good photos are critical.  It's frustrating when I see a listing and there's nothing but a single pic and it looks terrible.  Great recommendation.

Posted by Bryan Robertson about 9 years ago

That is an amazing difference in photos. Great photos always get our attention regardless of what we are trying to buy. It gets you in the door always.

Posted by Gabrielle Jeans, Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach (WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach) about 9 years ago

Great example of how a little attention to details can drastically improve your listings. Great job Sam.

PS. If we're talking about attention to details, we should note that the two photos aren't from the same original. (Evidenced by the clouds and golfers that are not in the same position.) Clear though that it was taken at nearly the same time.

Posted by David Northup (David Northup - Aim RE Group Inc, Temecula Realtors® (AIM)) about 9 years ago

Dan - Thanks!

Marc - You are right about it being easy.

Fernando - Your learning curve will be quick.

Barbara Jo - You are right about it being amazing what available software can do.

Margaret - Two great apps for under $10!

Bryan - Thanks - The difference 60 seconds can make.

Aim Real Estate Group - Thanks and I will double check because what you noted is certainly possible.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam, I agree, but so many people think that Photoshop is a user-friendly program  or that they can just quickly take whatever angled photos and they will come out miraculously perfect. You still have to understand basic photography principles, have a good "eye" (which can be learned to a point), and learn the beast of a software program that is Photoshop as well as know where to go to get packaged "actions" to make your job more effective. It's easy to dump an hour into just a few pics, and we all know that we usually don't have time for that.

Posted by Amanda Howard, NorthernKentuckyHomes.com 859-363-9900 (Century 21 Garner Properties) about 9 years ago

Great example Sam!  It always amazes me when I see lack of quality with the photos on the MLS or other marketing sites.  With the abundance of FREE editing software it is not time consuming at all to go the extra effort and create a worthwhile image for your client.  You do a great job!

Posted by Randy Schulenburg, Schulenburg Realty, Inc. (Schulenburg Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Sam what a great post to open some eyes in our industry.  Just the other day I was commenting on the terrible photos that were taken on an REO property.  the Photos were dark, aimed at the floor and it was obvious that the agent did not use a wide angle lens.  I was expecting the house to be a total wreck because I figured the agent did not want to show how bad the condition of this home was in.  When I got to the home I was pleasantly surprised to see the home was not as bad as I was expecting it to be. 

I amazed that so many Realtors submit such lousy photos in this day and age, especially when you can hire people to take professional photos if you do not want to take the time to take and edit the photos.  Some agents pay their children to do the photos they know how to use the editing software for professional looking pictures at a fraction of the cost.

Whenever I sign up a new listing I use a Rebel XT with a wide angle lens along with a tripod and a portable halogen lamp to bounce off the ceiling in large dark rooms and I still windup editing most of the photos to make the home look its very best.

Posted by Donald Stirnweis, Realtor Kings Park NY, Homes for Sale, Certified Appraiser (RE/Max Beyond) about 9 years ago

Amanda - Thanks for commenting and I agree that it is very rare that most agents use the majority of the features found in Photoshop.

Randy - Thanks and you are right about there being plenty of affordable and inexpensive photo editing software / apps available.

 

Donald - All great points!  Are you using the Canon 10-22 wide angle lens?  We have one and I really like it.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Dear Sam ~ Lots of post, I just knew it!!  What a great piece for everyone &  popular subject.  Earlier you had mentioned to forward the other blog & I will, but I also thought you may want to see another blog that just came up that is more similar in subject.  http://activerain.com/blogsview/2481358/how-much-are-pictures-really-worth-  This one just came up today I believe.  Mine is a bit different as it was about no pictures at all.  "Why No Photos"  http://activerain.com/blogsview/2346880/why-no-photos-  

Everyone is so apprciative of your post & it is such an important & critical component!!  :))

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) about 9 years ago

Sam - I am using a Canon 18-55 wide angle lens?  I should pick up a 10-22 one of these days.  I would also like to pick up a remote flash, Maybe I would not have to drag around the haalogen lamp.

Posted by Donald Stirnweis, Realtor Kings Park NY, Homes for Sale, Certified Appraiser (RE/Max Beyond) about 9 years ago

Pam - Thanks for the links and I will be sure to read and comment on yours as well.

Donald - I believe you will be seriously impressed with the 10-22 lens if you buy the Canon model and not one of the aftermarket brands.  One of the strongest features of the Canon EX580 flash is that it has a slave feature that enables you to link multiple flash units together and fire them all at once.  You could mount a 2nd / 3rd flash on free standing tripods and tuck them behind furniture and light up the room.  This would eliminate dark areas that are further away from the flash...plus it would save you from hauling around that big lamp.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

I want to thank everyone who commented and contributed to this topic.  I am blown away that this post has grown to nearly 50 comments.  

Thank You!

Sam Miller

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 9 years ago

Sam you are always on the cutting edge when it comes to technology.  Are you talking about the Canon EX580 or the Canon EX580II?

Posted by Donald Stirnweis, Realtor Kings Park NY, Homes for Sale, Certified Appraiser (RE/Max Beyond) about 9 years ago

Sam, I definitely need Photogene. In fact, I think I have deleted some photos that could have really benefited from this amazing app. Off to buy it. And you are 100% right about listing photos. First we have to sell the listing via photos, THEN they will come IRL - have a great weekend!

Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 9 years ago

thanks for the tip -- will check it out -- just recently tried phtosynth and was amazed at what you can do with the tools

Posted by Scott Hoen, COO, Hollywood Title Company 714-270-9607 (HollywoodTitleCompany.com) about 9 years ago

Excellent points Sam and it doesn't take very long at all to improve the look of those photos

Posted by Jeremy Joslin, Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Outstanding post thanks Sam for sharing!

Posted by Joe Jackson, Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty) over 7 years ago

The difference between these two Apple Valley Golf Course photos is significant.

Posted by Carol Miller, Apple Valley Lake (RE/MAX Stars Realty) almost 6 years ago

There are so many great photo editing software available especially for Apple and the Mac line of computers.

Posted by Erica Miller almost 6 years ago

I have never personally had any experience with photo editing but the different between the left and right photo is amazing.

Posted by Joan Clipse - Retired REALTOR (RE/MAX Stars Realty) almost 6 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments