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Video – Walk About

Homes Listed with Professional Real Estate Photos Sell Quicker and For More Money. This Is Why.

Written by  on June 3, 2019


First impressions are everything, especially in home buying. A gorgeous exterior vs. an uninviting one decides whether you walk in the front door. Inside, spotless interiors are more likely to inspire a life there than a cluttered house that’s clearly, well, someone else’s home.

And while this is where staging can play a huge role, it’s the listing pictures buyers see online that is often the first barrier of entry. So they better be really good.

In fact, a 2013 Redfin study found that homes professionally photographed with high-performance Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) sold quicker and for thousands of dollars, more than homes shot with amateur photos. DSLR cameras are also the preferred camera of Redin’s national photography manager, Drew Larrigan. Redfin provides professional photography to all its listing clients, free of charge.

Why Professional Real Estate Photos Sell Homes for More

“The iPhone is the number one camera on the market right now, but we are still very far from it replacing a DSLR, which offers a higher quality image with higher pixelation. It’s the level necessary in this business, that will be continued to be used in the market for years to come.”

But you need more than just a fancy high-tech camera, you also need the know-how.

“The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo,” he said. “There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don’t see, capturing layers of High Dynamic Range (HDR) images to create one beautiful shot.”

Layers, he explained refers to multiple exposures. “This allows us to highlight shadows and bring out brightness or darkness through the windows. And then you stack those layers, which creates the beautiful windows in our photos.”

As online searching and browsing is a critical part of the home-buying process, it makes sense that professional photos will entice people to visit the home as they know what they are getting before they even set foot in the home.

“Today we have more shoppers buying from abroad or out of state and making an offer sight unseen, and really want to see a home documented,” Drew said. “They want to see every corner of the home, and that’s the beauty of the DSLR is offering a resolution that allows the out of state or city buyer a chance to see the home in full.”

Amateur vs. Professional Real Estate Photos

To see these differences in action, Drew shared listing photos comparing those shot by an amateur, and those professionally photographed. “These examples are a chance to really look at the data visually, of the difference between a team approach that builds out quality, versus independent third parties,” he said. “It goes to show how important it is for Redfin to offer quality to the client, and how important it is to make sure our listings are as beautiful as possible.”

Home entry way side by side real estate photos

“In the above photo to the left, the photographer attempts to connect the front door with the dining area, but in the process, misses all the wonderful entry storage, and the white walls look brown. Redfin’s professional photo on the right chose to instead focus on the expansive hallway, beautiful entry, great storage, and crisp color tones. The professional photographer fully utilizes this space and frames key assets in the hallway.”

Dining room real estate photos with professional camera

“In the professionally shot photo above on the right, the color tones, wood tones, and white balance are perfect. The walls are WHITE. The frame orientation is centered around the chandelier and the photo invites you into this room. In contrast, in the other photo, the room appears to be leaning, the white balance is off, and the colors are dark, almost reddish.”

Master bedroom listing photos side by side

“Once again, a proper color balance comes into play here. When incorrect, the master bedroom feels small. It also misses an opportunity to show the adjoining bathroom. The composition should highlight the full room to its entirety.”

Master bathroom professional real estate photos

“This bathroom is bright and light but the white balance is off, and as a result, the images miss key features like the upscale shower head, vanity and lighting.”

Exterior of brick home shot with real estate photography

“In the first photo, your eye is drawn to other objects, rather than the house itself. The basketball hoop, open umbrella, neighbors to the left and right are distracting and more obvious. Additionally, the home isn’t centered, and the lens distortion bends the horizon line. When photographed correctly, you will notice the sky and the framing. This is a shot that is composed, center and square. The color tones are natural and the backyard feels private.”

Redfin Photos by: Matthew Deering

Homes professionally photographed with DSLR cameras are proven to sell quicker and for thousands of dollars more than homes shot with amateur photos.

Inspired by Drew’s insight, we took a look back at the 2013 study. The data revealed that professionally photographed homes priced in the $400,000 range sold three weeks faster and for more than $10,000 relative to their list price, than their counterparts with amateur photos.

For each price range, the days indicate how much faster a professionally photographed home sold compared to a home with amateur photos.
Data 2013 study by Redfin

The 2013 findings also found that homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million sold for $3,400 to $11,200 more relative to their list prices when photographed professionally with a DSLR camera. At the high end of the spectrum, professionally photographed homes for more than $1 million sold at prices similar to those with amateur photographs.

For each price range, the dollar figures indicate how much closer to list price professionally photographed homes sold versus amateur photographed homes.
Data based on 2013 Redfin study

Additionally, The 2013 findings also looked at photo sharpness, or, the detail added to a picture by using a good camera, lens and lighting. Whether a crisp reflection, or bright flowers, a sharper picture will show a house in its best light. The sharpest 10 percent of photos sold at or above list price 44 percent of the time, while listings with average sharpness sold at or above list just 13 percent of the time.

Better looking, sharper photos are more likely to sell above list price
Data based on 2013 Redfin study

Ready to professionally photograph your home to list? Make sure you’ve completed these 10 steps first.

Virtual Staging: An Innovative Way to Impress Buyers

Written by  on July 27, 2018

As more home-sellers turn to virtual staging, we have to ask: Is it really worth it, and does it compare to traditional staging?

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in a home. As many as 38 percent of sellers’ agents say that they stage all their clients’ homes before listing. Since the benefits of staging have a direct impact on listing performance, virtual staging was developed to give the same benefits that are looking for an alternative to traditional staging.

To determine whether virtual staging is a viable alternative for you, you have to know what it is and how it compares to traditional home staging.

Living room furniture with large windows and staging

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging, like traditional staging, is decorating a property to showcase its best features and qualities in an effort to make it more attractive to buyers.

“I have always explained to my sellers that buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time” describes Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager in California.

But like the name implies, virtual staging is done with a computer. There’s exactly zero real furniture, area rugs, potted plants or other décor involved. Professional virtual stagers digitally insert decorative elements in high-resolution photos to show empty rooms’ full potential.

What Homes is Virtual Staging Best Suited For?

Virtual staging won’t work for all homes – in many cases, traditional staging is a superior choice. However, it can be a huge benefit if it’s done properly in:

• Vacant homes
• Homes with outdated furniture
• Properties with tenants in them, which leave the homeowner little control over the space’s appearance

If you still occupy your home and you can stage it to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers, whole-house virtual staging isn’t for you. (You can still virtually stage some rooms if you and your agent think it’s appropriate, though.)

Virtual Staging vs. Traditional Staging

Virtual staging is usually a lot cheaper than traditional staging is. Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’re looking at:

• Virtual staging costs somewhere between $39 and $199 per room, depending on the contractor you use, your location and the amount of space you need staged.
• Traditional staging can cost several hundred dollars per month, depending on the stager you use, how much furniture you need to rent, your location and the number of rooms you need staged.

Price isn’t the only sticking point, though. Each method has its own pros and cons that you’ll have to consider, particularly if you’re trying to sell an empty house.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Staging

Virtual staging can help sell a home faster and for more money – but only if it’s done right. You still need to hire a professional who knows how to take good photos for virtual staging, and you need to work with a reputable company with a great portfolio of completed work.

Check out these side-by-side lists of the pros and cons of virtual staging to help you make the right choice:

Pros of Virtual Staging 

  • Can help you showcase an empty home’s best features
  • Is cost-effective when compared to traditional staging
  • Attracts prospective buyers’ attention online
  • Offers you the opportunity to stage any number of rooms
  • Allows you to stage flex rooms in multiple ways

Cons of Virtual Staging

  • Becomes more expensive when you need to remove furniture or items from photos
  • Can be difficult to use when the house is occupied, unless you have previous listing photos
  • Furniture and décor only exist in the virtual space – buyers will never see it in person

Pros and Cons of Traditional Staging

Traditional staging, which successful real estate agents have been using for decades, doesn’t always require a professional stager. However, it does require an eye for detail and the ability to create a space that appeals to the widest possible range of buyers.

Check out these side-by-side lists of the pros and cons of traditional staging to help you decide whether it’s a better choice for selling your home:

Pros of Traditional Staging

  • Gives buyers real-life perspective when they tour the home
  • Prevents buyers from having to tour a completely empty, vacant home
  • Appeals to buyers’ sense of imagination
  • Makes spaces appear larger and enables prospective buyers to gauge size
  • Helps your home stand out in buyers’ memories after they leave

Cons of Traditional Staging

  • Can be expensive, and you’ll keep incurring costs until the home sells
  • Requires stagers to bring in furnishings, décor and other items
  • May be unnecessary, depending on how quickly homes are selling in your market

Common Virtual Staging Mistakes

The biggest mistake a seller can make is hiring a virtual staging company that’s not good enough. Virtually staged photos should be exceptionally realistic – so real, in fact, that buyers won’t know they’re computer-generated unless someone tells them.

Other mistakes many people make with virtual staging is:

• Failing to provide prospective buyers with photos of empty rooms as well as staged rooms. Buyers may expect the home to look the same as it does in its listing photos, so provide both.
• Choosing virtual staging that makes the home look worse, not better. You have to be careful not to overdo furniture and decorative elements in staged photos.
• Using virtual staging when it’s unnecessary. Replacing furnishings and decorative elements in photos when they’re perfectly fine to begin with can be a significant waste of time (and money).

Could Virtual Staging Help You Sell Your Home?

Virtual staging can be a tremendous asset when you’re selling a vacant home, or one that has wild-card tenants or outdated décor. It allows prospective buyers to view the right vision of the home – not an empty, cavernous space, but one that’s comfortable and easy to live in.

Have you used virtual staging to sell a home? We’d love to hear your story and how it worked out for you, so please share your thoughts in the comments below.



Angie is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about home decor and real estate trends. As a long-term Seattleite, Angie enjoys traveling the globe to find content inspiration. Her dream home would be an urban loft filled with natural light, high ceilings, and an open floor plan.

 Email Angie

Successful sale of your new listing

PDX Real Estate Photography

It is a new year and we are off to a great start. 2019 promises to be a good year, but the market has matured. Gone are the days of just listing a property for a high price and it will sell in a week.

Today is more about marketing than ever before and the largest segment of buyers are the millenials. This means your buyers are Tech Savvy.   They shop on the Internet and narrow their choices before they ever call you.

As a photographer and video-photographer I hear many comments from the sellers as I photograph their homes.  In a nut shell, they boil down to ‘I can’t believe the horrible pictures we see on the RMLS and Zillow’ and ‘We won’t waste our time looking at a property that doesn’t appeal to us online’.

PDX RE Photography and Video has been helping you sell your listings for 6 years now. This is what we do for a living, full time. When you need a home shot right away, we find a way to get on our schedule. Now don’t think we don’t prefer a well planned schedule, but when you have an emergency we will do all we can to accommodate your needs.

Our work is great and to prove it, we have every property we have shot on our web site.  If you need a reference or referral , then check out our referral page. This is an active page that updates as the work is done.

There are currently 24 Realtors listed that we have shot over 15 properties for, one in the 80’s.  To me that’s a testimonial.


aerial twilight

If you would like to meet in person, we will have a table at this years 2019 RMLS Trade Fair. This is the 4th year we have attended. Table 7, can’t miss us.

We prefer to build a good relationship.  We want to be your partner, not just a name on a list, and the more we work for you the better we can style for you.

Bill Jones
PDX Real Estate Photography

Samples of what we offer and Prices.

Current Special

A little something different
-Jonesing For Food-

It’s no big deal till it happens to you

I get spam emails with return and senders email address’s I know have been hijacked.

Unfortunately not everyone understands the dirtier side of the internet.

For anyone who might wonder, bjones@pdxrealestatephotography.com does not now, in the past or the future endorse gambling, online or in a casino. So if you receive an email from me promoting ANYTHING other than my business, trash it. It did not come from me.

Thank you for reading.


Being a team player

Are we successful, have our goals been reached and are we content with our business. When it comes to Real Estate sales we have to keep asking ourselves these questions, after all, we are self employed.

What makes this work for those that are successful seems to be split, either you are very driven, and working at it all the time or you are part of a well oiled team.

In the years that I have been involved in Real Estate, I have noticed that the team players have more leisure time and are just less stressed. This is because the workload is delegated and it’s assumed that everyone is doing their job.

So what does this have to do with us, well independent contractor’s such as PDX Real Estate Photography and Video can also be part of many teams and the difference is how we interact. Why would you want to have me on your team, whether you are a lone wolf or establish team, my answer would be stress, or the lack of it.

  • Instead of ‘Someone find a photographer’ it would be ‘Did you call Bill’
  • How soon will the turn around be, will be known.
  • Will the pictures look like their website, will be known. BTW every property taken is posted on our website, no surprises even if this our first time working together.
  • Can they fit us in, I’m part of the team, of course I’ll work you in.
  • It’s a long way out there, if I’m shooting all your properties then it averages out.
  • I only list one home a year, doesn’t matter, it’s more about the relationship and next year will be easier than this year..
  • And if your busy, I have RMLS access, and am fully insured.

This email is about relationships. I want to be part of your team, not a commodity. And in return, you have a photographer that provides HDR images, 360 3D tours, drone images and video as well as video walk abouts on your team.

Bill Jones – 503-550-7774

Why would you use PDX Real Estate Photography instead of the Brokerage Marketing Department.

That’s easy, consistency and who we work for.

We work for YOU, the Brokerage Marketing department works for the Brokerage.

It’s our job to not only help you sell the property you are representing, but to help you sell your services, or YOU.

I have been in the Real Estate business for over 4 decades and I do not know of a single career Realtor that stayed with only one brokerage or not gone independent.  So why does all your past marketing material promote you second, not first. Why would you want to be inconsistent with your marketing.

I am not suggesting you change Brokerages, I’m suggesting you really realize that you work for YOU.

When you hire us to take some pictures and throw together some sort of ‘video’ for a virtual tour you also want us to sell You, and then the brokerage (because Oregon RE guidelines require you to include your brokerage in all non RMLS/MLS property sales material)

That’s what we try to do, all of our ‘Virtual Tours’ are consistent, when you change Brokerages, ‘Your’ virtual tours and online marketing continue to promote you making transitions easier and less evasive. Did you know that we even make a separate Branded video (branded to You) and post it on YouTube, And we post it directly to Facebook, that video is also shared on Pinterest, Google+ and Tweeted. Our website post of your listing is also shared to Linkedin. That’s your name being indexed on at least 6 different social media sites. Your Brokerage in-house marketing isn’t doing that for you.

Drones for Real Estate Marketing: Are They Worth It?

In the last two years, drone technology has rapidly evolved. If you wanted an aerial image, you either had to hire a professional helicopter pilot or had to know how to assemble electrical components and solder wires, set up a flight computer and integrate a camera. Today, with a few clicks on Amazon, you can have a flying professional camera and supercomputer on your doorsteps within 48 hours.

With this major leap forward in technology comes a change in the way people are marketing and selling products and services in all types of industries, but one of the most prominent is real estate. Now that more and more real estate agents have access to aerial photos and videos through drones, homebuyers and sellers are changing the way they expect to interact with real estate listings.

According to MLS statistics, homes with aerial images sold 68 percent faster than homes with standard images. Video tours that incorporate drone footage are also a great way to make your property stand out and to attract new listings. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 73 percent of homeowners say that they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses video to market their home; however, only 9 percent of agents create listing videos. An Australian real estate group reported seeing a 403 percent increase in traffic for listings that included video as compared to listings without.

Are Drones Worth It?
Some of you might be thinking, “Is it really worth it for me to pay someone to take aerial photos and video of my listing?” Let’s look at some numbers.

Let’s keep things simple and assume the price of the average home you sell is $350,000 (the approximate average as of October 2016), the total commission is 6 percent, your brokerage gets 3 percent, and you end up with 1.5 percent (half of the 3 percent). That’s $5,250 for you per transaction. Let’s also assume you close 11 transactions per year (NAR average for 2015). That’s an annual salary of $57,750.

Now let’s say you begin to incorporate aerial photos and videos into your marketing plan for your listings. If we go off of the statistic that homes sell 68 percent faster when using aerial imagery and that 73 percent of homeowners prefer to list with an agent who uses video, we can be conservative and say that you could attract 50 percent more listings and close 50 percent more deals—pushing the 11 transactions to approximately 17, which would result in an annual income of $89,250 in our scenario, an increase of $31,500.

The average cost of hiring a drone pilot to shoot and edit varies by the size of the property and the area you are in, but the average is about $500. If you use a drone pilot for each of the 17 listings, it will cost you approximately $8,500. That is a net increase of $23,000 per year ($31,500 minus $8,500) from deciding to incorporate drones, a return on investment of 270 percent.

So You Want to Hire a Drone Pilot. What Should You Look For?
It seems like every day there is another company popping up that offers drone photography and videography services. When searching for the right person for the job, it’s important to look for the following things:

FAA-Issued Commercial Drone License
The FAA established new regulations in August 2016 that required anyone using a drone for commercial purposes (defined as anything other than recreation) to hold a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating. If you are going to hire a drone pilot, make sure they have this license. Not only does this ensure that the drone pilot knows the rules they need to follow, but it also protects you from being associated with any illegal operations. The FAA has handed out hefty fines to people flying drones illegally.

There are a number of insurance options out there for drone pilots. Make sure that your hired drone operator has liability insurance in the event something goes wrong and they damage that beautiful house you are trying to sell. Standard liability policies cover up to $1,000,000.

Experience and Quality
If someone is offering their drone services, it’s a given that they should have a demo reel of properties they have photographed and filmed. Go to their website, check out their work, and make sure it measures up to your standards. Not all drone operators are created equal. It takes practice and skill to get those smooth drone shots that make or break a listing video.

David Young is the founder of Drone Launch, a business focused on giving people the knowledge and tools they need to safely and profitably use drones for business. Contact David at david.young@dronelaunch.co or through Twitter and Instagram @dronelaunch.

For more information, please visit DroneLaunchAcademy.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

Shocking Stats About the Importance of Photography in Real Estate – RePrint from RisMedia

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The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

It might seem obvious—or go without saying—that good photography and videography are critical for your success as a real estate professional.

But when you dig into the numbers, just how much of an impact good visuals make borders on shocking. Check out some of these stats:

  • Homes with high quality photography sell 32 percent faster.
  • Homes with more photos sell faster, too; a home with one photo spends an average 70 days on the market; but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market.
  • For homes in the $200,000-$1 million range, those that include high-quality photography in their listings sell for $3,000-$11,000 more.

As time goes on and equipment and tools become better and more sophisticated, online platforms become more robust. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have expanded into the industry. Skills with visual tools will only become increasingly important over time.

In its resource reference document for members on the topic, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) points out that:

  • Eighty-nine percent of homebuyers who searched for a home on the internet found photos to be among the most useful features of REALTOR® websites, according to the 2017 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Digital photography and virtual tours allow REALTORS® to serve their clients like never before. Digital images can quickly and professionally showcase a listing, and today’s technologically-savvy clients appreciate the convenience of a virtual tour for both long distance and local moves.

In addition to this resource that is curated especially for its members and provided free of charge, NAR’s affiliated organization the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) offers three online courses through our platform at http://learninglibrary.com/ris/a/ to help enhance your visual skills. These include:

  • A Photo Sells a Thousand Homes will help you attract buyers to homes, identify the right photos you should take of every home and understand exactly how to compose the best photos.
  • How Do I Make My Photos Look Like That? will show you how to leverage the technology available to make photos look more professional. Learn about the software and editing capabilities available at minimal price.
  • Video Marketing to Enhance Your Business demonstrates video marketing strategies that are crucial for reaching today’s house hunters. Connect with consumers in a fast-paced digital world by setting yourself apart and grabbing their attention instantly.

To obtain these and other great online courses at a fantastic discount, check out our featured products this month at the Center for REALTOR® Development, RRC’s online courses and bundles, which offer a wide variety of educational products that lead to their Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation and are all on sale this entire month of June at 25% off.

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

Creating a 360 3D panorama

There are several type of 360 projected images but I will only cover 2. 1st a flat 360 rotation and second a 360×180 rotation with the latter showing floors and ceilings.

The first is created by taking a limited FOV set of images while rotating in a circle and then stitching them together into a cylindrical or equirectangular image. The second is created by stitching together images that cover the entire FOV and then stitching them together into a equirectangular image

The above image was created using circular fisheye images. In this case 6 of them. This is the principle Google opted to use for their business tours. I personally have tried most stitchers and tour builders available and have settled on PTGui as the stitcher and Krpano as the viewer.

The finished product I provide is this.

360 3-D tour

What I am suggesting is that Zillow wants to offer extras that are not found on their competitors sites. They also want to do this in as automated a way as possible to control costs. There are still a lot of photographers offering high quality 360 and true 3-D tours just as there are Videographers offering high quality video work and both camps are dedicated to providing quality.

In addition to their existing 360 project, they where to expand it into accepting complete equirectangular images and then process them with a viewer such as Krpano (I am sure Klause krpano-com would be happy to partner with Zillow) Zillow would not only offer services no one else was providing, but at a quality well above what an APP could provide.

Zillow seems to be looking at the big picture to the exclusion of the small picture. The wheel has been invented, any other round disk that transports something is still a wheel. I’m suggesting ways that wouldn’t take two years and millions of dollars to bring to market, and then find the bugs, my suggestions would take man hours, provide an instant product and after 2 years of parallel development Zillow would own the market.

On APP’s, they may be the way in the future, they still can not compare with PC based software. Point – I am a Linkedin user, their app has never allowed me to log into my account, yet I can not access my Linkedin account on my phone with out the APP.

While going into my local Costco I noticed the Cell Phone kiosk having a sign proclaiming the cell phone had reach professional quality camera status. And they are doing that with a lens the size of a pencil eraser, give me a break.

What I am trying to say is that being first in market is great until someone provides a better product, why not do both at the same time.

Here are a couple of tours you might find enjoyable and also showcase possibilities.

For Ken Austin’s collection, be sure take a look inside the vehicles.


Portland Oregon, All of it.

For Portland, you really need to zoom into the image and search..