Professional Real Estate Photography – No longer Optional in 2020

professional photography portland real estate market

In the Portland real estate market, professional photos are the expectation and the standard. It is simply no longer acceptable for real estate agents to take terrible photos, nor is it acceptable (in my opinion) for real estate agents to take the photos themselves – use a professional!

Also, considering the high-end cameras available on the average smart phone these days, is the term “professional photography” even applicable anymore?

Among real estate professionals, the answer is an emphatic “YES”, even from those of us who consider ourselves to be cell phone camera virtuosos. 

Study after study shows that using a professional photographer to shoot your home’s listing photos will attract more buyers, generate more buzz around your home, and ultimately, up the sale price. 

NAR finds 93% of buyers use the internet to search for homes

In their 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the National Association of Realtors found that not only do 44% of home buyers start their home search by looking online, but that nearly all will look online at some point. Replace the word “online” in the last sentence with “at photos of your home” and you’ll see our point about how important those photos are. 

We’re visual creatures — most people find that they learn more about a home by looking at images than they do by reading the listing description. In many cases, if the images don’t look appealing, buyers are not going to bother reading the listing description. 

What makes a professional photo professional?

It comes down to three things: The camera, the software, and the person behind it the lens. 

Let’s start with the camera. Today’s smartphones have multi-camera arrays, up to 48 megapixels, optical zoom and instant retouching of photos. So what are professional photographers using?

The standard tool of any professional photographer is a digital SLR camera. The physical mirror-and-prism construction of the camera itself is what creates an image of much higher quality than what digital technology alone will allow. It’s also why these cameras are much larger than the average smartphone! In addition, DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, allowing the user to shoot a wide range of subjects, from ultra-wide-angle lenses for landscapes to perspective control lenses that represent architectural features accurately. They handle light better, preventing color distortion and capturing rooms that have both dark corners and bright windows.

The second vital ingredient in a professional photograph is the professional real estate photographer! Yes, it’s a niche market, but these photographers make a living because they’re good at what they do. They know exactly which shots will translate to clicks online, and how to get them using the correct camera lens, shutter speed and aperture setting. Some also use drones and other tools to get the perfect shot. No matter what the condition of home you’re selling, a professional photographer can work magic, making rooms appear larger, entries look more inviting, and gardens look vibrant year-round. 

We pay for professional photography for every home we sell and that is just the beginning of the marketing we do for our clients. We pay extra online so their homes show up faster and more often, so they sell faster and for more. We leave no stones un-turned in our efforts to sell homes well, and all the marketing we do is based on extensive research. Check out our top 1% seller’s agent presentation for more! 

November 22, 2019

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.