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Photography has never been more important to the real estate industry than it is today. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, homebuyers rated photos as the feature they use most when searching for property online. Web listings or advertisements with bad photos, or no photos at all, can cause potential buyers to overlook a property from the start. So how can your clients make a good impression with their real estate photos? Consider these five tips before, during and after your clients photograph their home.

1. Invest in a high-quality camera.
Though cell phones have made great strides in the area of photography, a cell phone camera isn’t the best device to use if your clients want quality shots of their home. But frequently your clients will be working with a limited budget, which means that purchasing top-of-the-line equipment isn’t a viable option either. What your client can do is invest in any point-and-shoot digital camera. As long as the camera uses five megapixels or more it will produce professional-looking photos. If your clients are willing to splurge on camera equipment, a digital SLR offers more settings and allows you to use a variety of lenses.

2. Stage the home.
When staging the home, it’s important to remember that it’s the space, not the furniture or decorative items in it, that need to catch the buyer’s attention. This means the home needs to be clean and cleared of clutter such as children’s toys, refrigerator magnets, shoes, mail or any other potentially distracting items.

3. Use as much natural lighting as possible.
Natural light is one of the best ways to make rooms appear bright and open. Using the flash can sometimes produce unattractive glares or shadows, so try to use it as little as possible. Your client should avoid taking photos of the home’s interior on rainy or overcast days because of the lack of natural light. That said, gloomier days can be good for exterior shots because the sun will not cast dark shadows on the home.

4. Choose the best angles and compositions.
There are certain angles and compositions your client should consider when shooting photos of their home. For example, the best way to show off a room is to shoot from a corner or doorway to include as much of the room as possible. This angle showcases the room with context and makes it appear more spacious. Photos of a home’s exterior should also be taken from an angle rather than straight on, for this composition will provide buyers with an idea of the home’s depth.

5. Touch up the photos.
After your client has chosen the photos they want to use for their listing, it’s likely they will need a bit of editing. Perhaps there are distracting shadows in photos of the home’s interior or wire or tree branches obstructing the photos of the home’s exterior. Whatever the case may be, these flaws may be fixed using free, online photo-editing tools such as BeFunky or Fotor. These websites are easy to use and will allow your client to crop photos, adjust brightness and contrast and correct colors.

Bonus Tip: Create a listing that complements your photos.
In order for your clients to showcase their real estate photos, they need to appear on a website that’s functional, user-friendly and easy to find through search engines.

Regardless of whether the real estate photos are uploaded to your agency’s website or your client’s own personal website, make sure it looks to date, is easy to navigate and uses large, high-quality photos. Pair the photos with catchy descriptions that make the images more interesting and paint an appealing picture of the home.

McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at