You know the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words…” Well, it’s true! Especially when it comes to listing a property. Research shows that having high-quality photos of a property increases viewing traffic and having bad photos or none at all increases its likelihood of getting overlooked. To get more eyes on your land, I’ve compiled a list of tips for you below!
1. Get your property ready.
The very first thing you’re going to want to do is to clean up your land so that the buyer can see the potential in the property and not the work. Curb appeal matters! Make sure the land is clear of debris, keep pastures mowed and bushes trimmed, declutter any barns or outbuildings, make any needed repairs to gates and fences, and do some planting. If you’re taking pictures of the inside of a house, be sure to tidy up the living areas so buyers aren’t focusing on a mess.
2. Make your primary photo stand out.
The primary photo of your listing is what a potential buyer will see before they see any other information on your listing, so make a good first impression. The primary photo should be eye-catching and bright. Great examples would include (but are not limited to): an aerial shot of the property, a mountain view, a body of water, a merchantable timber stand, or a well-kept pasture or field. If you want to include a plat or survey, don’t make it the first thing someone sees.
3. Get a bird’s eye view.
An aerial shot of the property gives the potential buyer a better feel for the acreage and what’s on it. It offers a perspective that photos taken from the ground cannot, such as the layout of a home or building that’s on the property, as well as the proximity of a pond or shed to the rest of the acreage. Tip: make sure you get a Land Tour 360™ done and include shots from it in the photos.
4. Highlight unique property features.
Get to know your property and its key features before photographing. If there’s a large pond or an old farmhouse on the property, showcase it. Consider the angles you’re shooting from and use the rule of thirds. Shooting from a lower angle makes the subject appear grand.
5. Shoot only on sunny days.
Good lighting is key to a flattering photo. Don’t bother journeying out to the tract on an overcast day or when the ground is still wet from rain to take photos. Wait until the sun is out and everything is nice and dry. Be mindful of shadows that might hinder the shot or too much sun that might wash it out. Ideally, you want to shoot at the “golden hour,” which is an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. That specific timeframe will give your photos beautiful, soft diffused light.
6. Quality over quantity.
NLR finds that listings with 10 photos or less perform better. If you need to include more photos, try not to exceed 20. Of course, you can take as many photos as you want while out on the property and then weed through to find the best ones when it comes time to upload them later. Additionally, you can quickly refresh your listings that have been sitting for a while by changing the listing photos around. This is a good way to keep the listing active without having to change the title or description.
7. Use an editing app.
Using a photo editing application is a great way to enhance your photos without a lot of fuss. The top apps I would suggest are: Snapseed, Lightroom, Photoshop, and VSCO. These are all available in the app store on your smartphone. Beware of cheesy filters and overediting! Your photos shouldn’t need much work if you followed the previous steps in this blog post.
8. Use the right equipment.
You can snap pretty good photos with a smartphone, but I would suggest investing in a nice DSLR camera to really show a property at its best. Use a zoom lens to vary your shots and get close-ups. Using a tripod will keep your camera steady and straight, and prevent the photo from turning out blurred and lopsided. Whether you’re shooting with an iPhone, DSLR or drone, don’t forget to properly adjust the settings beforehand.
- Always take photos in landscape (horizontal) orientation
- Check the photo sizes before importing to make sure they are not too small or too large
- Crop out timestamps or anything that doesn’t belong in the shot
- Avoid zooming in from your phone to take a photo
- Show scale and perspective
- Differentiate yourself from the competition
- Consider hiring a professional
If you need assistance with your listing photos or any other graphic design needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Acain@NationalLand.com.