The onset of COVID-19 has thrust the world into uncertain times. With safety in mind and everyone staying at home to flatten the curve, it’s more important than ever for agents to bolster their online presence and keep their business running.
With social distancing the norm, open houses and in-person walkthroughs are on pause, leaving many agents wondering how they can replicate the feeling of live showings to prospective buyers.
While we recommend using Homesnap Stories to create a sequence of visuals, like videos, photos, text, stickers and emojis, to showcase your personality and emulate the walkthrough experience for prospects, photos are still very much a necessary and indispensable component of listings.
And now, in light of recent events, it’s more important than ever to invest in high-quality photos–ones that don’t just showcase features or amenities, but entice buyers. Because remember: Even if a home looks stunning in person, a bad photo can sour buyers on it instantly.
Many real estate agents hire professional photographers, and though we encourage agents to bring in outside expertise, we also understand that it’s not always possible right now. So if you’re playing the part of photographer and agent, check out these tips and apps that you can use to show your listing in the best possible light (there’s really an app that can help you find the best light):
1. Instagram filters
Download Instagram and you’ll find dozens of filters that automatically adjust settings like brightness and contrast. If it’s a particularly dark photo or the weather is just dreary, these filters can help add some color and dimension to your photos so they look sharper and more appealing. And since filters are so distinct, they can give your entire album a cohesive look.
Similar to Instagram, Snapseed offers filters and lets you share your final products onto social media within seconds. The difference on Snapseed, though, is that you can access more advanced features — like the light adjustment curve, brushes that help you soften or sharpen the image and tonal contrast — without compromising on user-friendliness.
BoxBrownie is another app that is great for touching up and digitally enhancing photos. BoxBrownie lets you adjust the hue of certain colors — emphasize sunsets, make the green grass look less yellow, brighten underexposed subject matter and so on.
BoxBrownie also has features like virtual staging. You can also pay a small fee to get twilight versions of your daytime photos made. What used to be a matter of waiting ‘til dusk to shoot the twilight shots is now a matter of post-processing. With BoxBrownie, that’s a seamless process.
4 & 5. Adobe Spark & Adobe Lightroom
“I use Adobe Spark, which is awesome and really easy to create social media posts,” says Jessica Stanley of HomeFile. Adobe Spark is a free app that helps you build out graphics, and you can also use it to add text or branding to your photos to really customize them. It’s known for its ease of use and its speciality in creating high-quality social media posts.
And if you want the most advanced feature set out there, highly consider Adobe Lightroom. Not only does it have a fantastic interface, in which you’re able to correct color and white balance, and bring out more detail in what you might have lost in the shadows. Don’t worry if you’re no expert, though: Not only does the app offer in-app tutorials, but there’s an “Auto” button, which does the work for you. You may want to wean off of Auto to create your own style and palette eventually though!
LightTrac can be used for showings, but it’s definitely helpful for taking photos as well. The app is just what it sounds like — it tracks where the sun is. This is helpful when you’re showing properties, but depending on how the sun hits your house, knowing where it is could be a big benefit for taking prime photos, too.