October 21, 2022
How Home Builder Photography and Videography Can Help Boost Sales
According to LendingTree, over the past two years, 24% of homeowners made an offer without seeing the home in person. Now more than ever buyers rely on 3D tours, photographs and video walkthroughs to check out prospective homes.
When in-person tours aren't possible, and even when they are, these digital alternatives have become must-haves for home builders and master-planned community developers.
If you need to garner interest in a property, 3D tours, photos and videos are your first chance. The trouble is, it takes more than a quick snapshot from your phone to convince a buyer to make an offer.
That's where home builder photography comes in. By staying on par with modern quality standards, these professional photographs will show buyers what your homes truly have to offer.
Read on to learn why investing in home builder photography should be a priority and how it can help boost your sales.
What Are the Qualities of Good Home Builder Video and Photography?
Photos and videos create the buyer's first impression of a house, which means they need to make a statement. Great home photography is warm and inviting. It makes the viewer feel an emotional connection to the house.
It also needs to show how much space the home has. The goal is to make the house look spacious without being deceitful. You're trying to give the buyer an accurate idea of the house.
To help the potential buyer visualize the home, decorate or stage the home with furniture and artwork. This helps buyers to picture what it is like to live in the home and to see the sizes of furniture and other objects in each room. If decorating or staging isn't an option, consider virtual staging, which adds digital furnishings to an existing photo or 3D image.
Buyers like to see a clean slate, but having an empty house is not a good strategy. An empty home looks smaller than it is and feels uninviting, which is why staging is so necessary. Unlike traditional real estate, new builds won't have furniture in the photos unless they are the community’s decorated model. 3D tours present home shoppers with the ability to walk through a home, click by click. Various types of tours are available ranging from Matterport of existing homes to tours created from AutoCAD drawings. Often consumers can make selections of finishes and fixtures, place furniture or see different elevations. These types of tours have long been popular among condo developers who won’t have a model to showcase until the building is complete. Due to advances in technology and the Covid-19 Pandemic, 3D technology and tours are considered a staple of new home shopping. Buyers expect home builders and developers to offer these tools.
Video is another way to showcase a completed home. A well-shot video makes you feel like you're walking through the house. And because it can sometimes take the place of an in-person walkthrough, you need to show how the house flows from one room to another, how it feels.
Good Real Estate Photography Brings a Higher Asking Price
If you sell homes, great photography can drastically increase your profits. The work of professional real estate photographers can boost your asking price by as much as 47%. The quality of your photos has a huge impact on your bottom line.
That's because these photographers know how to showcase a home's best features. They also know how to stage a house so a buyer can picture themselves living there.
The buyer's first impression of a home will stick with them throughout the entire process. Since the first impression comes from the photos, you can increase the odds of a positive reaction by investing in photography.
If you're selling luxury homes, your buyer will expect an even higher quality standard during the buying process. If you offer a high-quality experience, you can start with a higher asking price.
Plus, great photos make homes sell faster—luxury or otherwise. The more inviting your photos look, the more likely buyers will want to come for a showing and make an offer.
It Helps Buyers Imagine Living in Your Custom Home
When selling an existing home, all Realtors encourage sellers to take personal photos out of the home and stick to a neutral palette. It's not because Realtors love beige—they do this so prospective buyers can be free to imagine themselves living in that home.
Unlike Realtors, home builders offer a clean slate in the form of new construction. You don't have to make the buyer feel like no one's lived there before.
But you do still share one priority with Realtors. You need to help the buyer feel like they could live and thrive in the home you're offering. If they can't imagine family meals in the kitchen or summer parties in the backyard, you've lost them as a buyer. That's why photography is such an important part of home builder marketing.
With the right equipment, staging, camera angles, and editing, you can make your buyer feel an emotional connection to a home. And much like branding, emotion is everything.
Once they feel that, they're likely to make an offer.
It's Perfect for Social Media Marketing
Did you know the average internet user looks at social media for more than two-and-a-half hours each day? No matter the age of your target client, there's a good chance they're spending time on social media. If you use social media as part of your home builder marketing strategy, that's good news for you.
The trouble is, it's tough to stand out from other home builders on social media. That's why posting high-quality visuals is a great way to set yourself apart. Not only do people respond to strong visuals on social media, they also choose homes based on appearance.
Plus, if you're worried about keeping up with a social media posting schedule, having a pool of gorgeous photos ready to share will make your life easier. You won't have to devote a ton of time crafting the perfect update—you can share an image or video tour of a new build with a short caption and call it a day.
The better your real estate photography looks; the more likely people will share your post. These raving fans are a great way to increase reach and engagement.
Many social media sites heavily focused on video and photography. Understanding how to maximize return on investment on these sites for photography takes a bit of time but is well worth it.
On Instagram invest in a filter and use it on all images to create a grid that is harmonious in look and feel. Consider using split photos for campaigns or to draw attention to a specific image. Instagram Reels, which are short videos set to music, are one of the hottest trends in social media, but they are throwing a curve ball to new home photographers. Reels showcase vertical photos, but most real estate images are shot horizontally. Because of the tremendous amount of engagement that Reels can garner, it is worth an additional investment in photography to shoot vertical photos for this application.
Professional photography is an investment, but you can make the cost worthwhile by using the photos in your ads and sponsored posts on social media. Pictures attract attention and are a proven way to attract likes and engagement.
Good Home Builder Photography Attracts More Buyers
Good photography will stand out whether you're promoting homes on your website, through print advertising, or on other homebuying websites. When you stand out from the crowd, you'll be able to attract more buyers. While some builders have enough in-house experience to take their own photos, the work is often still amateur grade. In part because they're balancing a lot of other duties. To properly stage, compose, and edit 50 photos, you'll want a specialized resource. In fact, you’ll want two resources. Home decorating and staging is a specialty, so in addition to investing in a professional photographer, also invest in a professional interior designer or home stagger.
If your competitors primarily use amateur photographers, your homes will look much better by comparison. Home buyers will flock to your business because your dedication to quality catches their eye.
Plus, when you have more buyers vying for the same home, you can also expect the price to go up. The competition between buyers generates more interest, and you'll look even more desirable. The right photographs can bring you more clients and higher profits.
It Builds Trust in Your Brand
Buying a home is probably the most significant monetary investment a person will make. With so much at stake, buyers want a builder they can trust. A home is also where they'll build their life, so they're essentially investing in their future. Demonstrating your brand values is often more effective than simply stating what you value. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
If you have high-quality photos on your website, it tells buyers that you value high-quality craftsmanship. Great photography also conveys that your homes are well-made and worth the investment, even if you're not explicitly a luxury brand. After all, buying a home is a major status symbol, and buyers want to feel proud of their choice.
Without great photos, all buyers see is a sales pitch. Until they can see concrete examples, they won't trust your brand enough to want to make a purchase.
The style of your photography and the quality of the lighting also helps build brand recognition. Ideally, people will recognize your photos even without your brand name. The more people recognize and trust your brand, the more sales you'll make.
Home Builder Photography 101: Tips for Taking DIY High-Quality Photos
If you're not ready to hire a professional yet, there are a few things you can do to take better photos.
Focus on Lighting
Natural light makes small spaces look larger and more inviting. Open the blinds to let in as much light as possible and turn on lamps and overhead lights. You can also try shooting during twilight to give your home a soft and welcoming glow.
Use the Right Angles
To photograph a room:
- Try standing in a doorway or a corner.
- Make sure you can see three walls in the photo to show off the room's dimensions.
- Hold your camera at chest height to take pictures because it will show the room as it is without distorting it.
Stage the Home Carefully
While empty homes look small, overly staged homes look cluttered. Include a few pieces of furniture in each room, but make sure not to upset the room's flow. You might not notice these flow issues until you shoot, so you might need to rearrange the furniture.
Avoid staging with area rugs since they can make rooms look small. Plus, you'll get to show off the beautiful flooring.
Use Adequate Gear
Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but there is simply no reconciling the difference between a phone camera and a DSLR with a great lens.
Edit Your Photos
While the goal is always to maximize the quality of raw, unedited photos, finishing touches remain best practice. And luckily, quality editing software is abundant and affordable. Just be sure to not overdo it.
Hire a Professional Photographer and Videographer Today
If you've never considered home builder photography or video, your homes might not be bringing in what they're worth. Professional photography will expand your client base, help your homes sell faster, and build trust in your brand.