Photographers want Real Estate Agents to know

Picture of Daryl Pemberton

Daryl Pemberton

Helping other entrepreneurs one pixel at a time

I’ve been in the video business for about 20 years now. I’ve been doing videos and photos for real estate for over 15 years. Got some tips that might help. 
Real estate agents out there get better photos and help your photographer out anyhow.
Here are some tips


 Try to get a stager, 

a stager that you get along with.

That would go the same as with your photographer. Do you want somebody that is Dependable? Somebody that you can work with? Easy to get along with. Things like that. That’s just somebody that you like. Try not to be a jack of all trades. Your master of none, basically. So if you get a stage, that would help you a lot.

Make sure the house is clean as possible. You want it to be disinfectant and stuff like that. Take down some photos, the personal photos, I should say. Family photos should be off the wall. If possible. Or don’t want too many of them anyway. You want whoever is coming in to take a look at the video or the photos or even when they come in to see the house itself, They need to feel like they can just move in and they’re welcome. I also, noticed in offices, or I should say a home office, people leave their documents on the desk and it would be best if they even tidy them up or put them away. Usually, those are sensitive documents and they really shouldn’t be out in the open.

It would be helpful also if the back yard was tidied up, and cleaned up. There are so many times I show up at a property and the backyard is just not tidy. And especially if they have a dog, there are little dodos and I accidentally step on it If I’m not watching. That wouldn’t be so nice. Imagine if a homeowner comes and steps on a dodo. I don’t know how else to put it, but I’m just trying to keep it clean.

But anyhow, I think you get the idea. I think it might be possible to ask a stager if they can stage the backyard a little bit, especially in the summertime. But in the wintertime, it’s quite messy and a lot of people don’t clean up the backyard. This leaves a really bad impression. 

There are blinds in the room please put them at a 45-degree angle. You’ll see the photos and the video will come out so much better. What I’ve noticed when I show up to a house, a lot of the homeowners or even the agent themselves will put the blinds all the way up. And I’ve told stagers before, I try to keep them down and put them at a 45-degree angle.

So what happens is the sun bounces off the blind and goes up to the ceiling and just fills the room better, brightens up the room better. And there’s not so much glare coming in, hitting the lens. And that helps a lot too. You don’t want so much light coming in because you don’t want that glare hitting the lens.

It doesn’t give a great impression for your pictures and the video itself, if at all possible. 

All lights should be working. Need to put all lights on inside and out, especially when we’re doing a twilight. You want to make sure all lights are working and this goes for the inside too. But what I’ve noticed for the outside, when they’re doing a twilight shot, there are different colour lights, and when they are too drastic, it will throw off the house and it won’t look good at all.

And that goes for the inside too, because I remember doing this one kitchen and the homeowner want to showcase the underneath lights in the kitchen. I said I would not recommend that because what’s happening in the camera is that it’s looking a little bit yellowish green and the colour of the room. Of course, it was more white and with it showing more yellow, and greenish, that’s not looking so good at all.

So it was best just to shut them off. I know it’s not possible to do that in all circumstances. You want to show off as much as possible, but in that kind of circumstance, the more neutral the better especially the lighting. It’s going to throw the photos off and it’s just not going to look great.

The homeowner shouldn’t be around, 

if possible. By the time I show up, they should be leaving. And if they do need to stick around, I would recommend telling them that the basement would be the best spot for them in most circumstances. That’s going to be the last area I do, especially if it’s not a finished basement. It helps even more, usually in an unfinished basement.

Some people like that just make up a little room, like watch TV or they have a little hobby or whatever, and they can just sit down there. But what I found is that when the homeowners are around, they think that they’re helping 90% of the time they’re really not. They’re actually slowing me down. So it’s just helpful if they’re not around and let me do my job.

The homeowner’s pets should be locked up or put into a hotel for the day. If they’re around there, they’re a distraction. Usually, people put their pets in cages and put them in a room that I’m not going to do. And that’s fine. All in all, what I found, in a lot of cases, people will keep their cats out.

I’m not too sure about other photographers, but when it comes to cats, what I’ve always found is that I can’t really trust them for some reason. I don’t know what they’re going to do compared to a dog. If a dog likes me or not, But with a cat, I can go right up to it thinking it’s a friendly cat and then suddenly it wants to bite me.

So I always find that it would be better to let the homeowner deal with that and try to see if they can lock up that cat. And even if they put a little sticky note to say, this is where the cat is, please don’t open the door or something like that. And that helps out a lot.

This one might be a little bit harder to decide. 

And it can happen right last minute. But sometimes a house is not ready. I showed up at our house and the house was not even close to being ready. Homeowners were still rushing around trying to get the house ready and they still needed at least another day or so to clean up.

Yeah, the house just was not ready anyways, but we had to go ahead and shoot it. It turned out to be kind of a nightmare for everybody that was involved. It just doesn’t show well in the photos and the video and everybody else that’s trying to work together on this. And what happens is that it very well can show in the video and the photos just don’t look top-notch as they should be if everybody just took their time and did their job.

So I would just recommend that the agent could go there just before we show up like an hour or so, or you can get the homeowner to let them know that, hey, we’re not ready yet. Can we rebook? That would be the best thing, even if we’re also busy and it gets delayed by a couple of days.

It’s better to have good photos, and a good video, then. It just does not look good at all. And rushing it. 

That’s my $0.02. That’s what I’ve noticed through the years. So hopefully these tips help you guys out.

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