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How Property Photos Can Make or Kill a Real Estate Sale
April 02, 2019

Hi Everyone,

How Property Photos Can Make or Kill a Real Estate Sale

The last several newsletters were about the almighty property description which is 1 of 2 very important initial things to get a real estate sale eventually, while now we will talk about the second one - property photos.

I've seen so many of them - good and bad - sent to me by my international clients (private sellers and realtors) for publishing on the Russian internet, and also looking at already published photos while doing my research on comparable listings for my clients. I know how to judge the property photos from a buyer's point of view.

Not a photographer myself, I realize that with all the modern technology anybody can become one very easily. Nevertheless, there are some rules to follow if you want your property photos to get you a sale at the end.

First thing first: with your photos you have to pick some really hot initial interest from a buyer to send you an inquiry about the property (the rest of the selling process is up to your abilities as a sales person, of course). If your photos fail this early marketing stage, then there is nothing you can do... no inquiries, no saleā€¦ This phase of the selling process is extremely important when you target a Russian buyer who is usually located far away from your property, and need to have a right feeling about it before going on a long trip!

As a preparation step I'd advise you to search for your competing properties from other sellers in the same area, property type and price range - to see what you'd like about their property photos and how your own pictures can be even better. I can make such a report on your competition from the Russian internet, but if you don't want to spend on this preliminary research on the Russian internet, just try to browse your own language internet to see what your potential competitors are up to and how to beat them with your photos.

While doing this research on the competition, pay attention to what they put as a main photo and possibly decide now what your best feature would be there - in line, but better than others. Always keep in mind what a potential buyer will see and how you will stand up for him among other properties for sale.

It is a good idea to bring a professional stager before shooting photos of inside and outside of a home/condo, but if the selling price can't justify such expense, try to do the best on your own to get ready to take pictures: no clutter around, bright colored wall posters, floor rugs and flowers if rooms have not much color, etc.

While doing the actual shooting, take care of lots of light, right angles and framing, no people and animals visible, etc. Again: a professional photographer may be better than your kid with a cell phone for taking pictures, but if you do it yourself, try to give it your best in comparison with other properties for sale (or you will be never chosen for an inquiry, visit and eventually - sale!).

Whether you take pictures for your own direct posting on Russian internet portals or to send to Russian realtors for their use, always consult with them about the correct formatting required. It'll make everybody's life much easier, and your property will be presented in its best way on the Russian internet.

In this newsletter I can't share any pictures with you, but I'll tell you about some real life cases instead.

Once it happened to me to watch an experienced listing real estate agent who was helping a home owner to prepare for a shooting session with a photographer. It was amazing to see how easily and fast she had turned a small drab spare room into a welcoming little bedroom (the more bedrooms in a home, the higher the price, you know).

Here is another example - of an owner who wanted to rent out her furnished middle-class condo, took pictures herself and advertised on an appropriate local internet board. No response. Then her friend came along who had a long experience of taking pictures for herself while traveling the world, took a different set of pictures of the same condo (also amateurish, but they appeared much better), and the condo had been rented in no time.

And the last note: an overseas buyer is even more sensitive and demanding towards the visuals as a local one, and you have to beat your competition to get on his list of prospective properties to consider during his visit to your area.

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
Author of the e-books for realtors and property sellers
Selling to Russians

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