Jim Gross of Virtual Tour Club

Jim Gross

If a realtor learns only one important fact about pictures and the MLS, it is that the first MLS thumbnail needs to knock out the competition. Keep in mind that same thumbnail photo will populate on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com, Homes and land, NAR sponsored MLS sites, Google, Yahoo and MSN real estate sites. I grabbed the picture to the right off the same page on VirtualTour.com. These are a few of over a hundred home search sites now listing home data from the MLS – all using that little thumbnail picture that was submitted on the MLS. Oh, don’t forget, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media sites that an agent might post to reach other agents as well.

While the results will usually be much better using a professional photographer to get that killer front picture, it is not imperative if budget doesn’t allow that. There are things you can do.

The picture below is a picture of the same front-of-house. The difference…. About 20 minutes – one just before sunset… and one just after. I did use a little post production software to bump up the contrast, detail and lighting. But this is the difference that 20 minutes can make! You can’t do this with your cell phone camera, but you might come close with a prosumer camera.

Same home before and after sunset

 When most people start doing home searches, they are looking at dozens of front picture thumbnails at a time. When they see one that jumps out at them, they may want to see more and read about the property.

Virtual Tour Club has both the software and expertise to photo fix your images quickly and easily. They also offer agency workshops to your office during weekly sales meetings, teaching areas ranging from taking great real estate shots to making virtual tours and then marketing them online. With a solid marketing plan you will insure maximum online visibility; but, with a great thumbnail front picture, you will draw internet or print ad viewers quickly to your listing.