Jim Gross of Virtual Tour Club

Jim Gross

Seems these days like all the companies marketing homes online focus on virtual tours and social media. That is no doubt a great place to wind up… once your images have been tweaked a little. You see, even  pro real estate photographers  take time to edit their pictures. They use wide angle lenses, high definition bracketed images and multiple wireless flash systems to counter the glare you get from windows. But great equipment is just half the battle. For most jobs, pros spend one hour in post production for every hour spent photographing homes. That is where they adjust white balance, color balance, brightness, fill light, straighten images, add contrast and detail. In fact, very few of my images look great coming out of my $2,000 Canon. Why?? Light plays serious havoc on real estate photography. There are windows, mirrors and glass doors all throughout homes creating glare that fools the best of cameras.

So, if I am using a $2,000 camera with a $1,000 wide angle lens, a $500 tripod with a float level and several wireless flashes to bounce light… and I am still not happy with my pictures “as is” then neither should you using a $200 point and click. It simply is not good enough for the MLS untreated. To simplify the process, find a good online image editor like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Most cameras these days ship with a free editor software program. There are many inexpensive, and some free ones like GIMP.

MLS Picture Repair

Experiment with white balance, straightening and making pictures brighter and adding some contrast. Soon you will get the hang of it. Once your pictures look their best you can send them to the MLS and to your virtual tour provider. Some companies such as Virtual Tour Club include optimization of your pictures within their tours and return your pictures cleaned up to place on the MLS. Get a rhythm going with your tour provider and you will find you can have great pictures before you place your listing.