By Kevin Hawkins
HomeJab, which provides real estate agents on-demand professional real estate photography services in all 50 US states, released its first annual “Rants and Raves” survey of professional real estate photographers.
HomeJab, which has delivered more than 4,000,000 images to help real estate agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings, polled more than 100 professional real estate photographers for its survey.
“Research shows time after time that professional real estate photography helps sell homes faster and for more money,” said HomeJab founder and CEO Joe Jesuele. “Most of the time (67%), professional real estate photographers work with highly cooperative sellers. But too often, sellers are not as cooperative as they should be and sometimes, surprisingly, they are uncooperative.”
According to Jesuele, a leading real estate imaging expert, the HomeJab “Rants and Raves” survey uncovered a series of “best practices” for home sellers, shared almost universally by the photo pros.
Among the survey findings are the Top 5 things professional real estate photographers wish all sellers did (that most don’t do) before a shoot:
- Declutter – 95%
- Remove objects in the way of a photo (toys, bikes, hoses, etc.) – 86%
- Clean the house – 75%
- Fix light bulbs – 73%
- Clean pathways and driveways (remove cars) – 54%
The survey also discovered “the one thing that sellers forget” that bothers professional real estate photographers: decluttering before the shoot. A common complaint of the photo pros was that many sellers attempted to declutter during the shoot, going room by room at the last minute.
“Moving clutter room-to-room like musical chairs disrupts the flow and slows down the process,” said a real estate photographer from Lakeland, Florida, adding significant additional time to a shoot.
“Many sellers begin prepping after I arrive,” observed a photographer from Chicago. “They should know the home should be ready upon arrival.”
The HomeJab survey also asked professional real estate photographers the one thing sellers do that they appreciate most.
The consensus: having the house ready when they arrive.
A photo pro from Austin notes that having the house “decluttered – neat and tidy” is a huge help. A veteran photographer from Greenwood Village, Colorado, adds, “A place that’s ready to go when I arrive – that’s awesome.”
And when asked, “What is the one thing a seller can do to make your job easier?” there was less universal agreement among professional real estate photographers on advice, including whether the seller should stay – or go.
While real estate photographers need sellers to stay out of the way of their shoot, some say sellers should leave during the shoot. But other photographers want them within earshot to get permission to make minor adjustments to improve a photo.
The HomeJab survey also found some photographers don’t want to be interrupted with questions, while others enjoy the banter with a seller.
The best approach, according to HomeJab’s Jesuele, “Sellers should ask what they can do to make the professional’s job easier at the start. The result will be better photos, the professional tells us.”
Other suggestions that photographers have for sellers to make their job easier:
-Control your pets
-Park cars down the street
-Be ready to provide access when the photographer arrives
Advice to real estate agents
Many photographers also said they rely on the real estate agent working with the seller to ensure the home is decluttered and clean when they arrive for the shoot.
“Good agents will arrive at a property ahead of time and turn on all the lights and clean up anything that shouldn’t be there,” said a Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based photographer, adding, “Bad agents show up late and demand that everything be cleaned to perfection.”
Photographers surveyed also shared what they wished every agent told their seller, including these top three recommendations:
- Photographers cannot retouch photos, remove something (editing instructions are provided by the seller’s agent and HomeJab handles the editing)
- How much time the photographer will need.
- Photographers can’t send the photos directly to the seller. Instead, the seller will get them from their agent.
Other things the HomeJab “Rants and Raves” survey found that professional real estate photographers appreciate most:
- Have all the lights on, fans and TVs off, and blinds or shades open
- Secure your pets, keep the house clear of other people, and stay out of the way
- Make sure access for the photographer is easy and available upon arrival
“Do not underestimate the photographer,” advises one. “We are part of the success of the property’s sale.”
HomeJab is America’s leading on-demand professional real estate photography and video service for real estate pros. Lightning-fast high-end visual production offerings also include immersive 3D interactive tours, floor plan creation, affordable virtual staging, turnkey aerial services, and the creation of real-estate-backed NFTs. Its efficient one-stop-shop for real estate listings promotions at HomeJab.com features affordable and customizable shoots to create the most engaging visual content for faster home sales and enrich the listing agent’s personal brand. HomeJab is available nationwide and in the US and Canada. Learn more at HomeJab.com.