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7 Tips to Achieve a Sell Worthy Master Bedroom

Exposed by Light Real Estate Photography Austin, TX

When marketing a new listing, the master bedroom is one of the most important rooms to showcase.  Assuming the buyer is purchasing the home for his or her personal use, this will be one of their most used rooms.  According to USA Today, 60% of home buyers said they would pay extra for a nicer master bedroom than they currently own.  It’s important showcase your master bedroom in the best possible way to make it attractive and sell worthy. Before you get started on your professional photos, check out these helpful tips below: 

 

1.)  Use neutral colors

Room colors can either boost or obliterate the attractiveness of a room.  While bright and bold colors can add tons of personality, it’s not wise to assume everyone has the same personality. We want potential buyers to be able to easily imagine their belongings and style in that space. Neutral colors also induce a calming feel to the room, which is an added bonus.  

 

2.)  Let in natural light 

Letting in natural light will help illuminate the room’s essential features. If you’ve got a great view – show it off!  If the views are underwhelming, then use privacy shades.  Privacy shades cover the windows and at most will only slightly diffuse the natural light.  If you’ve got some room in your budget, spring for motorized blinds. I’m beginning to see these used more often in the real estate market.  Most motorized blinds these days are equipped with timers. Good quality blinds last a really long time and will help boost the value of your home.  

 

3.)  De clutter bathroom counter tops

As a photographer, I can’t stress this point enough.  If there are medication bottles, lotions, toothbrushes, etc. sitting on the counter, it will ruin the photo. These lessen look and feel of usable space. Not to mention this never photographs wells. It also ties back to goal of wanting potential buyers to be able to see themselves using the space. Nothing can prevent this more from happening than having the seller’s very personal belongings left out for photos and showings. 

 

4.)  Ensure adjoining bathrooms or nooks are photographed

It’s important that these features are easily highlighted in the photos. It also helps potential buyers get a better idea of the flow of the room. My only exception to this rule is inside master closets. Unless they are immaculate (think magazine ready), closets really don’t photograph well.   Ensure the closet is neat and organized for showings to help enhance the feel of the space. 

 

5.)  Remove dog beds, baby chairs

This is more important for photos rather than for showings. We want to appeal to all types of buyers. Not just those with dogs and or/children.  

 

6.)  Keep wall art to a minimum 

I would limit the wall hangings to 1-2 pieces for no more than 2 walls. When we live in that room, it’s natural to want to fill empty spaces. We find ourselves thinking “that wall needs something…”.  It’s easy to go overboard and could eventually mask the feel of a big room with high ceilings, etc. to someone seeing that room for the first time . 

 

7.)  Declutter bedside stands/tables

A place to put cups, glasses, bottles, alarm clocks. etc. is the exact purpose of a nightstand or bedside table. However, these don’t photograph well or look great for showings. Try your best to declutter the tables. Keep it to just a couple of stacked books, a tiny plant and/or decorative figurine.  For both showings and photos, it’s a good idea to illuminate the lamps or light fixtures to help warm up the feel of the space.

 

For more tips on styling a master bedroom, check out this helpful blog post: http://roomfortuesday.com/room-101-master-bedroom/

 

 

 

Boost Your Listing’s Exposure with Virtual Tours

Exposed by Light Real Estate Photography Austin, TX

The real estate market in Austin, Texas is hot right now.  It’s essential to use eye catching listing photos to grab your viewers’ attention. Once you’ve got their attention, the next step is to keep their attention.  A great way to achieve this is through the use of virtual tours.  

 

What are virtual tours?  A virtual tour is a high definition presentation that displays property details alongside one or all of the following: still photos, panoramas, video, and interactive floor plans.  Agents and buyers alike enjoy these because the virtual tours are delivered in a URL that is both desktop and mobile friendly.

 

In addition to virtual tours being an easy way to consume the various types of multimedia and listing details, they also boost your exposure.  How so you ask?  Our virtual tours have the ability to publish to Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Google and other property search sites.  As a result of this feature, that listing now generates traffic from multiple referral sources as opposed to MLS alone. 

 

A key benefit to working with a realtor is being able to access listings that are listed exclusively on MLS.  While I wouldn’t recommend anyone go through the buying or selling process without a realtor, MLS search access is restricted to only realtors. When posting a virtual tour online, the general public is then able to return that listing from their own online search results. This increases your audience to more than just realtors. 

 

Finally, if you’ve got your own real estate website, our virtual tours will link back to your website. This increases search engine optimization (SEO), which is also an added benefit of increased exposure. It’s also a nice branding touch.         

 

 

 

For more real estate marketing tips, check back to the main blog page here.

8 Easy Tips to Prepare Your Event Space for Photos

Exposed by Light Real Estate Photography Austin, TX

If you’re looking to rent out your space as an event venue, then you’re probably in need of some photos of your space. Good photos are important as they give potential clients an idea of the space and a feel for what guests could expect from an event at your venue. 

Hiring a photographer who specializes in photographing spaces is important.  Chances are your space probably has large rooms and high ceilings.  You need a photographer who uses the right equipment to be able to capture the look and feel of those spaces in it’s entirety.

Whether you’re doing the photos yourself or hiring a photographer, you can benefit from a few simple steps below to help your venue look it’s absolute best in the photos:

1.)  Discuss selling points with the photographer. This step is important. Before you begin the photo session, do a walkthrough with the photographer. Let them know how you want it to be captured (dark and moody, light and bright, etc.). If you’ve got some great nooks you know potential clients will love, let the photographer know so they spend more time on those areas. 

 

2.)  If any of your space is indoors, turn on the lights and illuminate any light fixtures.  It’s important that enough light is in the space to be able to take a clear photo. 

 

3.)  Clean bars and countertops: Remove any clutter and ensure the area is wiped down.

 

4.)  Simple staging: If you’ve got a large outdoor area you intend to use for seating or dining, set it up as so to help potential clients visualize how that area can be used.

 

5.)  Clean the floors.

 

6.)  Neatly push chairs in to the tables and bars. This is especially important if you have a bar. You want to make sure all bar chairs are pushed in and angled the same direction.

 

7.)  Turn off TVs. Unless it’s a still photo screensaver, TVs always photograph better completely off.

 

8.)  Mow the lawn and ensure the landscaping is in the same condition as your clients would use it. 

 

I often get questions about having people in the photos. This is about as equally preferred as it is not preferred.  If you are on the fence, go ahead and take some photos with people and some without so you can have examples of both to use for marketing. 

Once you’ve got your photos complete, I suggest signing up with a venue management company.  Not only do they handle most of the client facing communication, they provide added exposure to help boost your bookings!

Questions to Answer Before Hiring a Photographer for Commercial Real Estate Photos

Exposed by Light Real Estate Photography Austin, TX

When selling or leasing commercial real estate properties and/or spaces, it’s important to have up to date photos. One notable reason is to entice the viewer to come and check out the property or development. 

A good photographer will ensure the property is photographed in the best way possible. They should also present the client with great images to be used as marketing collateral. 

Below are few questions that should be answered by either the client or the photographer. 

1.)  Square footage: While this might not necessarily be a determining factor for price, it would be useful to know beforehand so the proper amount of time is allocated to taking photos. 

 

2.)  Agreed upon response to existing tenants:  This one is often overlooked, but important.  I don’t think I’ve photographed one commercial property with existing tenants that didn’t result in them asking me why I am taking photos.  Reasons for their concern could vary of course, but it’s always good to have an agreed upon response on deck.  

Additionally, make sure the photo session has been cleared with the onsite security team. Time spent getting it sorted out cuts into the time allotted for photos. It’s just better to have everything worked out in advance. 

 

3.)  Turnaround time: For the photographer, always quote your turnaround time upfront. If the client need the photos earlier, then they should state that before the session begins.  This should also be stated in the photo agreement.

 

4.)  Image size requirements: It’s a good idea to share with the photographer how the photos will be used. Standard sizes for print will work great in brochures. However, if the client needs the images enlarged, make sure it’s stated before the photos are delivered so the client receive the right sizes for that use upon photo delivery. 

 

5.)  Licensing: This should also be in the photo agreement. Often times the question of owning vs. licensing is either not addressed or not clarified until an issue arises.  In most cases, the photographer owns the photos. The client purchases a license to use the photos for reasons specified up front and only during that time. Use of those same photos for future marketing purposes months or years in the future is often not included in the initially purchased license. 

 

6.)  Important selling points and highlights of the property or space:  These should be discussed up front so that those features are photographed. For example, if there is a great seating area for tenants to utilize during breaks, parking garage, downtown views, etc., the broker would need those photographed so they can use it in a brochure. 

 

For more information about photo agreements and usage licenses, check here

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prep Your Home for Professional Photos

Exposed by Light Real Estate Photography Austin, TX

According to the National Association of Realtors, 83% of home buyers used the internet to search for homes in 2017. Now that we’ve entered the digital age, great photos are more important now than ever. 

Beautiful listing photos can make all the difference when trying to sell your home. Great photos will get a buyer through that door. On the contrary, bad photos might result in a missed opportunity (in a matter of seconds).  

If you’ve  hired a professional photographer, then consider it a step in the right direction. Before you pull out that “SOLD” sign, run through the checklist below to make sure your home is properly staged and ready for photos.

Curb appeal! You can help your photographer achieve optimal results for the exterior by following the basic steps below:

1.    Ensure the lawn is mowed.

2.    Remove weeds and dead plants (replace with new plants if possible).

3.    Sweep the porches and steps.

4.    Remove cars from the driveway or from the front of the house.

5.    If a “for sale” or any other signage is up, take it down for photos.

6.    Remove any toys, gardening equipment, or seasonal decoration.

7.    If you’re taking photos at dusk or twilight, turn on all exterior lights and any room lights that face the front of the house.

8.    Clean the pool.

 

 

Review and complete the steps below for eye catching interiors:

1.    Hire a cleaning crew for a clean and polished house.

2.    Clear off bathroom and kitchen countertops as much as possible (clutter does not photograph well).

3.    Make all the beds. 

4.    Remove toiletries from showers and bathtubs. 

5.    Turn off all ceiling fans.

6.    Slightly open blinds to let in natural light.

7.    Turn on lamps and ceiling lights as needed to achieve a well-lit room.

8.    Replace burnt out lights. 

 

Once you’ve completed the steps above, your house will be in great shape for photos.  Think it needs something else?  Don’t be afraid to reach out to a home stager.  They specialize in feng shui and will always use up to date furnishings and décor.  And finally – good luck!