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Great Marketing Requires Great Images and Great Online Presentation

January 16th, 2012

David Eichler just showed me a shoot that he did recently of a high-end property, The Tobin-Clark Estate-Hillsborough, CA listed at $29,000,000. This home is considered one of finest designs of Architect David Adler .

As David explains on his blog post that has 11 images from this shoot, this is not a typical real estate shoot in that he spent two days shooting it and more time doing post than he would spend on a normal real estate shoot. But this is no ordinary property either.

I am impressed by the quality of David’s images posted on his blog. These are some of the finest architectural images that you will see any where. After looking at these striking images I was interested to see how David’s client was using them to present this property. Here are the two sites that I found that were using Davids images:

  1. The agent’s broker site: Very typical for a broker’s site. Images are too small for my taste and whatever went on between David and this site, degraded the images significantly. To me it feels like this kind of presentation looses too much of the possible impact of these photos.
  2. The agent’s tourfactory tour: While the design of the presentation is probably considered the best in the industry and clearly better than the broker’s site, the quality of the images here are also quite reduced from the version that David has on his blog. Again, it’s disappointing to present these high quality images in this low quality. What’s the point of hiring David if you are going to do this to his images! Perhaps there’s a way to upload to tourfactory.com and retain better quality.

So what’s the solution to this dilemma of how to get your images to keep their quality once they are in the agents hands? There’s probably more than one solution but I’m inclined to think that one of the best ways is to have a way to create high quality tours yourself that your clients can embed into their sites. One option for this that comes to mind is SlideshowPro.com but I’m sure there are others. The idea is that to retain the highest quality image keep control of the quality yourself all the way through the presentation.

Update Jan 17: After looking around at some other TourFactory tours, I’m inclined to agree with Scott below in the comments, that it is possible to get higher quality images TourFactory tours. There must be some uploading tricks to improve quality.

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12 Responses to “Great Marketing Requires Great Images and Great Online Presentation”

  • Tourfactory usually has pretty decent image quality… I’ll bet the agent used “web size” images and TF put an additional jpeg compression on them. It should be simple to replace the small images with large ones.

  • Scott, I provided a set of images specifically sized for TourFactory’s websites, and the images were uploaded to TourFactory, not by a real estate agent, but by a marketing company that does this work on a regular basis, so it is much less likely that someone has used the wrong set of image files.

  • Another thing to consider, particurally when using the Ken Burns effect, if the photos are over sharpened it can introduce screen moire. Essentially, the very sharp photo lines presented on the monitor’s horizonal lines, then creating a wavey or shimmering effect as the the photo moves across the monitor’s horizonal lines. Saw very minor in the first couple but overall, well controlled.

  • After looking at all three links, I completely agree. The listing and slideshow sites are a let-down, the almost make a property like that look bad, not to mention the RE photographer. Of course, with a listing like that, it is doubtful that the buyer is going to find this house searching the MLS. Much more likely they will receive a targeted piece of marketing that hopefully will show the Estate in its full glory.

  • I’m actually surprised how low the quality of the photos on TourFactory turned out to be. There are other virtual tour providers out there that allow you to upload a high quality web jpg and even link it to a floor plan if you choose. Mouse On House is one of those companies, but I am biased since I work there.

  • what really stands out is the staging in the home. the photography is excellent, but the staging and the decor pops the picture. I agree with everyone that a home like this deserves a better tour. I personally like the tours that both TourBuzz and Real Tour Vision provide with high definition photos. I have also seen some incredible tours on Trial Real Estate Photography’s site out of North Carolina that are created by Andrew with his own slide shows.

  • I’ve noticed that if I “save files for web” in photoshop, the images appear much crisper on sites than a typical save. The difference is amazing on our MLS.

  • I think when it comes to displaying photography and tours in general, the most important factors is simplicity ans size. A lot of tours out there have bells and whistles which take away from the quality, size and display of the photography. Photos for a home like this should be display large with no distraction across the viewer. This would really make the photos pop!

  • The thing that strikes me is not only the pictures on the agents site but the site itself. It’s mediocre at best especially for a guy trying to sell that caliber property. Maybe if he sells it he will take some of his commission and hire a web designer. What happened to the the pictures is awful, the typography below the pictures is distorted and the page is poorly organized and really unattractive as you scroll down the 3000px height

    Great pictures by David. The rest is pretty disappointing.

  • Well, as it turns out, Scott D. was right. The smaller “MLS” images got used instead of the ones I intended for this specific type of website, and this situation has been corrected. Nevertheless, the photos still have considerably higher sharpness than is displayed in this type of tour. I would certainly prefer my images to be displayed to their best advantage, but there may be other considerations that take precedence, which I am not always aware of.

  • Terrific shots ….

  • Great work David, your pictures certainly convey the beauty and craftsmanship in the construction of this estate. All your comments, everyone, illustrate just how careful we must be when we pay attention to the details of a shoot – that means every last detail.

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