Sizing of Photos on Real Estate Sites

January 22nd, 2007

I’ve been “head-down” in Realtor work the last few days since we’ve been working on putting a new listing on the market. While putting on our new listing and sizing the photos it occurred to me that I’ve never mentioned my process for photo-sizing.

First of all I like to make sure photos area as big as RE sites allow. The bigger the better, but 800×600 is about the biggest that is practical for the layout of most sites so I size all my photos 800x600x72 (50% JPEG compression) and let RE sites automatically downsize at upload time. Typically they will downsize to their maximum allowable size but if your photos are smaller than their maximum they’ll leave them alone.

There’s a good reason for 800×600 pixels or an aspect ratio of 4×3. It’s because some RE sites force or assume a 4×3 aspect ratio (my brokers site for one) and thus have display quirks if you give it photos that aren’t exactly 4×3 aspect ratio. The quirk on this site is that there are little blank lines on the top and bottom of the photo thumbnails (see the thumbnails on I find that this size (800x600x72) also works just fine for all other uses that come up for RE images, like newspaper publication, flyers and small magazine photos. For large magazine photos of course you need bigger files.

Many cameras these days produce images with 4×3 aspect ratio but since I use a Canon body and the Canon sensor is not 4×3, getting images in 4×3 is an extra step. I just do it as part of downsizing and cropping.

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3 Responses to “Sizing of Photos on Real Estate Sites”

  • I just finished re-sizing a batch of photos today for a listing and the 4:3 ratio “quirk” of most websites really bugs me! If I want to have real wide shots, then I have to leave in a bunch of ceiling space to keep with the 4:3 ratio. Most of my shots are around 4:2.5. The NWMLS stretches them to fit 4:3 and they look yucky!

  • The 3:2 (1.5) (thanks Mr. Barnack) aspect ratio is well adapted to RE photo. Plus they stretch well to the 16:10 (1.6) widespread lcd monitors. I resize most of my photos to a 720*480 px on my website to get a fast loading 50-60 kB file. I’m glad of the white bars on the horizontal edges in publications, it’s classy.

  • I started Round the Room virtual tours about two years ago in Destin Florida. At first, I worked part time providing virtual tours for local Realtors. I am now moving to full time. I have experienced a demand for me to also provide stills for placement on mls. I have been sizing the stills 640×480. The stills look good at this size sith the exception of the first one listed. Any advice would be appreciated.

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