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360/3D: Fad or Future?

Author: Tacey Jungmann

As Covid-19 forces most of us to reassess both our products and business models, 360/3D images and tours are definitely a hot topic. Should we jump in if we never have before? Should we upgrade our equipment? Or, should we just wait it out until things get back to normal?

The question has to be asked… is 360 here to stay? Will stills continue to be the primary viewing method in the future or will they be replaced with 360? Is 360 just a knee-jerk response to the current situation?

I believe there will be Realtors who thrive on more of a concierge model and will focus on 15-25 beautiful stills and cinematic video, combined with their expertise and willingness to do all the legwork for their clients. I don’t think the luxury market and high-end service expectations are going to change much. Video still works most effectively on social media and resonates with emotion.

But, for the mere mortals out there… What I believe will change is “the rest” of the market. 360 of some kind will be expected, at least initially, on every shoot. Sellers will want an option that keeps strangers out of their homes. They will look for agents who can provide all the possible media and strategies to market their homes. There will be some Realtors who only want to pay for the cheapest option, and others who value and are willing to pay for a more premium product (sound familiar?). Buyers will realize that they CAN view a home without all the work of previewing in-person. I also think we’re going to see a backlash against still images that distort and enhance the space so much that potential buyers feel frustration and disappointment when they actually visit the home. 360 may well be seen as more “honest”.

If you’ve already made the decision to go for it and are looking for some basic information to guide your decisions, I’ve tried to lay out the basics. For the sake of this article, I’m using the terms 360 and 3D interchangeably. I’m also aiming this specifically at real estate. My goal is to outline some options that are available at different price, quality, and effort points. This is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive list, but rather a starting point for those deciding to throw their hats into the 360 ring.

There are a myriad of choices and combinations for 360 shooting and delivery, but for the sake of simplicity I’ve bundled them into 3 different categories. BASIC, INTERMEDIATE, and ADVANCED.

BASIC: APP-BASED

ZILLOW 3D HOME: The absolute minimum is to use the Zillow 3D Home app with either an iPhone or a Theta V or Z1 camera. The cheapest option is to use your iPhone, but it takes longer; the stitching is inconsistent, and the overall quality is low. Next up the ladder is the Theta V: It’s fast, stitching is solid, and the overall quality is low-medium. The top-end option for shooting through Zillow 3D Home is with the Theta Z1; it’s fast, stitching is very good, and the overall the quality is medium. Zillow 3D Home allows for rearrangement of images, connections, and flow of the tour, but doesn’t allow you to edit or improve the fundamental quality of the images. It does embed into the listing immediately upon publication and provides a URL that can be used on other platforms as well as the MLS. Cost to upload/host is free. Major benefit: the Zillow “boost.” However--caveat emptor--you are feeding the Zillow beast and all your tours are now theirs. A common question that’s asked: "Does Zillow integrate any other 3D tours?" Yes, but they’re only embedded deep in the details of the listing.

MATTERPORT CAPTURE - Matterport Capture supports Insta ONE X, Theta Z1, and Theta V cameras using iPhone 6S or newer, or the iPad Pro 6th generation or newer. It’s easy to use. Quality output and time on site is similar to Zillow but creates a doll-house product as well as a 360 tour. Floor plans cannot be created through the app. Cost to upload/host is $9/month. Redfin integrates Matterport captures into their listings.

INTERMEDIATE: 360 TOUR PLATFORM COMBINED WITH YOUR “ONE-CLICK” 360 CAMERA OF CHOICE:

Once you step away from Apps, you now have the ability to edit the images and enhance their quality. But that adds time, perhaps not on-site, but definitely in post-production. These platforms can be simple or complex. You can integrate video, stills, lead generation, and branding. Floor plans aren’t created through these cameras, but most platforms support externally created floor plans such as those from CubiCasa. You’re also going to start paying subscriptions in order to host the tours you’ve created. Whether it’s $12/month for Kuula, or $787 for a lifetime subscription to CloudPano, there are lots of different price points and levels of commitment. As the 360 market heats up, many of these providers are adding features to make their platform the most attractive. Ultimately, you have to run the numbers for your business.

INTERMEDIATE: PROPRIETARY CAMERA AND PLATFORM COMBINED

Matterport and Iguide are the big guns here. Both are expensive initial investments and tied to proprietary systems. Matterport is subscription-based and can get very expensive month-to-month. Iguide is pay-per-tour. Quality is really good and both systems allow for the CREATION of floor plans and other features. Both have a smooth feel to navigation. Time on site is high, but post-processing is minimal. Iguide is much faster on-site than Matterport but Matterport has the distinctive “doll house” that many Realtors think of when they think of 360.

ADVANCED: 360 TOUR PLATFORM COMBINED WITH YOUR DSLR.

This option delivers the highest quality, and the most control over your images, but it can take a lot of time on site and in post. You can bracket multiple frames, and add flash for even higher quality imagery. If you’re efficient, it’s probably close to the same time investment on site as Matterport. DSLR is much higher resolution but this only matters if you host on a platform that can handle the higher resolution. For retailers and commercial real estate, the higher resolution and allowing the viewer to zoom in is important. A typical equipment set up could include: full frame DSLR with Nikon 8-15mm fisheye set at 12mm, or crop sensor DSLR with Nikon 8-15mm fisheye lens set at 8mm; or Sigma 8mm pano head, Nodal Ninja R1 OR R10/20 with lens ring; solid tripod with gear head or nodal ninja; EZ-leveler to get to a level setup; Yongnuo RF-603NII-N3 wireless flash trigger.

360 TOUR PLATFORMS ACCORDING TO BEN CLAREMONT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKkQQ0aHRSc
Beginner (Free): Google Tour Creator, Veer Experience, Marzipano, Orbix360, Theasys
Beginner: Matterport, CloudPano, Kuula
Intermediate: Cupix, Panoskin, Gothru, My360
Advanced: Pano2VR, KrPano, 3DVista

ARTICLE BY IGUIDE THAT COMPARES TECHNOLOGY: https://goiguide.com/3d-tour-technology

My take on this is that 360 is here to stay. I use Zillow 3D Home, shoot with the Z1, and have invested in CloudPano Lifetime to enable me to offer a higher end product. What’s your take on it? Should we all be jumping on this bandwagon? If you’re already “all-in”, what’s your recommendation for camera and platform?

23 comments on “360/3D: Fad or Future?”

  1. It is inevitable. Diversifying your skillset and taking a value based approach will always win in the long run. If you are resting on photography alone, you might start feeling it in the coming years. In the end the agent still saves time and money hiring a photographer, and you have to start training your agents now. Maybe pose the question to them... who is the seller going to want to work with - the agents who would "save" a few dollars by taking photos themselves and sending those photos to an overseas company? Or the agent who hires a professional to come out so that they can focus on their sellers and what they do best.

  2. I'm not in the Bay area, but if it happened here I would freak out for about 5 minutes and then remember that you can only do so much with a sows ear. A silk purse can't happen. So unless Realtors start learning how to take a decent picture I'm not to concerned. Crap in, crap out with a bow on it.

  3. The National Association of Realtors is starting to offer ethics classes that include the ethics of digital manipulation. In short, "enhancing" photos walks a fine line toward deception. There are debates happening everywhere about MLS photos that add lush grass, sunsets, etc.

    If I were an MLS, I don't think I would be in bed with an photo editing company.

  4. I had used BB in the past to do virtual staging. The turn around was around 24 hours and BB would do up to two re-tries at no charge. But even though I would give specific instructions (room size, ceiling height, lens height) and either draw a diagram of furniture placement (which they recommend) or include a former image of mine showing what I wanted, it always came out poor and amateurish and I had to send it back. I think they hire student 3D artists who just want to crank them out ASAP to make fast money. But the re-tries would make the delivery of my product much longer as well and I stopped using them.
    I think it came down to the fact, as you said here, that they were selling to RE agents and not photographers. I now use Pad Styler for my virtual Staging.

  5. I am not in SF, nor am I aware of BoxBrownie and their product, but the first thought in my mind is...garbage in, garbage out as there is only so much you can do in post. That said, it is consistent with my MLS that offers "Benefits" that actually sabotage their members but the members don't see the net impact and perceive it as a benefit as they are told. To illustrate, local MLS give a free tour with every listing and auto-generates unless you know to check a box when setting up the listing to prohibit it. While they have improved the screen frame from 1/4 to near full, it magnifies bad photography errors and makes them more glaring. It takes the first 5 photos to generate the tour, with the option to purchase more which no one does, irrespective of the quality of the photo - garbage in, garbage out. Worse, it negatively impacts those Realtors who invest in their clients with quality tours and photography as 1) every Realtor on a listing appointment can say they offer a tour, and 2) if consumers are not rewarded with quality when they click the tour link but receive garbage repeat of the first 5 photos they looked at will they be conditioned (Pavlov's dog effect) NOT to click the link.

    Further complicating it in the setup and introduced separately as a "Benefit" was creating "Tour 1" and "Tour 2" fields for the tour links. The auto-generated noted above will take up Tour 1 on day 1 if left vacant. Tour 2 is ONLY seen by Realtors when logged into MLS and not at the consumer level, intended as additional info, videos, and can even be branded, and it is not syndicated out. Essentially it goes nowhere. The intent was that Realtors could forward it to their clients - but most Realtors are oblivious to that. When I send clients the link to the tour, I have to educate them if the Tour 1 field is occupied, delete that content (or move to Tour 2 field) and insert my link into Tour 1. As I do my followup work on the Tour, add the MLS# and copy/paste their MLS descriptive narrative of the property into the tour, I double check to make sure has correct tour displayed (deleted the free one and didn't accidently put in the branded version of my tour - which happens one or two times a year and I call them immediately on as it is a fineable offense.

    In short - Beware of MLS benefits.

  6. Anyone know how good the new iPhone can produce HDR? How much improvement can boxbrownie make with an HDR iphone image? Agents will end up going with whoever/whatever can give them the best price and turnaround time for "good enough ". IMO

  7. If you look at the potential workflow for a realtor, I just can't imagine that it would be worth their time. They would need to add additional steps/time to: do the photography (or hire someone), edit the shot list, upload to BB (or whomever), resolve post processing issues (without knowing what white balance is, etc). They also face issues with inconsistent quality of photography, scheduling, customer support, etc. I'm not saying that this is a bad idea, I'm just suggesting that I don't think most realtors would be using BB (or similar) on a consistent basis after they discover all of the additional work involved. It will interesting to see if BB can make that process more efficient.

  8. AS many years as I've done this, I can say there are no shortcuts to a quality product. I've tried as many ways to alternative processes as I've been introduced to, and they are never the same as the one that gives me the most quality. In other words, I really can't change the formula to arrive at quality. What I can use to alter my time/space continuum is alterations to my workflow. That means using actions to do the same process faster, but still retaining the very same steps in the process. I've even sent out the editing, and even with a set of files from a skilled professional, the editing companies don't reproduce what I do. In part, its because of their reliance on tone mapping and bulk processing.

    Any editing company that partners with realtors can never reproduce that no matter how hard they try. Its pizza without dough, pepperoni, or sauce... a handful of cheese maybe. We all know there is a difference between Toastie O's and powdered milk, vs Cheerio's and whatever constitutes real milk these days. hmmm... maybe that difference is smaller then I thought. 🙂

  9. A few things here.... It's was only a matter of time before this, like other services before it got commoditized. Less expensive overseas labor and technology drives this and when you connect those dots whatever industry you're in is subject to this sort of disruption.. Box Brownie has been working our industry hard for going on 2 years now.. They're at every industry trade show including NAR selling direct to agent brokers and brands so the only thing this deal with the MLS did, was give them another channel of distribution.

    Having said all this and as mentioned above, the agents that see value in professional photography will still continue to pay for it. Agents use professional photographers for a variety of reasons...Most can't take photos very well, some want to demonstrate to sellers they are willing to spend money and hire professionals to market their homes. Others are simply too busy and want to spend their limited time doing what they do best, selling homes, not photographing them.

    Box Brownie does not change any of this other then if your are offering photo shop services in addition to photography and charging agents separately for it, you may and likely have already seen some downward pressure on the price you're charging... If it's already bundled in your photo shoot prices then you're probably less immune to those pressures.

  10. Well the sky is falling and I'm not chicken little.

    Of course there will continue to select photographers and select agents and select properties that will require high end work, but... that is less than 10% of the business.

    I have expanded and don't rely strictly on photography, I do other marketing, web work, video, brochures etc. None the less the end is near or here.

    Look at what all the major brokerages are doing. Coldwell Banker just launched a program called consigiere (spelling?) where they bundle photograph with brochures videos etc. Of course they have select photographers and the agent must use those photographers. If they don't want to use the select photographer the agent gets a $50 credit. Now what do you think they are going to pay the photog in the first place. ANd what does that $50 say to the agents about the value of a photographer. In the end what we think or even can prove our value is... it just doesn't matter.

    There are other big agencies doing the same thing. In the end single photographers can't stand up and provide even the crappy horrible services at the rates these companies can offer. There is no economy of scale anywhere.

    Of course there are some that will survive. I will for a while but I'm 72 and will quit anyway. I have a few big loyal clients that will stay as I wind down but right now this industry is one where the door just slammed shut for the quality single photographer that is just starting out.

  11. First off, I used to use box brownie for my digital staging. I had issues with the return time EVERYTIME. The last two times I used them I was waiting for an email of completion and started a chat at after the 24 hour return time to ask where the images were and they said "there is a flag on the account" which means they weren't even started and they need me to clarify some instructions. I had to initiate the conversation to find this out. There was complete lack of communication and on top of that they couldn't even see how frustrating it was for me. My clients are expecting their images and I have to cover for my editors. Unacceptable. Never again will I use them for anything.

    Second. There is so much more that goes into captures than an edit alone. Composition, story telling, equipment/flash, tripod height, straight verticals, reflection awareness... I pride myself on consistent high quality images. There is no way an agent is going to compete with my work, and honestly the agent looking to save a buck and do it themselves aren't my clients anyways. I live and work in the bay area and I dare an inexperienced person to produce my level of images using a publication house. Not gonna happen and the good agents will know it right away.

  12. I'm going to disagree with the "sky is falling" sentiment and agree with the quality aspects noted by photographers on this forum.

    Some agents will likely go the route of capturing their own photos with an iPhone and then spending a few hours sorting, editing (in app), and then coordinating with Box Brownie to "enhance" the images. But at the end of the day, that's probably not your client anyways.

    Those agents have too much free time or they do not utilize their time wisely. Additionally they probably do not secure too many listings - not your client.

    Turn and burn agencies will likely try to squeeze as much marketing for pennies as possible. I wouldn't be shocked to see them eventually have in house "assistants" that handle iPhone photography for agents along with brochure production, social media blasts, etc. But again, are those the clients you want?

    High quality brokerages recognize the value of strong partnerships, they want their homeowners/sellers to see the value in what they bring, and that's not a college intern with an iPhone or a desperate listing agent that handles literally everything A-Z in a haphazard manner.

    Quality brokerages pay for quality photography, coordinate staging, produce cinematic video, curate fine marketing collateral, and much more.

    The industry will shift no doubt, just be sure to shift with it.

  13. I'm not worried. My local MLS is going after agents that submit photos with unreal (or very uncommon) skies, boosted saturation and even super bright interiors. All of those edits are very common with outsourced editing firms. I haven't had any luck yet finding someone that goes for a natural look. I do my own editing, but I'm not opposed to sending stuff out if I get so busy that I can't turn jobs around quickly. The editor MUST return a look that is very similar to what I do.

    When I pitch agents, I talk about the big tour agencies and the sorts of differences there is with using them vs. a local independent. Always getting me showing up on jobs is one big sell. When they hire me, they get me and not some random minimum wage independent contractor they don't know. I'm the one editing all of the photos so if they've requested something, there isn't a chance the request will get lost in the processing chain. A quick call will sort it out if it does. They'd be calling me and not a switchboard that has to figure out who is assigned to the job and if they are around. If my customer wants light and bright, they can have it. If they want nature and neutral, they can have that. If the property naturally lends itself to dark and dramatic, they can have that. Each treatment will have my look and will be consistent to what I normally provide.

    The creation of images is a holistic process from the scouting to what is delivered to the customer. I'm thinking of what I want to deliver during the shoot. I will expose frames to give me what I need in post if I know I will be doing things such as sky replacements. The photo session and post production go hand in hand. It's hard to get consistency and quality if the two are disconnected. I expect that BB will be able to deliver better finished images from an agent's attempt at photography, but nowhere near what a good photographer will submit. There is no point to having a technically perfect image looking down at a toilet with the lid up or an amazing photo of a water heater. It also doesn't do any good if the agent taking the photos is composing images of the sellers possessions rather than rooms as a whole.

    When VHT got the contract to provide images for all Fannie Mae homes, I was worried. I even tried to contact VHT to no avail to see about continuing to shoot those properties in my area. It has cut into my bookings, but I still get called when timing is tight and when the broker wants a higher quality gallery of images. The way it normally works is the broker lets somebody know when the property is ready and a photographer will visit the property some point after that. Who and when is unknown. After a time, photos show up in a folder that the broker can use to advertise the property. There is no communication about what features are unique to the home or the area. Initially, the broker would have me make all of the photos anyway paying out of his own pocket as it could take weeks otherwise and many times the house was in escrow before the other photos were available. For a while they've been able to get a photographer to a property much more quickly, but that could change quickly so I'm not about to burn any bridges.

    Service is the main thing we sell. That's the aspect of the business we have to do best at. I get tremendous amounts of professional satisfaction when I can deliver a set of images I feel are top of the line. The issue is that most of my customers value quick turn around of good enough images more. That won't stop me from working on improving to get to the point where everything I do is magazine quality. I want more homes at the top of the market where agents will be far more picky. It pushes me and gives me better properties to photograph. A thrashed HUD home that smells doesn't inspire me as much as a multi-million dollar professionally decorated executive home. No matter the price point, I have to make the customer feel like they are being personally served. That's a big contrast to calling a 1-800 number and having to navigate an automated routing system only to be required to leave voice mail with someone you hope can address your issue and will get back to you.

  14. The problem here is the agents were not familiar with Outsourcing. They think we deliver images straight out of a camera. Realtors are being told by BoxBrownie their images will look as good as a professional photographer and for a lot less money. BoxBrownie is also teaching them how to take better real estate images. https://www.boxbrownie.com/b/how-to-shoot-a-house-from-start-to-finish

    It has leveled the playing field for taking images however their are other services a Real Estate Photographer can do for the agents. You have to be that one stop shop for the agents. Just call you and not worry about all the details.... drones, fliers, floor plans, staging, video, YouTube, interviews, stock images of the area, morning noon or night appointments, speedy turn around, willing to clean up at locations, etc etc etc...

  15. This is an economy designed toward convienence. At all costs. Yep, a small percentage of agents will want a partner. Will that partnership work for you?

    Someone mentioned Coldwell Bankers concierge service. Coldwell banker got one of the local RE photography mills to agree to provide twice as many photos for the same price as they charge their other agents. Holy Cow Batman!!! I worked for that RE photography mill many years ago. The photography "Trainer" complimented me on my compositions. "Your compositions are awesome!!!" Crazy because I never even bothered to line up shots at all. I simply placed the tripod "about" where I wanted it and fired the brackets. This is what "Pro" photographers are up against and STILL the RE photography mills are growing. Sad really. Many agents do not care about the listings price either.

    Ken is right in that some agents want to know the person they hire on every listing. If you can do better than 5 bracket HDR -> send overseas and charge, maybe, 20% more, and push the fact that you are the one who will always show up...I think that could be a winning hand. BUT, how much time do you have to meet/sell new clients? Independents must make it EASY AS SH** for agents to find, hire and pay them.

  16. @Dave Clark, It's very hard to be everything to everybody. I can't make money doing everything and there is no point in me doing something that nets $5/hour. I'm much better off losing a few jobs and only doing work that grosses much more. The area will be a big factor. Professional stills are still not even close to universal where I am. Videos, floor plans and interviews would just be agents out-marketing themselves if the seller isn't insisting on them to sign a contract. Flyers are not a problem. I have several templates and once I have the agent's information input into a template for their listings, doing each one is very simple and fast. At $10ea, I make around $40/hour doing them. Not too bad for something that doesn't put any more miles on the car and can be done with the music up loud. And snacks near to hand. Can't forget the snacks.

    I think that one of the reasons the photo mills can grow is their ability to get their advertising into agents hands. They also have the ability to exhibit at trade shows, both from being allowed and being able to afford the cost. The local MLS has made it impossible for me to be able to present at any of their functions, but that's not the same story with the big photo mill companies. Most agents are only going to see the big companies so that's who they are going to call.

    The BoxBrownie "tutorial" is useless. A couple of the examples are very subjective and others tell an agent what to do, but not how. "Avoid reflections in shower doors". I know of several techniques depending on where the reflection is coming from, but the article suggests that they'll just handle it in post. I can do that too, but it's much easier if I plan for it when shooting. They also seem to advocate having 3 walls in the photos. Dreck.

  17. Frankly, I think this is another downstream consequence from the Zillow/VHT lawsuits. I think the MLS's are on the hunt for any way in which they can get work for hire and avoid any of those pesky copyright/lawsuit issues. For BoxBrownie it's about getting more business. For the MLS it has very little to do with providing quality products for their members ... it's about avoiding liability and garnering ownership over images so that they can use them as they wish, for as long as they wish. Perhaps I'm just having a particularly cynical evening...

  18. I think it will have some impact, but not really on the section of the market that really wants and needs professional photography. This only addresses the processing side, and there is only so much that can be done in processing with poor-quality amateur image files, even if you use a top-quality retoucher, which this company certainly is not. At the margin, it might help some realtors who want to use an amateur friend or relative who has some ability to use a camera and a decent eye, but if that is what you are trying to compete with, it isn't much more of a losing game now than it has always been.

  19. @Tacey, The MLS's need to be more informed about what the lawsuit stemmed from. Zillow was using images in a way that wasn't in-line with selling the properties shown in the images. They were appropriating images to use in other endeavors without permission. The local MLS's shouldn't be in the business of reselling images. They are supposed to exist to support their members in selling homes. The rights grabs that some of them are trying to put in place directly contradict the NAR rules as well as their own published regulations. Unless they plan on re-selling images that members submit with their listings, all they have to do is respond to DMCA take down notices in a timely manner. The generally do and caution or fine members that post images the member has no rights to which likely means they haven't paid the photographer. It may also be that the seller provided them with images commissioned by a previous agent that had no rights to the images that allowed for transfer or resale.

    A problem I'm trying to work through with a local MLS has the bad effect of putting the agent in the crossfire. The agreements the MLS is demanding have no benefit for the members. It's a load of CYA, but way overkill.

  20. @Tracey, that is an interesting thought. The original problem still persists, though, unless the agent is the one who took the photos.

  21. I wrote an article on this thought about 3 years ago. With the advent of amazing advances in digital photography this business would son see that equipment price was non longer an hinderance of entry into this market. Furthermore the advancement in "in camera" HDR (or blending) would further eliminate the uniqueness of pro photographers in this field. Now guys don't jump all over me and say "but we are really really good and the equipment does not matter" or "These guys don't know how to take stunning images like I do" Those are all true but ignore the very important business point of this whole "pro photographer thing" That business point is that you do not need the best. You need to have images that look nice to the average viewer on the phones they are using for searching on ZILLOW!

    Now let me state this. If you are established and have personal relationships with your clients and you are at least valued priced. You will survive for a while.

    Here is the killer that just happened. Colwell Banker just introduced marketing packages that include professional photography. They also include other extras the agents would like including postcards brochures etc. It has online scheduling. It has guaranteed delivery within 24 hours and many restrictions on the photographers like you lust respond to any request within 1-2 hours, you must give up all rights to the images, you must product the images and a "virtual twilight" I could go on.

    Here is the bottom line with this. All agencies within 2 years will be following this model. It is one in which photographers will be treated like Uber drivers. Yes UBER drivers. This is exactly the tipping point that commoditizes our industry. And guess what guys they are paying fair prices to the photographers to start with however in about two years the market will supersaturate to the point where only the big boys with many photogs on staff willing to act like UBER drivers on staff will survive or get new clients.

    Please note and think about Amazon delivery people. Same model. Uber and Lyft drivers. Same model.

    No you can't "band together and resist" resistance is futile. You either play their game or follow the fate of the taxi drivers. It's over. A few will survive for a few years and there will be nice market in the very high end but no one who does not have those clients today will ever be able to grow their business into that niche and that niche is maybe 5% of the market.

    It's officially over, prove me wrong. Now I thing the model sucks and will not work well but in the end it will be dominate the largest part of the available market eating away at our client base and reducing the new clients to a mere drip drip drip of what we have seen along with price erosion.

  22. @Frank G (a.k.a. Debbie Downer (JK)),

    I believe you are half correct. I know of a service that I believe is coming to the rescue. Independent RE photographers will be able to stay independent. But, we shall see.

  23. I've always maintained that agents that take lousy photography are only getting a pass from their managers as long as the listing sells.
    I ran into an agent who takes his own shots but gives them to his assistant to "fix". Where is the motivation to hire a pro when your silly little phone can get it done?
    I think mangers need to take a bigger role in protecting the image of their firms by reviewing the shots that will be sent to the MLS. Lousy photography is should not be tolerated as it effectively demon straights a lax attitude by the agency.
    I think the point is well taken that some homes do not deserve the money charged by pro's for dumpy homes. These are marketed to a different audience anyway. That being said, I have many agents that still want me to take the shots of wrecks that look like homes. My fee is the same and they pay it. There is no more lipstick left for these pigs so every shot is with auto focus and I go home and take a shower.
    So now we have the MLS getting into the photo fixing business. This marks a change in their business plan. A new way to make money.
    The agent takes pictures, sends them to the MLS with notes on what to fix, The MLS sends them to BB and in about 24 hours or so, they come back fixed or they don't. That will take time. and time is critical to the agent.
    For agents that hire pro's the relationship should continue because the MLS doesn't care about the agents. They don't work with the agents like pro's photographers do. They don't walk the home with the agent. They don't make sure the agent gets the shots they want. They don't offer suggestions that would be be important to the sale of the home. They just want the money.

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