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While we can discuss how to capture it, the fact remains that the front exterior photo is THE most important photo in real estate marketing. It's my understanding that, before the advent of online listings, agents were only required to choose one photo ...

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Tracy and Kathy Nelson of Eye4Homes.tv Interview Scott Hargis

Published: 02/11/2015
By: larry

ScottHargisInterviewLast Friday Tracy and Kathy Nelson, a husband and wife real estate broker team in Seattle, WA interviewed Scott Hargis on their weekly Eye4Homes.tv interview series.

The interview with Scott is 25 minutes long a they discuss the following topics:

  1. What are your top tips for ensuring a home is presented well online and off in photos?
  2. How has social media and online home search websites affected real estate photography?
  3. What should we be looking for in a good real estate photographer? Followups: cost range, contracts, turn around time, experience, etc.
  4. We've seen a number of listings include video of the home as well as photos in their marketing materials. What are the most effective ways of using videos alongside your photos in selling a home?

I think it's a great interview that explains real estate photography from a Realtors point of view. Scott does a good job of explaining the reasons Realtors should hire a professional real estate photographer.

12 comments on “Tracy and Kathy Nelson of Eye4Homes.tv Interview Scott Hargis”

  1. Very interesting interview. I was left hanging though when it came to the video part of the interview. I was interested in the discussion on what video should be but I was hoping for more information on how to blend the video into the over marketing package. Do you add it into a TourBuzz Virtual Tour? Have it as a stand along piece? And if the latter, how do you then publish it where potential buyers can find their way to it? Do you rely on people finding it on YouTube or Vimeo or have it hosted there and then embed the video in a web page? But then how do you get people to that web page to see it?

    We know pretty well these days how to show stills, but video is a different ball game.

  2. @Peter Video can be hosted on YT or Vimeo, but to deploy it to the buyer seems to be best via hotlinks on social media (facebook, etc), or via mass emailings through lists that realtors develop, or maybe uploaded to a comperhensive tour provider.

    I don't get into that. My feeling is that THAT is the realtor's responsibiliy. I upload to a site and share the link with them, and then it's their job to market with it. Any more then that and I might as well get a real estate licence myself. 😉

  3. Great advice from Scott about composing photos that look good in thumbnail format. As a broker, I spend a lot of time looking at listing photos. I see lots of photos that look great in large format, but boiled down to MLS sized, they don't look so good. I feel challenged when it comes to editing for that. Sharpness & contrast look so different on the MLS. Curious if anyone else has ideas on that.

  4. I enjoyed the interview. Scott as usual handled himself as a pro. I took Scotts online course about 4 years ago and it greatly improved my photography. Regarding the thumbnail sized photos; I basically make a second copy for the MLS and bring up the light and sharpness for those photos compared to the full size high res photos. Scott's touch on creating the emotion of the home is encouraging and I need to do more of that for my clients.

    Nice Scott!

    David Dewing

  5. Great job as always Scott. I admire how eloquent and clear you are in giving all of those great tips and valuable information in such a short time. You make is look and sound so easy. Well done!

  6. Yes...great info.

    I especially liked when he gave props about copyright info. Agents are still of the mind-set that they pay for the goods we deliver - and it is hard to explain to these agents that it is a licensing agreement they receive to market their listing. I watermark and copyright my photos. So many PFREs don't. Am I missing something? Is there a reason why I should or shouldn't do this?

  7. Sorry to comment again but the comments here I could not agree with more. But one things seems to come up - leaving the marketing up to the realtor or agent. Perhaps its because I have been in commercial/advertising photography for so long and worked with both manufacturers directly who seem to know little about marketing or ad and graphic design agencies who do, I find that to do the most for myself, if I can help my clients with these new marketing tools, not only is it appreciated by them, but it helps to build my brand as someone to go to when they are confronted by the myriad of mysterious choices available today for marketing and that includes the increasing reliance on cell phones and tablets to view Virtual Tours and Video.

    For example, I am working with a new client who sells large estates, a very nice recommendation from a good client. She is for the first time wanting video seeing it as the coming thing. But her questions are how to integrate it into her existing marketing strategies and tools.

    Should she just treat video as an add on to her website, use the Google indexing through YouTube, embed it in an email post card, what? And how? And frankly her questions are to me, as a long time still photographer but newbie videographer where I don't even yet deserve such a title, are my questions too. They look to me to help them. If I can, I can solidify them as clients both new and old by value added.

    Scott mentioned that videos should be short, fast and to the point not trying to show the whole house or grounds, and especially should not be "walkthru" videos but focus on impressions rather than descriptions. My client is of the exact opposite opinion and she is the one writing the checks. She wants videos that show the house and property and provide what stills cannot do - show how one space flows through and relates to another. Many points of view probably based on the market itself. So I for one am thirsty for information on just how to use video as applied to real estate both for marketing and in style and content. Larry has connect us all with really fine examples of RE videos and some of the videographers who do them. But I am really just seeing the end result of their work and not the bigger picture. Perhaps a subject for a different theme.

  8. Peter,
    thanks for your post. I am in the same boat as you regarding adding video to tours. I have had more agents this past year ask about aerials and videos. I think we are going to have to put this in our tool bag. You make some good points for further discussion.

    David Dewing

  9. Thank you David. Nice to know there is someone out there feeling their way in the dark. OK so I can be a bit melodramatic. I see a number of business groups that are videographers doing amazing work, work I will never be able to equal myself. But my style is also very different with its roots in photojournalism, at least for RE video work. My approach is to tell a story, hopefully the story the buyer and the seller want to see. I like to think I only recommend these new visual communication methods to clients when I think they would really add to the sales efforts of a property, not to just be able to jack up my invoices. But even to justify it, I feel I need to really know what I am talking about not just about the production but what my clients will do with the production once finished. Basically my clients want to spend their time selling property, not messing around with the internet, uploading photos and trying to figure out which ones they should upload. "What's a JPEG?" has been heard. So since I am selling my services to provide them with a product, it stands to reason that I feel obligated to help those that haven't a clue about technical issues, how to navigate these waters or be paid to do it for them. And when it comes to video, I am having a devil of a time finding answers.

  10. One thing Peter Daprix mentioned about how long a video should be... I have been creating "videos" from my stills... I like the videos I make rather than the ones kicked out by tourbuzz or RTV. First I create a long version with a complete walkthrough of the home... (stills with very slight ken burns). They average 3 min. long... then I get brutal and cut it to a 1 min. or less version. I can whack a 3 min. video down to 1 min. really fast and this gives them a "teaser" or "promo" for social networks to lead them to a web page where a potential buyer can see the full video. My thinking about all the hype of viewers will not watch past 47 sec. is that the data is skewed by "lookie loos". A seriously interested buyer I believe will watch the whole walkthrough. The teaser will screen some of the lookers from the real interested buyers... So if you just go by the data that shows 100 viewers look at the video but 97% had stopped by the 47 sec. mark... and only 3% viewed the whole walkthrough... that is the 3% you want. The other 97% of the views may not matter at all.

  11. Brad, I have thought and discussed this with my clients. I am of the opinion that information has to be fed to visitors by the bite full. It was my philosophy when I built web sites. Like newspaper journalism that starts with a short bold headline, then if that captures the viewer, you make a summary first line, then paragraph then write the story as a pyramid.

    So I agree with you, a teaser is like that headline, some stills (on a virtual tour) more bait then a video can be as long as it needs to be to show the property. My reading is that you loose those people who realize they clicked on a video/site that they did not have any interest in within that first 15 seconds. Then those that did will give you 1.5 - 2 minutes to get fully hooked, then if really hooked, they will stay for the end.

    I have a feeling that those who are looking at real estate will quickly know if a property is right or wrong. If its wrong, be fair to them and let them know visually up front. If it could be right, then give them everything they want to see. If they watch it to the end, then they are liable to pick up the phone and call the Realtor. I would love to know if this theory works in practice.

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