Reading
blue-triangle-element

Articles

PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles
blue-triangle-element

Latest

Have you ever walked into a room because you had to go get something and by the time you got there, you forgot what you were supposed to get? I don't know about you but this happens to me all the time! It's happened so frequently lately that I started ...

COMMUNITY
blue-triangle-element

Forum

The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion
blue-triangle-element

Latest

View Now
Contest
blue-triangle-element

OVERVIEW

For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules
blue-triangle-element

CURRENT CONTESTS

View / Submit
blue-triangle-element

PAST CONTESTS

View Archive
Conference
blue-triangle-element

Conference

PFRE’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas provides real estate and interior photographers from around the world an opportunity to meet on an annual basis, to learn, share best practices and make connections. Many of the leading names in our field are selected to speak on topics aimed at improving our craft and advancing our business. It’s a comfortable, relaxed environment that is fun, easy to get to, and affordable.
blue-triangle-element

Upcoming

PFRE Conference 2020

Register Now
blue-triangle-element

Latest News

Limited Early Bird Spots on Sale Now! PFRE Virtual Conference 2020

The roster of presenters is full, and the PFRE Virtual Conference is o ...

PFRE Virtual Conference 2020 Announcement: Presenter Line Up Part 2 of 2

*Early bird tickets go on sale September 28th* Here are the remaining ...

PFRE Virtual Conference 2020 Announcement: Presenter Line Up Part 1 of 2

We're a few short months away from the PFRE Virtual Conference 2020 an ...

Reader Poll: Which Topics Should Be Covered at the 2020 PFRE Virtual Conference?

Planning is well underway for the 2020 PFRE Virtual Conference and we' ...

Podcast
blue-triangle-element

Podcasts

The PFRE podcast is focused on having meaningful conversations with world-class photographers, business professionals and industry leaders, with the goal to inform and inspire.
All Podcasts

Coming Soon...

Resources
blue-triangle-element

Resources

PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.
blue-triangle-element

Directory

Coming Soon...

What Size Photos Should Real Estate Photographers Deliver?

In: 
Published: 26/08/2015
By: larry

RMLSLast week Tom ask about the size of photos he should deliver to his clients:

I have been uploading photo files to my agents at the guidelines recommended in the September 9th, 2009 article you posted titled "What You Need To Know About Uploading To MLS" . Yesterday I had an agent tell me the 800x600 pixels are too small. Up until now no one really complained about it. He also said the minimum should be 1600x1200 but prefers 2048x1536. What is the NEW standard everyone is using today? Is there a new standard?

The problem with recommending a specific size is that MLSs run a wide variety of system software. Because of this there is no such thing as a standard. Some MLS software does a good job at downsizing if you give them a bigger size than they like but in the past MLS downsizing has been notorious for mangling photos files so the theory has always been that if you give them the exact size they want they end up not touching the files during uploading. Here are my updated recommendations for figuring out what size photos to upload to your MLS:

  1. Call your local MLS(s) and ask them what size (pixel dimensions) they recommend for photos that are uploaded to their MLS.
  2. Try to get them to tell you what pixel dimensions to use rather than a file size because it is the pixel dimensions that trigger their downsizing.
  3. For photos that will be displayed online, always deliver in the sRGB color space because this is the color space that all browsers use.

Some readers have told me that when they call their MLS they have trouble getting photo specification information. Be aware that MLSs are set up to support their members (agents that pay them monthly fees) so explain that you are a photographer that supplies photos for their members and you are inquiring so you can better serve their members.

14 comments on “What Size Photos Should Real Estate Photographers Deliver?”

  1. Also consider what the intended use if for. I will send to sets, one for the mls and so marked and the other for marketing print, etc. at a higher resolution. Your agent may have been trying to use your low res images for print, in which case they could look very bad.

  2. I send two sizes as well.
    1600 pixels (long edge) for 'prints' or other uses where high res is needed, and 800 (again, long edge) for the rmls images.
    Most photographers I've seen send smaller (around 640) for the rmls, but knowing that rmls will re-size an image if needed makes me feel secure in the knowledge there will be no 'white space' around the image because they shrink it to fit.

  3. I deliver up to about 7 sizes now. With Lightroom it is very easy to set up presets. LR will multi-thread so you don't have to wait for one size to finish processing before starting the next one.

    Many of the agents put their listings on two MLS's as we are up against a boundary. I output a size specifically for Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com's maximum display sizes for upload directly to those services. I output a set at maximum dimensions for printing and finally a set sized for an agent's web page if they have one. It's made a huge difference in picture quality across all of the different sites for very little extra time on my part.

    If an agent only wants a set for the local MLS and large files for printing, I'll only output those to keep their downloads quick.

    Larry's comments are spot on. It's often hard to get the MLS pixel dimensions. Most of the time they don't have anybody that knows what they are. You will get answers from their support staff to just upload 640x480 or 800x600 when the system will resize them to 767px wide or something equally strange. Sites like Trulia take the 480x images in syndication and blow them up to fit their pop-out window that's 2048x (??) making the pictures look very "crunchy". The first customer I worked with to upload directly to Trulia was floored by the improvement in the images. Now they upload to all of the major sites individually and their listings really stand out.

  4. I took Larry's advice and emailed my local MLS support. They responded back quickly with this answer:

    "The best sizes for photos would be a minimum of 1600 x 1200 pixels in size. Matrix displays up to 2048 x 1536 pixels in size. Note: Max file size: 5 MB for any photo type. Upload photos that are at least 1600 x 1200 to avoid a white border around your photos on REcolorado.com and other sites."

    For now on I am uploading the 2048 x 1536. So far it's worked without a hitch.

  5. Tourbuzz.com will let you upload final pix and set up an agent dashboard. My agents can then download pix in whatever res they like - MLS low res, print quality or even produce a nice 1 page handout.

  6. I mostly shoot with my Nikon D-7000 and a 12-24mm lens. But also used an Olympus 4/3ds DSLR 510 (now use a Fuji X-E2 w12mm lens) for elevated images from my 45ft mast, and a GoPro for the aerial images.

    After processing I tried resizing the images to 1600x1200, but the Nikon images looked distorted and "squished" (for lack of a better term). But when I re size to 1800x 1200 the Nikon images appeared normal as they did in camera.

    So Now I resize all of the images, Nikon, GoPro and Fuji to 1800x1200 to keep the files the same. I don't mind if the GoPro or Fuji elevated images are a little out of proportion, as these lenses are super wide and have a different perspective than the ground level Nikon, and give a bit more impact.

    Not being a Canon shooter, I was wondering if the Canon cameras are a different proportion than the Nikons.

  7. For those among us who are working with agents not able to justify the cost of high service photography but want good quality at a low price, this method of sizing may be useful.

    I process images full size, then sharpen and save a cropped jpg image in an MLS file. Crop is 4x6 inches @ 300dpi which results in a 1200x1800 dpi image that displays well on the mls and prints well up to 4x6 which is plenty large enough for brochures and postcards. 200 dpi prints surprisingly well and allows larger results for some purposes. In 3 years, I have not had a request for larger print quality images, though I keep the full size images on file in case they do.

    I used to add the "save for web" step in an older version of PS because earlier versions of the MLS could not handle the image size otherwise. But now the crop method saves time and effort.

  8. I send my clients 2 sets of files. 1) full size images 2) 720 x 540 for MLS. I've never had a complaint or even a comment on the size of the files before.

  9. "Matrix displays up to 2048 x 1536 pixels in size. Note: Max file size: 5 MB for any photo type." But our Maine Listings MLS MREIS that uses Matrix get throttle back to 800x600. Frustrating!

  10. @Stephen - You missed the point of this post! The optimal dimension ration is EXACTLY what the MLS software expects. What MLSs expect and work best with is different depending on the software they use. Call up your MLS and ask them what's best. They will usually know.

  11. I export at 1500px on the largest side - that is just about perfect for our MLS. And on the plus side, the files are only about 1mb so if I have a tech not-so-savvy customer I can always get them their pix through email.

  12. 2048x768 is the way to roll for now but the matrix mls system calls for 1024x768. Bigger is better than blowing up some smaller format that pixelates, gets crunchy. We use the stills in our videos we shoot too and better looking is more than composition and lighting. It's quality of the file size power or limitations when optimized for a smart phone or website display only.

  13. Good point to hammer away at... that the MLS recommended size to ship up the conveyor belt is the way to go. To avoid triggering mangling what you upload, what gets displayed because the size is from out in left field.

  14. I send 800px, long edge. 50+ images can be delivered to Realtor via Gmail without needing to load on Google Drive. The images look great viewed from MLS listings on any computer screen. No need for higher resolution, over-kill. I have no complaints from Realtors. One did request full resolution tiff to send to be re-edited by a virtual stager. I now do that for a fee, since it interferes with workflow and adds time to the project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

magnifiercrossmenucross-circle