Real estate images are a critical element of an agent’s online offerings. Images in a real estate website or blog don’t only need to pertain to properties an agent represents. They can also be used in community pages, articles for buyers and sellers, and hyperlocal blogs. Images can and should be used in any content designed to gain rank in the search engines.
The Power of Pictures
Text without images is boring. Period. Viewers may have trouble reading text-only posts. Other viewers may lose interest.
Eye-catching imagery breaks up chunks of text, adds interest to content, and can help tie a story together into one cohesive post.
Color coordinating images throughout text can create a streamlined experience for visitors.
Regardless of how compelling your verbiage is, nothing tells a story quite like pictures.
Copyright laws prevent anyone from simply snatching an image from the web and using it on their own pages.
No matter how appropriate or tantalizing an image found on the Internet may be, copying someone else’s images is wrong. Taking someone else’s photos compromises professional integrity and opens the door for legal repercussions.
However, there are multiple ways to obtain high-quality photographic eye-candy. Spice up your content with real estate images.
Each town, no matter how big or small, is chock full of amateur and professional freelance photographers.
Hiring a local photographer to create your real estate images can be beneficial for you and the photographer. The main advantage is that you are guaranteed unique images. You can often find duplicated images obtained from stock photo resources on the web. Thus, there’s no guarantee that another agent won’t be using the exact same image in their content.
Depending on the experience level of the photographer you hire, you can receive unedited images that you can modify to your liking, or fully polished pictures ready to use.
Freelance photographers can capture specific neighborhoods, work with models for “staged” photos, or can scout popular hangouts in the communities that you’re featuring. As an added bonus, you’re helping support local artists. Also, forming relationships with other professionals in your area could generate leads by recommendations from that photographer.
Real Estate Images: Stock Photos
There are a plethora of stock photo resources at your fingertips. The demand for high-quality images runs rampant.
Stock photo companies may charge by the image, or offer subscriptions for a certain amount of downloads per month.
Generally, stock images are high quality, well crafted photos you can use throughout your text. You can find clipart style images, vector images that you can edit with software such as Photoshop, or videos. Furthermore, on most stock photo websites, you can search for a keyword or phrase pertaining to your content. Additionally, once you’ve downloaded the image, you can use a number of image editing tools to overlay your logo onto the photo.
Top 5 Stock Photo Resources
shutterstock.com Shutterstock features more than 90 million images. You have Infinite possibilities that are a download away. Membership options include basic, professional, and team subscriptions. Prices range from $29 one-time purchase of photo packages, up to $499 per month for teams of two or more using up to 750 images per month.
bigstockphoto.com is an extension of shutterstock.com designed to fit any budget. Subscription plans offer images as low as .16 cents each, up to .95 centers per image, depending on your membership. Video memberships are also available.
stock.Adobe.com Adobe is the maker of Photoshop, Lightroom, and other photo editing software used by amateur and professional photographers. It lends its reputation to a selection of stock photos with membership options as low as $29.99 per month for a total of ten images, up to $199 per month for up to 750 images.
istockphoto.com – Membership with iStock photos can be purchased in the form of credits, monthly, and annual subscriptions. Each membership level comes with different access to the library, with full access to all images at about $399 per month for up to 250 images. One advantage to the iStock photo signature and essential subscriptions is the ability to “roll over” any unused downloads to your next month’s use, so you’re not paying for unused downloads.
fotolia.com offers various purchase selections via credits (as low as $14), or monthly subscriptions up to $249 per month for up to 25 downloads per day. Membership levels limit or unlock various access to their full library of images, vectors, and videos.
The options for stock images are endless, and the companies offering stock photos are too many to count.
Free is nice, however the old saying is true that you usually get what you pay for.
Spend some time looking up various resources using search terms like “stock photos”, comparing plans, and finding which real estate image resource best meets your needs.