GENERAL FAQ QUESTIONS
Why invest in professional photos, videos, and tours for your listings?
NAR (National Association of Realtors) research shows that between 88 and 90 percent of home searches start online and that listings with professional photos generate 61 percent more views than listings with agent-taken photos.
In today’s competitive and sophisticated real estate market, your photos, videos, and virtual tours are without a doubt your first showing. Quality images are essential for effectively attracting buyers to your listings, and for branding yourself as a professional and successful Realtor.
Full-motion videos and 3D virtual tours take it to the next level. If you are looking to differentiate your listings, and/or to stand out in your competitive profession, take a look at these products, too. Savvy sellers know that people are watching – and being influenced by – video. In fact, 69% of all consumer internet traffic is projected to be video by 2017 (Cisco). A Domain.com study also showed that MLS listings with video generated 400% more inquiries than those without.
What are the costs of your products and packages?
Our pricing and our packages are outlined on our website on the “Pricing” page. When reviewing them, keep in mind that HDR merging, post-processing, and blue sky replacement are all included in our pricing.
We are available to discuss our packages and products with you, help you evaluate the options, and answer any questions you may have. Just give us a call!
What is high dynamic range (HDR)?
This is the photo technique that we utilize in all of our packages. Each time the photographer shoots a photo, he or she is actually capturing seven to nine images. Those images are merged in the editing process to create one beautiful image in which all planes are properly exposed for and in sharp focus. So, picture a kitchen shot…. In the foreground, the gorgeous grain of the granite countertop will be in focus. In the background, the expansive lake view and mature palms outside the kitchen window will also be in sharp focus. HDR closely emulates what the human eye sees, so it’s naturally pleasing to the viewer. Every photo we deliver is HDR. We feel it is the only way to properly capture real estate listings.
What is the difference between your “HDR virtual tour slideshow” and your “full-motion HD video” products?
We know, it’s a bit confusing. And it doesn’t help that they both start with a “V!”
The HDR Virtual Tour Slideshow is an attractive, nicely-presented slideshow of the still photos we take of your listing. The slides transition from one to the next, set to music. Because the photos are very high-resolution, the slideshow is hosted on our site, and the photos show at their very best. We deliver two versions of this slideshow. One is branded with your brokerage and contact info, and one is unbranded for your compliant use on the MLS.
The High-definition (HD) Walk-through Video is a full-motion video. Our photographer walks through the home with the full-motion video camera and captures video footage. This product typically shows the flow and layout of the home a bit more effectively than the slideshow. It is delivered to you in video format as a link to our Vimeo channel. You can download it and upload it to other sites, like Youtube, Facebook, or your website.
Examples of both products can be viewed and compared on our website.
How do twilight shoots work, and is it a good idea for my listing?
Twilight photos are a unique way to showcase your listing and our magical South Florida evenings. We shoot them at the twilight hour, at exactly fifteen minutes before and after sundown.
Homes that photograph well with this technique generally have significant outdoor lighting, typically “uplighting” from ground-level lights directed up. Pool lights, water or fire features, and large windows are also features that lend themselves well to twilights.
Can I hire Picture It Sold to photograph a community/subdivision (not a particular listing), for example for marketing materials or my website?
At Picture It Sold, we exclusively photograph specific residential real estate listings. We do not photograph communities or buildings alone. (We do photograph community amenities when we are adding community shots to a shoot for a specific listing.)
Our team has developed – and follows – very specific methods and protocols at our shoots and in our editing procedures. These systems have all been designed to produce quality and cost-effective products tailored specifically to meet Realtors’ needs for MLS photos and videos. Our photographers and our editing team are all specifically and thoroughly trained in these methods and protocols. We know it’s sometimes hard for our clients to understand, but there are significant operational differences between what is needed for MLS photographs and videos versus photographs and videos that are more “evergreen” in nature.
If you have any questions about our scope of services, please contact our Director of Sales.
Are your photographer’s drone operators?
Glad you asked! We shoot extraordinary HDR aerials using a drone. We also shoot drone video footage as part of our popular Elite package. Our photographers are properly licensed by the FAA to operate drones safely, so you can be assured you are in compliance with drone regulations when you hire us.
BEFORE THE SHOOT
How do I schedule a shoot?
Call us at (561) 600-3824. Our Sales Representative will speak with you personally about your listing and its marketing needs. We will help you select a package, schedule the appropriate photographer, and give you important information about what to expect before, during, and after the shoot.
An optional online “Request a Shoot” form is available on our website for your convenience. We use this to gather all of the relevant information so that we can be prepared and efficient when we call you to schedule.
How quickly can Picture It Sold photograph my listing?
We work hard to ensure availability to photograph your listing within 1 to 3 days of the time you place your order. Of course, our workflow varies, so call for more details. (See below for information on our two business-day turnaround time after the shoot.)
What should we do to get the property ready?
We will provide you with our “Preparing Your Home for Professional Photos” checklist. Many clients find it helpful to share it with their sellers. Following these guidelines helps to achieve the best results possible.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel?
If you must cancel or re-schedule, we require you do so by 5 pm on the business day before the shoot. Canceling or re-scheduling after this deadline will incur a cancellation fee of $40 (for basic shoots) or $50 (for video packages and twilight shoots). These fees compensate our photographers for reserving their time for your shoot.
DURING THE SHOOT
Should I attend the shoot? Do I need to stay for the entire shoot?
We always prefer that the Realtor attend the entire shoot.
Our photographers are experienced with selecting angles that enhance the best qualities of a real estate listing. They have photographed hundreds of homes and bring extensive training and experience to the shoot. However, many elements of listing photography are subjective. As the Realtor, you are the expert on the features and attributes of the particular property, and you are familiar with the expectations of your client, the seller.
Being onsite gives you an opportunity to communicate to the photographer any specific preferences you have or shots you have in mind. Otherwise, we’ll use our best professional judgment and will take the photographs that we believe will best market the property.
When we’ve worked with you before, and have a good idea of your preferences, it’s okay with us if you opt not to attend. In this case, we will ensure you’ve provided all access information needed. We will also ask you to indicate the number of photos you wish to purchase based on the square footage of the listing.
Please keep in mind that we do charge (our minimum shoot charge of $185.00) for return trips, so please be sure to communicate any of your preferences.
NOTE REGARDING AMENITIES:
When we are shooting community amenities along with the listing, it is especially important for the Realtor to attend. There is a good deal of subjectivity in what you’d like shot, and there may be amenities that are not visible to the photographer, who may not know the community as well as you do. Plus, some community amenities cannot be accessed without a Realtor. Finally, there are occasions when we arrive at an amenity (like a gym or pool) and there are people there, so we cannot shoot (for legal reasons). If the Realtor is present, he or she may choose to ask the people to leave the shot briefly.
How long will the shoot take?
It varies based on factors like the home’s size, how well-prepared the home is, etc., but generally, a basic package shoot will take about one to two hours. A video package shoot will take about three hours. During this time, we ask that you ensure we have full access to the home. Sometimes circumstances (weather, or unexpected cars or trucks parked outside, for example) dictate that we must start inside first, or sometimes we have to start outside first.
Will the photographer help me stage the home?
We ask that you work with the seller to ensure that the Preparation Checklist steps are followed as closely as possible before the shoot, but we are happy to help with a reasonable amount of last-minute staging and decluttering. The photographer will not be able to move or handle anything of great value, though. (So, for example, if you want that grand piano open in the photos, please ask the owner to leave it open in preparation for the shoot.)
Do you still shoot if the weather is bad?
Don’t panic! We rarely need to cancel shoots. If it’s overcast or raining lightly, we still shoot and get great results. With still photos, we always replace the gray sky with a blue sky when it is needed at no additional charge. And, because we only shoot HDR photos, we can enhance the light and reduce shadow as needed in the editing process. We understand that as a Realtor in our area, you aren’t simply selling homes, you are selling the beautiful South Florida climate.
Post-production techniques also help mitigate the negative impact that rain has on your marketing schedule (and your nerves!). Most of our Realtor clients contact us to schedule a shoot “asap!” and would like to get photos on MLS right away. Typically, your sellers are anxious to get the process moving. From a sales perspective, it’s best to take advantage of that momentum. Post-production techniques allow us to cancel fewer shoots and get you your photos faster.
Here’s our protocol: If the weather is questionable, the photographer will generally call your mobile number about an hour before the shoot. (We wait until this time to get as accurate a read as possible on the radar. South Florida weather is quite unpredictable!) Based on the radar and the circumstances, we will make a call about whether to shoot. We often find if it’s raining hard if we wait a bit, it passes and we can shoot again. You know what they say about South Florida… If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes or drive five blocks!
Please keep in mind that if you wish to cancel or re-schedule, we require you to do so by 5 pm on the business day before the shoot. Canceling or rescheduling after this deadline will incur a $40 (for basic shoots) or $50 (for video packages) cancellation fee. These fees compensate our photographers for reserving their time for your shoot.
How many photos will I need and what is the cost of extra photos?
For most real estate marketing needs, we recommend 8 to 10 photos per 1,000 square feet. Sometimes you need more, and sometimes you need fewer. If the home has a larger outdoor space, for example, you may wish to have more photos. If there are rooms that you do not wish to photograph, you may need fewer. We charge $25.00 for five extra photos or $50.00 for ten extra photos.
I am listing a home that is 4,000 square feet, but I really only want the 20 photos that come in the basic package. Is that okay?
Absolutely. In this case, the photographer will ask you to clearly indicate which rooms you’d like to skip. (Twenty photos are used more quickly than people might think. A typical set of listing photos has two to three shots of the front exterior, two to three of the back exterior, two angles of a living room, maybe one of a dining area, two angles of a master bedroom, at least two angles of the kitchen… So that’s about twelve photos before you even get to any extra bedrooms, baths, or other rooms.)
I am listing an 8,000 square foot house. Does that mean I will need to order 80 photos?
That’s a tough one. Most of our clients who list homes that large do not have us take 80 photos. Sometimes 40 or 45 will suffice, but it’s truly up to you. We have had Realtors who request 80 or even more photos. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s important for the Realtor to discuss this with the sellers and come to an understanding of their expectations. If the sellers of a large home want every room in the photos, it will be up to you as the Realtor to determine if you’d like to meet that expectation. Please keep in mind that we do charge ($185 minimum) for return trips, so it’s important to capture what you want at the session!
Will you take extra photos and allow me to choose which images I’d like to buy?
No, the method that our founder developed is such that we capture – and edit (much of the labor involved in our process is in the editing) – only the number of photos that are needed to get the coverage you’d like for the listing. This is one of the ways we keep costs low for customers. The decision about how many photos must be made at the time of the shoot.
How do I pay?
The photographer will take payment in the field after the shoot is complete.
Our preferred payment method is credit card and we take most types.
We do not accept cash as a payment method. We do not accept checks at the shoot, but we can arrange to invoice you and you can pay online directly from your checking account if you prefer that to credit card payment.
Photos are published after payment has been received (and based on turnaround times below). If you are a regular customer, please feel free to contact our office to put a credit card on file.
AFTER THE SHOOT
What is your turnaround time for photos?
For still photos, we guarantee that your photos will be delivered to you via email within two business days. (We often deliver them on the first business day!) If you haven’t received your images by 3 pm on the second day, please get in touch with us immediately to make sure payment has been processed successfully and we have the appropriate contact information for you!
Please note that as a convenience to our Realtor clients and their sellers, our photographers shoot listings on select Saturdays and Sundays. When the photographer shoots on a weekend, the photos are edited with our MONDAY shoots. This means that photos shot on weekends will be guaranteed back to you by Wednesday at the latest (day two of our two business day turnaround promise), and often by Tuesday. (If Monday is a holiday, one additional day is added to this turnaround schedule.)
What is your turnaround time for full-motion walk-through videos?
Processing and editing full-motion videos generally take 2 to 3 business days.
If you’ve ordered a package that includes a voiceover, it may take up to 5 to 7 business days to complete the final product. This timeline applies if we receive your completed voiceover content form on or before the day of the shoot. (You will receive your video without the voiceover sooner so you can begin your marketing if you wish.)
When I receive my photos, how will they arrive, and what will I see?
You will receive an email from our Tourbuzz platform. You may choose to create a username and log-in or skip that step. (We recommend that you do this if you plan to use us regularly, as it will help save you time and keep your products organized and available to you.)
In your client panel for each address, you will find the photos in three different sizes. We recommend the “large” size for the MLS, as the photos are high quality but still upload quickly. We recommend the “print quality” size for any printed material. (We still haven’t found any good uses for the “small” size. Let us know if you do!
You will also find links to two versions of the hosted virtual tour slideshow – one branded with your brokerage and contact info, and one unbranded for your use on the MLS.
If you have ordered a full-motion video, a 3D Virtual Tour, or aerial photos only (aerials not as part of a package), you will receive a separate email with these products.
Is there a person to help me if I have questions about my photos or about how to access or download them?
Our post-production team is available to personally answer any questions after you receive your photos! So, if a tour photo is labeled “Family Room” and you’d prefer it to be labeled “Sitting Room,” or if you have questions about downloading our photos for the first time, please give us a call! We are happy to help.
What do you do in the editing process? will you “photo-shop” out undesirable features, or add items in editing?
In the editing process, we merge approximately 7 to 9 raw images to create the HDR image. We can enhance the light and reduce (but not completely eliminate) shadow. We lighten and brighten or increase contrast as needed. We take out gray or overly-cloudy skies and add in a beautiful blue sky (no extra charge to you!).
We do not “photo-shop” items in or out. Part of our policy is not to alter anything in the photos that is part of what a buyer would purchase. Our affordable prices are based partially on this industry-standard practice and on the labor involved in editing our real estate photography products.
We do sometimes get requests to edit out discolorations, rust stains, dirt or debris, etc. Because this is not something that we do, preparing the listing in advance of the shoot is critical to getting the best results possible. We also sometimes get requests to add green grass where there is none, remove power lines, remove a damaged section of fence, or similar requests. We do not include this as part of our services or pricing.
Will my listing photos be on your Facebook page?
Maybe! Many of our clients appreciate the exposure when we post their listings on our Facebook pages. We have hundreds of Realtor followers and friends! If your listing is private, or you prefer for any reason that we not post them, just let us know.
Can I (or my seller) request edits to the full-motion walk-through videos you produce?
Our full-motion HD walk-through videos follow a pre-set format. We’ve developed it based on lots of trial and error and a keen awareness of real estate marketing best practices. Here is our essential formula:
Elite videos: 1) Aerial flyover footage of the gate and/or community/area around the home (about 30 seconds); 2) Aerial footage of the home; 3) Ground level front exterior pans; 4) Interior of home, covering all or some rooms; 5) ground-level back exterior; 6) one to two more short aerial clips for closure and “call to action” in voiceover.
Regular videos: 1) Ground level front exterior pans; 2) Interior of home, covering all or some rooms; 3) ground-level back exterior.
Take a look at our sample videos on this website and on our Facebook page to see what the product will look like when delivered. It may also be wise to review them with your seller so he or she knows what to expect as well.
If minor changes are requested, we are happy to incorporate them when feasible. For example, if you’d like to remove a clip of a closet… or take out one of our speed ramps*, those kinds of changes are often things we can accommodate, based on workflow restrictions if applicable.
*Speaking of speed ramps… we love them! We use them to move the viewer quickly to the most compelling parts of the home and to make the video run-time shorter (which is a well-established best practice). We also feel they add polish to the production elements of the video. However, if you don’t like them, let us know and we can remove some or all.