Site Imagery: Custom vs Stock

Site Imagery: Custom vs Stock

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By now you should have learnt the importance of text content on your real estate website – if not, head over to our article Content is King: What does that even mean? and then come back to learn more about how you can use images to compliment your content.

Images and photos used in your content can be important to the overall effectiveness and user experience of your real estate website. Captivating visuals represent your company and can better communicate your brand to your visitors and customers. Amazing images within your content will draw visitors in, alternatively lacklustre images, or no images at all, may bore them enough to leave.

It’s time to ask ourselves a few key questions on how to obtain images for your real estate website:

Where can I find a photographer for the images I need?

How much will a professional photographer cost?

Should I just buy and use stock photography?

I have a fancy camera on my phone; should I take the photos myself?

Even photos and images that best portray your brand won’t offer any impact if they are blurry or outdated (agents that have had the same profile picture for 15 years, we’re looking at you!). You could hire a professional to produce your imagery, you could try to take them on your own, or you could look at purchasing from stock photography sites. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages:

Professional Photography

Before we get into the details, let’s set the scene: this is usually the most expensive option. If you aren’t on a tight budget then the benefits of a professional photographer can go a long way when connecting with your customers and website visitors. You want your real estate website imagery to deliver the most positive impact possible and an expert could help achieve that goal.

A professional photographer will always account for the scene, ensuring lighting and composition are just right – things that a phone camera can make difficult to achieve. Professionals can also better focus on the main subject of the image so that it looks more authentic. And if things aren’t quite right, they will usually fix them in post-production (after they have taken the photo, but before they are delivered to you).

The next benefit to a professional photographer is the ability for you to choose the scenes and subjects; by taking pictures of your actual business and team you will be able to better connect with your customers and websites visitors.

Hiring a professional photographer is a great strategy if you plan on highlighting your company, office spaces, and team across your website. An added benefit is they can also take all of your individual team profile photos while they are at it. Finally, finding a professional photographer might be less hard than you think: start by talking to the photographer you use most for taking photos of your listings.

Always opt for natural looking scenes and subjects; avoid anything sterotypical or cheesy

Do It Yourself

If you’re on a budget then you may want to give the DIY route a go – if you have a relatively new phone camera then you won’t have anything to loose, and you may just learn something new along the way. You don’t always need the professional lighting or expensive equipment, however you can get some good results by following some basic rules:

When taking the DIY approach, wipe your camera lens, ensure good lighting and don't use blurry photos

Stock Photography

If you’re still on a budget, but want better results than the DIY option, stock photography can be an excellent option. There are a lot of stock options to choose from, ranging from the amazing to the out-right cringe worthy (think smiling scientist staring up at a test tube).

There are 2 major drawbacks to stock photography. One, you risk loosing your connection with visitors who may recognise the overuse of stock imagery, since it doesn’t contain your team or company. Two, you risk using stereotypical photos or images that don’t portray your region. It can be a minor inconvenience selecting your images from the vast stock catalogues on offer, but a few tips from our team can make this process easier:

Ensure images reflect your region, i.e. in Australia you should avoid photos of American houses

If you’re unsure how to proceed, or simply want to offload the task of stock photography sourcing, talk to us at iDashSites to find out how we can help you get started.

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You can find out more about our real estate website designs and how they can help your agency by calling us on 1800 432 742

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