BillH

Real Estate photography

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Hey all, I had a few questions regarding real estate photos and couldn’t locate answers by searching the archives so thought I’d try starting a topic here. I’m a new drone photography business owner and happy to do some drone photos for real estate agents while pursuing other clients. One prospective client asked if I could size the pictures correctly and then upload them to MLS. So far I haven’t gotten very far by trying to contact MLS.

What I have gotten is pitches to join various real estate photo companies…

Conflicting opinions on what the best photo editing software is…

…and not much else.

So hey, guys and gals who do real estate photo shoots, what would be a good photo editing program to get? Is there a standard file size etc. that MLS wants or does it vary by region? Beyond editing the pictures/video, do I need anything special (besides an agent’s log in) to interface with MLS? Are there any other questions I haven’t asked because I’m too new to this?

Thanks!

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14 hours ago, BillH said:

upload them to MLS. So far I haven’t gotten very far by trying to contact MLS.

All MLS's are different and I can't recall what the format is, but you can check here: https://photographyforrealestate.net/

14 hours ago, BillH said:

So hey, guys and gals who do real estate photo shoots, what would be a good photo editing program to get?

Photoshop Lightroom CC.  

14 hours ago, BillH said:

Is there a standard file size etc. that MLS wants or does it vary by region?

It varies by region

14 hours ago, BillH said:

Beyond editing the pictures/video, do I need anything special (besides an agent’s log in) to interface with MLS?

Not that I'm aware of but I don't do real estate for a living.

 

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Thanks for the info Chuck. There's a lot of good material in that link and I appreciate  the Lightroom recommendation. 

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Hey Bill. My standard export size for pictures going into MLS is 2400 pixels on the long end. Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photomatix are a good mix of programs, but Luminar and some others can also be useful. 

Of all my clients I only upload to MLS for one client that gives me her login info and I charger her extra to do it. It's definitely not the norm. 

The local MLS here does not allow branded videos, so if yours has the same rules you'll want to create both a branded and un-branded version the video.

Congrats on your new venture. 

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Thanks for the info, Joey. So if you aren't uploading the photos to MLS, except for the one client, is it the norm to email them to the agency that hired you? Or is some other format (maybe burn to CD or put on a thumb drive?) more the norm?

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On 2/8/2019 at 12:33 PM, BillH said:

Hey all, I had a few questions regarding real estate photos and couldn’t locate answers by searching the archives so thought I’d try starting a topic here. I’m a new drone photography business owner and happy to do some drone photos for real estate agents while pursuing other clients. One prospective client asked if I could size the pictures correctly and then upload them to MLS. So far I haven’t gotten very far by trying to contact MLS.

What I have gotten is pitches to join various real estate photo companies…

Conflicting opinions on what the best photo editing software is…

…and not much else.

So hey, guys and gals who do real estate photo shoots, what would be a good photo editing program to get? Is there a standard file size etc. that MLS wants or does it vary by region? Beyond editing the pictures/video, do I need anything special (besides an agent’s log in) to interface with MLS? Are there any other questions I haven’t asked because I’m too new to this?

Thanks!

Hey Bill, 

So, as stated above, the file size is going to vary for each MLS, as they are all independent of each other. And "MLS" is short for "Multiple Listing Service", and there can be more than one operating in a given area, such as Phoenix AZ, where I think there is something like 6-8 "MLS" associations. The Phoenix MLS's all have a data share agreement, which is nice, as the agent only has to load to their association, and it gets broadcast to all of them. If you need more specific info about file size, you should contact the local association, and speak the the MLS staff there. FLEXMLS is a common MLS service provider, they are based out of ND, and the staff at the local association can contact them (or whoever they use) about file size requirements. It's kinda convoluted, but hey, welcome to real estate! 

I use either the native photo editing software in my Macbook Pro or Adobe Lightroom CC for my editing tools. Adobe is far more capable than the native photo app, but you have to pay for it. 

As far as loading info to the MLS site, using the agents login is probably the best/easiest, but as an agent myself, I don't give out my login info to anyone, vendor or otherwise. When I do a photo shoot for clients, I load the images to a DropBox file after editing, and share the link to the file with the agent and let them load the files to the MLS themselves. They can place them in the order they want, and they need to do some of the work themselves, too, for the amount of commision received is more than enough to spend 15-20 minutes organizing photos on THEIR listing. 

Hope this helps! 

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Bill. Good luck with your new venture.  I started 4 years ago with the same idea...offering drone photography to real estate agents.  What I quickly learned was 1) Many agents are loyal to their existing photographers who provide interior/exterior and drone photography.  2) Offering only drone photography to agents, or real estate photographers, will severely limit your opportunities.  3) Some real estate agents are frugal and prefer to use their telephone to take photos...call these agents... your target market! I  started by showing up at Open Houses on Sundays and offering to take (free) interior/exterior photos and post them on my Real Estate Photography FB page.  100% said yes....just don't get in the way.  In addition to your drone, purchase a used DSLR Crop Frame camera and tripod and watch all of the Real Estate Photography videos on Youtube.  BTW,  I deliver all photos to the realtor via dropbox link sized to approx 2mb through Lightroom CC.

Best wishes in your new business.  I have had a blast.

Bob Sowder 

Sowder Real Estate Photography & Drone Aerials

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On 2/11/2019 at 6:46 AM, BillH said:

So if you aren't uploading the photos to MLS, except for the one client, is it the norm to email them to the agency that hired you? Or is some other format (maybe burn to CD or put on a thumb drive?) more the norm?

I use dropbox to deliver my photos.

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2 hours ago, BillH said:

Thanks. That was helpful. Never thought about dropbox. 

Google drive has same function.  Load them to your drive, share discreetly via email to client and then delete after they download.  Not sure you should be doing the upload to MLS.  Aren't you shooting them for an agent who has access to MLS?  That's their job.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are my tools.  Lightroom is excellent for drone photography.

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12 hours ago, bsowder said:

I started 4 years ago with the same idea...offering drone photography to real estate agents.  What I quickly learned was 1) Many agents are loyal to their existing photographers who provide interior/exterior and drone photography.  2) Offering only drone photography to agents, or real estate photographers, will severely limit your opportunities. 

This has been my experience as well.  Agents are busy people and are looking for a one stop shop.  Like Bob, I transitioned from just drone photos to offering the whole enchilada - my business significantly increased once I did this.  For me the drone has turned into just another camera in my kit.  If you decide you want to get into standard RE photography, I highly recommend checking out Nathan Cool on youtube.  He is a very successful photographer in CA that specializes in real estate.  

I dropped dropbox this year in favor of Cloudspot.io.  It's a web-based photo delivery service that creates a very appealing client-facing website for each job where they can download and share photos and video.

Good luck!

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First of all, Nathan Cool rocks! Buy his books and watch his videos. I use his flambient method for my interior stills, bit of a learning curve.

Same experiences for me as for others, realtors do like having someone who does it all. I use Dropbox to send to realtors or their office managers. Our local MLS limits photos to 5mb and every MLS is different. I do a 5mb and full rez version of each photo. No branding on videos I think is a MLS universal rule. Adobe’s Photography Plan (Lightroom+Photoshop) is all you need for (stills) post, starts at $10/mo. Good luck!

https://www.marykayulsamer.com/

 

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Discussion about Tewksbury real estate - home values, taxes, housing market decline etc. Also would be a good place for FSBO and rental posts.

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