Category Archives: real estate

Real Estate Video leverages Sunshine Coast property marketing .

Watch marketing coach Tom Ferry talks about real estate video and how it can help real estate agents improve their marketing:

Here’s what he said:

1. Start your marketing with a real estate video.

So if you’re a real estate agent then Tom suggests that you need to do a real estate video tour of a property before you do your flyers, your postcards, and everything else.

“You shoot a video first on everything you do.” – Tom Ferry

Yes, he said “video first on EVERYTHING”, which means every listing and not just your $1million+ listings. That’s how important real estate video tours are today, and will be in 2018.

Why use video to market Sunshine Coast real estate? The reasons are as valid now as when I blogged about them six years ago!

  • video is engaging. It will hold a viewer’s attention longer than a static photo.
  • by telling a story appropriate to a target demographic, video can create an emotional hook between the content and the viewer. (Note: “telling a story” does not mean pan around empty rooms and replicate what the photos already tell the viewer).
  • video can deliver not only the spatial flow of the home, but also include the sounds of the home, further evoking emotional response. (Sell the sizzle, not the steak). Great for the long-distance buyer.
  • video distribution via Youtube and social media sites increases the visibility of any given property from a search engine standpoint.
  • video boosts the agent’s own brand power, in part by showing that the agent is willing to utilise new marketing technologies. By introducing the property on-camera the agent can begin a relationship with prospective buyers.

2. Use Facebook Live video.

Tom also mentions the importance of using Facebook Live (which he mispronounces).

What can real estate agents do with a Facebook Live video?

Well, you answer the questions and concerns that people in your area have when it comes to buying and selling real estate. How do you find that? You ask them, and it’s as easy as posting an image or a post on your Facebook Page, and say, “What scares you the most about buying and selling real estate?” Use all of the feedback they give you to create lots of lots of small, simple videos of you addressing those concerns.

Still not sure?

“Google said that 85% of the world’s content will be video by 2019.” – Tom Ferry

That’s a huge number, but there’s a reason for that:

“The business argument for using more video is simple: it works.

The Web Video Marketing Council (WVM) says online video has become a crucial part of the sales and marketing programs for most business-to-business (b2b) organisations, with 96% of those surveyed saying they now engage in video content marketing. Nearly three-quarters report a positive impact on their marketing results.”

– ‘Show, don’t tell: How video is swamping the internet‘, BBC News

Meanwhile over at Facebook they’re saying that it will probably be all video by around 2019 or 2020:


As mentioned, I blogged about video 6 years ago. Back then it was “the hot new thing”, and certainly, early adopters have been reaping benefits such as;

  • exposure for the agent’s brand, leading to…
  • increased listings
  • reduced time-on-market
  • higher sale prices

But it seems now that, because of factors such as improving internet speeds, the massive increase in our use of social platforms and the embracing of video by those platforms, that video has come into its own and will continue to flourish as a marketing tool.

Propertyshoot films a real estate video on the Sunshine Coast
Jon May of Propertyshoot using a portable jib, or ‘crane’, to create a video clip in a Sunshine Coast home.

The advantages of a twilight shoot when selling real estate on The Sunshine Coast.

When it comes to marketing a home for sale on the Sunshine Coast, the photography is of utmost importance and can have a significant impact upon the property’s sale price and the time on market. Great imagery is a hallmark of any product marketing campaign, whether selling hamburgers or luxury cars, and since a home is a product for sale just like any other, it should be marketed as such.

However, is it better to book a twilight shoot or a daytime shoot?

Here’s a comparison for you. Now obviously every home will be different, but in this example we have a daytime photo of the exterior of this home:


… and here is a twilight photo of the same property:

Twilight real estate photographby Propertyshoot Sunshine Coast

I do like aspects of both shots, but the twilight photo, with its strong colors and great lighting, is going to stand out a whole lot more when competing against other homes in the same area.

A daytime shoot can work very well on a bright sunny day, especially for homes with fabulous ocean or hinterland views, or that have strong exterior colors that look great when the sun is hitting them. However cityscape views definitely look terrific in the evening.

Homes that suit a twilight real estate photo shoot will ideally have a lot of windows or sliding doors that not only spill warm inviting light  onto the patio or pool, but also allow a glimpse into the interior (which is usually almost black in a daytime exterior photo). Garden or pool lighting will also show well in photos taken at dusk. The glow of the lights inside the home, the absence of shadows from the sun, and either a stunning sunset or cobalt blue evening sky, all combine to create a visually appealing image.

“With the warm interior lights contrasting against the cool blues of the evening sky, a twilight photo embodies hearth and home, and  resonates with our primordial need for shelter & protection.”

Twilight real estate phtograph by Propertyshoot Sunshine Coast

Twilight shoots can also make a property stand out among the many  other properties for sale in their area, especially in places where daytime shoots are the norm. As Kalgoorlie real estate  photographer Shane Cullen said:

“For me twilights stand out so much more when buyers are looking for a property. If you are searching through 100’s of listings and see one all lit up and with a beautiful sunset behind it you are more likely to click on it and view the property. For me it is in the top 3 tips for marketing a property.”

A real estate photographer in Ohio, Sandy Rybka, agrees:

“A twilight image of a home can really help viewers take that second look to see more of a home inside as well. If the outside is more appealing then they will have more curiosity to look at the other parts of the home.”

So twilight shoots add to the appeal and beauty of a home, and perhaps that has something to do with them looking a little different. We don’t often see a home all lit up like that just after sunset, and when you add in one of nature’s true wonders – a beautiful sunset – then we find that hard to resist.

Twilight real estate photography by Propertyshoot Sunshine Coast

Johanna Zolg, a real estate photographer in Warwick, Queensland, said:

“Sunsets are also very appealing to a lot of people, and are one of the subjects most frequently photographed by any genre of photographer. Sunsets have something calm and relaxing about them.”

Are there times when a twilight shoot is not appropriate?

As I mentioned earlier a home with an ocean view may be better off being photographed during the day, and if a home has no front windows then a twilight shot may not be appropriate because you won’t have the glowing lights (unless there are a good number of exterior lights).

But just about any home will look better at twilight than it will during the day, and they will stand out in any marketing campaign, adding that extra level of glamour that can take a home from ordinary to extraordinary!

But do twilight shoots really help to sell a home?

A real estate agency in Sydney decided to test the difference between daytime professional photography and evening professional photography, and here’s what they found:

“This house was track­ing at about 1,000 views in one week with about 10 call-ins. Then we changed the photo the next week (noth­ing else) to a twi­light shot. Guess what? Where views nor­mally drop off (because it is con­sidered a stale list­ing after 1 week), they picked up by approx­im­ately 50% to 1,500 views and 15 call-ins in a week when inquir­ies tra­di­tion­ally drops off.”

So that’s 50% more people who viewed the property, and 50% more people who contacted the selling agent to find out more about it. If you’re not sure, feel free to test this yourself and compare how well a daytime photo shoot compares with the twilight photos, and see if you notice a difference. I would think that, on average, you will see a better result when using twilight photography for most homes.

What about photography prices for a twilight shoot?

A lot of professional real estate photographers will have higher fees for their twilight shoots. Due to obvious time restrictions, a photographer can only deliver one twilight shoot per day. Some people ask their real estate photographer if they have other jobs to attend to after completing an evening shoot, but in most situations that just isn’t possible. Once it gets dark (about 30 minutes after the sun goes down), then that’s about it for the day as it just gets too dark to adequately photograph a property. This restriction on the number of shoots, and their high demand, leads to a premium price being introduced by most experienced photographers.

Frequently asked questions about twilight shoots:

Do twilight shoots help homes that have no curb appeal?

Yes, I think they can work really well in that situation, because they get the most out of what you’ve got. When you add in the glow of the interior lights, some nice exterior lighting, and an amazing sunset full of color and vibrance, well it’s going to work well in most situations.

Why do photographers take the exterior shots so early?

When you are looking at a home with your eyes, they can look better later in the evening, some times very late. However, a camera does not have the same range to adapt to bright and dark areas, and so when photographing a home it is better to do it earlier (often 10 to 20 minutes after sunset) rather than later so that the contrast between the bright lights and the exterior of the home is not too much. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a house when inside looks super bright, like some kind of explosion is going on, and outside is really dark and it’s hard to really see anything, then you know what I mean. The photographer may also composite together parts of photos taken up to an hour apart; an earlier house exterior with a later sky for example.

An experienced real estate photographer will know just the right time to shoot a property, given the sunset time, the direction the property faces, and the amount of lighting inside and outside a home.

(all photos by Propertyshoot Photography)

The benefits of virtual furniture for real estate sales and rentals on The Sunshine Coast.

It can often happen; you have a home, apartment or unit for sale or rent on The Sunshine Coast and the owners or previous tenants have moved on, leaving the dwelling completely empty of furniture. As a tempting marketing morsel, a photo of an empty room has far less appeal than one that is tastefully furnished. It used to be that, if the budget allowed, one might rent a house-lot of real furniture to dress up the place and impart a homey vibe so as to entice folk to visit. However, advances in 3D modelling have provided a second, cheaper solution: virtual furniture.

Virtual furniture:

“… has proven excellent results in us being able to achieve maximum interest levels and numbers attending our open-for-inspections, with the subsequent leasing of that property quickly, at the highest rental return possible.”

– Sarah Latham, owner and director of Latham Cusack Property Services’ North Shore office

The quote above was from a blog post at Residential Property Manager called “Turning to the virtual world for real life success“, and if you’re not familiar with it, virtual furniture is a service offered by many real estate photographers where they use Photoshop or 3D software to add furniture to an otherwise empty room.

As Sarah notes in her article, the use of virtual furniture in her rentals has helped to attract more tenants, meaning less time that a property is left vacant.

The presence of virtual furniture helps Sunshine Coast viewers gauge the size of a room, and can open their eyes to a space’s potential. If the VF is tastefully chosen it can add perceived value to the otherwise-empty dwelling, much in the way that garnishes artistically arranged around a meal can make it appear more appetising. This psychological appeal may help garner a higher asking price.

And as noted in the Daily Mail article, “The latest real estate trick to lure buyers“:

“Sellers are saving ‘thousands’ of dollars by paying photography companies to add virtual furniture to their photos instead of hiring the real thing…”

What about the buyers? Are they annoyed by seeing photos of a furnished home and arriving to find that it’s empty when they visit? According to real estate agent Graham Green that hasn’t been a problem for him, and he has used virtual furniture a lot:

‘At the end of the day the better looking it is the more people who will fall in love with it’.

Or as one virtual furniture service provider mentioned in this article, “Virtual reality technology transforms real estate“:

“We say it is for illustration only; if people come through and say, ‘where’s the furniture?’, be honest and tell them it is digitally staged.”

Most buyers are fairly understanding of that, so long as the actual features and presentation of the home they are thinking of buying isn’t changed. In other words, when it comes to digitally altering images for real estate sales, placing a dining table in a room that was actually empty when the photographer took the photo is fine, but repairing a large hole in a wall is not. In real estate marketing it all comes down to what’s permanent, and what’s temporary, and virtual furniture is very temporary.

Here are a few samples of virtual furniture so you can see what’s possible:

Do you think that the use of virtual furniture is in any way deceptive? Leave a comment below.

Light Painting

Light Painting refers to a photographic technique where light is artificially added to a scene (and thus to the completed image) while the camera shutter remains open. Typically it might involve ‘painting’ parts of a scene with a flashlight, or writing your name against a dark sky with a glow-stick. I demonstrate the lighting of an exterior here , and that same technique can be used for interiors as shown below.

Light painting demo by Propertyshoot Sunshine Coast

Behind the Scenes

Like the fine art of cat skinning, there is more than one way to photograph the front of a home. Each method produces results pretty much in line with the time invested; from a single ‘snap’ to a composite of multiple photos, each individually lit, taken over 30 minute window. Here is a short video that shows one way of capturing and processing such a photograph shot at twilight.

Declutter! (usually)

A rule of thumb when selling your home is to ‘declutter’ or to ‘depersonalise’ it so that potential owners can imagine making their own memories in their new place. So what to do when the clutter actually looks really cool!? Apart from the fact that moving this much stuff is way outside my job description, this scene is just downright appealing.

A sunny nook

Tech note: Natural light apart from a flash fired from outside through the venetian blinds.