Discover The Power Of Aerial Photography

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) by Rio Grande Valley real estate agents and brokers for aerial photography and videography is exploding. Aerial video of rooftops, swimming pools, decks, docks and backyards are giving real-estate agents the edge that they need when selling real estate. Real estate agents know that they have to stay ahead of the game and use the best marketing tools available. Aerial photography and videography is the only tool that gives buyers a visual perspective that is not available from ground-level photos.

Displaying a clients property from angles above, provide real estate agents with a distinct competitive advantage in selling real estate. However, many in the business do not know that operating a flying camera (drone) for commercial purposes requires special approval from the FAA (Federal Avaiation Administration), and a licensed pilot behind the controls. Photograph RGV conducts all aerial photography flights using highly trained FAA licensed and insured pilots who are trained to fly safely, adhere to all Federal Aviation Administration requirements, and respect the national airspace system.

Our high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles empower our pilots to capture images that were once out of reach. Amazing photos and video, treasured personal memories, and high-end professional imagery are captured and stored for our clients to review. We deliver our services through an unparalleled commitment to safety, a culture of innovation and curiosity, and a focus on quality and professionalism. Trust Terrestrial Imaging to bring new perspectives to your work and help you accomplish your feats safer, faster, and with greater efficiency than ever before.

8 Reasons You Should Use Professional Real Estate Photography

Not all listings are created equal, and in this fast progressing marketing environment, it is important to stay on the cutting edge. Whether you are an agent, or a seller who is considering an agent, here are eight reasons why professional real estate photography should be a part of your marketing strategy when selling a home.

1. Buyers are searching the Internet for their next home.

From 2006 to 2010, the number of home buyers searching the internet when looking for Rio Grande Valley homes for sale jumped from 80% to 89%. Home buyers are consumers that are increasingly competent with more technology devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones; This is where they want to shop, and how they prefer to search for homes. This trend shows that buyers recognize the usefulness of technology, and will notice professional photos versus point-and-shoot or cell phone pictures.

The internet marketplace is intensely competitive, and it is important to have professional photos because they are your first, and often only, impression to the majority of buyers searching for homes online. – National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

2. Professional photos get more clicks.

Having eye-catching professional photos will draw more attention to your listings, and as a result, will bring more clicks by potential home buyers. While more clicks don’t guarantee a sale, they do mean more potential buyers are looking at your listing. By reaching out to more buyers, your listing stands a better chance of finding the right buyer. The leading South Texas real estate photography company has examined listing traffic on listings that used their photos and compared it to traffic received by listings without professional photos in the same area, and has found that there is a consistently higher number and rate of inquiries on listings using professional photos. – Observation of listings in the Greater McAllen Area 2013-2016

3. Percentage of homes sold with professional camera photos vs point-and-shoot.

In 2010, the Wall Street Journal published a graph showing that in most price brackets, more homes sold that were photographed by professional grade equipment, than those taken with a point-and-shoot. A real estate photographer with professional-grade equipment can affect how a prospective buyer sees a listing, and the benefits can especially be seen above the $300k price range. This is also echoed by local agents who have seen the difference in listing sales rates after switching to professional photos. – Published in The Wall Street Journal utilizing data presented by Redfin Corp.

4. Percentage of listings on the market using professional photos.

A leading Real Estate Photography company in Dallas, TX researched local MLS listings in the DFW area, noting listings using professional photos as well as those using point-and-shoot photos. In the Dallas area, about half of the listings are marketed with professional photos. In Fort Worth, about one third of listings are photographed professionally. Predictably, the higher the listing price, the higher the usage of professional photos. When you are listing a higher priced home, it is important to use professional photos to stay abreast of your competition. Even if you are listing a home in a price range where less professional photography is being used, utilizing it gives you the unique opportunity to stand out from the competition and attract buyer interest. – Unique Exposure Photography examined 512 active MLS listings in the Dallas, TX area between July 30, 2011 and August 3, 2011. Also examined were 184 active MLS listings in the Fort Worth, TX area between July 30, 2011 and August 3, 2011

5. Featuring professional photography as part of your brand.

If you are a REALTOR®, you often will have to compete with your peers for listings. Professional photography is a powerful tool in your marketing portfolio when you are meeting potential sellers. If a seller is given a choice between an agent that takes their own photos, and one that uses a professional, they are more likely to go with the one utilizing professional photography. A home is one of the biggest investments many people make, and they want to count on you to market it to the best of your ability. By using a professional photographer, you are showing the seller that you are serious about selling their home. Additionally, a large portion of real estate business is from referrals, and showing your clients you go above and beyond is something they will talk to their friends and family about, bringing you more sellers in the future.

6. Having a professional take care of the photos saves you time, and stress.

Photographing a listing takes time. First you will drive to the property and go room by room taking photos, then when you get back to the office you have to take the pictures off of your camera (or phone!) and put them into your computer to be uploaded to the MLS. Often something can go wrong with the computer, or the device, and photos might not download correctly. If you realize some of the photos didn’t turn out, you have to go back and re-take the shot. If not, you stand the chance of posting a photo that advertises the listing – and your brand – badly when being viewed online.

A professional Real Estate Photographer on the other hand will take the photos, edit them to reflect the actual look and feel of the home (regardless of lighting challenges), resize them to ideal dimensions for MLS, and deliver them directly to you electronically, ready to be uploaded and marketed. They can also provide you with a virtual tour, and link it to syndicated sites for you.

Often a home or property stands to benefit greatly from the tools Real Estate Photographers have available, such as high extending tripods and even professional grade camera drones for aerial photography, allowing them to capture landscaping features, and the scope of large scale properties, as well as the surrounding area.

7. Your best marketing teammate might be a professional Real Estate Photographer.

Your Real Estate Photographer is often able to help you in other areas of marketing, to get more exposure for your listing. They can give you guidance or ideas for brochures and fliers, and provide you with print quality images that amaze your clients, no matter the size of the media.
Sellers need to know you use a professional photographer, and you can ask your photographer to provide you with fliers that showcase their work and have examples of their photos. By including this in your marketing material that you leave with a seller, they are able to see the superior product that you will deliver if they go with you as their agent.

Finally, ask your photographer for a pre-shoot checklist to give to your buyer. They can help you know how to prepare the home for photos, and what looks good in photos often helps the home look good in showings. Little things like replacing light bulbs and putting away personal knick knacks can make a big difference.

8. Choose the right professional Real Estate Photographer.

  • Examine what all they offer, and ask them about working with you to create other marketing material
  • Build a relationship with them. A good photographer wants to help you succeed, and is willing to work with your personal style.
  • Look through their portfolio, and decide if the quality of work they provide meets your needs.
  • Do they provide 50 decent photos for you to choose from, or 10-20 carefully planned and edited shots? Keep in mind the experienced photographer knows the best angles and shots to represent a home, and will devote more time to editing higher quality images. While it may seem nice to pick from a “buffet” of shots, time in editing is sacrificed to make that a feasible option for the photographer, and in the end you will usually get a lower quality product. Trust the photographer’s eye.
  • Decide what is more important, saving a little money up front, or consistently getting a higher quality service and better valued product. Not all professional photographers are going to provide you with an equal level of service.

Things to avoid when choosing a Real Estate Photographer:

  • Lack of consistency. If a company hires out their work, are you guaranteed the same level of quality regardless of photographer?
  • Distorted architectural features. Homes have vertical walls, and if the walls and ceilings look curved, it is because the photographer is inexperienced with a wide-angle lens. Make sure all vertical and horizontal lines are straight. They should also not angle outward or inward, as if the camera was looking up or down at the room.
  • Bad compositions. A rushed photographer will make poorly composed shots. Your photos shouldn’t show the backs of furniture, the third or fourth walls of a room with only four walls, cameras in mirrors, etc. A good photographer will examine the space and compose the best shot accordingly.
  • Fake looking photos (“cartoon” or “painting” looking). High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an effective process that is used to merge light and dark photos together to create an ideal exposure. When done correctly, this can make photos mimic what the human eye actually sees, despite extreme lights and darks. However, many inexperienced Real Estate Photographers are too liberal with its use, and end up with photos that look fake, cartoonish, or obviously over-edited. The photos that buyers see should accurately reflect both the look, and the feel, of the home, while bringing out its best qualities.

Originally published at:

Leave Real Estate Photography To the Professionals

We’ve all been there. There’s a little downtime at the office and you’re right in front of your computer. Who says you can’t pop open your browser and look through the pictures of your favorite dream home? No, we’re not talking Pinterest. You can find some of the best designed homes beautifully displayed right on many McAllen area real estate websites even if you’re not in the market to buy. But what if you are in the market to sell? You want your house to look as good, if not better, as the Rio Grande Valley homes already on the market.

Over 90 percent of the initial real estate search is done online. People are making decisions based on photographs and that is why it is absolutely essential to use a professional real estate photographer. Ask any top producing agent if they have seen firsthand the pros and cons of using professional real estate photography. People make decisions on what’s visually appealing. Buyers decipher which house they are going to see, and which houses they are going the skip, based on the photographs. You want to entice them.

Marketing Benefits of Good Photography

Instead of preparing really good photographs of attractive properties, most agents default to the same old point ‘n’ shoot approach. As a result, most pictures of similar listings are virtually indistinguishable from each other. The trained eyes of experienced photographers pick up and capture the details that help truly distinguish one property from another. It is these trained eyes and attention to detail that distinguishes good photographs from so-so pictures and images. The best and most effective marketing requires the best photographs you can produce or obtain. Not surprisingly, so-so pictures and images only produce so-so marketing results. There are many marketing benefits generated by good real estate photography.

Distinguish Yourself From The Competition

Professionally prepared photographs of Rio Grande Valley properties will help distinguish you from the competition; especially if they use photographs taken by the point ‘n’ shoot approach. As a result your personal brand will be enhanced and you will add quality to your brand promise… The service that you deliver to clients.

Raising the Bar With Professional Real Estate Photography

Real estate agents take snapshots to document homes for sale as if to say, “This home has a dining room.” What their photographs should be marketing is the dining room as a great space to spend time dining with friends and family. Photography can be used for marketing real estate, but often agents just take a few quick snapshots instead of hiring a professional real estate photographer. I have never seen poorly photographed shoes on the Zappos website. It’s also rare to see poorly photographed products on Pinterest, or in the Target store flier that comes with the Sunday newspaper.

When are we going to have standards in the real estate industry for photography? Don’t we have an ethical and moral obligation to do everything we can to make our clients real estate look fantastic instead of frightening? It isn’t unusual to see the logo of a major real estate brand right next to a poor property photograph. Photography is one of the least expensive and easiest ways for agents and brokerages to really stand out. What do poor photos say about real estate brands? Doesn’t better photography create a better user experience on our websites? Yet photography is rarely even mentioned at real estate conferences or offered as part of continuing education.

If, as an industry, we were at all serious about raising the bar, brokerages would insist on better photographs. MLS would have stricter rules for photos, and perhaps fines. Rio Grande Valley real estate agents market their home listings all over the internet, and they need photographs to do it. Those pictures not only market listings, they market real estate agents and brokerages. Why list with poor photos if you can get professional real estate photos for as little as $75?

Benefits of Using Photograph RGV Real Estate Photography

I am often surprised by how bad many real estate photos are on the MLS and sites like What surprises me the most is why the homeowners, the majority of whom are selling their largest asset, allow their Listing Agent to use such ordinary photos to present their home to the marketplace.

Do the homeowners look at the listing of their own home? Are the homeowners so blindly trusting in the REALTORS® expertise that they let the agent use whatever images they want? Or do homeowners (and real estate agents) not instinctively know what makes a real estate photo good or bad? I am not sure…

Photography is the central component of online home marketing. If there are no photos or the photo quality is poor (too dark, cluttered, etc.) that potential buyer will move onto the next listing.

Benefits that come with using Photograph RGV to photograph your home listings include:

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  • Professional photos make that great first impression when your listing is viewed online or in print.
  • Texas has become one of the most popular states to relocate to, therefore photos play a crucial role as these potential buyers look for homes.
  • We are in a competitive marketplace right now. Your listing needs to stand out above the rest.
  • Hiring a professional photographer will give you consistent quality and save you time.
  • High-quality photos have a large emotional impact on buyers.
  • Professional photographers have the equipment necessary to produce high quality photographs; a high resolution full-frame DSLR camera, an ultra wide-angle lens, an integrated flash, tripod, etc.
  • Professional photographers also have the experience to deal with difficult lighting situations.


Set yourself apart: Offer professional photography as part of your listing pitch.

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  • Why not offer ADDED VALUE to your listing pitch by including professional photographs of the property?
  • With better photographs, you will provide your clients more exciting online curb appeal.
  • The greater the visual appeal, the more potential buyers will want to view the property giving you more opportunities to CLOSE THE SALE!


Remember, clients don’t hire photographers to sell their homes, and they don’t hire REALTORS® to photograph it.

Fancy Home Photos Can Help Make the Sale

Professional photography of a home can nab buyers’ attention online, and some home sellers are even crediting the fancy photos of their homes at getting their homes sold, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

Ninety-eight percent of home buyers who search for homes online say property photos were among the most useful features available on a real estate Web site, according to research from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Listings that include photos get 61 percent more views than listings without photos, according to research conducted by Redfin.

“When people are searching for homes, they search by price range, location [and the numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms]. But then once they have the list, the visual piece becomes a larger and more important part of the decision,” Jani Strand, spokeswoman for Redfin, told The Wall Street Journal. “Photos are the first impression, and can generate interest and excitement, which leads to good offers.”

As such, more real estate professionals are ramping up their photo skills, investing in wide-angle lens cameras and tripods so they can learn the craft of professional photography themselves. Other real estate professionals are forming relationships with professional photographers to capture their listings.

Whichever the case, photo experts say it’s important to judge which photos you include carefully in a listing.

“Do the photos make you want to visit the home? Do they look like they are pulled from a home and garden magazine? Those are the kind of pictures that will appeal to prospective buyers,” The Wall Street Journal article notes.

Also, the first few photos you include on a listing are the most important and should include a photo of the exterior, main living area, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, and another attractive feature in the home.

Source: “Get a Picture-Perfect Home Sale,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 26, 2012)

Get a Picture Perfect Rio Grande Valley Home Sale

Good pictures are a crucial marketing tool for a Rio Grande Valley home sale. According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 98% of home buyers who searched for a home online said photos were among the most useful features of real-estate websites.

Many agents may say, “Photography doesn’t sell homes, pricing it right does,” and that’s true, price IS the most important factor overall. Photographs alone will never sell a home. However, once a home is priced within its proper market value it has to compete with potentially hundreds of other similar properties. The key then is getting potential buyers to physically come look at a home. In the online search market of today, there’s only one way to do that: Professional, high-quality photography. Simply put, once a home is priced right photography makes a huge difference. Before a home can sell it must have potential buyers visiting it and it’s common sense that if you can attract more potential buyers to your home then you’re going to significantly increase your chances of selling the home faster and for more money.

Professional real estate photography is at the center of all your marketing. It’s not just documenting that there is a house for sale. You want people to say, ‘What a house,’ and be motivated enough to take action. Listings of homes with photos taken by professionals have about 61% more views than listings without—and that’s across all price tiers, according to research from Redfin, a real-estate brokerage firm.

Home seller tips for making sure photos of their property are the best they can be:

  • Evaluate The Agent: Look at a real-estate agent or broker’s current listings and evaluate their property photos. If the pictures are blurry, grainy, crooked or poorly composed, you may be better off choosing another agent.
  • Use Compelling Shots: Do the photos make you want to visit the home? Do they look like they are pulled from a home and garden magazine? Those are the kind of pictures that will appeal to prospective buyers.
  • Pick the Right Amount: How many photos does the agent post with each listing? One photo is too few and 30 is too many.
  • The first several photographs in the listing are the most important, and should feature a front shot, main living area, kitchen, master bedroom and master bathroom, as well as another attractive feature.
  • Don’t Do it Yourself: Don’t plan on shooting your own photos, unless you’re a professional photographer. This is a service that the agent should offer you, and an important one at that.
  • Pick the Best Views: Before the photographer does the shoot, present a list of various shots that might be helpful. Perhaps there is a view you love from your patio. That’s helpful information for the photographer to know, before he or she gets on site.
  • Give Final Approval: Ask to see the photos before they are posted online, and compare them to homes that are similar to yours. If they didn’t turn out well, ask for a re-shoot.

Photography Tips For REALTORS®: Don’t Do it Yourself

I’ve seen it many times as a REALTOR®; Listing agents take what they thought were great listing pictures and used them for their online MLS listing. I work with over 40 different buyers a week and everyday I’d hear, “Did you see those listing pictures? There’s no way we want to see that house, it’s a dump! Does the listing agent know how bad they are?” Obviously, the listing agent didn’t spend anything on real estate photography.

My buyers would also see some great listing photos and want to get in to see the home that afternoon. We’d step inside and they’d wonder if it was the same home they saw online. They felt cheated because the pictures were nothing like the real home. (But at least the listing agent got buyers walking through the house.)

It all came down to the listing pictures they saw online which are essential marketing for listings. Give buyers a great picture and they’ll jump inside the house that day. Give them a “do-it-yourself” picture and they will move onto the next home. The listing pictures make the difference, especially when you spend a few bucks on professional real estate photography. Even when the listing pictures were better than the actual house, guess what? It still got the buyers inside! That’s your goal as a listing agent; get as many showings as possible. Photograph RGV makes that happen.

With many buyers searching for homes online, the listing photos are the first thing they’re looking at and basing their initial impressions on. How much money in lost commissions do you think you’re missing because you won’t spend a couple hundred bucks for professional real estate photography?

If you did spend the well invested marketing dollars on professional real estate photography:

  • You could have more satisfied clients because the home sold faster.
  • You could have made more cash because you didn’t have to drop the sales price when the listing became stale on the market.
  • You could look like a top producer in the area because of the quicker sales, better looking listings and more satisfied clients. Your overall image is enhanced, big time!

Isn’t it funny how such a small aspect of your business can affect the whole thing? Anytime you realize how one issue affects your net profits, that will make you perk up, right? Now don’t give me the excuse that it’s too expensive because it’s not. Look at it as a marketing and advertising expense and real estate photography is one of the best things you can spend your marketing dollars on. (View Photograph RGV’s Pricing & Packages)

Don’t skimp on your real estate photography. Look at the cost as an investment. If you spent $200 on professional real estate photography and got back another $20,000 in commissions that year from faster sales, more clients, and higher listing prices, wouldn’t that be worth it?

Photography Plays an Important Role in Real Estate Marketing

Good, strong images play a huge role in marketing homes today. Increased exposure to multimedia in the forms of television, magazines, and the internet has raised our visual expectations and shortened attention spans. These days nearly all potential home buyers start their search online, and usually at one of the big syndicated sites such as Trulia,, and Zillow. In fact, the average user spends 26 minutes on, and most of that time is spent looking through listing photos. Buyers look through dozens, if not hundreds, of listing photos on every visit to a real estate site. It should come as no surprise that homes with strong, professional photos command more online viewership which translates into more showings than listings that do not incorporate professional photography.

Good quality real estate photographs are difficult to achieve and it should be clear that a real estate agent can’t be expected to have professional photographic skills. Agents should, however be able to recognize the difference between good and poor photos and refrain from posting poor photos where perspective buyers will see them. With that in mind, it is amazing to find all the substandard photos, which agents and sellers seem to be willing to accept when it comes to posting photos of your property to the MLS and other online advertising.

Benefits of Pro Photography to the Agent:

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  • The seller is pleased with the level of professionalism in marketing and how the property is presented.
  • Great photos and great marketing lead to more and better listings.
  • When competing for a listing, the promise of professional photography and marketing materials can help win a listing.
  • Pro photos lead to more showings. More showings translate to a faster sale at a higher price.


Don’t just take my word for it. Here is a list of articles on the subject of real estate photography:

The Importance of Creating a Good First Impression Online

Curb appeal traditionally refers to how a home appears from the street. Today, with more than 90 percent of buyers shopping online, the curb is most often a virtual one. Online, McAllen area real estate has only seconds to grab attention before a viewer moves on to the next home; there are no do-over’s for first impressions.

“Buyers are looking for homes to eliminate. Online photos are the one thing you can’t afford to do wrong,” says Thomas Holmes, owner of Staging Homes in Wayland, Mass.

First impressions online can launch a home to thousands of potential buyers or turn off an equal number. It may be the best house in town and everyone who sees it will fall in love with it, but that’s all irrelevant if the consumer never makes it to the front door because they are discouraged by the photos.

Grainy images, rooms that are not camera-ready, limited information about the property won’t do the job. To create high-quality photos of Rio Grande Valley listings, hire Photograph RGV. With thousands of dollars in equipment, our wide-angle lenses can not only capture more of the room, but also convey the proportion of the space.

Be selective about what is shown online. Although most experts suggest using a lot of images, they also caution that rooms such as additional bathrooms don’t add to the overall impact unless they are exceptional. Make sure images are oriented so the focal point and the best aspects of the space are highlighted.

Most important, hold off on photos until the house is ready for its market debut. Real-estate agents tend to take exterior pictures when they first visit the house. Often these images end up as part of the listing online and are the first thing potential buyers see. Owners need to ensure exterior shots reflect the home at its best after the front entry has been staged. Also, pay attention to cars, trash cans and toys that might end up in the shot.

Whether you use still photos, videos or virtual tours, how a property is presented is as critical as the quality of the images. Towels slung over a shower curtain, dishes in the sink, toys crammed into the corner of a room are as unappealing as poor quality images. Small details like a bed skirt tucked into a mattress are easy to glance over but jump out in photos and distract from the overall impression.

Sellers: When getting ready to list a house, be sure to ask potential agents about the online presence they create for their listings and where they appear. Savvy owners work with their agent to ensure their property creates a strong first impression.