06 September

Photo Post Processing

Real estate property photo editing

How can Real Estate Photo Editing Boost Property Listings?

Struggling with the gradual decline in your property sales and your customer acquisition strategies failing drastically? If you are curious about how, check out the proven ways real estate photo editing can help you boost your bottom line.

The evolving landscape of the real estate market

The real estate industry has undergone a massive transformation since the advent of the Internet. Earlier, property dealings mostly happened based on “word of mouth”, but with consumers gaining access to free information, it became increasingly challenging for realtors to acquire new customers.

This is where real estate photo editing plays a major role. The need for enticing property listings is the way into the buyer’s mind, tempting them to make the purchase; and superbly edited property photos are the first thing that embellish the listings.

What are the biggest challenges the real estate industry faces?

As mentioned, the real estate market became increasingly challenging and filled with cut throat competition. A few of the reasons are-

  • Inflation
  • Supply chain disruption
  • Labor shortage
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic

And so on.

These factors are majorly behind the competitive real estate landscape. Therefore, to gain a competitive advantage over rivals, realtors need sophisticated and elegant property photos that will attract their target audience, making them stand out.

How is professional editing of real estate photos helpful to agents?

Let’s expand on this now, how does image editing help real estate agents increase their sales. Well, time and again, it has been proven that the more a sales pitch is represented visually, the more it engages the audience. This is pretty evident from the fact that new-age customers love anything that is visually aesthetic as well as conveys the correct aspects.

This is exactly what photo editing does. The photo enhancement or editing process done by an adept editor not only showcases the core highlights of a property, but also makes it visually appealing.

Often, professional photo shoots fail to bring the desired impact; thereby discouraging property buyers and making them go for a different option. In those cases, getting the images edited by a team of experienced professionals is the best idea.

Let’s check out some of the ways in which professional image editing benefits real estate agents and owners.

  1. Enhances a property’s selling point

    All properties have specific unique selling points, or USPs; editing enhances them.

    For example, a great front lawn or backyard, a spacious master bedroom, a cozy balcony, a big terrace that opens to the lawn, and big windows to view sunrises and sunsets - photo editing increases the appeal of these core selling features, tempting the prospects.

  2. Removes unwanted objects

    Another great benefit realtors can reap from property picture editing is, getting rid of unwanted objects that have come within the frame. This way, prospects get clear, straightforward pictures of the rooms without getting distracted.

  3. Adds necessary details

    Just like eliminating unwanted elements, photo enhancement can also give a realtor the freedom to include some classy visual elements that make the properties look realistic.

    Like adding digitally enhanced green grass to an otherwise bare lawn, a fireplace with real fire in it, big Smart TVs in the living space with a screen, books on the bookshelves, and so on.

  4. Eliminates dust and spots

    Any speck or spot is a strict no-no for property images. Photo editing experts help keep things clean, for example, by removing dust spots from images that would otherwise have been missed by the photographer.

  5. Fixes any issue with the color tone

    Color is the life of any image, be it property, landscape, fashion, or anything else. Skilled image editors know how to balance the color tone, adding little dramatic effects here and there, which will entice home buyers to click on the listing.

  6. Improves brand credibility

    Sloppy photos are the first thing consumers dislike, making them question the brand’s credibility. Whereas professionally edited images that make the properties look appealing, not just boost brand credibility but also instill trust among prospective customers.

    So there you have it, a few benefits that photo manipulation and editing have for realtors and property owners. Basic editing and retouching - both are integral to real estate photography, each serving specific purposes in augmenting the photo.

    Understanding their major benefits inspires property owners to hire professional editing companies and get their chunks of photos edited.

How is the image editing process carried out?

Post-processing for real estate photography is never a one-size-fits-all process; every project is different, and every client is distinct. Therefore, the in-depth customizations and subsequent technicalities are different for each project.

However, the inherent steps remain the same. Let’s discuss the five main steps, or the five basic procedures, of how an image editing process is accomplished by photo editors.

  1. Importing and selecting a presentable photo

    The first step is to carefully select a set of photos that are close enough to be called “good”, presumably with proper lighting, fewer shadows, and nearly balanced hue/saturation.

    Photo editors then import the selected photos into whatever device they work on, create individual folders, and organize them.

  2. Straightening twisted lines and rotating wherever necessary

    The second step usually starts with straightening twisted or bent lines, as straight lines are crucial for properties to look great.

    Nevertheless, this golden rule of real estate photography often gets missed out or gets affected by faulty camera angles. This step is required to make those fixes and straighten out the bent lines.

  3. Strategically cropping the image

    This step is all about cleaning or repositioning the photo with meticulous rotating and/or cropping. High-end photo post-processing involves some serious technical cropping methods that photo editors leverage in their workflows.

  4. Performing color correction

    Color scheme correction or adjustment is another vital step that comes in the photo editing process across all industries, not just real estate.

    Editors have to ensure that the color of the landscape or the central property matches the surrounding environment and looks natural to onlookers.

  5. Enhancing light and shadows

    This step involves fixing unwanted shadows and darkening the extremely lightened areas. This is also called “exposure settings”.

    With the help of cutting-edge exposure adjustment tools, skilled professionals adjust the over or under-exposed shots, reduce or eliminate extra shadows, and so on. This is another critical step to get the best listing photos.

  6. Adding final fine-tunings and sharing with the client

    Making the final technical adjustments is the last phase of the photo editing step. This is where the final fine-tunings are made, and quality checks are done to identify any further tweaks to the images if required, convert the file into a universally-compatible format, implement any additional creative manipulations, etc.

    Lastly, the deliverables are shared with the client.

    Generally, real estate agents tie up with companies providing seamless photo editing services. These professionals deal with all the editing services required by the agent, and incorporate several images in the agents’ websites or brochures to help them acquire buyers from far and wide.

    Even individual homeowners need expert photo editing services to sell their properties. In case you do not get a professional photographer to shoot real estate pictures, you need to approach the editors, as such professionals are all well aware of all relevant facts about real estate photography.

What are the various types of photo editing techniques used to enhance property listing images?

There are several specialized techniques that proficient image editors leverage and develop property listing pictures that help clients close their deals fast. Let’s discuss some of them.

  1. Virtual day to dusk conversion

    This is an excellent photo-retouching technique that increases the sellable value of a property to a great extent. Using the latest software and the latest retouching technology, skilled experts transform a dull sky into a beautiful, vibrant sunset sky.

    This is a great way to encourage the aspirations of the customer in a subtle manner and help them make the right purchase.

  2. Removal of the “blurry” or “ghosting” effect

    Ghosting happens when a visual element moves from a certain exposure to the multiple next images, creating a set of blurry or “ghosted” images in the process. This takes away the professional appeal of your photos. Thankfully, Photoshop has tools that editing artists use to fix this issue.

  3. Boosting image clarity

    This is a smart technique to enhance the overall appeal of the images, making them even more clear to the onlooker’s eyes. Photo retouchers eliminate blurry, unclear edges, incorporate depth by tactically adding shades of black, etc.

  4. Replacement of dull skies with brighter ones

    A technique that helps most realtors amplify their property listings, sky replacement is a process by which editors replace dull, gloomy skies with bright, sunny skylines. Thereby making the image more welcoming and vibrant.

  5. Lawn replacement or beautification

    This image retouching technique drastically alters the look and feel of a gray, overgrown grass by replacing the lawn. Everything happens digitally, so there’s no extra cost of hiring laborers to attach the grass.

    Lawn replacement not only makes the property stand out but also breathes life into the surrounding. With Photoshop’s state-of-the-art tools, lawn replacements are done by skilled picture editing experts.

  6. Image manipulation

    Image manipulation differs slightly from standard image editing.

    Manipulating an image implies adding certain creative attributes, such as texture application, combining a realistic image with a surreal picture, fire effect, digital double exposure, fading smoke effects, restructuring the landscape, etc.

  7. Panorama photo stitching

    With this amazing technique, realtors and property owners can significantly amplify their listing engagement. The 360-degree panoramic photo stitching mixes or stitches multiple regular-sized photographs together, creating a single, wide-angled image.

    Usually, taking wide shots of large properties involves high-end, expensive cameras. Even then, most images do not turn up perfectly. In those scenarios, the panorama image stitching solves the issue.

  8. Visual noise reduction

    “Noise” or “grains” are the fine, hazy dots that often appear on images, hampering their clarity.

    This may happen for multiple reasons, like exposure time glitches, bad lighting, faulty camera angles, pixel density issues, shots taken by cameras with low-performing sensors, and so on. For a real estate agency, such grainy photos are highly detrimental to its brand image.

    Thankfully, Photoshop has the ideal “Filter” tool that professional photo editing service providers leverage and naturally eliminate the “noise”.

  9. Virtual staging

    The virtual staging technique is one-of-a-kind when it comes to giving customers a genuine, life-like experience.

    Contrary to traditional staging, where actual furniture items and props were used to furnish or “stage” a vacant property, virtual or digital staging does the same through innovative software.

    As a parting thought, experts predict that the real estate sector will continue to evolve and grow. Numerous technological advances will also influence the booming market. That makes it even more vital for realtors, individual property owners, and real estate brokers to stand out with their listings.

    Working with high-end, complex software might seem challenging at times. Also, for professional photographers, it is an onerous task to edit thousands of photos and deliver within the deadline. In such cases, teaming up with a third-party service provider is the best idea.

    With advanced Photoshop and Lightroom tools, perfect batch editing processes, filtering effects, color cast removals, virtual staging, and a super-quick TAT- a professional team can accomplish the best image post-production for the real estate industry.

Partner with such a team and grow your bottom line like never before. Good luck, folks!

Leon William


Working in MAPSystems as a Senior Business Strategist, Leon William has solid experience in strategizing business plans that are targeted to meet business objectives in every way possible. Leon is specifically interested in performing gap analysis and adopting special measures to take the brand to the next level by using the right communication channels. He can handle challenging situations while developing a hard-core strategy for the emerging markets and is passionate about taking the legacy forward.