Blog Tag: real estate photography

Always Hire a Professional Real Estate Photographer!

professional-real-estate-photographyAll too often I see properties listed with pictures that were either taken from a cheap camera or, heaven forbid, a cell phone. I can not stress how incredibly important it is when selling your home to have professional photography. Whether you are listing it For Sale By Owner or with an agent make sure you get professional real estate photography. If you choose to list your house with a real estate agent you should require them to hire a professional photographer that specializes in real estate photography. I would even go as for to say that if your agent is not willing to take on that marketing cost for you it’s time for you to interview a different agent to assist you in selling your home. It’s not 1999 anymore and over the last dozen or so years it has been statistically proven without a doubt that professional real estate photos not only make homes sell faster, but for more money too. Try googling it for yourself and do three minutes of homework here. Try searching for “Professional Real Estate Photography Statistics” It is such a popular search phrase that Google will likely finish it off for you. After only three to five minutes of reading you will see some hard-hitting statistics that have been put out by companies like Redfin, Zillow, and more. The facts are the facts here.

The two key components to successfully selling a home is Pricing and Marketing. Pricing is first for a reason, no matter how good the pictures are if it is overpriced you WILL sit on it and end up taking less for the property than if you had priced it right. Moreover, when marketing your home, you have to have top-notch real estate photography as this will be every potential buyer’s first impression of the house and quite often be the deciding factor on whether they will set up a showing.

Now with all that being said I always hire a professional Traverse City real estate photography team for all my listings. The team over at BlueLaVaMedia does a superb job for not only myself but just about every agent in our office. Just for clarification, I pay for all of my listings photography, drone shoots, virtual tours and interactive media out of my pocket, and this is a cost I absorb even if for some reason your home does not sell.

To wrap things up if you are in the market for a new home or need to sell yours, please feel free to reach out to me. All of my contact information can be found on my Traverse City Real Estate Website. If you liked my article and found my real estate photography statistics useful please be sure to come on over and sign up for more of my articles in my Traverse City Realtor Blog.


Dereck Dykes
Century 21 Northland
Traverse City Real Estate Agent

The Formula 81 – Business Plans for Real Estate & Virtual Tour Photographers

Photography Business Building Plan

Building a photography and virtual tour business starts with a business plan. It might help to think of the structure of this plan the same way you would the building of a house. You work in stages, and that’s because there are some things you cannot do until you’ve done the other things first. For example; you start by building a foundation and these are the basics that you must have in place before you can move on. In this webinar, we’ll call Stage 1 in our plan The Foundation, since we need to have a strong platform upon which to build the rest the photography and virtual tour business. If we miss any of this, or if we don’t build our foundation well enough, then the rest of what we do on top of that will be much weaker.

Stage 2 in the building plan for a business is where we add a little more structure to the business, and we’ll call this stage The Frame. The things we do during this stage will help us get more clients and increase our revenue, building further upon The Foundation.

Once again we need to complete Stage 2 before we can move on to Stage 3, which we’ll call The Fitout, and that’s where we add the bricks, the doors, the windows and the furniture.  Stage 3 is where we are fitting it out with the luxury features such as RTV’s robust virtual tour software  or aerial drone services that help take us up a level in terms of quality and service offerings. After all, every home has a foundation and a frame, but it’s in the fitout where we separate the good home from the amazing home, and it’s the same with your business. 

What’s important here is to understand the need to do some things first, and not to start trying to add a beautiful staircase and huge windows before we’ve got our foundation built. If that foundation or that frame is incomplete then these Stage 2 and 3 activities won’t be as effective as they would otherwise be, and you could seriously harm your reputation.

During this webinar we will be going through the various steps and activities that a photographer needs to accomplish at each stage of this plan, covering The Foundation, The Frame, and The Fitout. You’ll have a much better idea of what you need to do with your own business and when you need to do it, with helpful hints on:

  • What you must have on your website and why
  • Tips for how to get the most from your Facebook Page and Facebook ads
  • What you can learn from the way McDonald’s makes their burgers
  • How to keep clients coming back to you
  • What not to say in a marketing email
  • How to be a leader in your market
  • … and much more!

Real Estate Photography CoachOur presenter for this webinar is Darryl Stringer, creator and founder of The Real Estate Photography System. Darryl started in real estate photography in 1998 and built a successful business in Brisbane, Australia, photographing billions of dollars worth of commercial and residential buildings. Today he helps photographers and virtual tour providers across the USA, Australia, Canada and Europe get more clients and build more profitable businesses. We hope you can join us on Tuesday, Sept 12th at 7:00 pm EST. You will be glad you did.

Please visit our webinar information page to register.

See you there!


Team RTV
RTV, Inc – Virtual Tour Software & National Photography Services
Order a virtual tour – 866-947-8687

The Value of a Pre-shoot Checklist

Hello RTV virtual tour providers! A Pre-shoot checklist holds immense value for the virtual tour photographer. It’s always a great feeling to walk onto a location for a real estate photography shoot and see that every detail your Pre-shoot Checklist has been covered.  It makes the whole process go much smoother and leaves the brain free for creative thinking, and to pay attention to the technical details of the photo shoot.

For any given image, the photographer has a myriad of tasks and details to be concerned with. Camera angle, diverging lines, composition, white balance, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, lighting, and the list goes on.  With so many critical details to attend, it is easy to miss little things, like a wrinkle on a bed spread, the distracting floral arrangement that obscures a key element, or a bulb out in a hallway.

A well laid out Pre-shoot Checklist is valuable because it will work to cure many of the repeat issues we see when shooting a property. I like to follow through with my agent to ensure that the home owner has in fact received a copy of the checklist.  I encourage my agents to hold off on the shoot until all items on the list can be completed.  The most frustrating thing for me for real estate photography, is showing up and neither the agent or home owner has ensured all bulbs are working prior to shoot time.  

Another value of the Pre-shoot Checklist is marketing.  Make your checklist attractive and include your branding.  An attractive and informative checklist will be retained by agents. Brand your checklist with web and phone numbers. Include a call to action.  Keep your name in front of the customer.  On my website,, I provide all visitors a free download of our checklist. The customer is required to enter their email prior to download.  We use the emails in further marketing for our Tyler, Texas Virtual Tour Company

Final thought on the value of a Pre-shoot Checklist.  A good checklist, is another way to serve the client.  It’s the first step in making sure the final product meets the expectations they have of you.  The checklist is also another key part of relationship building with your client.  So, in closing, I encourage my fellow RTV virtual tour software customers to dust off your checklist and see how you can use it to better serve your client and smooth out your shoots at the same time.

FL virtual tour provider



Dave Hall
Office: 903.502.0360
iPhone: 903.253.3979 (Primary)
Order Professional Real Estate Photography  –
Property Marketing Experts

New From RPM Marketing – Green Up Service Postcard!

real estate photography marketingSpring has nearly sprung folks and the time is NOW to get in front of your virtual tour customers with a lovely “GREEN” piece to advertise your photography green up service.  Over at BlueLaVaMedia (Traverse City Virtual Tours) we have inched our green up pricing to $75 per session.  Check out our real estate virtual tour pricing on our site! 

If you’re not selling a green up service you’re missing out. Most RTV virtual tour providers offer this and you should too. It’s a brilliant way to put a KICK into your Spring sales. Every real estate listing that you have shot for your customers since Autumn that’s still active has a high percentage of ordering this service from you!

Login to your RPM dashboard TODAY and download this awesome and fully customizable piece.  As with most of our virtual tour marketing pieces as of late they are created using Adobe Photoshop giving you the ability to customize them with software you already use, and providing the most professional look in today’s demanding world.

Also RPM fans please keep an eye out for a triple video bonus series starring none other than Darryl Stringer a professional photographer from AU.  Darryl’s video will be available to all RPM subscription based users in a few days!!

Thanks for your continued support!

Team RTV


Virtual Tours & Virtual Tour Software


Marketing Tip for Real Estate Photographers

Have you been looking for a pretty slick marketing idea for your virtual tour and photography business?  Are you looking to get your brand in front of hundreds or possibly thousands of potential customers?  If you said yes to either of those questions then read on team!  Last Fall the team over at BlueLaVaMedia a Traverse City Real Estate Photography Company and Aerial Drone Service reached out to C-21 of Michigan and offered to take photos of their next event free of charge.  Well, not completely free. In exchange for taking portrait and event photos we asked if we could have a trade show booth setup and possibly get five minutes or so in front of everyone.  What we got was far beyond what we expected and I think you can do this too!

On the day of the event close to a thousand real estate agents from all over Michigan began to pile into the convention center at the Grand Traverse Resort here in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan.  BlueLaVaMedia had setup our trade show booth right next to our portrait backdrop area.  We were able to show off many of our most popular services like our True-Blue photos, our new responsive the virtual tour player, our slick real estate photography app, the amazing drone photos and videos, our popular agent green screen video services, our single property websites, our virtual staging services, Fusion’s printable flyers and we even got a chance to give realtors a look at our up and coming 3D Goggle virtual tour. The exposure we gained from the show was beyond our greatest expectations. Jim Blue and Melissa took hundreds of photos of the event as well as many group photos.  The photos they took were later uploaded to a drop site for C-21 to snag and distribute accordingly.  No editing on our end by the way!

All in all we had hundreds of Michigan Realtors stop on by our booth throughout the night. The highlight of the evening occurred just after dinner when they gave us about five minutes on stage to address the entire room.  That’s right!  We were actually up there in front of everyone in the spotlight for our five minutes of fame. Here’s a video of the speech I gave for you to check out –

If you’re looking for a great marketing opportunity I would highly recommend to anyone that you try this out.  Simply reach out to your local branch office and find out who you should speak with at corporate with regards to donating some of your time to a similar event in your area.  Good luck out there and we look forward to hearing about your similar success stories!

Traverse City Drone










BlueLaVaMedia, LLC
Traverse City DroneTraverse City Virtual Tours
Order a Virtual Tour – 231-946-1360
Download our App from the App Store or Google Play!