March 2021 Issue of Professional Photographer Magazine

I have been a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) for 15 years. Before that, I was an aspiring photographer member and attended some of their conventions. The association has been a very big part of my professional career: highly educational classes and conventions, valuable business structure assets, and both equipment and liability insurance. I highly recommend PPA to any photographer either starting out our a veteran. I’ve alway wondered about my place in PPA, as it seemed to not have many architectural photographers as it’s members. That is why having my image on the March cover is so important to me.

It is my most prized accomplishment in my career to date. Putting one of the few architectural images on the cover places the niche firmly in the association. Ruthie Porterfield, the client hired me to photography this newly built home in Tanglewood, Houston. I won’t go into the technical details here, they are featured in the editorial about the cover. There are times when I see an image through the lens, and I know it could be special. Those moments are crucial. It’s a signal to get out of the car, set up the extra equipment, and make the extra effort to create what could be the most important image of your career.

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    Why Do Videos Work in Real Estate?

    In the competitive real estate industry, you need everything you can to make your listings stand out. One way you can do this is with professional real estate videos! Great videos are a surefire way to drum up interest in a property. Here are a few of the top reasons why Houston walkthrough videos are so effective.

    They Give Buyers the Opportunity to Tour a Property Remotely

    Real estate videos have never been more relevant than right now in the midst of a pandemic. Just because people aren’t able to tour real estate in person doesn’t mean they don’t need to search for homes. Real estate videos are the solution! They make it easy for people to check out a property anytime, anywhere and get a similar idea of the property that they would get with an in-person tour.

    Videos Make Your Listing Stand Out 

    After a buyer has been looking at real estate listings for a while, they can all start looking the same. Pictures will grab the buyer’s attention more than written words. But for the ultimate attention-grabber, you should use real estate videos. They’re much more engaging.

    Video will also automatically make your listing more memorable than others that only have photos. When a buyer connects with a listing and remembers the details more easily, they will be more likely to make an offer. 

    Real Estate Videos Speed Up the House Hunting Process 

    Watching a video tour of a home is often quicker than reading a lengthy property description and clicking through dozens of photos. A video is easier and faster to consume. The viewer gets even more information than they would just clicking through photos. Yet, it’s also less time-consuming.

    Videos are Less Confusing Than Matterport

    These days, it seems like everyone in the real estate industry is excited about Matterport. This technology gives a buyer the opportunity to take a 3D tour of a property. However, just because something is new doesn’t always mean it’s the best solution. Matterport can actually be tedious to use. It doesn’t necessarily flow together well the way that a professionally filmed and edited video does. Matterport has its place, but if a buyer isn’t very tech-savvy, then they may not like using Matterport. 

    Videos Help Buyers Picture Themselves in a Home

    Real estate videos help people actually picture themselves living in a home. The movement helps them imagine what it would be like to live their day-to-day life hanging out in the living room, entertaining in the kitchen, and sleeping in the master bedroom. It’s a little more difficult to imagine this with static photos. When a buyer can picture themselves in a home, they will be more likely to actually want to buy it.

    Add a Real Estate Video to Your Online Listing with Patrick Bertolino

    If you want to amp up your real estate listings, get Houston walkthrough videos made by an experienced videographer like Patrick Bertolino. Get in touch today to get started on your professional real estate video! 

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      3 Reasons You Should Incorporate Aerial Photography in Your Real Estate Listing

      If you’ve been looking for ways to make your real estate listing stand out from others, you’ve probably thought about aerial photography. But you may have wondered: is it really worth the investment? Or is Houston drone photography just a gimmick?

      While drone photography may not be right for showcasing every kind of property, there are times when you should definitely utilize it. Here are some examples of when you should add drone photography to your listing to spice it up!

      1. Showcase the Surrounding Area

      Buying real estate is about so much more than the home itself. If there are attractions in the area surrounding the home, it’s important that they show up in the online listing. Aerial photography gives you a nice snapshot of everything near a property. You might want to showcase:

      • A nearby golf course
      • A gorgeous lake near or on the property
      • Wide-open surrounding landscape
      • Nearby playgrounds or scenic parks

      Looking up the area on Google Earth just won’t do it justice. Only a drone will allow you to truly capture what life near the home looks like.

      1. Give Buyers a Clear Picture of the Layout—Literally!

      Pictures are often more powerful than words. This is especially true when it comes to real estate. There are certain things that just don’t translate well in a property’s description. Layout is one of these things. Aerial photographs give potential buyers a quick understanding of how a property is laid out—both the home itself and the land it lies on.

      If the property is an acreage, drone photography is especially important. It can show the entire property in a single photo! If a property has a pool or other outdoor amenities, drone photography is the best way to show it off to scale.

      1. Boost the Online Listing

      It’s no secret that real estate listings with photos perform significantly better than those without. But every listing these days has great images. Just hiring a professional photographer isn’t enough. Photographs taken by a drone will distinguish your listing from similar properties and make you more likely to actually close the sale.

      Aerial photographs allow buyers to see the most information in just one photograph. Buyers don’t necessarily want to pour over dozens of photos to examine a property. When they’re looking at multiple properties, this will take even more time. Homebuyers want a convenient purchasing process. When a listing provides aerial photographs, they will be able to make an informed decision in a short amount of time. If you want to make a real estate sale fast, having drone photography could help make that happen!

      Choose the Best Houston Drone Photographer to Take Your Aerial Images

      Do you have a listing that needs drone photography? As a Houston real estate photographer, I have extensive experience enhancing real estate listings with gorgeous aerial photographs. Don’t settle for just any drone photographer. Use my experience and cutting-edge equipment to make your listing look its very best. Contact me today!

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        5 Secrets to Choosing the Right Real Estate Photographer

        Are you a realtor on the hunt for Houston Real Estate Photography? This important choice can make or break your real estate listing. Not sure how to find the right photographer? Here are five tips that will help you make the right choice.

        1. Look at Their Specialty

        Even the most expensive, experienced real estate photographer may not be suited for every type of photography. Photographers have specialties. Real estate photography is already a specific niche. Someone who specializes in portrait photography may be very talented, but that doesn’t mean you want them taking photos of the home you’re trying to sell.

        Many real estate photographers will have even more specific niches. Some may have a lot of experience shooting condos and apartments while others specialize in luxury Houston homes. Find out if your photographer has a specialty and if it fits well with what you want.

        1. Always View Examples

        Perhaps the best way you can find the real estate photographer that’s right for you is by viewing their past work. Any photographer that’s worth their fee will have an extensive portfolio available online. Look through it. Think about how you want your listing to look and see if the photographer’s portfolio examples match up with your expectations. This is another great way to get a feel for the photographer’s specialty, even if they don’t say that they have one.

        1. Talk to Them Before You Commit

        Even though your relationship with your real estate photographer is going to be short-lived, it’s important that you can work well together. Although the photographer is the expert, you also want to find someone that values your opinion. They should be someone who you feel comfortable talking to (and welcoming into your private space).  Building a solid rapport is important in case you have any concerns about the session or the finished photos. 

        Ultimately, the photos will be for your listing. If you aren’t happy with the end result, it matters. Because of this, you must take the time to meet the photographer in person and talk to them before you book the session.

        1. Find Out About Their Background

        How long has your photographer been in the game? Are they self-taught, or did they go to school? These kinds of things will impact the price of a Houston real estate photographer but they will also impact the final product. 

        You don’t necessarily need someone with 30 years of experience, but someone who’s brand-new to the game may not deliver the most high-quality work. Don’t try to save by hiring an inexperienced photographer. If they give you substandard work, you’ll just end up paying even more to get the images re-done by a true professional.

        1. Learn About Their Equipment

        Raw talent and experience aren’t everything. Technology matters too, especially when it comes to photography. Most photographers should have the type of equipment they use listed online. Do some research on the equipment your photographer uses. It doesn’t need to be the latest, greatest equipment of all time, but it should be able to execute your vision without any problems.

        Get in Touch with Patrick Bertolino

        With 20 years of Houston real estate photography experience behind me, I’m the perfect choice to take photos for your listings. Check out my extensive portfolio online. I even offer drone photography to give you stunning aerial images! 

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          Getting Your Home Ready for Its Close-Up: How to Prepare for Real Estate Photography

          Like all good realtors know, real estate photography is one of the most important aspects of a home’s listing. It’s true that having a talented real estate photographer is essential. But if you haven’t properly prepped your home, there’s nothing they can do to make the photos turn out well.

          Snapping the photos is the photographer’s job, while cleaning up your space ahead of the photoshoot is yours. Here are some tips for how to prep your home from the inside out. When you follow these guidelines, you’ll end up with some fantastic looking photography.

          Boost Curb Appeal
          First, you need to take a look at the front yard and make sure that it looks as perfect as possible before the photoshoot. You’ll want your landscaping to be spruced up the day before the session. It’s your responsibility to trim all your bushes and trees that might be dead and detract from the beauty of your home. Clear away any stray debris, signs, and water hoses. If you’re getting photos taken in the fall, rake up the leaves.

          You shouldn’t have any cars sitting in your driveway. Opening the curtains and blinds inside the house will make your home’s exterior photograph better. If you want to wet the driveway, that is also your responsibility. This will make the concrete or pavers look more even. The best time to do this is just five minutes before your session begins.

          Prep Your Home’s Interior
          Anything that detracts from your home’s beauty should be removed. Although a bit of dust won’t hurt, clutter kills photos. So, hide your kid’s toys and get rid of that stack of old magazines! If you don’t have a place for your excess stuff, move it to the garage.

          Minimalism is the best thing for your photos. Power cords and cables create a chaotic appearance. Hide them as best you can. No products should be visible in the kitchen or bathroom.

          Lighting is extremely important in your photos. Make sure your lightbulbs are working and the blinds on your windows are in good condition. If there are any painting or other repairs that need to be done, do them yourself or hire a handyman before the photographer starts snapping photos.

          During the session, make sure all your fans are off. The laundry room is a good thing to highlight in photos. But it can often be filled with clutter. Make sure it’s clean before the photographer arrives.

          Clean Up the Backyard
          Just like with the front yard, you should have your landscaping spruced up the day before. If there are any debris, BBQ grills, or other clutter destroying the aesthetic of your backyard, move them to the side. If you have a pool, make sure you have it cleaned the day before the photos. Your patio umbrellas should be clean and in good order. If you have a dog, warn your photographer. You don’t want them stepping in dog poop during the session.

          Get Patrick Bertolino to Take Your Real Estate Photography
          If you’ve been searching for the perfect real estate photographer, contact me! I’d love to make sure your home’s character shows up in your listing. If you have any more questions on how to prepare for your session contact me! I’d be happy to help.

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