When are we going to have standards in the real estate industry for photography? Why do we allow our MLS to watermark and publish bad photographs? Don’t agents have an ethical obligation and duty to do everything they can to best represent the features and condition of their clients' real estate?
It isn’t unusual to see the logo of a major real estate brand right next to a poor property photograph and yet, ironically, photography is one of the least expensive and easiest ways for agents and brokerages to really stand out.
Our MLS has all sorts of rules about data and data accuracy. Agents are fined if they don’t follow these rules. If, as an industry, we were at all serious about raising the bar, brokerages would insist on better photographs. Our MLS would have stricter rules for photos, and perhaps fines. How much better would our branding be if our local MLS fined us for:
1. Photographs with date stamps. The fine should be doubled if the stamp has a date that starts with 19 (as in "1998").
2. Partial room shots where the agent either zooms in and just gets the corner, or takes the picture with a phone or lens that covers only a small area.
3. Blurry, out-of-focus photographs.
4. Rooms with people or pets in the shot.
5. Interior photographs with an orange or yellowish tinge because the camera’s automatic white balance setting got it wrong.
6. Exterior shots taken into the sun.
7. Crooked photographs.
8. Interior photographs taken at night.
9. Pictures with open toilets in them.
10. Pictures with mirrors or windows that show a flash of light or an agent with a camera.
Just a thought.