How To Photograph a Neighborhood

One of the most important aspects of a successful real estate website is solid hyperlocal content. You would be amazed at how many people search for homes in specific neighborhoods or condo buildings

The neighborhood entrance

I know it’s cliché but it’s an important shot. This will help home buyers more easily find the location of the neighborhood should they later want to venture out and take a drive through that neighborhood.

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Homes

It’s important to photograph a few homes but don’t go overboard. Let’s face it, showing the fronts of a dozen homes that all look the same doesn’t sell the neighborhood. Mix things up by showing the various architecture types and styles of homes. Keep things interesting by photographing the different homes from various angles.

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Common Area

Walking trails, bike paths, play grounds, etc. Remember to sell the “lifestyle” that comes with living in that particular neighborhood.

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Amenities / Clubhouse

Many people choose neighborhoods based off of its amenities. With this in mind, make sure you feature all of the various “extras” that are available to people living in the neighborhood.

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Neighborhood Site Plan

Site Plans help provide potential home buyers with an overview of the neighborhood. Typically a quick phone call to the builder is all it takes as they will be happy to receive the “free advertising” in exchange for the Site Plan. While your at it, ask if they have any additional photographs that you could use on your web site.

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Capture Photographs, Not Snapshots

Now that you have a good idea as to what to photograph, here are a few tips to help move your photos from “snapshots” to professional looking photography.

Get There Early or Arrive Late

The time of day plays a big part in how your photos turn out. Evenings produce long shadows and warm colors helping to add character to the photograph. Early morning also has great diffused lighting and helps capture those still moments just after the sun rises.

Frame and Perspective

It’s often difficult to truly capture the perspective in a flat photo. With this in mind, place something in the foreground to add depth to the shot. A simple low hanging tree branch may be all you need to do the trick.

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Photoshop Is Your Friend

Even those less than stellar photos can come to life with a little help from a photo editing software such as Photoshop. Just remember, you want to accurately depict the neighborhood so don’t go overboard. Adding a little extra green to the grass is fine, but removing unsightly telephone poles and powerlines is another!

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Peak Season

Spring and summer are a great time for photographing the great outdoors. Flowers are blooming, the grass is green and the neighbors just finished their spring cleaning! With this in mind, there is no time like the present to get out and photograph a few neighborhoods!

Bonus Tip

Like so many blog posts that I write, this topic came from a my inbox. Kari Mullins of Peoria Home Office asked me for a few tips on photographing neighborhoods. Instead of simply emailing her back, I decided to write this blog post. So the next time you’re faced with writer’s block, just take a look in your inbox. It’s likely overflowing with blog post ideas!

Comments

10 thoughts on “How To Photograph a Neighborhood

  1. A logical “neighborhood” that would benefit from something like this would be a gated community, since it’s “off limits” for those who do not currently reside there.

    HOWEVER, it is also private property. Be sure to ask permission (and it’s NOT always granted, speaking from experience!) from someone in charge before taking any photos. And be very careful not to get clear images of residents in those photos (say, in the pool) just to be safe.

    You cannot just randomly shoot photos or video on private property, so it’s always best to get written permission before you go to all that work.

  2. Thank you for putting this all on a site.These words have been in my head like a song bird for years. I get so annoyed with bad photos. I actually want to scream at agents and ask to retake their photos. Amen to what you blogged!

  3. Great post and comments. Thanks for the reminder about getting permission to photo or video Fred!

    I agree with Brad, getting “establishing” shots works great for Video as well and I realized just how important that is when my videographer and I shot some recent home tours. It gave us some B roll for intro’s and for introducing viewer to home in the neighborhood.

    I also wanted to point out that from recent comments from buyers in our area (Vancouver, WA, that’s Washington NOT Canada, LOL) I have learned that photos are super important. Common comment? “I wish there were more photos or better photos.”

    As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words (bucks maybe??) 🙂

    Thanks again for the post with great tips!

    Ed Bisquera
    Mortgage Matchmaker/Social Media Friendly
    Twitter: @edbisquera

  4. A great tip. I’ve done a part of the technique. I love to input siteplan in my page but for object I use to present 3D drawing since most the projects are still in progress. Thank you for the precious lesson and wonderful picture.

  5. Neighborhood tours are tremendous ways to provide unique content. My recommendation is to narrow your focus to neighborhoods within sub-divisions or communities. By adding the proper keywords, titles descriptions and other meta data you have a better opportunity for you content to show up in organic searches. If you try to encompass too much, your content will lost in the din of a million results. You can always take your great photos and have MLBroadcast.Com convert it to a narrated and widely distributed video.

  6. For me, it is really important to real state sites to have a good photos of homes, common area and other amenities. Through this, a potential home buyers may a have a glimpse of what it looks like the actual house itself.

    I agree, site plan is also a must (but still depends on the perspective of the owners site), through it they can have an overview of the neighborhood.

    Great tips there! 🙂

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