Preparing your home for photography…


Your home is one of your most valuable assets. When the time comes to sell, the way you present and market your property plays a big part in attracting potential buyers and gaining the best possible sale price.

Having professional photography taken is often the first step in the marketing process. Even if you don’t have the budget to renovate before selling, there are many things you can do to help present your home in the best possible way, ready for photography and you will also have it looking shipshape for your open home viewings.

Here are some tips….



  • De-clutter the home
  • Clean the windows
  • Ensure all lights are working and are the same colour and type
  • Hide electrical cords as best as possible
  • Ensure all doors and windows can be opened and keys are available
  • Mow lawns (at least 3 days prior), weed gardens, add fresh mulch if possible




  • Clean shower screens, basins and mirrors
  • Remove personal items, bottles and hanging items from shower and basin
  • Remove mats, scales, waste and linen baskets
  • Ensure toilet rolls are tidy and toilet seats are down
  • Co-ordinate the colour of towels and fold neatly


Living Areas


  • Remove unnecessary furniture and clutter
  • Clear tables of remotes and magazines. Tidy bookshelves.
  • Ensure curtains are hooked up and properly open
  • Remove sheer curtains altogether if possible
  • Add colour – for example flowers, cushions, throws
  • Remove heaters, fans and dehumidifiers


Garden and street front


  • Remove toys out of sight
  • Remove pet related items and droppings
  • Keep cars out of sight
  • Remove laundry from washing lines
  • Hide rubbish bins
  • Water blast decks if necessary
  • Trim trees to enhance the views




  • Tidy kitchen and clear bench tops
  • Remove dishes and drying racks from sinks
  • Remove tea towels, mats and remove fridge magnets etc..
  • Remove rubbish bins, pet bowls and litter trays




  • Make beds and turn on lamps
  • Clear items from bedside & dressing tables
  • Remove clutter and clear area underneath beds


Swimming pools


  • Clean the pool. Remove pool cover
  • Remove pool cleaner and cleaning equipment
  • Remove pool toys etc.


Seek advice from your Real Estate professional as they may have some other suggestions specific to your property. Remember, your property will be photographed as presented, so neat and tidy presentation is essential to maximise the impact of your images. This holds true whether your potential buyer is viewing them on the internet or in a print magazine.

To view examples of how professional photography can enhance your property marketing, check out our services page or follow our facebook pages for our property for the week and other home inspiration ideas…

Home Shows & Expos: Get the most out of your visit.

Auckland Home Show

Whether you’re renovating, ready to purchase a big ticket item or just looking for inspiration, home shows and expos are a fantastic place to get expert advice and great deals.

This week, thousands have flocked to the iconic Auckland Home Show. If you’re planning to catch the last couple of days this weekend, here are a few product highlights and some tips to help you get the most out of your visit.

Auckland home show 2

1. Do your research

Knowing who will be exhibiting before hand is very helpful, especially if you have something particular in mind you want to see.  An exhibitor directory and show specials are all listed on the Auckland Home Show website . Take a look before you go and make a list of what you want to see and the stand number so you don’t miss anything. With over 500 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

home show 5

2. Parking & crowds

If you can’t find anyone to drop you off & pick you up, be prepared to wait in lines for parking. Don’t forget cash. You’ll need it for venue parking. There is a cash machine on site and most vendors have eftpos, but for small purchases and buying lunch, cash will save you time and hassle.

home show 3

3. Do a ‘warm up’ lap.

When you arrive, get your bearings by doing a walkthrough of the expo. Take note of the stands you want to revisit on the second time round. It’s also a good way to identify stands selling the same or similar products.

home show 6

4. Ask questions. Ask for demos.

That’s what they’re there for. If you find a product that you’re interested in, ask questions and get as much info as you can. Exhibitors are more than happy to give demos and many will have info or even samples to take away with you.


5. Be inspired. Get snap happy.

One of the highlights is the designer living pavilion and landscape areas where many of the stands are set up as rooms and living areas to help you visualise how things can be put together. Have your camera handy to take snaps of displays and products that spark your imagination and give you some inspiration.

The Auckland Home Show runs until this Sunday 13 September, so don’t miss out. Visit their website or facebook page to find out more

Time to say goodbye to Auckland?

Above: This 3 bedroom Mairangi Bay home is sitting just above the current average asking price of $820,016 in Auckland. View the listing here:

Skyrocketing. Raging. Through the roof. Out of control. INSANE!

All of the above have been used to describe the current Auckland Housing market. It seemed astounding around this time last year talking about the average asking price for Auckland hitting a new all time high record of $732,240.

Now for the first time, that has risen above the $800k mark, with reporting that for June 2015 the average asking price of an Auckland home is $820,016. That’s a $164,003 deposit you’ll need, and thats enough to have First Home buyers in Auckland running for the Bombay hills, which buy all accounts seems to be the case, with claims that Aucklanders are making up about 30 percent of attendance at open homes in Hamilton.

The average asking price suddenly seems less surprising once you start seeing stories like this: A West Auckland property which sold for 2.2million, $900k over its CV.

West Auckland Property

Even being able to access KiwiSaver contributions and HomeStart grants do little when the cap for Auckland homebuyers is $550,000 and anyone who has looked at any properties and been to an auction lately can tell you that there are very limited options under that price.

So… why not just leave? With Aucklanders are flocking to buy property in Tauranga, Hamilton and the Western Bay of Plenty, let’s see what the average Auckland house price (or close) might get you in some of those other regions.

Bay of Plenty
A stylish 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom ex-showroom in Papamoa Beach.

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View the listing

A 5 bedroom 3 bathroom lifsetyle property on 2.86 Acres featuring an entertainer’s kitchen with butler’s pantry, formal dining area and two lounges with bush and waterfall views.

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View the listing

A 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with pool and spectacular views over Maungakaramea and beyond to The Whangarei Heads and Hen & Chicks sitting on 6.63ha with 250 Avocado trees.

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Take the 3D HomeView tour 

New Plymouth
Enquiries over $749,00 will get you this fabulous 4 year old, 4 bedroom farmlet on 2.22 Acres.

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View the listing

So what do you think? Comparable, or much better value? Where do you sit? Are you a disillusioned, Auckland First home buyer? Perhaps a retiree, ready to make the most of the high Auckland prices,cash up and move to the regions? Or are you just a non-Aucklander sick of hearing about Auckland House prices?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

The Open2view App® – Now available for Android…

Since the launch of our iOS Open2view® App last year, our tech team has been hard at work developing our Android version. We are very happy to let you know, that it is available now from the Google Play Store for Android phone and tablet devices.

Android - Landscape Search


A real estate viewing experience like no other….

Potential buyers can easily search homes for sale or rent in their current or preferred location, flick through high quality images and where available, watch high definition video, inspect floor plans and take a virtual tour through the property, all from the convenience of their Android phone or tablet device.


Android Phone

Featuring the latest in Augmented Reality technology

As with the iOS version released earlier this year, the Open2view® app includes an AR Scanner, powered by realviewR (rvR), which uses the very latest in Augmented Reality technology, to detect any rvR enabled image included on a real estate signboard, flyer, brochure or window card. Users can scan the image to reveal further interactive content and full information about the property listing, right in the palm of their hand.

Open2view® App key features include:

  • realviewR Technology: Unlock Augmented Reality content on a property listing by scanning an rvR enabled image.
  • Maps: Easily search for properties by current location, map region or area name.
  • Refine Search: Filter by region, price range, price type, property type, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and more.
  • High Quality Photography: View high quality, professional images and where available, HD video, virtual tours & floor plans.
  • Favourite Properties: Bookmark properties for quick viewing.
  • Favourite Searches: Save your favourite searches for quick access later.
  • Notes: Make and save your own notes on a property.
  • Open Home: View open home details for properties in your Favourites list.

Download the app now from the links below and start the search for your new home!…

Get the Open2view® App for Android here: Download Now

Get the Open2view® App for iOS here: Download Now

Do you have any feedback you’d like to share?

We pride ourselves on delivering cutting edge technology and excellent services to our customers, so we’d love to hear about your experience using the Open2view® App. Drop us a line in the comments below or email

NZ Property: Summer sales keep rolling on……

O2V ID#335063

O2V ID#335063

Ahhh Summer… it’s been a good one so far. You can tell from all the glorious Summer scenes and vistas our Photographers have been capturing around the country…

Seriously…take a look at these…..

The good summer weather has been great for the sunbathing, but it’s done nothing to cool the heated housing market, particularly in Auckland.

Recent figures from REINZ show that the number of dwellings sold in January (4,841) was up 2.6% on January 2014 with the National median price of $426,000, up $24,000 from the same time in 2014. The national median price rose 6.0% in the 12 months to January 2015, while Auckland’s median price increased by 16.0%

“The continuing strong performance of Auckland prices is vexing commentators and policy makers alike, however the root cause of the problem remains a shortage of property available for sale” says Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan.

REINZ data shows that Auckland’s median price increased by 16% over the past 12 months, compared to just 1.8% for the rest of the country.

Backing that up are the latest figures from Barfoot & Thompson, where the all-time high pre-Christmas values held throughout January, with the average selling price of $757,319, was only $1572, or 0.2 percent lower than December’s all-time high price.

January sales figures of 859 properties is inline with the previous January figures over the past two years, however the total value of sales in January of $650,537,392 is up $97,822,014 from the same time in 2014.

For full market reports including regional & rural statistics, visit the REINZ website.

Now, if we could just get back to working on that tan…..

O2V ID#333884

O2V ID#333884


The most important house in the country…

treaty house

The Treaty House, Waitangi. Image: Alexander Turnbull Library

It may look like just a humble homestead, but it’s the most symbolically important and most visited building in New Zealand. So on the eve of Waitangi Day, let’s take a look at the house where New Zealand’s founding document, The Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Situated in the beautiful Bay of Islands in New Zealand, what is now known as The Treaty House was originally the residence of James Busby who was the British government’s representative in New Zealand from 1833 to 1840.

Busby was born in Scotland, his family emigrating to New South Wales in 1824. He was a teacher of Viticulture, training in France and Spain before returning to Australia in 1828.

When he arrived in the Bay of Islands as British Resident of New Zealand in 1932, he planted a vineyard from the vine stock he brought with him after constructing his house in Waitangi.

As well as being regarded as the father of the Australian Wine Industry, James Busby was also instrumental in gaining official recognition for a New Zealand flag and helped draft the Treaty of Waitangi, signed at a great gathering at his residence on 6 February in 1840.

Waitangi Crowd

Crowd at Treaty House during Queen Elizabeth’s 1954 visit. Image: Alexander Turnbull Library.


Square and symmetrical in shape, with panelled front door, the single story Georgian style home was to be a much larger, more stately and elaborate building with famous Sydney architect John Verge commissioned by Busby for the design.

New South Wales architect, Ambrose Hallen modified the original plans and imported Australian hardwoods from Sydney to construct the now, more modest house which included a detached lean-to kitchen and servants quarters at the rear made of native timbers. Two additional wings were added to the house over the following decade.

The estate was eventually sold by the Busby family in 1882, slowly falling into disrepair until the 1932 purchase by the then Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe and his wife. They formed the Waitangi National Trust Board which in turn hired leading architects William Gummer and William Page to undertake a major restoration of the almost derelict building, which was then gifted to the nation.

The Treaty House. Image: Sids1

The Treaty House today.

Many changes have been made to the house over recent decades but it remains a symbol of importance in New Zealand History. Visitors can view the Treaty House, still exhibiting some of its original features with rooms set out as they would have looked 1840.

The Treaty Grounds take in the beautiful panoramic views of the Bay of Islands and is also home to other significant structures such as the exquisite carved meeting-house, Te Whare Rūnanga (opened in 1940) which sits opposite the Treaty House, the two buildings symbolising the partnership between Maori & the British Crown.

Meeting House

Interior of Te Whare Rūnanga. Image: Phil Whitehouse

Did you know…

– The Treaty House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in New Zealand.

– Is New Zealand’s earliest imported dwelling.

– Was the the first house purchased as a state monument in New Zealand.


If you’re thinking of visiting the Treaty Grounds, take a look at the Waitangi website for more information.

If you’re visiting Waitangi this weekend, share your pics with us on instagram.

Astrophotography: Capturing the Sky…

The right angle. The best light. When it comes to property marketing, our photographers know exactly how to present every home at it’s best. But for many, the passion for photography doesn’t just end with real estate.

As well well as producing stunning property images for his agents, Open2view photographer Matthew Lowe also has a keen interest in Astrophotography.

We asked Matt to tell us a bit about the region he covers and what Astrophotography is all about.

Q. How long have you been a photographer with Open2view?

I started with Open2view in December 2010, so it’s almost my 4th Birthday! Do I get a cake, or is that next year?

Q. What area in New Zealand do you cover? What do you like most about it?

I cover the Eastern Bay of Plenty – the sunshine capital of NZ and home to NZ’s beach best – Ohope Beach.  It is a large area to cover, from Matata / Kawerau down to Whakatane / Ohope and right up the coast to the East Cape. I like the diversity in the area – you can go from photographing a little 1 bedroom converted garage to a bare block of land with 100km views all the way to Mt Maunganui, then to a million dollar beach front home or a farm all within 30 minutes drive.

A lot of my photo shoots consist of rural or coastal properties, which isn’t a bad thing given the stunning locations we have right on our doorstep.


Q. How did you get started in real estate photography?

Photography has always been a hobby of mine since I was about 10 years old, when I got into astrophotography.  Career-wise I started out as a graphic designer for a newspaper in 2004 and progressed from there over the next 8 years.  Sitting in front of a computer in an office where you couldn’t see outside for 40 hours a week was starting to do my head in, and the opportunity to purchase the Open2view franchise in my area came up.  After a few enquiries and discussions I decided to make the jump into real estate photography.  Even though I still spend half of my time at a desk processing photos, emails, invoicing etc, being able to combine my hobby with work is far more satisfying.  I can’t imagine there are many jobs where you can spend 40 hours a week working, and then on your days off go and take photos just for fun!


Q. Tell us about Astrophotography…

I think every photographer needs a ‘personal project’ that they work on for no reason other than to provide a creative outlet and a bit of fun, so I try to focus on astrophotography in my spare time.

Astrophotography basically covers anything in the sky – the stars, moon, milky way, satellites, the sun, planets etc etc.  There are many different styles of astrophotography such as shooting star trails, where you leave the shutter open for a period of time (anything from 10 minutes to 8 hours) so the camera captures the movement of the stars; or you can shoot through a telescope to capture deep-sky objects such as distant galaxies and gas clouds which aren’t visible to the naked eye.

An interesting thing is some cameras can pick up parts of the spectrum which are invisible to the naked eye (ie UV light), so you can often pick up detail which you could never see with the naked eye or through a telescope.


I have recently had the opportunity to use some of the equipment at the Whakatane Astronomical Society where they have a solar telescope which allows you to safely view the sun without burning your eyeballs out (literally, don’t try this at home!)  It is fitted with special filters to separate certain light wavelengths so you can actually see the detail and explosions happening on the surface of the sun, and when you attach a camera you can get some pretty cool shots.


When I started out with astrophotography I was using a film camera, before I went away from it for a few years while I focused on my graphic design.  Now everything is digital I have to re-learn all the techniques as they are slightly different.  For example digital camera sensors are more prone to image noise or batteries running out on really long exposures, but the advantage is you can immediately see the result and whether you’re on the right track or not.


You can view Matthew’s real estate photography portfolio on the Open2view website here

Or follow his Facebook page here