Photos: Animal Real Estate Photobombers

 

An important part of real estate photography is the ability to showcase a property in it’s setting and portray the lifestyle it affords to a potential buyer. Often while our photographers are busy at work capturing this, they get some curious bystanders coming in for a closer look! Here are some of our favourite animal photobombers we’ve captured while out on the job….

On the hunt for a new home? View more property photos on our website (even ones without photobombing animals!): www.open2view.com

You can also keep up date date with our latest news, featured properties and giveaways on Facebook:

Open2view New Zealand Facebook Page

Open2view Australia Facebook Page

7 Tricks To Sell Your Home This Winter

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Selling your house this winter?

We all know the old adage that spring is the best time to put your property on the market, but in the real world that’s not always possible.

Here are seven simple tricks to get your property looking its best when the weather’s at its worst.


1. Wash down the outside of your home

1457744_851298364904018_111069934829042365_nMake the outside of your home gleam like this house.

Kick mould, grime and moss to the kerb and give it an easy and cheap facelift.


2. Let there be light!

Turn on any outdoor lights to brighten up your property and make the house look inviting from the driveway.

If the outside is still looking a bit dull, then adding some extra solar-powered lights to line pathways and brighten up other features can be a quick fix.


3. Cut back any trees, bushes and shrubs that are stealing light from your home

c4ff839328928e41ca402471abca824ebd63f369There’s no shortage of light in this Wellington home – but check if any trees or shrubs are blocking light from any rooms in your house.

During winter you really need to try to get as much natural light into your house as possible. If there are any dark rooms or spaces, it might only take a few minutes with the secateurs to allow more light to flood in.


4. Show off outside spaces

Demonstrate how the outdoors – whether it’s the garden, deck, courtyard or porch – can be used in summer and during colder months.

This might mean uncovering outside furniture and showing off features like built-in barbecues, pizza ovens, pools and ponds for open homes and viewings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not using these spaces yourself at the moment – it just allows buyers to get a better picture of the property and start to imagine living there.


5. Make sure your home is warm

A warm house projects a cosy, homely feel for prospective buyers as soon as they step in the front door.

Get the fireplace or wood-burner roaring or crank up the heaters before buyers are due for a viewing. Now is not the time to try to save on power bills – no one wants to look around a freezing cold house, let alone live in one.


6. Clear ALL paths of fallen leaves or snow

Don’t just clear the main path and driveway. If your property has pathways leading around the garden then you should be showing them off. A quick sweep of these, along with the deck and any steps, is paramount.


7. Spruce up neglected flowerbeds and pots

11069486_610429452390899_7838415046546435704_nTake some inspiration from this home and plant up the outside of your property with shrubs that will last through winter.

Add a few winter-flowering or evergreen plants to forgotten flowerbeds and plant pots. Even if you’re not the most green-fingered of homeowners – you only really need to keep them alive until you make that sale…


Have you got any other tips to help your house sell in winter? Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook pages in New Zealand and Australia.

Virtual Home Tour Revolution

Open homes – a necessary evil of house-hunters everywhere.

Rushing to make it there in the half-hour slot, taking off your shoes, signing the book, awkwardly shuffling past people up and down the stairs.

What if you could weed out all the houses that don’t even come close to what you’re looking for without having to go through all of that rigmarole?

Or in reverse, what if you could easily take a look at a property that you may have discounted and not bothered to go and see in person?

That’s where virtual home tours come in – putting a new spin on traditional home-viewing.

A recent article predicted Kiwi house-hunters may soon swap open homes for virtual reality.

Open2view is leading the way…

Open2view is already at the forefront of this technology with its 3D HomeView tours.

House-hunters can explore a property from every angle at their own pace on their computers, smartphones and tablets without having to physically step foot in the house.

HomeView uses 3D photography to capture and create interactive content with three different perspectives:

1. Walkthrough – navigate seamlessly from room to room and view it at any angle.

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2. Dollhouse – zoom out to a 3D dollhouse view.

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3. Floor plan – see everything in its place from above.

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Granted there are no virtual reality headsets but I bet they play havoc with your hair…

Virtual reality may not replace open homes entirely, but our HomeView tours allow would-be buyers to see a house from perspectives they would never get in real life, so there’s no denying it has its place.

We’re all used to having most things instantly available at our fingertips these days – and now house hunting is no different!

Check out our current listings to explore a property at your own pace, from every angle, by taking your own 3D HomeView tour – just look for the HomeView icon.

Or contact Open2view’s teams in New Zealand and Australia today to find out more about 3D HomeView.


What do you think of the idea of house hunting via virtual reality? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Kerb appeal: 4 most desirable features

kerb appeal

Ten seconds. That’s the time house hunters take to decide if they like a property – just a quick glance up and down from the street.

A third of buyers in new research said they wouldn’t even venture inside if they were unimpressed with a home’s exterior. But more than half of the surveyed homeowners said they would buy a property that looked appealing on the outside even if the interior needed extensive renovation.

That lawn you’ve been neglecting or that rusty old garden furniture you’ve been meaning to chuck out? Probably a good idea to mow the lawn and ditch the tired garden accessories to give the outside of your house a bit of a spruce-up before putting it on the market.

There’s not a whole lot you can do if you’re surrounded by some more shabby, less chic neighbouring properties. But if the bloke next door has a front yard that doesn’t look like it’s seen a lawn mower this side of the millennium, you could always offer to give it a quick tidy. Or, if the extent of your interaction has been little more than a grunt in passing since you moved in, maybe just cut your losses and hope potential buyers are after bush views.

With house hunters trawling through hundreds of property listings online, a good exterior photo is paramount.

First impressions count.

The kerb appeal features voted most desirable:

1. A well-manicured garden
manicured lawn

2. A parking space
parking space

3. Appealing looking neighbouring houses
neighbours

4. Neighbours having well-manicured gardens
neighbour lawn

To check out some more houses with great kerb appeal follow us on Facebook and Twitter in New Zealand and on Facebook and Twitter in Australia.

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

 

Are there times when just one photo is a good idea?

cluttered bedroom

One can’t help but wonder if some vendors deliberately sabotage the home selling process.

We reckon having plenty of high quality photos is crucial to presenting your home at its best. But this article from Inman.com made us ask, is this true of every home?

I may be wrong about this, but there are times when having just one photo in the MLS listing may actually be in the client’s best interest.

I saw a house almost three months ago that had just come on the market. My relocating client from Maryland was very interested because the solo photo — of the front — was very attractive and the home was in an area that she liked.

Ok, so far so good. But what happened when Jeff the Author got to the house?

The listing agent was showing the home, per the seller’s instructions, and asked us to wait until the other party was done. No problem.

Very shortly after, no more than one minute — LITERALLY — the other party came back out. We knew immediately something was amiss.

Uh oh.

We walked into the house and it was immediately clear why there were no other photos taken. It looked like a war zone, with stuff piled everywhere in the kitchen, dining room, enclosed back porch and living room. Carpet was being pulled up in all the main rooms and, per the agent, was being replaced by the seller. We couldn’t see two of the three bedrooms, “because someone was sleeping in there” and the doors were locked. We may have spent two minutes in the house, max.

It was, in my client’s words, a total waste of time. She wryly commented that it was clear why there were no other photos online.

Perhaps it was that there was only one good photo that could possibly be listed!

I suspect this agent felt one photo was in her client’s best interest, since the front looked quite nice and it got people interested in touring the house. She probably figured someone would, perhaps, see the potential and overlook the disaster area once they were at the house and saw the neighborhood.

Well, according to Jeff, the house is still on the market – and in a sellers’ market, at that – two months after it was listed.

So was this a case of the fewer the photos, the better? That old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink” comes to mind. A decent house photo may pique a buyer’s curiosity enough to lure them in – but if the rest of the place is a shambles, good luck filling them with any enthusiasm. More likely, the buyer will be furious at the agent for wasting their precious time.

Buyers want to see themselves in the house, with their stuff in place of the vendor’s. If they can’t see anything but clutter, the buyer will be unable to declutter their mind long enough to envisage the house as their home.

So, agents and vendors of the world, there is really only one thing to do: get the place tidy, then get plenty of professional photos taken. Whoops, two things.

It can be hard to remove old possessions that hold happy memories, or even those-things-that-have-never-been-used-in-ten-years-but-you-never-know-when-they-might-just-come-in-handy.

In an earlier blog post on this topic we provided some ideas for overcoming that mental hurdle and clearing away the physical one. They are:

  1. Note all the things you plan to absolutely keep – furniture, antiques, children, etc.
  2. Divide the rest of your stuff into three piles: ‘Yes’, ‘No’, and ‘Maybe’.
  3. Throw out everything in the ‘No’ pile.
  4. Throw out everything in the ‘Maybe’ pile.

Is it worth just hiding it all in a closet? Not really – storage space in itself is a great selling point, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Back to the original question: is having plenty of photos important? Assuming you’ve been good and tidied your room, then definitely.

Real estate is aspirational: people generally sell a house, then buy another, to improve their quality of life. As a vendor, you want people to look at your listing and see that buying your house will do this for them.

So help them see themselves in any room of the house by displaying photos of every room. You don’t need 20 shots of every room – an excessive number of photos will bore the viewer – but you need enough to get people thinking “you know, I can see myself living there – better call the agent and arrange a viewing time.”

So what next? If you’re unsure how many photos you need, head to the Open2view website and (as a rough guide) see how many photos houses similar to yours have listed. Then make sure your agent knows to contact us for the best real estate photos on the internet. We offer packages including photo tours of many sizes – your agent should be able to help you pick one. Finally, check out what else, of our vast range of services, can help you showcase your home at its best.

But in saying all that, if your house has features like this, no amount of photos will help.

living room with toilet

Real estate marketing: why outsourcing to Open2view is win-win

outsourcing cartoon

We were quite pleased to find this article in our Twitter newsfeed recently:

“A majority of agents would consider outsourcing parts of their business, according to a recent survey.

In a recent Real Estate Business straw poll, 77 per cent of 152 respondents said they would consider outsourcing activities in their business.”

Not a bad sample size – and a big response in favour of outsourcing. And although it’s an Australian survey, the results make sense no matter what side of the Tasman you’re reading this on.

The CEO of Tradebusters – matchmakers for tradespeople and real estate agents – had this to say:

“[Agents are] overcoming initial fears or what in the past appeared to be the challenge of losing control. I think they’re overcoming and seeing how they can gain control and gain efficiency.”

“A lot more agents now understand how to outsource efficiently and how to do it right. They understand if you do it right it’s a real enabler and the benefits are huge in terms of listing opportunities and further growth.”

We couldn’t agree more. So where should an agent start, if they’re looking to maximise efficiency and get the best sales result?

We may be a teensy bit biased, but a good starting point would be the photography. Plenty of studies have shown that listings with great looking professional photos mean a higher price for the house. Good news, then, for both seller and agent.

Hiring an Open2view photographer means that the photography side is in the best of hands – giving you more time to do other important agency type stuff!

If you’re serious about getting even better bang for your buck, why not outsource a few more things our way? We also specialise in real estate video, floor plans, walkthrough tours, signboards, virtual tours, heaps really. Check out our Services page for all the info on what we can do.

One more quote about outsourcing from the article, this time from real estate agent Alexander Elmowy:

“It’s time saving and creates less hassle for me, and the less I’ve got to worry about certain things, I can be out there making money.”

A quick search shows a number of his workmates at Belle Property have embraced this philosophy and are using Open2view for their property marketing.

If you’re an agent, why not do the same and outsource to us today? Or if you’re looking to sell, let your agent know how Open2view can reduce their workload and, come sale time, get you all a better price.