Saturday, July 04, 2020
Oct 06 2012

This weekend market the Grand Opening Launch of the First Master Planned Community to Open in Tampa Bay since 2005, as far as we can tell!  As of Grand Opening weekend there were 25 homes already sold in this community!  What a wonderful sign of the building market improving in Tampa Bay and Beyond!  

Grey Street Studios shot nine brand new builder models in this community which can be viewed here:

Waterset Community Builder Model Virtual Tours

-"The Landing", Community Center in Waterset by Newland Communities

"Experience The Landing, where you can relax lakeside and poolside, rent a bike, and gather beneath the shade pavilion or on the lawn. Stop by the café for a smoothie or a snack. The fun continues along the Greenway and Waterset Trail head, a planned 12-foot wide, 6-mile long greenway system. Grab some binoculars and get exploring. The Greenway connects lakes, ponds, wetlands and parks with neighborhoods, and plans are to eventually connect it to the greater Hillsborough County regional trail system. Grab a friend and get power-walking. Or head to the coast where Apollo Beach offers boating, fishing, and other water sports and activities to keep you busy year round. Now, go play!"

Sep 19 2012

Next week I’ll be shooting 9 brand new models in Waterset by Newland Communities which is set to open later this month.  It’s a beautiful piece of land that was developed and then put on hold when the housing market suffered but now it’s about to open in blaze of success.    I know one builder sold five houses in the first week of pre-sales and also an independent realtor who’s sold three homes already to her clients!  Waterset doesn’t officially open for a couple weeks and they’ve sold 13 homes so far!

In two weeks I fly to Washington State to shoot another brand new community call Tehaleh by Newland Communities.   It appears to be a lovely piece of property buried in the woods south of Seattle and 20 minutes from the base of Mt. Rainer!   Well if I couldn’t live in my warm, sunny, Florida all the time that area sounds like a close second to me.

Beyond those communities- countless builders of mine are opening model homes across the country from Houston to Phoenix to Southern California and Colorado and sales are going strong!

I’ve been a photographer for many years but I truly started to concentrate strictly on Architectural Photography just as the housing market started to decline.   Lucky for me, huh?!   Actually it turned out to be not all bad because as we made it through those tough times my clients learned about great marketing and internet leads and that showcasing professional photography and virtual tours of their models was a key to success.  Those are the builders and developers who’ve persevered and made it to today are enjoying the benefits.   Congratulations to me and all my clients for making it to the other side!

Aug 30 2012

Good pictures are a crucial marketing tool for a home sale.

Just ask Clarissa and Mark Padilla, who were able to get a contract on their Sherman Oaks, Calif., condo unit in less than two weeks—and at the price they wanted.

Ms. Padilla attributes the quick sale to the professional photography used to market the home, which lured about 25 people to an open house the first weekend the house went on sale.

Professional photographs, using the right angles and staging, show off a kitchen's best features

"When we saw the photos, we fell in love with our place all over again," she says. "The colors were so bright, and it made it look fresh and very spacious. It's only 950 square feet. [The pictures] made it look huge."

According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 98% of home buyers who searched for a home online said photos were among the most useful features of real-estate websites.

"Photography is at the center of all your marketing," says Brian Balduf, chairman of VHT, a provider of photography services to agents and brokers in the Chicago area. "It's not just documenting that there is a house for sale. You want people to say, 'What a house,' " and be motivated enough to take action, he says.

Listings of homes with photos taken by professionals have about 61% more views than listings without—and that's across all price tiers, according to research from Redfin, a real-estate brokerage firm.

"When people are searching for homes, they search by price range, location [and the numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms]. But then once they have the list, the visual piece becomes a larger and more important part of the decision," says Jani Strand, spokeswoman for Redfin. "Photos are the first impression, and can generate interest and excitement, which leads to good offers."

Redfin believes so much in the power of professional photography that it has been paying for clients' professional pictures since 2008, Ms. Strand says. Redfin is in the process of revamping its website, she adds, and larger photos are a predominant new feature.

Some real-estate agents have become pretty good at taking photos on their own. By using a wide-angle lens, a tripod and making sure that the rooms have the best possible lighting, even nonprofessionals can get decent shots, Mr. Balduf says. But while you might not need the most sophisticated camera on the market, agents shouldn't even attempt to shoot photos using a cellphone, he adds.

Below are some of Mr. Balduf's tips for making sure photos of your property are the best they can be.

Evaluate the agent: Look at a real-estate agent or broker's current listings and evaluate their property photos. If the pictures are blurry, grainy, crooked or poorly composed, you may be better off choosing another agent.

Use compelling shots. Do the photos make you want to visit the home? Do they look like they are pulled from a home and garden magazine? Those are the kind of pictures that will appeal to prospective buyers.

Pick the right amount. How many photos does the agent post with each listing? One photo is too few and 30 is too many.

The first several photographs in the listing are the most important, and should feature a front shot, main living area, kitchen, master bedroom and master bathroom, as well as another attractive feature.

Don't do it yourself. Don't plan on shooting your own photos, unless you're a professional photographer. This is a service that the agent should offer you, and an important one at that, Mr. Balduf says. Ask the real-estate agent for the credentials of the person who would be snapping shots of your home.

Pick the best views. Before the photographer does the shoot, present a list of various shots that might be helpful. Perhaps there is a view you love from your patio. That's helpful information for the photographer to know, before he or she gets on site.

Give final approval. Ask to see the photos before they are posted online, and compare them to homes that are similar to yours. If they didn't turn out well, ask for a reshoot with another photographer.

Ms. Padilla, the home seller, says that a condo unit in the same building, and comparable to hers, sat on the market for five or six months before her home was listed. But the photos of the other unit weren't taken by a professional.

Meanwhile, some of the prospective buyers who walked through the Padillas's house thought it was a staged model home. The Padillas had multiple offers right away.

"We were so proud of the photos we showed our parents, we showed everybody," Ms. Padilla says.

—Amy Hoak is a reporter in Chicago for MarketWatch.

Aug 24 2012

I had the Privilege to photograph a brand new luxury apartment complex in South Forida / Mirimar Area.  Very nice community layout and tons of ammenities to enjoy!  The summer weather and storms played its tricks on me as they do so well this time of year but you can't tell from these images can you?!   The filtered light from cloud cover can be a great tool for softening the light and getting rid of any harsh shadows caused by the sun followed by a small tweek of the sky to bring out the blue can produced a far better image than shot with the sun shinning in the first place.


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