Tag : aerial

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230: The Real Estate Shots That Get the Most Clicks on Facebook

Three years ago, I went fishing for the first time in my adult life. My buddies wanted to introduce me to fly fishing. So, we booked a weekend of guided fishing in drift boats. On the first day, I caught more fish than anyone and netted all four types of trout known to inhabit the rivers of Paradise Valley. Meanwhile, the experienced fly fishermen in the boat with the other guide couldn’t match my beginner’s luck. They groused later that their guide didn’t adapt his bait to the conditions as our guide did.

The next morning proved their assertion correct. We surrendered our guide to the other boat and got a new one, who happened to be a solid guide too. We caught enough fish to stay engaged with the river, but the boat with our former guide absolutely smoked us. My brother-in-law caught 16 fish, including the full Yellowstone Grand Slam.

The guide from our first day and their second day could look at the grass on the banks and tell when to switch lures. An hour later, he knew to switch to something bigger or smaller—and where to cast to take advantage of that adjustment. He knew the insect shapes and sizes that accompany specific weather and seasons. He’d drifted the rivers of southern Montana so long that the cracks in his weathered skin seemed like maps of the watershed in which he worked.

real estate imagery Ryan George underwater

I’m no river sage, but I’ve spent almost $2 million on Facebook advertising. Thousands of auctions into this livelihood, I’ve tried all different kinds of lures while fishing for bidders. Thanks to gracious and patient clients, I’ve been able to test different headlines, different imagery, and different ad delivery formats. One thing I’ve discovered is that prospective real estate buyers don’t respond equally to the various types of visuals in your ads. In fact, there seem to be defined strata in terms of efficiency of results. 

From my experience here are the four types of imagery from worst cost per click to best.

#4 Video

I don’t know if video performs so poorly for my clients’ ads because of the production quality of the video, because the videos typically don’t follow Facebook’s recommendations for video ads, or because of something else. But video ads typically have a cost per click multiple times that of photo-based ads. They’re usually not even close.

#3 Aerial

Generally, my clients use aerials when they don’t have ground shots of the subject property or when winter snow hides valuable details. Sometimes, they use aerials because the properties are in dire need of—well—redevelopment. I can’t tell you why aerials perform worse than the next two options, but my guess is that the detail that makes aerial imagery valuable is mostly lost at the scale in which it’s seen on our newsfeeds.

#2 Drone Shot

It makes sense that images from drones outperform aerials because they’re usually captured closer to the subject property. Also, they put the property in context with an oblique view. Property lines pop with a more dimensional perspective, and the height of capture makes the surrounding scenery look more beautiful thanks to that horizon line. If a property is close to a beach, a lake, a commercial area, or other landmarks, a drone shot shows proximity you don’t have to mention in the ad’s restricted text space.

#1 Eye-Level Photo

Humans are accustomed to seeing properties at eye level. We also want a close-up view—especially within the tight confines of a social media ad. Buyers want to know as much what they’re in for before they click that link. That doesn’t mean the photos need to be boring MLS inventory shots. Show that sweeping view from the porch or along the fence line. Take the photo from the top floor of that commercial building or the top of the grain elevator. Snap a field picture through the windshield of the combine or from the deer stand. Take a picture from a canoe looking back at the lake house or at sunset with all of the lights on. There are lots of ways—even with our phones—to take interesting images that will capture attention. But even the mundane standard photos will typically outperform aerials, videos, and even drone shots.

It’s good to try new lures. I recommend it, actually—as long as you’re testing it and measuring it against your baselines. The differences between properties can make it tough for an auctioneer or REALTOR® to get enough apples to compare with other apples. From the scale of my time on the Facebook river, though, I can highly recommend your imagery tackle box holds more eye-level and drone phots than other lures.

37: A New Hybrid Marketing Tool

AstronautOver the past two years, biplane has purchased dozens of satellite images of properties, especially land tracts and commercial buildings. At about $35-$40 per image, aerial photography from Digital Globe or TerraServer proves one of the most cost-effective tools for capturing a property’s location value for marketing—and a negligible addition to auction advertising budgets.

But satellite images often don’t capture the character of a property, and many auctioneers—particularly multi-parcel marketers—opt to “fly” a property. The ensuing bird’s-eye-view photos, shot through a plane window, show more of the topography and uniqueness of the subject real estate.

A new tool combines some of the pro’s (and con’s) of these two sky-high tools. TerraServer is gradually building the scope of its “oblique” tool. In addition to the standard, straight-vertical (rooftop) shot of the subject, it allows you to view the property from a 40-45º angle. Not all locations are available, but I found access to a good number of addresses. Some of these even allow for this angular perspective from all four sides of the property—for a full 360º view, pivoting around the property.

Downtown Lynchburg
Currently, the site does not allow you to purchase these “oblique” images for download (and subsequent use in printed materials); but you can link to them individually. With an annual site membership ($149.95), you also get a larger viewing window and no watermarking. [This membership also achieves a 10% discount on all standard satellite imagery you purchase.] So, for now, this fits mainly in your Internet and e-mail marketing campaigns. It’s safe to assume, once the available addresses grow more ubiquitous, that purchasing of the digital images will come online.

Pensacola Christian College

Benefits of This Tool

  • Linkable images available for free
  • No pilot/plane/fuel costs
  • Access not dependent on good weather
  • More immediate image capture
  • Access to metropolitan/urban areas where flight patterns may be restricted

Limitations of This Tool

  • Charged per shot (download), instead of for time to take dozens of shots
  • Currently, 360º views not always available
  • Currently, only one available zoom level
  • Most shots taken late fall (no foliage)
  • Lower print resolution of images compared to digital photography from plane
  • Watermarking of image without annual membership

Astronauts and engineers are working to make you depend less and less on pilots. Early adoption of this tool in your advertising can make your prospects more likely to depend on you rather than your less-progressive competitor.

In western culture, at least its American version, we are trained to be self-sufficient and independent. With technology and education, we can now pre-research our medical conditions before visiting our physician. We can quickly book our own travel, comparing more options than certified travel agents could two decades ago. We can take college classes in pajamas, sitting on our living room couch. We can look at our house from an airplane’s perspective—without a pilot.

We are evolving from continents of community to archipelagoes of autonomy.

Spiritually, this is seeping into the culture in our churches. Emphasis on private spiritual disciplines belittles the benefits of intimate, authentic community; and preachers miss that most of the New Testament is written to us in plural. When we struggle with our depravity, fear of judgmental reactions keep us from asking for help. When we get out of spiritual rhythm or discipline, we fear a loss of status to admit our needs and failures. We try to fix ourselves by ourselves. This myopia leads some to burn out, others to develop unhealthy views of God, others to live a double life.

But God created us for community. He exists in (triune) community. He spends the New Testament teaching how to infuse and implement community in our lives for the sake of our individual and collective benefit. The more we invite others into our spiritual lives, the more voices he has to speak Truth, encouragement, rebuke, and application into our hearts.

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