Taking just a few extra minutes to add striking images for your real estate website can truly set you and your site apart…AND, doing it right can keep you out of hot water!
I’m attracted to images that come from a personal exploration of a subject matter. When they have a personal stamp to them, then I think it becomes identifiable.
– Leonard Nimoy
As with most adults, I am a visual person. I see, understand and often times, assimilate what I’m reading better through images. Employing the best practices for using these images for your real estate website is a powerful way to increase your visitors ability to digest your message and staying compliant with copyright laws.
Working on attracting the right visitors to your real estate website is a fair bit of work. And in some cases, you may be lured by an image you see online! This is a great way to get yourself and your real estate website on the wrong end of a cease and desist letter!
Certainly you want to grab the attention of your visitors, however, best practices are to ALWAYS PURCHASE YOUR IMAGES FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE WEBSITE!!! This means never simply grabbing an image you see online.
If you do not want to pay for your images then you need to:
- Take your own images
- Find images that are Copyright Free and do nothing
- Copyright Free means that a particular work is not copyrighted and is thus available to use however you’d like.
- Find images that are Royalty Free and attribute the artist
- “Royalty–free, or RF, refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.” ~ Royalty-free – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- OVER 36 ROYALTY FREE IMAGE SOURCES
Finding Great Images for your Real Estate Website
First, let’s talk about why before we get to the how. Aside from the aesthetics, a great image can invoke emotion, memories and hopefully action from your visitors. Avoiding the wrath of folks like Getty Images and the like is a very close second! Bare in mind, Getty Images are not really the bad guys, they are simply protecting the unauthorized use and copyright infringement of their photographers and graphic designers images as well as insuring these hard-working men and women get compensated for their work!
In fact, there is not a single image on any of our websites we’ve built that we don’t pay for! Either monetarily or with an attribution. Every single image on there!
So, how do you find great images for your real estate website?
It’s pretty simple really…either pay for the images for your real estate website or take them yourself!
Using photo and image purchasing sites like Dollar Photo Club or 123rf.com (the rf stands for Royalty Free) are both affordable and they make it easy to find just what you’re looking for.
Or you can find images that you can download with no monetary charge. These artists want payment in the form of a link back to their work, or attribution.
And when using these sites, you can also be assured you are:
- Using a photo you have the rights to
- Using a high-resolution image or graphic that will really stand out
- In full compliance to alter and/or use the photo or graphic in a commercial manner (that’s your website folks)
EXTRA: Best SEO Practices Tip:
When adding images to your real estate website, always be sure to place your keyword in the alt text and the title!
Adding Even More Splash to Images for your Real Estate Website
A picture can say a thousand words and often times, you want to have your images on your real estate website do the same…and that means adding text. We’ve discovered a fantastic site, Canva.com, that really gives you everything you need to not only add text, but add attractive, bold and exciting fonts as part of your efforts to add more splash to your image.
The cool thing about this site (among many) is they’ve already gone ahead and pre-designed hundreds of marketing pieces for you as well as pre-loaded the sizes you need for all your social media posts and timeline covers. You also have the option to customize your own size to the exact pixels you want and need for your posts, sliders and hero images.
Other easy to design features Canva.com offers:
- They have over 1,000,000 pre loaded images you can pay for. Many are FREE but for just a $1 per image, you can design something that is unique and unlike anything out there…setting you, your website and your post apart
- Simple to use editor to accent backgrounds with texture or your own images (that you own or have the rights to, of course)
- Option to choose from tons of pre loaded font designs and unique graphics
- You can also build professional real estate flyers for your listings and other marketing pieces such as business cards and posters
BONUS | Try this cool photo graphic design site too:
Photofunia.com – This is a place where you can take city images like billboards and add your own images and text. They have thousands of designs and options with filters and editors to really add a fun impact to your images for your real estate website.
Why Does All This Matter?
We recently had a client who innocently used an image on one of their blog posts. Several months later they received a letter explaining the payment process they’re expected to make for a $1 image. They were told they could either…
- Pay $249 for the image, or
- Get 60 images for $1,299
- You have to pick one of the other
This person was also asked to remove the image immediately or face a larger fine. Even though this person did remove the image and wrote a letter of apology, the good folks at (Can’t say the name but it rhymes with Spagetti Scrimmages) did not consider the matter closed until they received either the $249 or what amounted to a membership for 60 images at $1,299.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t pay $249 for a $1 image
So what did we learn from all this?
For one, knowing how to avoid getting sued is always a good thing but moreover, paying for images for your real estate website is just the right thing to do!
On top of that, it can have a pronounced effect and affect to your visitors and will really help you stand out!
Customizing Images for your Real Estate Website has Never been Easier…or Safer to do
Gone are the days of expensive software and big learning curves understanding how to design and edit images. Today we have wonderful websites like Canva.com and Photofunia.com to give any novice the ability to look like a real pro.
But more importantly, we now have a way to avoid the pitfalls of using someone else’s exclusive property for our own commercial gain. It may be easier to simply go to Google Images and grab something for your blog or website but the best practices are always to pay for or take your own images.