Finding free real estate photos that are high-quality and help you gain potential clients may seem impossible. After all, generic photos that you can get in the free domain are often over-used and have little relevance to new homeowners in your ZIP Code. For photos with meaning that will also captivate future homebuyers browsing your real estate blog or website, you will want to know about these unique, royalty-free sources.
What defines free photos for real estate?
When a photographer takes a photo, he or she owns the reproduction and viewing rights to the photograph. This means that they can control who uses the photo or copy. They can also restrict where it is used. This allows the image creator to collect a fee for their image. In legal terms, this is called copyright, and it is enforced by law. Nevertheless, there are time periods when the copyright protection ends or the images become orphaned. In general, if you want to use real estate photos that are truly free in legal and financial terms, they either need to be royalty-free or public domain. Other ways to protect yourself legally when using real estate photos can be found at the American Society for Media Photographers or Copyright.gov.
Surprising worth of free historic real estate photos
Using photos to create a sense of history or sense of community is particularly popular in Australia. From an academic standpoint, the idea that you can help people feel welcome and at home is new. While many topics have been discussed surrounding ways identity and a sense of belonging are created, Kylie M Smith begs to differ that the same research can be applied to creating a sense of neighborhood. In a 2011 thesis paper for her degree in Doctor of Psychology, Smith argues, “One area that has not been investigated is the interrelation of sense of community, sense of belonging and sense of place and their impact on residential satisfaction.”
A sense of neighborhood with photos
The above is important to keep in mind when you are populating your real estate blog or listings. After all, you want viewers to focus on the new homes you are posting. You also want them to feel like they are about to be welcomed home into the house of their dreams. However, using stock images for the background or banner on your website may confuse your users. Instead of color photos that will remind viewers of the photos in your listings, choose black and white historic photos or color drawings from the neighborhood their new home is listed in. This will provide some contrast in the photos you want viewers to pay attention to all while building a sense of neighborhood in their minds.
Main sources for historic, local, and free real estate photos
In addition to the free photos that you will find at royalty-free websites like the Library of Congress, there is at least one other great resource hiding in your own back yard. Your overall goal is to create a sense of neighborhood for home buyers on your website, and historic photos are usually in the public domain. Depending on the area you are selling real estate, you will find free historic real estate photos on local library websites or in their offline archives.
Real estate free photo local silver bullet
Do you remember libraries? Many libraries have historic photo archives from your community in analogue or digital form. These mini-museums at libraries are an excellent source for populating your clients’ neighborhood from a historic perspective. If they are willing, they will give you access to archives of historic photos from any local neighborhood found in books, microfiche, or from collections of personal photos.
Tips for real estate photo keyword searches
Getting results from the internet or a website like the Library of Congress is easier if you search by using certain keywords. For example, search a library website in your area for photos and the keyword real estate. To refine your search, consider using quotation marks around keyword phrases. Used in a search, it may look like: “real estate”, photos, “New Amsterdam”, house. Another keyword search that is refined might include: “real estate agent”, California, photo.
Do not forget; along with using them on your real estate website, you can scan, print and frame historic photos as house warming gifts for new home buyers. Naturally, a picture from their block from decades past will instantly become a treasured part of their new family history.
More from this Contributor:
Five DIY Home Renovation Blunders
3 Ways Landscapers Save Money on Plants
Top 7 San Francisco Weird Real Estate Facts 2011
San Francisco’s historic Firehouse No. 33 a unique piece of real estate