14 Apr Why More Agents are Using Vertical Real Estate Photos
The demand for online content is greater than ever. Real estate professionals know that in order to be competitive in the current landscape, they have to create great content. MLS listings and websites are populated with virtual tours and magazine-worthy photographs perfect for buyers’ horizontal viewing on a desktop. Social media posts, including still photos and videos with movement, must be entertaining, inspiring, informative, and engaging to be pushed by algorithms.
But what happens when app features are optimized for vertical viewing? Unfortunately, horizontal media simply won’t do.
While certain platforms favour horizontal viewing (ie. YouTube), many popular apps among realtors and their clients are best used with mobile devices held upright. In this article, we’re going to break down various online applications for vertical real estate images, so you can make the most out of your media package.
Vertical Photos in Stories
Instagram Stories was introduced in August 2016 and was quickly adopted by the user base for “imperfect” sharing of raw, unfiltered content. Ephemeral 24-hour only posts provided a way for users to post consistently without the pressure of sticking to a very curated Feed visual aesthetic. For many brands and business, Stories are a fantastic way to keep an audience engaged without spamming and overwhelming their followers’ feeds, leading to unfollows. In-Feed posts are saved for highlights.
Today, Instagram Stories has evolved to include a number of handy engagement-driving features, including Stickers for Polls and Quizzes, Captions, Music, Links, and more. Unlike In-Feed Posts, however, the Stories feature is for full 1080 x 1920 photo and video dimensions. Users can shoot full-screen within the app or upload media from their camera roll.
But Instagram isn’t the only app you can post Stories to. In fact, many platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and now Tiktok have adopted this feature. Due to the popularity of Stories features within social media apps, it simply makes sense to equip your account with vertical images so your followers can enjoy a beautiful viewing experience.
Want to discover other ways to enhance your social media presence? Check out How to Take Your Social Media Content from Good to Great!
Vertical Photos in Reels and Tiktok
With Tiktok rising in popularity, it was only a matter of time before Instagram introduced a similar feature. Enter Instagram Reels for short-form video content. Real estate agents who did not have a presence on Tiktok now needed to create short-form videos using trending audio for their existing audiences on Instagram. When platforms introduce new features, they push content created using the new features to more user accounts to encourage adoption. Now, Instagram Reels views are not limited to just an account’s following, but is pushed to more app users outside of it – similar to the Tiktok algorithm. This is why so many brands and businesses were quick to hop on this new feature in an effort to maximize reach and impressions.
To make the most out of Reels, agents must provide viewers with a full-screen experience as they cut video footage or still images to the beat or words of a trending audio. Unfortunately, horizontal videos or images posted to Reels simply won’t perform well. For this reason, vertical real estate photographs are the best asset you can use to create Reels.
Here’s an example of how still photos are used for a virtual staging Before and After comparison Reel:
The sky is the limit when using vertical real estate photographs to create Reels and Tiktok videos. You can create a slideshow to a trending audio (similar to the one above), use it as a Sneak Peek for an Open House or a New Listing, or celebrate a sale!
Pro tip: Make sure to use native in-app features when creating short-form video content. It can be tempting to simply repost existing Tiktok videos to your Instagram Feed. However, it’s important that your Reels are free of any watermarks from a different app. Instagram will not promote Reels with a Tiktok watermark as a way to limit recycled content on the platforms. It will take more energy and resources to create short-form videos on two different apps. On the bright side, followers are also viewing unique content from different accounts, giving them a reason to follow agents on multiple platforms.
Generating new content ideas can be challenging! That’s why we created a calendar of 31 Social Media Content Ideas for Realtors you can refer to when creating Reels, Tiktok Videos, and more.
Vertical Photos for In-Feed Posts
While many social media platforms originally optimized viewing for horizontal images (ie. Facebook), many have evolved to include all sizes. Instagram, for example, is traditionally been known for its square image posts with a 1:1 aspect ratio. This presented quite a problem for users as they had to crop their pictures to fit the prescribed image size and ratio. Vertical images are cut short. Horizontal images lacked context from the sides. Many images are posted with black or white borders to fit the square requirement. Doing so is not aesthetically pleasing when a business is trying to curate a feed. When it comes to posting horizontal real estate property images, this presents a problem because the space looks much smaller after the image is cropped.
In-Feed Posting Today
Today, platforms have evolved from their original model and have introduced other aspect ratios, including 1.91:1 (landscape) and 4:5 (portrait) for content sharing and viewing. Thank goodness the portrait orientation was introduced, because it’s been shown to improve a post’s level of engagement. Why, you ask? Because vertical posts take up more real estate on the screen, which makes them more eye-catching. The posts require more digital space (or shall we say, digital real estate), drawing a viewer’s eye into the image. A larger surface gives your content a better chance of being noticed by followers, increasing the opportunities for interactions. That’s why vertical real estate images come in handy for increasing social media interactions. No wonder why more real estate agents are using them today!
The Sona Standard
Social media is constantly evolving. We love seeing our real estate partners succeed in a web-driven world. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for ways to upgrade our portfolio of services. To help you stand out online, you can now request vertical property images for social media as an upgrade to your horizontal property image package for the MLS. Content variety in your marketing arsenal will help you engage your audience through an optimized viewing experience. To book your next shoot, reach out to our award-winning team at [email protected] or by phone at (403) 980-9395.