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CENTURY 21 360 Photography Tutorial

With the majority of potential homebuyers using the internet as part of their search, photography is crucial. Flattering angles, good lighting, color editing―it all matters. But sometimes, a regular photo just doesn’t cut it. That’s where 360-degree photos come in. If you want to bring a new listing to life, develop a stunning panorama to show it off. Follow these tips to highlight every angle of your new listing.


Step 1: Download a 360 Photo App

First, you’ll need a program on your phone that’s capable of taking 360-degree photos. There are a number of reliable options available for Android and iPhone. If you use an Android phone, take advantage of the “photo sphere” mode in the stock camera to take immersive 360-degree panoramas. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use app, download Street View to capture the best features inside or outside a home.


Step 2: Capture the Perfect Photo

Once you’ve successfully downloaded your software of choice, it’s time to take the actual photo. First, decide on a location. Choose a room with a good amount of natural light and stand in the center so objects aren’t too close. Now that you know where to take the photo, it’s time to learn how. If you’re using Street View, tap “Camera.” The photo-taking process is pretty straightforward, and the app will guide you through it―just stand in one place and keep the camera centered on all of the orange circles. When you reach each position, an image will automatically be taken, so there’s no need to press the shutter button.


Step 3: Review the Final Product

Once you’ve recorded all of your images, you’ve come full circle. Tap the check mark, and the app will turn all of those little photos into one 360-degree panorama. Take a look at the result. If you aren’t satisfied, retake the photo as many times as you need to capture the image you’re looking for. Even if you are satisfied, it never hurts to take a few more so you have options.


Step 4: Share on Social Media

Once you’ve captured the perfect picture, you’ll most certainly want to share it. Tap “Share” and upload your picture to Facebook. Facebook automatically recognizes the 360-degree photo and uploads it. Once the upload is complete, fill in any pertinent details in your post copy. After that, your work is done. Sit back, relax, and let your potential buyers take a virtual trip around their future home.


Use this strategy with your future listings and take note of its outcomes. If they’re positive, you can even consider a 360-degree video. It’s only up from here.


Watch the CENTURY 21 360 Photography Tutorial below to see these tips in action.

CENTURY 21 Photography Tips Tutorial

As an agent, it’s vital that you make a big splash with your listing. In most cases, great photography is your only chance of enticing prospective buyers into coming by to take a look. First impressions are everything. Follow these tips to showcase your listing in the best possible light.


Step One: Use a Tripod

Whether you’re using a smartphone to take your pictures or a nice digital camera, a tripod  makes the picture taking a lot easier. An uneven or blurry photo will immediately turn off potential customers, so it’s essential to get this step right. Low light is also one of the main reasons tripods are important. Why? To cut down on blurry pictures. Tripods make taking a steady and stable shot possible. If you’re taking a panoramic photo, a tripod allows you to pan seamlessly through a room. This is a great tip for capturing wide rooms, entranceways, and exterior shots. And yes, you can use a tripod with a smartphone if that’s your camera of choice.


Step Two: Take Advantage of Natural Light

Any photographer will tell you that nothing’s better than natural light. Flashes can saturate an image, and they don’t always illuminate what you want to showcase. Try to take your pictures on a sunny day, and take advantage of the early mornings and afternoons. This varies depending on which direction the house is facing and where the room you’re shooting is. But be mindful of bright light and use it to your advantage. Don’t forget to open those curtains to allow natural light into the frame.


Step Three: Adjust Camera Settings

If you’re using a digital camera, there are many settings to choose from. The different options at your disposal can seem endless, but it’s important to try and follow a few fundamentals as you get started until you become comfortable.

In the beginning, follow these simple steps:

  • Set your camera to manual. Default settings can only get you so far.
  • Select the lowest ISO setting. ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor is to light. A lower ISO will capture more detail, which is ideal when you’re trying to bring a listing to life.
  • Adjust shutter speed for good exposure. A slower shutter speed allows more light into the camera sensor. Use this setting for low-light photos. A faster shutter speed helps freeze motion. Use this setting if you’re trying to capture movement.  
  • Adjust aperture to allow a low amount of light to reach the image sensor. Aperture controls the amount of light entering the camera.

If you’re using a smartphone, test out its various modes in different conditions like direct sun and low light. Android phones and iPhones are both well-equipped with features, from fast processors to high resolution displays. When using a smartphone, select a high resolution. The higher the resolution is, the better quality image you’ll get. This is perfect for showcasing key features inside a home.


Step Four: Adjust shot to highlight features

Every home has unique features, so show them off! Keep in mind that this is an advertisement for the home you’re trying to sell. Try to exclude obstructions and unsightly dumpsters, trash cans,  or electrical wires.

When photographing inside, remember that interior rooms almost always look better if they’re being shot from the doorway looking into the room. If you want to make a room look big, use a wide-angle lens. Exterior shots benefit from shooting at low angles. This technique allows viewers to see the depth and scale of the listing.


Step Five: Edit your photos

Always take more photos than you think you’ll need. The more images you have to work with, the easier the editing process will be. Smartphones and most digital cameras have editing functions built right into them.

There are two basic principles to editing photos—adjusting color and light. No matter which tool you’re using to take your pictures, follow these steps for best results:


  • Temperature: affects the yellow and blues of a photo. If you want a warmer photo, add yellows. If you are creating a cooler photo, add blues. Ideally you’ll end up with a balanced photo.
  • Tint: adjusts greens and magentas. Making these adjustments will alter the tone of the photo as well.


  • Exposure: evenly distributes brightness throughout the photo.
  • Brightness: adjusts midtones in the photo.
  • Highlights and shadows: if the photo is overexposed or underexposed, use this feature to even out the detail in the photo. For example if an area is very bright, you can lower the lights to bring out detail in the highlights of a photo. Shadows will only alter dark parts of the photo.
  • Contrast: makes shadows darker and highlights brighter. Contrast adjusts the separation between the darkest and brightest areas of the image.

Feel free to go a step further and use editing software for more dynamic edits. In the end, remember to be selective and only post what best represents your listing. Let your pictures do the talking. After all, we live in a scrolling world, so make sure your listing doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.


Watch the CENTURY 21 Photography Tips tutorial below to see these tips in action.

CENTURY 21Ⓡ Open House: Keeping Data Safe

In a world rampant with identity theft and data breaches, it can be scary to give information to anyone. However, when buying a house, disclosing classified information is a must. Rett Harmon of CENTURY 21 Novus Realty shares the careful steps realtors can take to keep sensitive info safe and secure.


Digital Records

“We keep our data secure by storing all of it in the cloud. Thankfully, we have never suffered a security breach as we try to use the most trusted cloud-based sources,” explains Harmon.

Most tech insiders agree1 that cloud-based storage systems are secure. In these systems, data is kept in off-site servers that can be anywhere in the world. While this might sound riskier than keeping your information where you can see it, the fact is that hacking attempts mainly target traditional computer servers. Cloud storage systems offer more protection from hackers and cyber attacks.

“All of our data is backed up in the cloud. We make sure that we do business with cloud-based service providers that have locations in multiple areas and often backup their servers. We don’t rely on an IT department, and you will find zero servers in my office,” says Harmon.


Wire Transfers

An unfortunate drawback to life in the age of the internet is wire fraud. This can make placing a down payment on a home nerve-wracking for clients.

It’s important to have conversations about staying vigilant. Even though a wire transfer can be initiated from home using a mobile banking app, it’s a good idea to discuss the transfer with a bank or credit union. Certain banks have security measures in place, and it’s important to know what they are. If someone receives an e-mail telling them that the wiring instructions have changed, they should double check e-mail correspondences to be sure they are in fact communicating with right party.2



The same type of precaution is necessary when signing electronic documents.  Using secure services like DocuSign as opposed to e-mailing a signed PDF provides more protection. FIles sent through DocuSign display information that the document has been protected, or conversely can show when a document has been tampered with and can’t be trusted.3

Files sent without this type of protection, for example PDF files attached to an e-mail, are at risk of having a signature stolen by a hacker.


Printed Records

“Printed records should be a thing of the past, but my office staff still likes to keep a paper backup. It does drive me crazy, but I have to pick my battles,” Harmon says. “We do have many security measures for printed materials. We keep a securely locked container for any items with client or personal information. The box is picked up routinely by a company that properly destroys then recycles it to continue to keep the information confidential, even once we no longer need it.”

It’s no surprise that digital files are more convenient to all types of businesses. We no longer have to search file cabinets for a record, just simply type what we need into a search bar. However, digital records mean new methods of data security must be implemented.

“Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us,” Harmon says. “We want our clients to know that their conversations are between us. Building Trust is the key to success and longevity in this business.”

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agent photo
Yama Schams
Associate Broker / Realtor

Century 21 Golden Sun, Inc
Phone: 916-803-3795
Fax: 916-373-0304
Email: yama.schams@century21.com 
CA BRE#01435014

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