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Tips to better merchandise your real estate listings

Photo quality, quantity and presentation matters, say panelists

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NEW YORK -- Good photography is still one of the most important factors when promoting a listing, said panelists during a session at the Real Estate Connect conference last week. "Photography is the most important thing you can do online. Don't just show the house, show lifestyle," said Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio Fine Property Collection. "Whenever possible, capitalize on the view," he added. Photos taken at twilight also make homes look more dramatic, he said: "Dusk shots make every house 'magazine ready.' " Quantity matters -- the higher the number of photos, the more clicks a listing receives, said Max Pigman, vice president at Realtor.com. "Don't just upload your listings online -- market them!" Pigman said. He recommended populating a listing with several photos; a video tour; and agent contact information, including a phone number that is routed to several phones using a service like Google Voice. Quality a...