Marty Boardman is a Realtor, real estate investor and instructor in Gilbert, Arizona.  He’s the Chief Financial Officer for Rising Sun Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm that buys and sells distressed real estate in the Phoenix metro area.  He’s also an accredited instructor for the Arizona Academy of Real Estate.  You can read about his successes and failures on his blog, or contact him directly at

I know certain things.  For example, I know that I should exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes.  I know that I should eat a balanced diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables.  I know I shouldn’t drink soda, smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol excessively.   I also know I shouldn’t speed on the freeway or talk on my cell phone while driving.  I know I should floss my teeth every night before I go to bed and tell my wife that I love her.  So, if I know and accept these things to be fundamental truths then I must do them religiously and without fail right?  Well, if you’re anything like me then the answer is a big fat no!

Why is that?  Most of us know exactly what we need to do to be successful, from our diet to our fitness.  The trouble is following through.  Some experts believe it’s because as a society we are undisciplined.  That’s part of the reason but not the real answer.  I believe it’s because it’s just too darn easy not to be successful.  The consequences are often unrecognizable and far off in the distant future.

As a REALTOR there are things I know in my business too.  I know my listings will sell faster and for more money if they have lots of clean, well-composed, high quality pictures.  I know that potential buyers will most likely find my listing online and will call their REALTOR to see it because of the pictures.  The bottom line is that facts tell and pictures sell.  You probably know that too.  But do your listings show it?

I’m not advocating dropping thousands of dollars on an expensive camera and lighting equipment, nor am I suggesting you go back to school and study photography.  However, I do recommend you invest about $500 in a digital camera and learn some basic photography techniques like the rule of thirds.

I recently purchased a Canon G11 digital camera.  Keep in mind I’m no photo geek so I’m not going to bore you with the specs.  What I like about this camera is that it’s high resolution (10 MP), has a built-in wide angle lens (a must for taking pictures of houses) and is excellent in low light.  The Canon G11 is a hybrid between a standard point and shoot and DSLR.  It won’t weigh you down like a big DSLR but it has easy-to-use settings that allow you to switch back and forth between inside and outside shots.

Once you have a good camera it’s time to work on your technique.  For starters, turn off the date stamp feature and don’t ever shoot directly into the sun.  And unless you want to end up on, do not to capture your reflection in the mirror while taking that picture of the master bathroom (a little tip here – kneel down below the mirror.)  Leif Swanson a REALTOR and creator of the site, also says you should never take pictures from your car or at night, and never have people or pets in the image.

There you have it.  You now know what you already knew.  What I have written here may not get you to the gym or prevent you from drinking a bottle of wine at dinner but at least you’ll start selling more houses.

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