Photo Order | Choosing a different Lead Image for the MLS to your Virtual Tour

As I photograph and order the images of a home for sale, I try to introduce and orientate a potential buyer to the property in a logical and helpful way. Often the first image that appears in my Virtual Tours is a Wide Shot showing the extent of the property, but that is not necessarily the image that you should place first when ordering the photos in the MLS. Let me explain via an over-exadgerated example:

1772 Sugar Lane in Niles Michigan is situated on a 20 Acre Peninsula property that is surrounded by the St. Joseph River. So the first shot in my Tour for this listing is a Wide Shot showing the home in the context of the 20 Acres and the River.

1772 Sugar Lane, Niles Michigan-1

Wide-Shot leads the Virtual Tour placing the Home in Context of its 20 Acre Property on the St. Joseph River

However, this Wide-Shot is inappropriate to lead the MLS Listing as the thumbnail image that potential buyers will see will show lots of green grass and blue sky, but little of the home in the distance. A more appropriate choice of image to lead the MLS is a tighter shot that predominantly features the front-of-house.

1772 Sugar Lane, Niles Michigan-2

A better choice image for the MLS Listing predominantly shows the front-of-house. In this example, the image could be cropped tighter to reduce the amount of sky and grass, but I also wanted to showcase the River on the left-hand-side.

Here is how the 2 images would appear in the search results on a listing site like

1772 Sugar Lane, Niles Michigan-5

Wider Image

1772 Sugar Lane, Niles Michigan-5-2

Tighter Image

As you can see the tighter image is more appropriate to be the lead image in the MLS and on other listing websites in comparison to the wider image. So, when you receive delivery of your Photos & Tour for your latest listing, consider which image is most appropriate to lead the MLS. The photos will download in the order placed in the Tour, so this will take some re-arranging from you when you load the photos into the MLS.

Generally I order the Tour’s interior photos to walk potential buyers around the main floor of the home, then the second floor, then the lower level. Again, I do this to¬†introduce and orientate a potential buyer to the property in a logical and helpful way. However, if you think, for example, that the Master Suite on the second floor is a key selling point for the home, and you want those images to appear earlier, rather than later in the MLS listing, you will need to reorganize the photo order.

You are always free to change the order of the photos in the Tour if you wish — View Instructions.


If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or get in-touch.


T: 574-383-9388

South Bend Realty Photo | Real Estate Photography + Floorplans |

Author: Andrew Hughes

South Bend Realty Photo delivers professional Real Estate Photography, Floorplans, Virtual Tours & online Showcases and Custom Flyers to Realtors and Homeowners in the greater South Bend, IN area. Great Photos Help you Get Homes SOLD!

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