Real Estate Agent & Trainer using the power of technology to achieve maximum productivity
Editor’s Note: This original posting was way too long & a review and a how-to in one. This is simply a review, and the original has been edited into the “how-to” part.
Fortunately, the stealing of house pictures from our listings for use in online classified *cough*Craigslist*cough* scams has decreased significantly over the past year or so.
For those unfamiliar with the scam, criminals would download listing photos from any syndication partner & use them in an ad to rent the home. When their prey would email about the ad, they would reply that they were in Buffalo (or Santa Fe, or Minot) with a family emergency. If, however, the tenant was really interested in renting the home, they could simply send a money order for the deposit & 1st month’s rent to PO Box …. and the ‘owners’ would mail the keys, garage door openers, etc. That way they could move in without having to wait for the ‘owners’ to get back in town. You would be AMAZED how many people fell for this. My personal favorites were people who agreed to pay $2000/month for a 1-bedroom and then sent their money order to an address in Nigeria.
Even within our own ranks, we have listings that expire or are withdrawn for one reason or another and are eventually re-listed. Sometimes the new agent downloads YOUR photos for their own use. (Ironic, isn’t it, that a seller would choose a different agent because they believe she will work harder than you did, and from the beginning of the relationship she’s taking the lazy way out…I digress.)
In order to stop this, and to further one’s brand, many agents have taken to super-imposing their phone number, email, etc. on listing photos. This typically requires using a program like Adobe Photoshop (or so most people think) and it’s quite time-consuming. Open a photo, position the text/image perfectly, save the file, lather, rinse, repeat…
Today I stumbled on a really neat program called “Batch Picture Protector” from the folks over at SoftOrbits. The software interface is incredibly simple. In all honesty, it’s a little too simplistic for me – probably because I’m a nerd. It’s not 100% intuitive, either. For example, it took me a little bit to figure out that you have to add your photograph(s) before you can do anything with watermarks.
Adding the file(s) to be watermarked is done the same as in most any program: Click “Add File” or “Add Folder.” Yes, this will do an entire folder in one quick session- hence the name “Batch Picture Protector.”
The user has the option to watermark the photo with either text or an image (or both). For Text, this box appears when you click “+ Text Watermark”
As you can see, there are quite a few options:
The options above results in this:
Adding a “Logo Image” (publisher’s term for ‘watermark image’) has this screen:
As I mentioned earlier, you can do both a Text Watermark and a Logo Image, or even multiple text or logo watermarks. Simply add/load all of the watermarks you plan to use for the day, and check/uncheck the box on the right to enable/disable a particular watermark for your current batch.
Setting the transparency of your image is easy, and you can play with it until you get it just right. Here is a transparency of 100% versus a transparency of 50%
Because watermarks vary in type & shape, the flexibility of placement is absolutely essential. With the middle placement selected in the text example above, you’ll notice the text appears in the center of the screen. For my image, though, I chose the middle bottom.
The program allows for an image to be either a percentage of the watermark’s size or a percentage of the source image’s size. Not sure why you would want to keep the watermark the exact same size, because your photos will be different sizes. Here is an illustration of the watermark size being constant across varying sizes of photos:
Once you have your image in place, you simply click “Batch Watermark,” choose your destination folder, click Start, and you’re done I did an entire folder of photos (in the same time it would take to do a single one), and I’ve selected 7 of the results to show what it looks like at 100% of Source Image size and 75% transparency. Notice how the watermark appears over different colors in the background.
Overall, I’d give this program a strong B+, maybe even an A-.