Paint Shop Pro Gives Realtor’s Assistant New Perspective
As a Realtor’s Assistant in Beaverton, OR, Rita Fryer’s job includes preparing digital photos for RMLS listings, on-site flyers, and Web sites like, martysellshomes.com. When Fryer needed help fixing her photos, she looked for something that would meet her high standards and had a few necessary tools she needed to do her job.
“My background includes more than 30 years in the small printing and publishing business. So I have certain personal standards for the material I print and publish myself, even though it doesn't have MY name on it,” Fryer said.
The tool Fryer found was Paint Shop Pro. Well, actually, she re-found it. Fryer had used a version of Paint Shop Pro years ago, but lost it when her hard drive crashed. It wasn’t until she received an e-mail about a new version that it caught her eye again.
“I had just started my present job working for a Realtor when I got an e-mail showing the Perspective Tool in Paint Shop Pro,” she said. “I did a search to see what other software programs could do that bit of magic and came up pretty much blank. I downloaded the free trial of Paint Shop Pro, experimented, and found it was perfect! When I showed Marty Weil, my boss, the results, it wasn't difficult to convince him to let me buy the program.”
“Paint Shop Pro fits my requirements for fixing up photos and low cost,” she said. “I was amazed when I realized the only program I could find two years ago that featured perspective correction was also one of the least expensive.”
As a realtor’s assistant, the Perspective Correction Tool is key for the work Fryer does.
“Most digital photos taken of the inside of a room come out with the edges distorted,” Fryer said. “The first thing I do with every new batch of photos is to use Paint Shop Pro’s Perspective Correction to straighten up the edges of the room. This is the only low-cost image-editing program that has such a tool. It makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of the room.”
Fryer also uses Paint Shop Pro to adjust crop, adjust photo resolution, and resize.
“If you submit a photo to RMLS that is not 640x480, it scrunches it one direction to that size which can have some really unusual effects,” she said.
The Clone Tool has also come in handy for Fryer’s photo work She’s added sky and tree tops to photos that were too closely cropped, removed distractions from the streets outside homes, and even removed a tarp and a short pole from photos of new construction.
“Once we’ve sold a home, the sellers often ask for a copy of the pictures we use of their house,” Fryer said. “Usually I burn these pictures to a CD, but once a seller asked if I could e-mail the pictures to his daughter. When the daughter received the pictures, she said, ‘The house never looked as good as it does in the photos!"
Photos of homes aren’t the only thing Fryer retouches with Paint Shop Pro. She even gets to use her skills on pictures of people.
“I was able to take a full length photo of my employer, crop out a headshot, increase the resolution for printing, adjust the colors, and whiten the teeth using Paint Shop Pro,” she said. “All I had to work with was a scanned copy that had been emailed after they attempted to lighten the teeth and succeeded in blurring them in the process. The picture is now used on our Web sites, flyers, and all printed material.” Flyer also uses Paint Shop Pro to create maps for her company’s Web site.
“I cleaned up scanned plat maps and floor plans, labelled the lots sold on the map for BriarGateVillage.com’s price and availability page,” she said. “I also copied a map from Yahoo, removed most of the detail, cleaned up the lines, labeled streets, added an aged parchment background, and fadeout frame to create the map on the "come see us" page. I’ve used this same process for maps printed on invitations and flyers”
“I love Paint Shop Pro,” Fryer said. “I have Photoshop LE, but it is so complex I have never taken the time to master it. The online tutorial for Paint Shop Pro let me look up what I wanted to do and quickly review it, then DO it!