Property Marketing: Images are Important; Make Them Count

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When marketing a rental property, most people know that a prospective tenant will search for a property online and they expect to see images of the property.  If you do not want to field vague phone calls about what the property looks like, or actually show the property only to have the prospect disappointed, it makes sense for you as well to ensure images of the rental are displayed when marketing the property.  

With modern technology, you do not have to be a professional photographer to take a decent photo (thankfully), but there are a few things to think about prior to standing in the property and just snapping a picture before uploading it for everyone to see.  You are taking the time to take pictures, might as well give it your best shot, right (bad pun, had to do it).

First, make sure the lights are on to ensure the home is well lit.  A poorly lit room, or even worse, a dark room does not show well and may offer a  creepy first impression to a prospective tenant which could end their interest on the spot.  

Example of well lit room:

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Ideally, the home will be furnished, but it is understood in most cases that a rental is vacant and as a result, there is no furniture.  For high end rentals, it may be worth it to consider staging the property.  If that is not realistic, or in the budget, it is good practice to ensure the images are clutter free, the carpet is vacuumed and that everything else is in good order.

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Another good tip is to shoot at eye level and offer a broad image of the room.  If the room is too large, then you can always take pictures from different perspectives so that you capture every aspect of the room.  

If any of the bathrooms have appeal which may certainly be the case if there is a nice master bath and/or if there are double sinks in a bathroom that is shared, then do yourself a favor and avoid making a cameo appearance in the mirror of the photo.

What not to do:

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For exterior photos, dusk is when most professional photographers will shoot the outside of the house.  If you have ever looked at photos of “For Sale” properties, you will often notice that the exterior shots are fantastic, and most of them at taken at dusk.

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If there is an ideal sequence of photos to upload, here is what I would recommend, but keep in mind, you will know what features of the property to highlight.  For example, this order does not include any unique amenities like a pool in the backyard, or a pool table in the finished basement.  

  • Exterior of the house – The front of the property
  • Kitchen
  • Family living space
  • Master bedroom
  • Master bathroom
  • Secondary bedroom(s)
  • Secondary bathroom(s)
  • Anything else that is unique about the property interior (large master closet, extra storage space, basement etc.).
  • Images of the backyard, especially for a family home and/or if the property is pet friendly
  • Any pictures of areas of interest within the community where the home is located (town center, nearby parks, hiking trails etc.).

While all of this can be accomplished with the technology of a smartphone, you may want to invest in a quality camera if you have multiple rentals that you own or manage.  The costs of a quality camera have dropped dramatically as a result of smartphone cameras being in almost everyone’s pocket and yet, the photo quality continues to be much better than a camera phone.

There are just a few tips to help you maximize the pictures that you are most likely going to take anyway, but these steps will help separate your rental from the next.

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