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The Importance of Quality Photos for Your Rental Property Listing

Published by Administrator On 19 Dec, 2018

Did you ever notice that when you go onto a professional real estate page or a website like HGTV.com, you find the pictures are literally pulling you into the rooms they have listed?  You can imagine yourself being in that particular room enjoying all the amenities it offers.  This is exactly how you want a renter to feel when they come across your listing on Transplant Housing.  When a renter starts searching for a place, their eyes will naturally be drawn to the images you have listed before any other details and they will quickly determine whether it’s worth spending any time checking out what you may have to offer (link to top 5 reasons here). 

If you miss the boat on these simple details, you’ll lose potential clients quickly.  While statistics vary depending on who you speak to, there is no doubt that you will significantly increase your chance of renting over your competitors if you can put your best foot forward. So what can you do to make sure your photographs are at their best?  Here are the top options for today’s market. 

Hire a Professional Photographer

There are many ways to find photographers offering their services nowadays.

  • Companies like Airbnb now realize the importance of making a property as presentable as possible and offer their own photography services. Unfortunately to get a price quote and services set up with them you do need to have a listing on their site. 
  • Do a simple Google search for photographers in your area to compare rates and make inquiries. Photographer pricing can vary widely with experience but the general consensus is you can expect it to cost anywhere from $100-$300.  Make sure the photographer you find has experience with rental properties.  
  • Sites like Thumbtack estimate a professional photographer costed $150-200 in 2017. They will do a quote search for your specific area as well to find you the best deals.  
  • Word of Mouth: Professional photography is so popular nowadays for all sorts of event so see who your friends and family recommend.  This can also include calling a local real estate office or agent that you trust to point you in the right direction. 

No matter how you find your photographer.  The price will vary with the location, size of the space, time of day, how many pictures you want, and whether you want any drone photos or virtual tours.  The cost benefit is enormous when considering what a potential couple hundred dollars can do for your listing!

Find an Artsy Friend or Amateur

Know someone with fancy camera equipment that likes to dabble in photography or take the occasional class?  Talk to them about practicing their skills, gaining some experience and helping you get the best listing possible.  If they are unsure of where to begin but are willing to help, use the general guidelines below to build their confidence.

Do It Yourself 

Today’s smart phones are touted for how professional they can make a photo can look with the use of their editing programs.  Otherwise, another option is borrowing or renting camera equipment.  This may require a crash course on the use of a camera unless you happen to already own one. If you’re up for the challenge a search on You Tube is a good place to start.

Whatever you decide, here are some basics to keep in mind while tackling your own photo shoot:

  • Lighting. Natural light is always best when possible.  If not, consider using a lamp or flood flight to brighten a room.  Try to position yourself so that light is coming from behind the camera to naturally illuminate the room and keep awkward light spots out of your picture. Don’t forget to play with the amount of light on your editing platform as well, since this can keep your space from looking like a dungeon.
  • Perspective and angles. Pictures that look from “bottom to top” tend to make a space feel cramped and short.  Try to make any angles in a room feel open and airy by getting more a bird’s eye view (stand on a stool or chair).  Focusing the photo around a 90 degree angle can make a space feel small as well so play with the position that angle is located in the picture.  Lastly, use the grids on your camera or editor to keep your photo from looking “off” due to misalignment of the lines in a room.  This will help draw a person into the picture. 
  • Proper staging, avoid clutter, highlight features. Try taking several pictures from various directions in a room to see what works best.  A viewer should be able to distinctly see all of the room’s furnishing, angles and amenities with the lease amount of overlap between objects.  This angle can definitely make or break a picture, especially in open spaces and areas like the living room or kitchen.  If you can’t quite capture all that you want, consider trying a wide angle and panoramic setting. 
  • Editing. Not happy with the lighting, angles or contrast?   Take some time to play with your settings to see what feels right.  Chances are you’ll find something that gives your space the ambiance you are looking for.

How you choose to get the best photos is dependent on your comfort level with skill level versus budget.  No matter who ends up taking your photos make sure your collection is complete with these specific shots.  A potential renter should feel like they’ve gone on a full tour of your property after viewing them. 

  • Living Room and Kitchen (if its open concept try to capture the flow and show how open it is)
  • Master bedroom plus all additional bedrooms and bonus rooms
  • Outside of the home or building (show off that curb appeal!)
  • Unique features and amenities of your home such as a great view, hot tub, pool, gym, or garden

Whether you want to splurge on a professional that is well worth the money or get your creative juices flowing.  There is no question that optimizing your listing (backlink again to top 5 here if you want) is going to get you the most traffic and dramatically increase your chances of finding a tenant. 

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