Pictures are one of the most important factors to consider when creating successful property listings. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 85% of renters say the listing’s photos are the deciding factor in choosing which properties to view. With those numbers, it’s clear that the photo-taking process deserves your attention.
Taking the perfect picture of your rental property doesn’t necessitate expensive equipment or professional photographers. With a little staging and lighting, landlords are fully capable of capturing high-quality photos to use for marketing purposes. Below we provide 9 tips for taking the perfect picture for your rental listing.
Make a Plan before Shooting
Before you begin taking any pictures, do a tour of the rental as if you are a prospective renter. This allows you to experience the property from a fresh perspective and notice the details that would be important to a renter. Take note of the areas in each room that provide the best view of their important features
You should then make a list of all the rooms you want to photograph. Remember that it’s better to have pictures of too many rooms than to leave some out and regret it later. You can always downsize if needed.
Clean Light Fixtures and Windows
Sometimes the reason a room looks dark is simply because the light fixtures need some polishing. Start by cleaning all lamps, chandeliers, and light fixtures. Be sure to replace burnt out bulbs and yellowing lampshades. If the room lacks sufficient lighting, bring in additional lighting and place fixtures strategically throughout the room.
Windows are an important source of natural light. In order to maximize the light they provide, clean the inside and outside of each window. This not only improves lighting, but also allows for a crisper view of the sky and surrounding landscaping.
Choose Props Carefully
Although simple furniture and decor can enhance a room, overdoing it with props can make photos feel over staged. Try to avoid cliches like candles by the bathtub and large fruit bowls on the kitchen counter.
Some good staging tips for rental listings, like placing eye-catching props next to important features, can be distracting in photos. Your goal is to show off the room in its best light, but too many distracting props hide the details of the room that are important to renters.
Highlight Important Rooms
Be sure to place an emphasis on the rental’s most important rooms. Most renters will want to see every room in the unit, but there are sometimes limits on how many photos can be included in a listing. Focus on major rooms like the kitchen, master bedroom, and living room. If you’re able to include more photos, then move on to rooms of less importance.
Avoid Simple Mistakes
Part of taking the perfect photo is paying attention to the small details in a room. You don’t have to go all out with staging strategies, but being meticulous and thorough can go a long way in making the room presentable.
Putting down toilet seats, turning off TVs, and making sure the camera isn’t reflected in mirrors are the small details that make for professional photos. Overlooking simple details like these can distract the renter from the property you’re trying to market.
Choose the Correct Time to Shoot
There are competing theories about the best time of day and weather for shooting photos for listings. Some say that overcast days in the late afternoon are best because it results in a softer light that isn’t as harsh a perfectly sunny day.
Others say that having a beautiful sky showing through the windows is worth the harsher light of a sunny day. In order to make the best decision for your rental property, take the time to visit the property under both circumstances and see which presents the property in its best form.
Don’t Neglect the Exterior
Curb appeal is important to renters, so be sure to include the exterior of the rental in your listing’s photos. You don’t need perfect grass to capture high-quality photos of the outside of the property. Simply trimming the bushes and placing a few floral arrangements by the entrance can do a lot to enhance your photos.
A trick that elevates exterior photos to the next level is waiting until dusk to shoot them. Turning on both the indoor and outdoor lights with a dimming sun can create a beautiful picture.
Frame Photos Thoughtfully
The framing of a picture will be entirely dependent on the room you’re photographing. It’s typically recommended that photos be taken at chest level to provide a similar view of the room that renters would experience during a showing.
Regardless, photos should be taken at an angle that highlights the important features of the room such as bookshelves, fireplaces, counters, and windows. When deciding where to take a picture, make sure that furniture and props aren’t blocking the room’s special details.
Minimal editing can enhance photos. Adjusting the exposure, shadows, sharpness, and vignette are all small things that can make a big difference. If you start with strong photos, there’s no need to do much more.
On the other hand, doing too much editing tends to make photos appear unprofessional and cheaply done. Overdone filters and extreme adjustments to the coloring can distract renters from the property’s natural features.
Hopefully these tips and tricks have helped inform your photo-taking process. Pictures play an important role in the success of a rental listing, so landlords must be sure to give them the time and care they deserve.
Once you have a great listing with perfect photos, your next task is to post the listing where the maximum number of renters will see it. Real estate listing syndication is a great tool when it comes to sharing your available properties. Check out our article on the best rental listing websites to find the perfect fit for your business.