Photo Ready Homes: The Key to your Rental Strategy
Why Good Property Photos are so Important
We’ve all seen those rental listings with photos that don’t match the listing description or scrolled through images that are portrait oriented and cut off half of the room. We have even come across listings with photos that highlight unsightly things like an unmade bed or a disorganized closet space.
While some of these may seem like no big deal, the reality is that how you represent your listing will go a long way to obtaining those ideal tenants (or buyers) you’re looking for.
Good photography will allow you to grab your target tenant’s attention and also help to eliminate potential renters who don’t fit within your criteria. For example, a luxury furnished rental condo would aim to capture a tenant with an adequate budget who is also likely to look after the home the way it is presented. Good photography will also work in partnership with the listing company’s marketing standards and potentially garner your location more publicity with good photography.
Ensuring your rental property is photo ready is a sure way to draw more attention and optimize marketing initiatives to place a good tenant. Below we have put together our expert list of tips on how to get your property photo ready and how to photograph your space on your own if you do not have access to a photographer. Hiring a professional photographer will benefit you in the immediate term as well as in the long run when or if you need to re-list your space, sell your home or for other marketing initiatives in the future.
The Basics: Getting your Home Photo Ready
Cleaning and Repairs
• It is imperative that your suite is cleaned by a cleaning service (including carpets, drapery/blinds and windows) after each occupancy or before your first tenant moves in. Removing dust collection in corners, light fixtures or tables ensures photography will not capture this.
• Ensure that walls are cleaned from scuff marks or stains, and any nail holes or damage be repaired prior to photographing.
• If there are broken fixtures, missing parts, such as light covers or towel rods replace these before photography.
• Ensure all windows and mirrors or reflective or transparent surfaces are free from dust or smudges.
• Ensure your or your existing tenants personal belongings are out of sight; this includes hanging coats, personal photos, shoes (inside cupboards, storage or packed away).
• Any damaged furniture or included items should be repaired, replaced and cleaned.
• Remove and clean any dirty dishes or appliances.
• If the property has a private outdoor space, such as a patio, balcony or private garden, this area should be cleaned and free from any discarded debris, storage items, dead plants or unsightly dirt. Give the outdoor area a fresh sweep, and wipe down any patio and lounge furniture – adding little extras like a potted plant or 2 can easily liven up a gray space.
Photo Ready Tips for Great Photography
• Fluff your pillows and straighten out bedding.
• Ensure electrical cords from lamps or TV’s are discreet.
• Try to anchor your furnishings so they are balancing a room and showing the best angles of the space. Avoid covering up closet doors, windows or features in the space.
• Open curtains and blinds to allow natural light in.
• Remove excessive items from your counter-tops, keep only minimum small appliances visible.
• Remove personal items from bathroom counter-tops and inside the shower, close the toilet lid, open the shower curtain to show the inside of the tub.
Photo Ready Extras to Consider to Make your Listing Stand Out
• Add fresh flowers or greenery to center a dining table or console table.
• White lighting is best so light bulbs should give off a cooler tone (white light vs. yellow light).
• Add any decorative items that are not excessive and are tasteful for example a couple toss cushions on the sofa or a well-placed piece of art.
Photo Ready’ Musts’ for Self-Guided Photography
• Always use landscape setting as you will need to capture a larger area of the space. If you have a full frame camera, opt for this rather than a camera-phone. Use wide angle lens and a tripod when you can.
• Turn on interior lights even with the blinds open.
• Avoid photo reflections where you (or the photographer) are in reflective surfaces such as mirrors, stainless steel appliances and shiny or glossy surfaces.
• Ensure that photos are crisp and clear and use the highest resolution you can.
• Take photographs from eye-level to ensure accuracy and the best views.
• Don’t be afraid to take some ‘beauty shots’ that might include great details in your space such as a close-up of a unique fireplace, lovely dining setting, state-of-the-art appliances with brand logo, etc.
• Avoid half-shots of rooms or areas. This can be avoided most times but only using landscape setting. Avoid partial areas like half of the bed in the bedroom or areas like hallways without any features.
• If there is a yard area, balcony or private outdoor space photograph this is early afternoon light. If there is an exterior building or house shot that emphasizes great curb appeal or upscale nature of the listing, include this in your photos.
• Avoid all vertical/ portrait photography.
How Many Photos Do You Need?
• It never hurts to have too many photos, especially when taking them yourself as professional photographers will likely have package pricing. The rule of thumb however is that the larger the property, the more photos will be needed to showcase it – the same can be said for condos or lofts with several features and amenities.
Below are Rent-it-Furnished’s photo standards for all our rental property listings.
• All main living areas must be included; this includes the kitchen, living room, dining area, bathroom and bedrooms.
• Kitchens should have a minimum of 2 photographs: 1 straight on and one from another angle. Be sure to capture all the kitchen features, if you can’t achieve this in 2 photos, more great photos are welcome to accurately depict the space.
• At minimum 1 photo of the living room, more if needed. Be sure to capture windows, where the balcony is accessed (if from the living room), fireplace and any particulars in this space.
• 1 Bedroom photo of each room. Try to capture as much of the entire bedroom as possible, as well as closet or closet storage space. If you can’t capture it all in one photo, showcase the closet area separately.
• 1 Bathroom photo each. Bathrooms can be notoriously difficult to photograph. A tripod and wide-angle lens can be especially helpful here to capture the space.
• Dens, flex areas, storage rooms, laundry rooms and balconies. If your property has any of these, providing these photos will add to the quality of your listing.
• Any building amenities.
Photo Ready Takeaway
Good property photography is one of the key essentials to marketing your property to the right audience and will benefit you in the short and long term. When rental markets are saturated with an influx of properties you need your listing to stand out from the rest and the best way to ensuring this is with good visuals and exceptional marketing. Speak with one of our listing agents today for more information on how to make your listing stand out.