When potential tenants browse through apartment or home rental listings online, the photos are the first thing to capture their attention. Since the quality and appeal of your photos can make or break a listing, they have to be exceptional.
It’s best to hire a professional real estate photographer who knows how to showcase a home to sell, but if you decide to do it yourself, follow these tips to bring out the best in your rental property's interior and exterior images.
Clear out the clutter
This shouldn’t need to be said, but sometimes a property owner doesn’t realize how important it is to be sure the home or apartment does not look “lived in.” Cleaning and storing things away before shooting is critical. In fact, use the opportunity to start packing for your move before the shoot. Pack away personal photos, knick-knacks, artwork on the walls as well as refrigerator artwork, toys, cords, computers, and clear all appliances off of kitchen work surfaces.—clutter will give potential tenants the impression that the home is lacking storage space, and it interferes with their ability to imagine themselves living in the space.
When possible, remove excess furniture from rooms to make them appear larger and give renters an idea of how their furniture will fit each room. Make sure beds are made and look inviting. Make the home appear showcase ready. Stage each room to maximize its appeal and give potential tenants an idea of how their furniture and belongings could look in the space.
Make the most of natural light
Lighting is key to great listing photos. Always photograph the home in the daytime. Open doors and curtains to flood rooms with natural light, otherwise, the room may appear dark and gloomy. In rooms that don’t capture a lot of natural light, turn on indoor lighting. Light gives a room sense of space and makes it appear bigger.
Shoot several photos of each room from different angles, particularly small rooms like laundry rooms and bathrooms. Each angle will have its own lighting and perspective, depending on where you stand when you shoot. Take photos from various heights and corners to add dimension. Shooting straight ahead can make a make a room appear smaller than it actually is in photos.
Highlight desirable renovations and property elements
Updated kitchens and bathrooms, hardwood flooring, outdoor living spaces—these are the features that attract potential tenants. Make sure your front and back yards are mowed and landscaped, at least enough to create curb appeal.
Don’t shoot yourself
It’s not uncommon for non-professional photographers to inadvertently snap photos in rooms with mirrors and glass doors or windows that capture their reflection or shadow in the image. Check reflective surfaces before you snap the picture, and make sure to shoot from angles that are reflection-free. If you’re using the flash, be sure it isn’t hitting mirrors or reflective surfaces. Keep pets and people out of your photos. If the home is pet-friendly, that can be communicated in the listing content, but potential tenants who are allergic to pets may be turned off by an image of a cat curled up on the sofa.
Edit with care
You can upload your photos to an editing program such as Photoshop or use photo editing tools that are often available on smartphone cameras. Make sure not to over-adjust brightness and contrast levels, which renters might perceive to be manipulated to camouflage undesirable features.
In today’s competitive rental market, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make your listing and marketing photos stand out among the sea of options out there by creating a selection of ic, attention-grabbing images.
RentVest Property Management offers customer-centric property management services to property owners in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson, Reno, and Hawaii. To learn more about our full-service management benefits, visit the RentVest Property Management website.