Amazing rental property photos are crucial when it comes to online marketing. The red “For Rent” sign stuck in the front yard can work, but renters are more likely to find a property through a listing website today. Additionally, renters are more likely to contact a property manager or landlord if the property they find online has appealing images. Before you start advertising your rental property online, remember this: the more images you take, the better.
It doesn’t require a professional to take property images, but a bit of skill can go a long way when it comes to turning that vacant property into an occupied one. Since hiring a professional can be expensive, especially for everyday landlords, here are five simple photography tips designed to help you get top notch photos for your rental listing.
1. Photo Composition: Vertical vs. Horizontal Images
Human’s eyes are placed on their heads horizontally for a reason. Nature formats things horizontally which makes it easier for us to digest photographs that have details spanning from left and right rather than top to bottom. Not a lot of amateur photographers are aware of, but the camera on your smartphone is built with a slightly wide-angle lens that captures more if you hold it horizontally. What this means is that the camera will pick up more making your the rooms in your home appear larger and roomier.
2. Lighting: Ensure Images Aren’t Dark, Grainy or Blurry
When images are taken in areas where the room is not well lit, there’s a good chance that the images will be blurry and grainy, or that details, which are important to prospective renters, are eliminated. Flashes can also distort the room’s true beauty by creating reflections, causing walls to look greasy, or picking up on minor details that you don’t want tenants to see (i.e. a small stain on the carpet). Even worse, it may give the property a creepy vibe, when the property is, in fact, beautiful and airy. If taking images in dark areas can’t be avoided, there are other basic solutions to the common problem of blurry images: hold the camera steady for at least 3 seconds after hitting the shutter, and instead of taking one image, take three on burst mode. The second, or middle picture, will almost always be more clear than the first and third image.
3. Position: Stand Where You Can See More
Often times when we are taking pictures, we don’t realize where we are standing, or that what we see in our images isn’t the same as what we can see with our own two eyes. When taking property images, take a few photos from different angles in each room. Take one with your back against a wall in the middle of the room, and take another standing flush against a corner.
4. Angles: Hold the Camera Straight
When holding your camera, phone or tablet, hold it the same way you would a pitcher of water that’s about to overflow. Hold it as straight as possible, without letting it tip forward, backward or to the sides. Similarly to standing with your back against a wall, this will ensure that more of the property features you have to offer can be seen by potential renters.
5. Cleanup and De-clutter: Pay Attention to Fine Details
When cleaning up and de-cluttering, we don’t just recommend cleaning the obvious messes up. Clutter can come in the form of many things: trashcans, backpacks on the floor, unfolded blankets, food on the counter and even decorative knick-knacks can be an eyesore. One of the best ways to remedy this is to take everything off of the counters, coffee table or mantle so that there’s nothing on them except for the essentials like a coffee maker, a box of coasters or a framed picture.
Make sure to include photos of all of the following in your property listing:
1. Front Exterior (1-2 photos)
2. Kitchen (1-2 photos)
3. Bathroom (1-2 photos)
4. Master Bedroom (1-3 photos)
5. Laundry Area (1 photo)
6. Back exterior (1-2 photos)
7. Living room (1-2 photos)
Happy landlording from TurboTenant!
Sarnen has been investing in rental property since the age of 19. In October of 2015, he launched TurboTenant, which today serves over 450,000+ landlords. Sarnen is a regular contributor on Forbes and Bigger Pockets and is a thought leader in the real estate and proptech space.