When it comes to marketing your rental to potential renters, the right picture can be worth a thousand applicants. In fact, nine out of ten renters rely on the internet as their primary research source (with 52% using it as their first step, according to Google). That’s why the images you present to them are critical for building and sustaining interest.
While it’s always best to hire a professional photographer, we realize that this option might not fit within the boundaries of everyone’s budget. So, in the spirit of doing-it-yourself, here’s a helpful guide to picture taking for investment properties. By following this advice, you’re sure to produce quality marketing photos for your rental listing and stay within your budget.
Tip #1: Use a Professional Camera
While cellphones and tablets make convenient photography options, those same pictures would look better if they had been taken with a professional camera. Professional cameras produce crisper, more colorful, higher-quality images. For photos guaranteed to communicate a “bigger feel” for all of your home’s rooms, use the tricks of the photographer’s trade: a wide-angle lens and a tripod. The tripod allows you to keep the camera steady and avoid any blurriness in exposures.
Tip #2: Tidy Up Your Home
Let’s be honest: a technically-perfect photo of an unclean home space serves no purpose, because it won’t get you the type of renter you want. In fact, presenting your rental in a dirty, unkept condition is about the worst thing you can do. So tidy it up first! We highly recommend hiring professionals for bigger tasks like window cleaning and power washing the exterior, and encourage you to handle the smaller ones like sweeping, mopping and dusting yourself.
Tip #3 Understand Lighting
What’s a picture without the proper lighting? Un-dramatic and boring. Avoid this problem by incorporating proper lighting techniques into all your photos. Here’s a hint on how to do it: open all of the windows and turn on all the lights. This way, all the lighting that can be incorporated into a photo, will be. Finally, if your property has a fireplace and it’s easy to turn on, have it burning bright during the picture-taking process – this feature is too great not to show-off!
Tip #4 It’s All About the Angles!
You’re selling an image; so you need to communicate how your property boasts large, wide spaces by making use of different angles in your photography. If your property is more modest in its total square-footage, that makes no difference: Shoot from lower angles to create the illusion of a larger space for every room. Also, be sure that the majority of your photos are horizontal (or landscape); only take vertical shots when it’s absolutely necessary.
Tip #5 Use Photo-Enhancing Software to Adjust Coloring
Avoid any lingering “amateur feel” surrounding your photos, by adjusting important aspects likes contrast, sharpness, and re-sizing. There are many free applications on the web, like PicMonkey, that have one-click options or easy-to-use tools to improve the quality of your photos. Even minor adjustments can improve your original photos and increase the performance of your listing.
Following these tips will create professional quality, eye-catching photos that are sure to pique the interest of applicants. For more on how to effectively market your rental, head to 6 Secrets to Successfully Market an Investment Property.