A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to marketing your rental property, it’s worth a lot more than that! Great photography can make the difference between a listing that languishes for months and one that gets flooded with offers. It’s a scenario that our property management team has seen play out time and time again.
Any advantage your listing can get is vital—especially if you’re trying to rent a property during challenging times. The best way to ensure great listing photographs is to work with a professional property photographer who really understands how to shoot a space in a way that’s appealing to renters.
However, if you’re going to tackle this process alone, these photography tips will help you create a listing with great shots!
Declutter the Space
Nobody wants to live in a cluttered space or see the results of our (often messy) daily lives. A potential renter knows that your stuff will be long gone by the time they move in. However, seeing a mess will still be a ‘turn-off.’ It will also make it hard for them to imagine themselves investing their lives in that space. If the unit you want to rent is cluttered and fully furnished, it’s best to take the time to eliminate the clutter and arrange any existing furniture in a way that’s simple and pleasing to the eye.
Of course, if the unit you’re photographing is already vacant and devoid of furnishings, then you’re faced with the opposite problem. Research shows that an empty space actually looks smaller to the eye than a furnished one. Before photographing an empty apartment, it might be worth your while to have it professionally (or virtually) staged.
Put the Viewer in the Scene
Photograph your rental property as if you’re walking into it for the first time, and your eye is drawn to all its best features. Don’t get too hung up on shooting from eye level—sometimes the best shot is from a vantage point slightly higher or lower—but try to keep most of the shots wide so that the viewer feels as if they’re really there.
A few other tips to keep in mind as you frame your shots:
- Make sure each picture has a focal point; don’t try to include everything in one picture.
- Angling the camera toward a corner instead of shooting straight ahead at a wall makes a room feel bigger.
- Stay out of the picture (and beware of catching yourself in a mirror).
- Take lots of pictures from multiple angles (corners are usually best): you don’t have to use them all, but you’ll have options to pick from later.
- Use the ‘grid’ feature of your camera to compose each picture and improve the balance.
Highlight Upgrades and Amenities
If your property has unique features and amenities—or if you’ve recently invested in making upgrades—be sure to take photos that highlight those features! The key is to take photos that include these features in the overall ‘landscape’ of your property rather than lots of individual close-ups that won’t be as interesting to the viewer.
For example, you can take a picture of the whole kitchen from an interesting angle that includes the new granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and modern light fixtures. If you want to go into greater detail about every amenity, it’s best to do so verbally in the description. In the photos, focus instead on including these details as part of the bigger picture.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Light can be your best friend or your worst enemy! Take photos on a sunny day, and open up the windows to allow as much natural light in as possible. Supplement the lighting by turning on a few lights if you have to, but consider investing in some natural daylight bulbs to avoid that hazy, yellowish look that artificial light sometimes creates.
Also, it’s best to avoid too much post-production. You can make minor adjustments to improve the light, exposure, or color correction, but don’t do anything that appears overly edited, or that makes the colors look unnatural. The idea is to use lighting as naturally as possible to make your rental look like the best version of its true self!
Work With a Great Property Management Team
The best way to ensure that you have a great listing is to work with a team of professionals who understand the market and know how to get your Utah property noticed. One of the key benefits of choosing the right property management company is that they handle all the leasing for you—including professional photography.
A great listing does more than describe your property. It creates an experience that makes a prospective renter feel like they can visualize their life taking place in your space. It’s an emotional experience, and a beautifully written and photographed listing makes all the difference.
The photos you choose have an incredible impact—but so does your written listing. To get started on appealing to your next renter, download your free copy of our Property Listing Checklist!