10 Tips for Taking First-Rate Property Photos

by Chris on November 26, 2012

When it comes to successful rental listings, nothing seems to attract prospective tenants’ attention like photos of the property.  Unfortunately, that attention can be good or bad — depending on the quality of those photos.

Bad photos drive away qualified applicants, and that costs landlords money.

It doesn’t take hi-tech photo equipment or professional training to take good photos. 

Rather, proper staging of the property prior to taking the shots is the key to first-rate photos that sell a vacancy.

Keep in mind that the same photos can be used every time the property is advertised, so it is worth a little extra time to set it up right.

Professional photographers say to “think nature” when you line up your shots:

Natural colors and lighting are universally appealing in photos. Neutral paint colors,  like (very) light greys and tans are visually soothing and make an otherwise small unit look bigger.

Provide as much natural light as possible in the shot. Plan to take the photos when the light is peaking in the unit.

Photos pick up every smudge or fingerprint. Make sure the property is sparkling clean before you start.

Include flowers, brightly colored foods, or artwork with natural elements in each shot.

Aiming the camera slightly downward toward the floor — where a person would step into view, provides a more natural composition.

Consider each area — living, dining, sleeping — as its own vignette, so applicants can visualize themselves standing there. Try to include as much of that area as possible, rather than close-up shots of a special detail. A wide-angle shot that captures most of the kitchen will be more appealing than a close up shot of the new refrigerator.

Create depth by composing shots that have both an enticing foreground and an interesting background. Shooting from the corner of a room also can ad depth to the photos.

Sometimes, it’s what you don’t see that counts most.  Don’t hide an unappealing feature, like a tiny bedroom, by not including a photo. That draws more negative attention and discourages applicants.  Instead, stage the room with the right furniture so it looks cozy in the photo.

Using a tripod and self-timer function can help with jitters.

If photography isn’t your thing, consider hiring a professional. Many up-and-coming pros are looking for referrals, so for a couple hundred dollars you can purchase high quality pictures that will look great season after season.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Pedersen December 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Hi, I want to do a credit check (and possibly more) on a prospective tenant for a 1 bdrm unit I am renting. What steps do I need to do for this? Thank you.

marv December 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hi Nicole, thanks for your query. I also sent you an email on how to sign up and create a TVS account. https://www.tenantverification.com/can/membership this link is the starting point for your NO FEE TVS online account.

Opening a TVS/ATS account is quick and easy… compared to and I will say it, to all other tenant screening sites that you will find on the WWW. I am fairly certain that we have the most streamlined, efficient and secure sign up process in the Industry. We know our Customers! That is important because that is one way we protect consumer information…we know who is getting it. This should be important to you, to TVS and it certainly is to the Credit Bureaus. Thanks once again to Chris our valued Writer for another great article. Just so you Folks know, Chris does a lot of research for these articles and as you can see from how they are written, takes great pride in them. Thank you Chris.

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