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How to Take Great Listing Photos That Help to Rent Your Property Quickly

Learn to take stunning photos of your rental property that will showcase your unit at its best.
Jaanu Surendran
June 2, 2022
5 min read
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You’ve written a great rental listing description. What’s the next step? Stunning rental listing photos. The good news is, you don’t really need professional photography or expensive DSLR cameras to get high-quality photos. Read on to know how smartphone cameras could work just as well.

It’s crucial to spend time and effort on procuring good photos because listings with images always get more views. Tenants usually look at a listing for only a few seconds, so if you don’t have photos to catch their attention, they will move on.

It’s good to feature at least three photos in a live listing, but the more photos you have, the better. It’s natural for tenants to want to see every nook and corner of the property that they’ll be paying for, so offering high-quality photos (or videos) will increase their interest in your rental. While listing your property through Tenantcube, you can upload as many photos or videos as you want, and get a stunning microsite specifically for your property as well.

What gadgets do you need to take quality photos?

Fortunately, smartphone cameras these days are all that you need. While DSLR cameras are terrific, don’t fret if you don’t possess one. The newer smartphones take really high-quality photos, if they are in good condition and have clean lenses.

Can I take rental photos with current tenants living in my unit?

You are completely within your rights as a landlord to ask your tenants to come in, in order to take photos of the unit. Just make sure you give them sufficient notice, at least 24 hours in advance. Having tenants already living in the unit can be either good or bad, depending on circumstances.

If you have good tenants who keep the unit clean, it helps that the space has furniture and looks comfortable. This helps potential tenants visualize the space as a home. Also, furnished units look bigger in photos.

Of course, you also need to keep in mind that the unit might be messy, and that you cannot control what furniture or items will be displayed in your photos. You can avoid photographing a messy property by politely asking the current tenants to straighten up before you arrive. Giving them an incentive by discounting rent that month or hiring a professional cleaning crew before the photoshoot can be a worthwhile investment.

Can I take good photos of an empty unit?

With no tenants in your unit, you are free to set up the property whatever way you like. But while you have the freedom to stage the property, it’s a fact that an empty rental unit looks less inviting and smaller than a furnished one.

To compensate for the lack of furniture, you can focus on the best features of your unit, like the natural light streaming in through the windows, or hardwood floors. The secret to making any unit, whether furnished or not, look good in photos is tasteful staging.

How to stage my rental unit?

Tiny details that help with scale and perspective:

  • Cushions in the living room
  • Open curtains
  • A laptop, notebook, and coffee mug
  • An attractive painting
  • Flowers or indoor plants

The importance of good lighting - The best time to take pictures is when natural light is streaming into the rental unit. Photos taken in the evening aren’t the same quality, and it’s sensible to avoid photographing the place at night. Dark windows make the space feel smaller and claustrophobic.

Angles to use - Standing at the corner of the room usually provides the widest view for an all-encompassing photo. Try to include two walls and a bit of ceiling and floor in each image. Including three walls in a shot will create a boxed-in effect. Avoid angles that a tenant might never view the room from (eg., from up high, etc).Small spaces can be made to appear larger by adding more light.

While it’s good to take efforts to present your rental in the best light, it’s important to be honest with your photos as well. Deceiving potential tenants with images that aren’t accurate is a waste of your time and theirs, and undermines your reputation as a landlord. You don’t want to host rental showings for tenants who won’t be interested after seeing the unit in person.

What all areas/rooms to photograph for a listing?

The correct answer is - every room. Tenants are usually interested in seeing every nook and corner of the property they are considering for their next home, including outdoor spaces and shared common areas.

Outdoor spaces are often overlooked by landlords, but they can be huge selling points. It’s important to include a picture of the front of the building, as well the rooftop deck, courtyard, or parking spaces, if you have those. It’s more compelling to actually present them for viewing, rather than just listing them as ‘amenities’.

Outdoor photos are best taken in the summer. Utilise the golden hour of photography, which is when the sun is just setting and the atmosphere is flooded by glorious, golden natural light. Don’t forget to take a picture of the view from your balcony or windows, if there’s an unobstructed view of a park or city skyline.

Editing

While reviewing your photos, make sure to delete blurry and dark ones. You can easily lighten your photos by increasing the brightness directly on your smartphone’s app. Bright photos are cheerful and easier on the eyes. Try to crop out too much blank wall, ceiling or floor.

Final tips to remember:

  • Rotate photos to ensure they are uploaded upright
  • Avoid flash reflections in mirrors
  • Take care not to let your reflection appear in bathroom mirrors or glass windows

Store and reuse rental listing photos

Create a free rental listing with Tenantcube, and we’ll store your photos and videos for you. Sign up for a free trial today.

What our lawyers want you to know

This article offers general information only, is current as of the date of publication, and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Tenantcube Inc. or its affiliates.

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Jaanu Surendran
June 2, 2022
5 min read
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