They say that you have only a few seconds to generate a positive first impression when meeting someone, and that the impression they get will frame the way they see you long after your first meeting.
When it comes to the property market, both for buyers and renters, the look of a property as well as its environment play an integral role in creating and fine tuning that crucial first impression – with people immediately using visual senses to determine whether or not the property is somewhere they could themselves living in.
There are a couple of things this tells us. One is that viewings are essential, both when looking to sell and rent out a property. The second is that the imagery used to market a property can have a significant impact on how well received it is initially by potential tenants/buyers.
In this article, we’re focussing specifically on the importance of professional photography used to promote a property, and how to stage a property so that the photos can make a great first impression. The information is focused mainly on producing high quality photographs for a rental property, but the same insights apply for properties being listed for sale.
But before we get into the dos and don’ts of property photography, let’s first consider the benefits of getting your images captured by a professional.
The benefits of professional property photography
You can be the best amateur photographer in the world, but without the highest level of equipment and access to the best editing tools, you will never be able to capture photos which do a property justice in the same way as a professional can.
When you bring a photographer in to capture a property that you are putting on the market, they will approach the project with fresh eyes and with a keen interest in the features and light sources which will best frame each shot. From capturing the layout of the property as a whole, to highlighting the selling points and features which will most appeal to prospective tenants, a professional photographer will create a plan which times the shots around the presence and flow of natural light. They will also shoot each picture in high resolution so that prospective viewers can zoom in on certain aspects and elements of the room and will highlight the importance of angles and different viewpoints of each space in order to deliver a well-rounded perspective via static images.
In short, the benefit of professional photography lies in its ability to lift your property off the page and bring it to life for those looking at it, letting them picture themselves living in the space and making it their own.
The dos of property photography
Whether you bring in a professional photographer or not, there is a certain amount of prep work that needs to be done prior to photo day, if you want to depict and present your property in the best way possible for potential tenants.
Below are a selection of key things to consider when preparing a property for a photoshoot, followed by a few recommended “dos” in terms of staging and capturing the best possible shots:
- Clean and tidy the property, including cleaning surfaces and floors. You’d be amazed at how much detail a high resolution photographer can capture, so make sure that those floors are crumb and dust free!
- Remove and hide any evidence of pets. The chances are that even if the property is currently occupied by tenants with pets, all evidence will be removed during the post-tenancy clean – meaning that even those who have allergies or dislike the idea of pets in the house will be unaffected once they move in. Showing that the property has been open to pets in the past can only serve to narrow your pool of prospective tenants.
- Turn off all screens throughout the property.
- Ensure that the outside is just as presentable as the inside, including tidying the driveway and mowing any lawn you have.
- Include photos of both the inside and outside of the property itself, with emphasis on access points and doors as well as windows and fences.
- Optimise the amount of natural light by keeping all curtains and blinds fully open.
Once it comes to staging and capturing the photos themselves, make sure that you book your photographer so that they have plenty of daylight hours in which to complete the job. This should include photos of all inside and outside spaces in various positions and camera configurations, so that when editing the photographer has access to a broad portfolio of different shots that they can send you.
The don’ts of property photography
One thing to try and avoid is making the images and the environment seem too personal.
The more personal items there are in each shot, the harder it is for your property to be viewed as a blank canvas. In fact, and particularly when marketing a rental property, it’s important to take this one step further and consider whether your property will be rented out as a furnished or unfurnished home. If you want to offer the property as a blank canvas with no furnishings included, it’s key that you identify this in both the copy and the images – taking care not to put too much emphasis on any furniture which isn’t being offered as part of the let agreement.
Many of the other things that professional photographers will try and avoid when tasked with creating high quality and effective property photos relate to the way the shots are captured. For example, they will take care to avoid bad lighting that could result in suboptimal images.
They will also ensure that photos are not taken at eye level, as this can warp the layout of the room.
Additional tips for capturing the best photos of your rental opportunity
Prospective tenants want to be able to easily picture themselves living in a property. As a landlord, your job is to present the opportunity in a way that will sell and will appeal to others. What this tells us instantly is that property images need to be as neutral and clear as possible with regards to décor – emphasising the layout and the amount of space available rather than showcasing your finest furnishings.
Remember that while you might be proud of how well your sofa fits within the space, unless the property comes furnished then how your sofa looks doesn’t matter to an incoming tenant.
Another tip for landlords is to emphasise their target market in terms of the ideal tenant – whether the property is suitable for families or couples, single occupants or groups. The photography and the way the property is staged in the images can play a key role when it comes to encouraging people to get in touch for more information or to make a viewing. If the photos appeal to your target audience, they are more likely to result in an increased number of relevant enquiries.
How to access professional property photography for your rental home
Our Tenant Find Service provides a comprehensive package for landlords looking to secure a tenancy for their property. A key part of this service includes high quality, professional photographs of the property, to really help it stand out in the rental market.
In addition to this, the package offers expert advice on how to attract prospective tenants, access to our marketing channels, viewing support, negotiation management, and ongoing property management on your behalf.
To learn more about this and how you could benefit from one or all of the components which make up our popular Tenant Find Service, get in touch with us today.