Photographs are the quickest and easiest way to get people interested in your property listing. The more photos the better – people don’t have time to view properties which may risk being inappropriate for their needs. Most potential tenants expect a photo of each room of the property and the outside of the house/garden as standard.
Taking a great picture of your property which gives a good impression doesn’t require an expensive camera or expert photography skills. Taking the time to set up a good shot, with clever use of advantageous angles, can make the difference between a mediocre photo and a memorable one.
A decent photograph of the outside of the property is a great start, and will often act as your main picture for the listing.
Before you take your photograph, make sure the outside and inside of your property is presented well. Mow the lawns if applicable, trim back hedges and plants, jet wash paving and concrete and add finishing touches such as hanging baskets. Most importantly, remove obstructions from the path and driveway, including cars and rubbish bins. Finally, make sure all curtains and blinds at the front of the property are open and the house looks welcoming.
Try to take all photographs during natural daylight and without too much shade across the property if possible. Also steer clear of any noticeable weather conditions – advertising a snow-covered property in the spring or a sunny, colourful garden in the winter is a tell-tale sign that the property has been on the market a while. Always make sure photographs are seasonally appropriate – it doesn’t take long to replace the outdoor photographs.
If your property is one of many in a terrace, make sure your property is in the centre of the photograph. If your property is an apartment within a large block, or the exterior of the property is not one of its best features, make sure you have a really good internal shot of the most appealing room to act as your main photo. Every property has positive and negative aspects – it’s all about focusing on its strong points.
If your property has a garden or shared outdoor area, which will be appealing to your ideal tenants, then it is important to include a photograph of this outdoor space. Before taking the picture, assess which view is best for showing it off. For example, towards the house or away from it – which angle makes it look larger, or focuses on a selling feature such as a pool or stylish outdoor dining area?
Whether the garden is big or small, take a photograph which embraces its finest features. If the garden is very large, you may consider taking a few photos of different sections of the garden to portray the full effect. If the garden is small, position yourself as far into the corner as possible, and take the picture from a high position or looking down out of a top floor window. Also take into account the shaded areas of the garden, which can make it look smaller; the time of day is crucial.
When taking pictures of the inside of the property you should aim to take a least one picture of each room. Think of your ideal tenants and what they will be looking for – even the smallest room can be an asset as an office, and old-fashioned kitchen facilities might not be a negative for young professionals who usually eat on the go.
The first rule of photographing the house is not to have people in the shot. That includes your own reflection in mirrors and windows! Secondly, present the room in the best way possible; make sure it is tidy and free of clutter; in the bathroom make sure there are no toiletries so the space feels open. Children’s toys and any evidence of pets in particular should be removed as these look especially unappealing.
In each room let in as much light as possible, opening any curtains or blinds and turning main lights on. Position yourself tightly in whichever corner of the room gives you the best angle, and allows most features to be seen. If there is a feature of the property which is a particularly good selling point, for example an original fireplace, a large kitchen, or a newly installed contemporary shower - make sure you give it a photograph of its own and give it a chance to shine.
Lastly, take more pictures than you think will be necessary. Once you upload them to the computer they will look slightly different, and you may notice things on a larger screen that you don’t like. It’s always good to have back-up photos too, in case you receive an enquiry from a tenant asking for more photographs before they view in person.
Remember that tenants need to imagine themselves living in your property, so you need to try and create a blank canvas. Ideally photograph the home when nobody is living in it, even without furniture if you offer an unfurnished property. This gives potential clients the freedom to envision where their own belongings would fit in the space.