Pictures are often the first thing that catches a potential client’s eye, especially if he or she is scanning multiple sites or listings to choose a property. It is exceedingly important to have high quality photos of both the interior and exterior of your home as well as any scenic views. The tenant wants to feel familiar with the home and its surroundings before making the decision to book, and a good variety of pictures can help achieve that.
Some tips for taking great pictures:
- Hire a professional photographer, or find a qualified photography student or hobbyist who knows what he or she is doing. The cost will be covered by the extra bookings you will receive once you have fantastic photos that show off your property.
- If you take the pictures yourself, use a digital camera. This will negate the need to pay for film and processing, as well as time spent scanning photos for online use. Instead, you can view pictures as you go to ensure top quality, and you can always delete the ones you don’t like later.
- Take at least 75-100 pictures at a high resolution. They can always be resized and cropped later.
- Vary the angle and degree of zoom to achieve a diverse collection of views of your home. Try standing on a stepladder or kneeling on the floor for different perspectives.
- Use a wide-angle lens to capture an entire room from the doorway, and try the macro setting on your camera for close-ups.
- Focusing on a corner of the room rather than a straight-on view of one wall can produce interesting and engaging effects. It can also make a room appear larger than it is.
- Make sure interior shots are well-lighted with overhead lights and lamps. Take some pictures with flash and some without. Adjust blinds and curtains as needed to avoid glare and improve natural lighting.
- Don’t forget the exterior and views of your home. Taking only indoor shots invokes a claustrophobic feeling and makes it look like you have something to hide. If the location of your home is one of its selling points, try to show that in your photos by including a view of the mountains or the ocean. Just make sure you take outdoor pictures when the weather is good and the trees aren’t bare.
- Early morning and late afternoon provide the best lighting for exterior shots. Try taking pictures throughout the day, as natural lighting can have a profound effect on the different views of your home. Capture a beautiful sunrise or sunset to entice potential tenants.
- Use seasonal weather to your advantage. Fall foliage, fluffy snow, or bright blue skies can convey the atmosphere of your home and its location, whether it is a seaside cottage or ski chalet.
- Having people in your pictures can make a property look more personal, but for many potential tenants it can be a put-off. They want to envision themselves in your home, not somebody else. For the same reason, cars in the driveway are a bad idea.
- For waterfront properties, views from the water are effective. Aerial shots are good for all types of homes.
- The property should appear uncluttered but lived-in. Make your home look inviting by lighting the fireplace and adding simple props like wine glasses or a vase of flowers. Don’t overdo it; you want it to look natural and realistic, not staged.