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by Ben Luxon May 13, 2019 4 min read

To attract tenants, especially good tenants you want to present your property in the best possible light.

Here are just three stats that prove just how important great photography is to online property listings:

  1. 60% of people are more likely to click on a local search if it has an image.
  2. Web pages with images get 94% more views.
  3. Renters spend 60% of their time when searching for properties looking at the images.

However, we don't all have the budget or time to hire a professional photographer. Here are 11 tips to help ensure you get great photos, that will help you stand out from the hundreds of other rentals online. 

1) Follow Basic Photography Rules

The basics of photography are the basics for a reason, they apply to everything. The main one to consider is ‘the rule of thirds’.

The rule of thirds proposes that the image be arranged in thirds, horizontally and vertically essentially dividing the frame into 9 imaginary, equal parts. The focal point of the image should ideally fall at the intersection of two of these imaginary lines.

Following this rule ensures a neat and visually interesting image. 

Property photography - rule of thirds

In this image, you can clearly see the bath is taking up the bottom third, and the focal point is the plant in the left third intersecting the imaginary line demarcating the bottom third.

2) Dress to Impress

Nobody likes a mess. The site of a kitchen towel on the back of a chair, pillows all askew, dirt or even just footwear by the door. Tidy it all away. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you.

If your rental comes unfurnished you may want to think about staging your unit. Rooms with furnishings look more homey and appealing and can actually look bigger.

3) Natural Light is your new Besty

Brighter always looks better, and can truly bring a space to life. It is also advisory to photograph without a flash as flashes can make a photograph looked washed-out.

Property photography

This image is well lit. They've also used some basic furniture and props to make the space more homey and make it look bigger. 

4) Add Focal Details.

When staging your unit for the shoot, think about adding focal points to an image. These draw the eye and make the image more interesting. A ‘pop’ of colour from a well-placed cushion for example. A coffee plunger and mug will add warmth. Flowers in the table or a bowl of colourful fruit are also effective props.

5) Pick the Right Angle

It’s hard to take a picture of something, especially if you're inside it. Getting the right perspective is a challenge.

Set the camera at a height of 5 - 6 feet and try positioning yourself in the corners of the room, or in the doorway. Your aim is to provide a realistic perspective of the space.

Also, get yourself a tripod. Trust us they are inexpensive and well worth the investment, you don’t want shaky hands to become a factor.

Property photography

Using pops of yellow brightens this image and helps draw the eye. And see how they've taken the photo from the doorway in the corner.

6) Highlight Unique Features

Much like when adding focal details to your images, try focusing on the properties unique features. For example, if you have a brick fireplace, a balcony, beautiful french windows or a newly renovated deck, these should be front and centre.

7) Keep Photo’s Straight

Straight lines are super important. You don’t want to be taking crooked photos. Don’t worry too much at the time of taking the photo, but remember that you will want to edit and straighten any photographs before posting online.

Property photography

Here they have focused on the fireplace feature, and kept it neat and perfectly straight.

8) Use a Proper Camera

The difference between an iPhone and a standard DSLR camera is pretty huge. Whilst an iPhone will get you adequate photos, it may be worth your while investing in a quality camera.

For your reference, an iPhone 8 has an 8-megapixel camera. A standards DSLR has a 21-megapixel camera.

9) Take Plenty of Pictures

More is more. Take as many pictures as you think you might need, and then take 5 more of each shot. When you’re going through them later, you may find that the first image you take is the best, but more often than not the 3rd, 4th, or 5th is just way better.

Taking plenty of pictures gives you plenty of options and means you can experiment a little with angles and positioning of your focal points.

Property photography

10) Photograph Everything

What should you take pictures of? Which rooms?

The answer, take pictures of everything! Every single room, from plenty of angles, and don’t forget to photograph the outside of the house.

Property photography

11) Editing your Images

Once you’ve taken the photos you need to sit down with your laptop and go through them. Not all of them are going to be winners, and even the best ones will likely want a bit of editing.

We recommend using your laptop for this because the screen is bigger and you will have more capability and processing power to quickly manage them.

Whilst you don’t want to be deceptive there’s nothing wrong with editing the images to highlight the appeal of your property.

The four main actions are lightening, cropping, straightening, and resizing.

  1. Lighter photos are more cheerful and easy to see.
  2. Cropping out excess ceiling or a blank wall, for example, will help you get the best framing. (NB: make sure all the photos you upload are the same ratio).
  3. Make sure all the vertical lines in the image are straight, eg. bookcases and window frames.
  4. Resize for the web. If you’ve used a DSLR for example, you will likely have a very high-resolution image. This is a good thing to have especially if you are going to print flyers from them for example, but it may be too large for use online. You will want to compress it.
Recommended dpi (dots per inch) for the web is 72dpi and we suggest a maximum longest edge of 1500 px (this is the largest you will need for a banner image, smaller images can be used inset into a page). 

NB: when editing your images always save the edited version as a copy, do not overwrite the original as this cannot be reversed and will result in image quality loss.

Ben Luxon

"Ben is a co-founder, author and real estate enthusiast. His interest in all things entrepreneurial has led him to work with real estate professionals all over the world, distilling their knowledge into articles and Ebooks. His love of travelling has taken him to over 10 countries in the last year, where he has sampled the craft beer of them all."

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