If you're a landlord, you want the best possible tenants in your property. Undoubtably, the easiest way to achieve this is using amazing pictures for your online listings! Sites like Zillow and Trulia are where your potential tenants are searching for properties and they have A LOT to choose from. So, if you want to get as much value out of your rental property as you can, it is imperative to invest in a professional real estate photography shoot.
Realtors using high quality professional photography services have become commonplace in the resale market, with some agents investing upwards of $1000 to showcase a premier listing. On the other hand, the rental market still appears to be living in 2005, with landlords and realtors often taking pictures on their cellphones, which rarely shows the potential of a rental!
The effects of this? Less interested parties!
At the end of the day, renters are barely different than buyers. They still want to get the best bang for their buck and live somewhere appealing. It is very likely that a potential tenant may pass on your property simply because they were not attracted to it upon their first glance! Having an attention grabbing listing is vital in the rental market and cellphone pictures will never do justice.
The Center for REALTOR® Development recently did a deep dive into the importance of high quality photography. Check it out:
Homes with high quality photography sell 32 percent faster.
Homes with more photos sell faster, too. A home with one photo spends an average 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market.
For homes in the $200,000 to $1 million range, those that include high-quality photography in their listings sell for $3,000-$11,000 more.
Granted these statistics refer to the selling of homes but I think it is safe to assume the same can be said for rentals. While we're on the subject of statistics, according to a study by Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, it takes less than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression, and that’s going to be largely dictated by the visual elements the viewer sees, not the written elements since they don’t have time to read that much in just a fraction of a second. Keep that in mind!
So what can be done?
I would be a poor self-marketer if I didn't suggest hiring a professional! As a real estate photographer, myself and others put in the time to learn exactly how to make a room look its best. Decisions must be made about the angle, lighting, exposure, equipment, etc. It takes time to master the ability to balance these components.
Personally, one trick I like to employ is using detail shots to capture the attention of viewers. This works especially well in older buildings. Although they may appear dated on the surface, capturing small details such as fine wood work, large windows, or original flooring can add a lot of charm to a listing.
Another trend that has been gaining popularity in the real estate photography world is virtual staging. I have found this method to be the most successful at gaining attention from potential tenants. A virtually staged room allows the viewer to place themselves in the scene and imagine what the rental would really feel like. You have the ability to choose from many different styles of furniture, lamps, rugs, etc. Regardless of the style of the rental, it can be virtually staged with ease and look fantastic.
Professional Photographs = Professional Realtors
The veterans of the industry know the power of a well presented listing. Not only does it drive their sales, but it also reflects well on them as a whole. If a realtor is posting cellphone images and trying to make a sale the cheapest way possible, what does that say about their professionalism? High-quality real estate photographs speaks volumes to the seriousness of a realtor and could likely land them new clients in the future!