Have you changed the way you advertise your rentals? Or, are you still sticking to the simple, short description? Whether you advertise in print, on the bulletin board at the local Laundromat or online, you may be missing something: photos.
Your prospective tenants are a cross-section of the population at large, and as such, you can count on one thing—they’re visually focused. Think about it: everyone is filming everything they do, eat, drink, see, wear and buy. Photos of great-looking plates of food appear on Twitter and Facebook as soon as the server sets them on the table. Kids are taking pictures with mom’s and dad’s phones when they can barely speak. And every vocal or musical performance seems to be seen through the lens of a phone video camera than through the eyes of the beholders.
People like pictures. So, along with the basics: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, contact information and rent, you should definitely include as many photos as possible in your rental advertising.
Here are a few tips for taking photos of your rental property:
- Include outside shots: This will help prospective tenants find the property.
- Think about making rooms and closets look spacious. Stay in the corner and shoot from above.
- Keep the camera level by propping it on a box or counter whenever possible.
- Of course, the unit must be immaculate. Wait until the cleaners, painters and repair people have finished their work. You want it to look ready to move into.
- Pay attention to the light. Avoid taking photos during the brightest part of the day. Late afternoon or evening light is good.
- Be sure to take photos of any amenities, such as storage areas, swimming pools, laundry rooms or workout facilities.
- Place a large potted plant in the shot to add some interest. Make sure it’s healthy.
- If you have lovely grounds, nice landscaping, trees and flowers, be sure to include them in your photos.
- Don’t take photos of residents—especially children. You could be violating their privacy.
- Remember to avoid things that could be considered discriminatory. Don’t take photos of the nearby church or school, or you could be implying that you prefer churchgoers or families with children. However, it is perfectly okay to include a shot of the cozy coffeehouse down the street.
Even in a strong rental market, you need to be competitive in order to attract the best possible tenants. Write a strong ad and include photos, which is easy to do when you advertise online. And if you don’t know how to upload photos to a website, ask any young person in your family or neighborhood for help. Or, hire someone to handle it all for you.