Good Advertising Pictures – Show Off Your Rental!

Good pictures are worth thousands of good advertising copy.

A beautiful exterior photo of a house.A first impression ALWAYS lasts, and that applies to the first impression your rental property makes on the public. How would you give the best first impression? That’s right, it’s right there in the title: with GOOD PICTURES. You literally never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so it pays to make sure you take the best pictures you can manage every time.

Good home pictures aren’t all there is to marketing your rental house, but they play a crucial role in getting a house rented. In fact, according to Realtor.org, over 90% of home buyers and renters use the Internet as part of their home search. This means that listing good home pictures are a critical factor in getting your property noticed. Sometimes, it even helps determine how much rent or selling price the home can pull in — and how quickly it sells or rents.

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
To satisfy our own curiosity about the impact of good home pictures, we looked at our own data and found that 90% of our current tenants began their search online. Most of them seem to have an “unconscious” pattern of determining the right place to live by doing the following:

• First: Look for the monthly rent – Taking into account, if relevant, whether each house accepts section 8 vouchers, and/or if there are other specials attached to it.
• Second: Check the geographical location – Is it in a peaceful and amenity-dense neighborhood that is worth living in? The wrong neighborhood will make any house hard to sell or rent.
• Third and last: GOOD HOME PICTURES – Is the kitchen updated? Are the rooms neatly painted? What about the living and overall flooring? The bathroom should be crisp yet nice. The text that comes alongside the pictures is important, too, naturally, but good pictures are worth thousands of good words.

More often than not, our tenants informed us that good home pictures were really what got them to schedule a showing. It served as their biggest influencer in determining whether to inquire about a rental.

On the flipside, they quickly clicked past any property that had visibly ugly pictures or, equally as bad – had no pictures at all. The Internet has raised consumer expectations and tenants now expect numerous property pictures, not just one or two.

Take Action!
It doesn’t make sense to spend resources creating attractive curb for a home and then sell your efforts short by not bringing the same level of concern to the marketing pictures. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer these days — almost any smartphone can do the job if used properly.

In simple terms, planning the shoot well in advance clearly makes a good difference. First make sure the lighting is acceptable. While not enough light is an obvious problem, too much light can cause “hotspots” in photos and wash out contrasts and room features. Make sure you get clean, well-balanced pictures of every part of a room that has a feature other than ‘wall,’ ‘floor,’ or ‘ceiling.’ Oftentimes a single picture will do for a plain bedroom or dining room, a pair for a living room or family room, and three to five for a bathroom, kitchen, or multi-area basement.

Always check the pictures before you leave the property to make sure they look acceptable. Take your time doing this as you don’t want to be tempted to put up a questionable photo just because you don’t have time to drive back to the property and retake a photo.

Before you put them up online, use one of the many free online photo editing programs, to tweak brightness, contrast and rotate & crop as needed. Due to crooks copying online rental ads and asking crazy low rents to steal funds from unsuspecting renters, you may want to use a program that allows you to watermark your pictures with your phone number.

Finally, when in doubt, ask someone to review your pictures before publishing them and get their reactions.

Keep in mind when you put your property on the market, you are competing against every other property out there. If all those properties have great pictures and yours doesn’t, your property may end up sitting vacant a lot longer than you expected.

Posted in: 1. Property Owner Blog Posts, Finding Tenants, Rental Marketing

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