Updated: Nov 2
Rental properties need great tenants. The absolute best way to do that is to use amazing real estate photos in your online advertising. All of those prospective tenants are out there searching the internet, looking for the right place to live in the Oklahoma City Metro area. And they've got a ton of rentals to choose from. If you truly want to stand out from the crowd, professional real estate photos can help.
Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past decade, some boasting high megapixel counts, and cool features like "pro-mode", instant bokeh, and light filters. Do you know what features they don't have? To my knowledge, there's no feature that tells you which angle to shoot from, or when it's favorable to shoot single-point. There's no button to shoot bracketed or to keep the sun from blowing out the windows in an otherwise amazing mid-day kitchen shot. There's no effective way to correct verticals, and definitely, no button that gives the user years of shooting experience, learning which photos sell. That's not to say the smartphone photos will all be terrible, but a smartphone photo just won't make your listing stand out and let you shine like the rock star you are!
Lower-quality photos can actually harm your marketing. Dark, out-of-focus photos will turn off prospective tenants quickly. They'll turn their focus to the warm, bright, inviting photos on the next listing. This results in less interested prospects, less inquiries, and longer time on the market. Eventually, it could put force you to lower the monthly rate. Renters aren't much different than buyers. They want to see the property, and they want to see it in its best light.
Do this: Yay!
Not that: Ewww!
How do you get great photos of a rental property?
It seems easy enough. Push the shutter button on your smartphone. Snap the photo. Done.
There are several components that make up a good real estate photo. It's quite a bit more complex than it seems.
For example, when you get the light just right in an interior room, it often comes at the cost of an excessively bright window, with an overabundance of harsh light flooding in. This creates a hot spot that is not appealing to most viewers' eyes. If you get the windows exposed perfectly, then it often means that the interior room is way too dark. Although smartphones boast a litany of editing features, they have not progressed far enough to blend multiple photos to finish with a balanced, evenly lit photo.
Another critical issue that smartphones cannot overcome is what photographers refer to as color cast. This is an unwanted shift in the colors in an image, caused by light reflected from a nearby object. It also occurs when the camera picks up the colors cast by the light sources in a given room. Tungsten bulbs can give off an orange hue, while other types can make a room seem blue, green, or all of the above.
How can a professional real estate photographer help?
A good real estate photographer has the skills, experience, and gear to overcome lighting conditions to make sure every room looks its best. They definitely have the gear. Seriously. Have you seen the equipment they bring into a real estate photo shoot? It's like turning each property into a temporary studio. They don't mess around. The really good ones don't set up a false idea of a room, but rather a realistic view that has the brightness and detail that highlights the features of a room that will attract tenants.
Consider twilight photos, aerial photos, 3D scans, and virtual staging for rental properties
There are several ways that a professional real estate photographer can help market a listing. They can shoot a vacant property with absolutely no furniture in it, then digitally insert realistic furniture. This can help tenants hide their private possessions, get a head start on packing, or avoid showing the home with older, well-seasoned furniture. It’s also an effective way to illustrate how much furniture can fit in a space. In case you're into hoarding, I mean collecting. The best part...no heavy lifting. You don't even need to do every room, you can just use virtual staging in one room for the "hero" shot.
Twilight photos can show your property as it looks when the sun is low and all of the interior lights are casting that warm and inviting glow. Plus, Oklahoma skies are amazing. Who doesn't want to see those?
Aerial and drone photography can give tenants a bird's eye view of the property, so they have a clear idea of the layout of the property and a good idea of the size of the lot. Finally, 3D scans are gaining popularity, as they allow tenants to virtually walk through a property as if they were standing in it. The technology has even advanced to the point where you can have beautiful black and white floorplans printed with accurate measurements. This is great if you want to pre-overanalyze your furniture arrangement.
Think about your future landlords
Great photos send a clear message to tenants and prospective new landlords. It shows that you are a consummate professional and takes the time and effort to ensure that everything is done right. It shows that you care about your clients, buyers, tenants, and your brand. An agent that uses professional real estate photos to show the property in the best possible way, shows that agent in the best possible way.
Sure, you could save a little money in the short-term by going the cheap route to get a property listed online, but you have to look at how those photos will be viewed by prospects and how they will affect your business. Hire a professional real estate photographer. Let them do what they do best, so you can focus on doing what you do best!
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