How Do I Take Great Photos of My Property?

Josh K. -

Whether you own a stately 3 bedroom in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood or an urban studio in Manhattan, you'll want to make sure you put your best foot forward in your listing. Having high quality photos is critical to making that good first impression with prospective tenants.

Taking pictures of your property, however, isn't as hard as it might look. Here are five quick and easy tips to increasing the overall quality of your listing with great photos.


1. Tidy up your property. This may seem obvious, but you'll want to make sure your property is spotless before you take out your camera. Remove every-day objects that will clutter up a shot like bath towels, magazines on table tops, or decorations on counters. Tenants always prefer properties with clean rooms, and they will notice if your bed sheets are made well enough to bounce a coin on them.

2. Make sure your property is well lit. The lighting for your property's photos can be the difference between good listings and great listings. Wait for a nice sunny day, open all your blinds and even doors, and use the flash on your camera. If you want to go a step further, turn on all the lights, especially warm lights like lamps or hood lighting on the kitchen range.

3. Choose the best angles. Getting the right angles can take some practice, but start off by taking pictures from a corner of each rooms. Also try to only show two walls, as well as a little bit of the ceiling and floor if possible. If three walls are visible in the picture, it can create a closed-in effect. It may take a while, but getting your photos' composition right can pay off in the long-term.

4. Orient all pictures horizontally. Whether you are using a fancy DSLR camera or an iPhone, it's important that all your photos be oriented horizontally (in landscape). Vertical photos often cause spaces to seem significantly smaller or more cramped than they really are. Horizontal pictures, on the other hand, give a better sense of your property's space and openness. 

5. Include 10-14 high-quality, up-to-date photos. We found that listings having 10-14 photos that accurately represent the property perform much better than those with 9 or fewer, or 15 or more.

The best photos are minimum 600px resolution (a 600px photo is generally large enough to see the details on a computer screen and has a file size of around 100k)

One last thing: you don't need to own a fancy camera to take great photos. Any modern smartphone or point-and-shoot camera will work perfectly fine if you take your time. If you're going to use your phone, turn on the HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting. This setting will combine three separate pictures for the most vibrant colors (and save you the trouble of buying a new camera).


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