If you’ve got a rental property in Austin, Texas, then you most likely want to attract the best tenants you can find, and there’s no doubt that the best way to do that is to use online professional real estate photos for your rental listing. Your prospective tenants are searching online, and they’ve got a lot of rentals to choose from. So obviously they will be looking at the photos and using them as a quick filter to determine if they are interested in the property.
This might vary across different markets, but what we are typically seeing in 2020 is that a lot of sales agents, especially in Austin, Texas are using a professional photographer to shoot a home. That makes a lot of sense. However, a lot of rental agents still seem to be living in the past and are taking their own (often bad) photos, hoping that such photos will be enough to attract tenants willing to pay a the asking lease price.
Sorry rental agents, but it just doesn’t work that way. You really do need professional photos for your rental listing.
When poor photos are used, it typically reduces the number of those interested, so you have fewer people contacting the agent. This will eventually place a downward pressure on the monthly rent and renters aren’t really any different than buyers. Both buyers and renters want to see what the property looks like, and they are drawn to homes that look attractive. Would you want to rent a home that had pictures that looked like this?
Can you take professional photos for your rental listing yourself?
Phones these days make it really easy to take amazing pictures and it might seem simple when all you need to do is push the shutter button on your phone, but it’s really much harder than it looks. Just as an example, if you are looking outside a window most of the time the light from the window will be much brighter than the inside of the property or the interior will go much darker than the outside. As you can see there are multiple issues with this picture, the light just being one of them.
To get the picture to have the correct exposure for the inside and outside you take multiple images with different exposures and then combine them in software. This process is called HDR or High Dynamic Range. Phones now have this capability and the results can be fairly good but not as good as what you can do with a professional camera and software.
The other issue that needs to be taking in consideration is the color that lights cast in a room. For example, tungsten lighting can make a room look very orange, and other lights can make a room seem rather blue or green, and quite different to how it actually looks. Often rooms can be small and without the proper equipment such as a wide angle lens, you will not capture the entire room. I have seen agents attempt to either add a wide angle attachment to their phone or camera but often the images are distorted or they show a space that looks much larger than it actually is.
How Can A Professional Photographer Help?
A photographer has the skills and the gear to overcome poor lighting to make sure every room looks its best. You don’t want your photographer to create a false expectation, but rather a realistic view of a room that will attract the kind of tenant that is looking for a home with those features and styles. An experienced real estate photographer will do that.
Think About Your Future Landlords
When a rental agent uploads the photos for a new rental property, they might like to think about the message those photos give about that agent.
What are those photos saying to future landlords about the level of professionalism shown by that agent?
Do those photos give the impression that the agent handling that rental cares about their listings to the point that they will do all that they can to present them in the best possible way? Or do they suggest the opposite? Instead of seeking the cheapest possible way to get a property listed online, rental agents and property managers need to take a 30,000 foot look at the whole scene, and look at how those photos impact the business as a whole. When they do that I think they’ll find that hiring a professional real estate photographer to take professional photos for your rental listing makes a lot of sense. If you do not have a professional real estate photographer in the Austin, Texas Metro area contact me to see if we might be a good fit.