You have heard it a million times for a reason, photos really are worth a thousand words. When it comes to advertising property, a photo is probably worth about five thousand. In this era of digital cameras, video capable cell phones and $100 video recorders there is no excuse for a property owner to create a listing with no photos. Poor listings with no photos are the number one reason that apartment vacancies extend beyond one month for the less savvy landlord.
For those of you familiar with Craigslist, one of the many limitations of the site is that it only allows four images on a listing. Newdigs’ users can upload an unlimited number of photos because we realize that renters demand as much information as can be provided. The more a renter can discover about your property online, the more qualified that lead is for you as a landlord. The last thing you want is for your email and cell phone to blow up with useless leads inquiring about every aspect of your listing.
So what pictures should you include? We recommend a minimum of:
- Front of property showing the property’s ‘curb appeal’
- Back of property highlighting the yard or possible off-street parking
- Main bedroom
- Secondary bedrooms
- Family room
- Dining room or other living area
- Special features – Fireplace, water-view, balcony or the like
Keep in Mind:
- Clear away clutter from view – close the toilet seat, clean up messy areas
- The subject of the photo (house) should take up at least 80% of the screen
- Don’t include pets or people in photos
- Use an SLR camera with a wide angle lens if possible – a photo of the corner of your bathroom doesn’t help anyone.
- Try not to catch yourself in the mirror
- Pay attention to lighting – take interior photos mid-day and exteriors are best nearer to sunset or sunrise, and avoid those really cloudy days
- You can HIRE NEWDIGS to take professional photos for you. We’ll even put up a lawn sign, create the listing, and post the listing for you. Call us at 585-678-6900.
Virtual Tours, Slide-shows and Video Tours:
You have likely heard it said that you should include a virtual tour of your listing. In our humble opinion, they are pretty cumbersome and rarely give a user a much better impression of the property than a dozen good photos. If you feel that it genuinely adds value to the advertisement and gives a perspective on the property that the photos can’t, go for it. Many ‘virtual tours’ are nothing more than photos edited together and played in a movie mode. These slide shows are ok, but don’t hold a candle to a professional video tour. We are most impressed with these professional video tours. Last week we had Patrick Bayer from HouseFinderTV.com stop by our office to show us their work. We were so impressed that we will soon be offering their services on Newdigs!
Never be afraid to use more photos than you think you need. An interested renter will want to know and see everything they can about their potential new digs before scheduling a walk-through or signing the lease. As a landlord you only want to be dealing with highly qualified renters so you aren’t wasting time with window shoppers.