The phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" has been around since the early days of media—and for a good reason. People are visually driven: we process more of our information visually than just about any other medium. Real estate has long been a bastion for both excellent and terrible listing photos. However, the right listing photos are just as useful when it comes to beefing up your Hampton Roads rental property listings.
So, how can you take advantage of this important element of your listing? Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads is happy to share some of our insider tips with landlords so that you can start amplifying your long-term wealth with your Hampton Roads investment properties!
1. Your Camera Matters—but Probably Not as Much as Your Lighting
With the advent of powerful cellphone cameras and versatile editing software such as Adobe Lightroom, the face of the photography industry is changing. Never before has it been so easy to capture high-quality imagery from something as portable as your smartphone. The technology has gotten so good, that cellphones are giving even point-and-shoot cameras a run for their money. However, your camera is only as good as your lighting.
- Choosing the right time of day for your shots can be even more important than what you shoot them with.
- Consider creative angles that amplify space and clear out the clutter that doesn't enhance your photos.
- Stage the scene with props that perk up the appearance of a room.
- Open blinds or shutters and turn on all the lights in your home to create a well-lit, cheerful space.
It's easier to set up all the equipment you'll need to take flattering photos if your Hampton Roads investment properties are currently between tenants. Use your downtime during a vacancy in one property to pepper your listing with great shots, and you'll only need to update them periodically.
2. Show, but Don't Oversell
Your listing photos are a chance to highlight the lovable quirks and unique features that make your rental properties a hot commodity in the bustling Hampton Roads area—but don't show every detail about your properties through your listing photos.
Think of your listing photos as a "best of" feature or the equivalent of a flattering, well-angled Instagram selfie. While you don't want to lie to your potential tenants with your photos, you also don't want to capture elements of your Hampton Roads investment properties that might be a turn-off to applicants. Let them fall in love with your property through your listing first: if they move to see it in person, you've probably already found yourself a tenant.
There is such a thing as too many photos: maximize your listing by only including scenes of your Hampton Roads investment properties that help your potential tenants see themselves there.
- Don't include more pictures than you need or pictures of unnecessary features.
- Don't include pictures of that hole in the wall you still need to fix.
- Don't include yourself in pictures; try to avoid reflections.
3. Bring in a Professional
If DIY photography isn't your forte, you can always call in the big guns and bring in a professional photographer. While this will definitely increase the amount you'll end up spending to take quality listing photos, the result is professionally staged, shot, and edited photos that will add some serious "star power" to your listings from the start.
In the long run, your time is valuable, too: a professional photographer might actually end up saving you money. An investment in your listing photos is an investment in your rental property: we really can't understate the importance of good listing photos!
An alternative is choosing to work with a Hampton Roads property manager. When you work with a property management company in Hampton Roads, you gain access to all of their listing tools—not just photography. A serious upside to this is that a Hampton Roads property manager will already have connections to professional photographers to get those perfect shots of your rental properties. Then, they can move right into crafting you an expert listing. All you have to do then is focus on what you do best: growing your wealth through real estate.
Property managers also often have access to expert tools and technology that is rapidly becoming an expectation for Hampton Roads rental property listings, such as drone shots of where your properties are situated in the neighborhood or 3D walkthrough capability. It's tough for investors to justify the investment in such technology for one, two, or even five properties. When you work with a Hampton Roads property manager, you have access to this suite of tools—and all the knowledge that comes with it!
After Your Listing Photos, What Comes Next?
Whether you choose to be the master of your photos or bring in the experts, once you've captured the essence of your Hampton Roads rental property visually, it's time to sit down and succinctly describe it in written form. The rules of a written listing parallel those of your photographic elements: short, sweet, and to the point—but with a creative flair that helps your potential tenants see themselves at home.
If you feel like you struggle with your writing skills even more than your photography, don't worry: we've got you covered! Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads offers landlords exclusive access to our FREE Property Listing Checklist! If you're ready to take your property listings to the next level—and kick vacancy to the curb—download your copy today!