Listing Photo Do’s and Don’ts
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cozy-winter-bedroom-lightsMaking your rental eye catching is the most important aspect of reaching out to prospective renters online. Your rental must stand out from the rest, and give people a reason to want to know more. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to capturing the essence of your rental.

Do: Take a shot from the curb

Showing off your home’s curb appeal should be one of your top priorites as potential renters often decide within a matter of minutes whether they want to keep looking or move on to another listing. Make sure you get the whole house in the shot, and don’t have cars or other objects blocking your line of sight.

Don’t: Make your rental look deformed

When taking a shot from the curb, be mindful of your camera’s angle. The roof line should be parallel with the photo’s frame to make it look level- not look like there is a landslide on the property.

Do: Welcome visitors

An attractive front door and entryway go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your home. Leaving the door open in one of your photos can also send a welcoming message.

Don’t: Create an unwelcoming feel

Make sure you do a walk through in your rental before hiring someone to take pictures for you, if that is the path you take. You want to know that the property looks exactly the way you want it to before you pay someone to photograph your rental.

Do: Consider a bird’s-eye view

Taking a photo from above is a great way to show off a large property or a waterfront location. It is best if you can get close enough so the home is visible without having to draw an arrow or a box around it.

Don’t: Consider a fish-eye lens

Some use a fish-eye lens to make smaller spaces appear larger. However, they often have the opposite effect, making the space feel smaller and distorted. As a general rule of thumb, stick with a traditional lens for listing photos and make updates to rooms to make them appear larger if need be.

Do: Capture your home’s selling points

You may think it’s best to skip the bathroom when taking listing photos, but if yours was recently update, show it off! You would be surprised how important the bathroom actually is to potential renters. Think about showing off anything that is unique to your rental that makes it different and desirable.

Don’t: Capture yourself in the mirror

Adding a mirror to a room is one way to add more light to a room. And while a vanity can be a home’s selling point, you want buyers to picture themselves in the mirror-not you. Stay out of your listing photos by avoiding angles where you or the flash or your camera may be reflected.

Do: Stage each room

While there are several options to consider when staging your home, the key is to put your best foot forward in your listing photos. Try a simple vase of flowers: it freshens the space without hiding the countertops and is homey and welcoming.

Don’t: Stage a mess

If there’s one absolute “no” when it comes to listing photos, it’s capturing a mess. To check if your level of cleanliness is the right amount, do the “grandma test” by asking yourself if your grandma would feel at home here.

Do: Play up the season

Even if your rental has sat on the market for a while, it will seem up-to-date if the photos reflect the season. If it’s summer, take a sunny photo of the backyard. If it’s winter, create a cozy feel with a fire and a warm blanket.

Don’t: Play up your holiday décor

Over-the-top holiday décor can be a turn-off, especially if buyers don’t celebrate that holiday. Instead, consider ways to decorate for the season as a whole and take photos of rooms without themed décor.

Do: Show off the view

If the view is one of your home’s selling points, you’ll definitely want to show it off. It is best if you can capture it with a part of the house, like the deck, in a shot. That way, renters can tell where the view is from and more easily picture themselves there.

Don’t: Show off your pets

It’s best to focus on the parts of your home that will be there when a renter moves in. As much as you may love your pets, showing them off can come across like false advertising.

Do: Consider the backdrop

If a room in your rental has an incredible backdrop, try to capture it in your photos. Rearranging the furniture can also have a dramatic impact on a space.

Don’t: consider a screenshot

It can be tempting to take a screenshot of an online street-view of your home, but do not do it! Even if you don’t want to hire a professional, your own exterior photo is likely a better option for your listing.

Do: Show off architectural details

Archways, nooks and crannies may be hard to photograph, but they are what give your rental character. Try to capture a few of the architectural details if you can.

Don’t: Show off architectural blunders

Every home has its blemishes, but that does not mean you have to capture them all in the photos. The listing is the time to put your best foot forward; the open house and inspection are when the buyer can take note of the imperfections. You may also want to consider making a few small improvements, like updating the bathroom, before listing your rental.

Do: Take a night shot with the lights on

While it’s easy to assume daytime shots are the best, a nighttime exterior shot can create the right amount of contrast to make your photos stand out. They key is to leave your home’s interior and exterior lights on while you take the photo.

Don’t: Take an interior shot in the dark

When it comes to interior photos, the more light, the better. Use lamps and daytime window light to make your photos as bright as possible, while still looking natural.