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10 Tips on Taking Better Property Photos | International Residential Real Estate Investors Association
Monday January 22nd 2018

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10 Tips on Taking Better Property Photos

Great list of photo tips by John Stepleton’s article in MultifamilyInsiders.  I’d add that for outdoor photos take pictures at varying times of day and varying sunlight.  Also, photos of different seasons will prove a useful addition to your  album.


One of the most important elements of your apartment marketing strategy is your property photos.  Even if you aren’t a professional photographer, here are some creative ways and hints for taking great pictures of your property, while accentuating the best features and amenities it offers and minimizing the less desirable features.

1.)     Take pictures of rooms, not furniture.  The furniture should complement the room, so arrange the shot so that you are focusing on the entire room, not just a couch.  Prospects want to see room sizes and things like sliding doors, how the fireplace is situated in the room, how their dining room set might be placed, etc.

2.)    Exterior photos should be inviting and welcoming.  Use your property’s assets like trees, benches, and water features to welcome your prospects by including them in the frame when you shoot buildings, monuments, and clubhouses.  At the pool, showcase the lounge areas and spa.  Try taking your exterior shots at dawn or dusk when the lighting is not directly overhead.

3.)    Interior rooms should be well lit.  Turn on lights if you need to, and use the camera’s flash to help fill light in darker rooms.  When using the flash, remember that it is simply for “filling” in, and you’ll need to open curtains/shades/blinds or even doors to allow more light to come in.  If you rely only on the flash, whatever is right in front of the camera will be bright, but the background will be very dark.

4.) Turn off your camera’s date/time stamp. This feature is really only useful when recording dates and times when it’s appropriate, such as in children’s lives and event.  Date and timestamps on property images convey unprofessionalism and devalues your property’s image.

5.)    Don’t over-stage your rooms.  Everyone knows that the kitchen is where you cook food.  Setting out a spatula or food boxes or coffee mugs intentionally is distracting and cheapens your images.  Keep your staging simple.  A few modern and good looking food storage containers on the kitchen counter, a few nice vases with flowers in them on the dining room table, or piece of art on the wall are all great ways to showcase your apartment without overwhelming it. There is no need to set a table with expensive wares or fill the room with plants.   Prospects need to see themselves there, and how their furniture and style will fit.

6.)    Prospects will assume there is a bathroom in the apartment, there is no need to take pictures of it – unless it has been recently remodeled and is absolutely sparkling clean and has a few nice special features or staged touches.  NEVER take a picture of a toilet with the lid up.

7.)    Clubhouse and Fitness Center pictures should be shot with the same care and finesse as interior apartment pictures – well lit, don’t over-stage.  Fitness Center images should be either free of people, or any persons appearing should be dressed appropriately.

8.)    Don’t forget your property’s monument! This is one of the most important elements you’ll have in your apartment’s album.  Try to frame the monument with trees in the background, and any accompanying landscaping features.

9.)    Unless you have covered parking or garages, avoid parking lot pictures.

10.) Focus! Review your pictures right after you take them, zooming in to make sure your images are clear and in focus.  Don’t make the mistake of shooting away only to discover later on that your images are blurry or unusable.  Don’t settle for inferior images…good photos are the most important part of your apartment marketing strategy.

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