How Professional Real Estate Photos Can Make All The Difference.
You’ve gone to great lengths to get your property ready to rent to travelers, but many private homeowners drop the ball when it comes to the most important part. It’s obvious, relatively inexpensive, and is the single biggest differentiator that can set your listing apart from the rest; but yet, less than 10% of short-term landlords utilize this advantage. What is this game-changer? Professional Photos!
There’s no doubt that professional photos lead to more bookings and it’s very common for travelers to book a short-term furnished unit sight-unseen. Why go to all the trouble of baking a cake if you're not going to put any icing on it? The real question is; Are you losing potential tenants without even knowing about it? I would argue that if you post pics that are ‘Just OK’, that’s exactly what’s happening. Your place may be ideal for our travelers, but they may pass right by your listing if you’re posting dark and blurry pictures. You might just be sending the wrong message without really realizing it!
Your images tell a story to every traveler...but what are they saying? Take another look at your listing. It only takes 1 bad picture for someone to dismiss your property and click away. It’s like a book that you’re reading...if you can’t relate to the topic or it doesn’t keep your interest, you may choose not to continue on to the next chapter. The pictures you provide always tell a story, but you are in control of what they’re saying!
Take a look at these images of a place I just sold in Dallas, TX. It sat vacant for a month until I spent $125 and got some higher quality images to use in my listings. Shortly after I posted the new images, I literally had to tell a handful of prospective tenants that my place was already rented. The difference is clear.
WHERE TO FIND THESE PHOTO PROS?
1) Stick to real estate photographers. - they’ll be pretty easy to find. Try searching google for ‘professional real estate photographers’.
2) Chances are, you may know a realtor or two. Ask them who’s the best RE photographer in town. Referrals are the best!
3) Home services sites: I found a really good one in Dallas, TX off of Thumbtack.com. I’ll plug him because he was totally awesome! (Michael Lewis at www.photography4mls.com).
4) There are specific services that will also allow you to create a job, choose your vendor, and pay through their site as well such as www.smartshoot.com but of course they'll take a small commission.
HIRING A REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHER
A RE photographer should not only be adept in the art of photography, but also have a clear understanding of how the real-estate system works. To sell a place with a photo, you have to understand how to sell a place, period. A photographer must have a keen understanding of the target market and be able to adjust the shoot accordingly. They must be a good communicator with the ability to work with a real estate agent and property stager to enhance the overall experience of the potential viewers. A great professional real-estate photographer must also be able to maintain the authenticity of the place while creating an emotional experience. It’s best to choose someone with extensive experience in off-camera flashes, panoramic photography, the post-production process and professional-grade equipment. Make sure to see their portfolio of work before you hire them (most of the time they’ll display this on their website).
WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN COST?
Most of the time it’s around $200 or so if you want 12-24 basic interior & exterior shots, but of course it depends on your specific property. If you’re just shooting a 1br/1ba unit it’s probably going to be about $125, but if it’s a 4br/4ba house, of course it’s going to be more. If you don’t like the price, keep shopping, but just realize that this as an investment! In fact, you will most likely be able to write off the expense on your taxes as well.
Hopefully this gives you a few good ideas of why you should consider scheduling a professional shoot for your furnished rental property, and how to go about it. It’s all about stacking the deck in your favor because competition is fierce (whether you realize it or not). Good luck and may the odds ever be in your favor!