Tips on Taking Pictures for Property Listings

Monday, November 7, 2022

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The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words; however, that does not mean that a thousand word rental listing description is of equal value to a good picture. While photos may not be mandatory on most property listing websites, they are highly recommended.


A proven strategy for increasing the number of clicks to an online rental advertisement is adding high quality photos. Anyone with a smart phone or digital camera can take great photos.


Here are some valuable tips on taking the best quality property photos.




1) Staging the rental before photos:
Staging refers to the process of setting up a rental unit to look as appealing, welcoming and livable as possible. This could include rearranging furnishings, adjusting the lighting, strategically placing household items, etc. This will result in more visually appealing photos.


2) Seasonal photography:
For external pictures of the rental unit, it’s best to take pictures in spring or summer months. Spring and summer tend to be the best time, as foliage and flowers can make pictures look much more inviting than taking pictures during the wintertime.


3) Ensure the area being photographed is clean and clutter free: 
It’s unattractive to see photos of a messy or unorganized space. Remove any unnecessary household items that don’t add to the pictures.


4) Make sure there is adequate lighting:
Use natural light when it’s possible to get a bright and visible photograph. If natural light is limited in a certain area, turn on as many lights as required for a clear picture.


5) Avoid pictures with people in them:
Remember the photo’s purpose is showcasing the unit, not the current tenant(s) or owner. If possible, it’s best to take photos of a rental property when it’s vacant.


6) Upload a variety of pictures:
Use a variety of both exterior and interior shots. Include pictures of areas like the kitchen, bathroom(s), bedroom(s), backyard, front of the house, etc.


7) Use Current Photos:

Try to avoid using outdated photos which don’t accurately represent the property as it is now.



1) Upload properly sized photos: 
Two common errors when uploading photos are that they are either too small or too large. Many websites automatically resize photos and provide a recommended photo size. If the photo is too small, it may become stretched. If the photo is too large, it may not look good after being shrunken down. There are a variety of free programs available online to edit photos.


2) File Size:
Another common error is trying to upload photos that are too large, in terms of file size. There are a variety of ways to decrease a photo file size, such as cropping or compressing the picture, shrinking the photo size or reducing the image quality (if it’s very high). Online photos will typically be brought down to 72 DPI (dots per inch).


3) Proper File Format:
Many websites only accept certain file formats, with the most common being .JPG, .GIF, and .PNG. Websites may not accept less common image formats like .TIFF or .RAW. There are many free online websites which will covert file formats.


4) Picture Orientation:
If a photo is appearing at the wrong angle, it’s the incorrect photo orientation. Photos can be rotated by opening them with most photo viewers and selecting the rotate option.


5) Watermarking:

Many sites will automatically place a watermark (typically a logo) on the uploaded photos. Be mindful of where this watermark will be placed when taking pictures, in order to avoid it covering a focal point of the picture.


By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to take high quality photos without any professional help!


SEE ALSO:  Fall Rental Maintenance for Off-Campus Housing

The Team