POSTED ON Mar 26, 2020 7:45:00 AM / by Real Property Associates

Top Tips for Better Listing Photos From Seattle Rental Management

Cellphones cameras have come a long way since the early days of trying to take a grainy selfie with a rear-facing-only camera. Today's cellphone cameras have plenty of pixels for high-quality photos. You can even edit images on your phone these days!

However, there's more to the perfect listing photo than what you're taking your pictures with. With the rise of 4K cameras available in consumer smartphones, it's no longer a debate about quality and more of a debate about qualities. What do we mean by that?

As the experts in Seattle rental management since 1991, we know there's always been more to the shots you take to represent your rental property than the camera you use to take them! When it comes to your listing photos, the importance of professional-quality shots to attract internet-savvy renters cannot be understated. Brush up on your understanding of what makes a property listing perfect with some of our top photography tips!


1. Lighting Before Camera Action

  • Lighting can make or break a photo: your listing photos should show every room in its best light.
  • Natural sunlight is always the best choice for lighting a room. Sometimes, this means scheduling photos for different times of day—depending on when sunlight hits each room in the house.
  • For rooms without windows—or if you don't have the flexibility to return to your property and take photos at different times of day—make sure to bring in lighting that can replicate natural light and turn on every light in the property.
  • Capture the exterior of the property during the day. Slightly overcast conditions can often be the right amount of lighting while minimizing dramatic shadows on the outside of the property. 

Modern condo kitchen dining and living room

2. Ready the Room

Don't be that property that ends up on a viral list of bad real estate photos because you caught something strange in the background of your shot. Take some time to "ready" each room before the photo session!

  • Put toilet seats and lids down and fluff up older carpeting.
  • If you still have residents in the home, ask them to put laundry away.
  • Remove furniture and decorations that make a room feel cluttered (stage carefully).
  • Don't stand in front of mirrors, and avoid including yourself in shots of shiny surfaces.
  • Clean, clean, and clean some more! You really can't overdo this one.

When your current residents give notice that they won't renew the lease, you might need to take your property photos before they move out. Coordinating with them makes the transition easier, and makes it more likely that you'll have rooms that are neat, clean, and inviting to a new renter when taking snaps. 

3. It's All About Angles

You know a poorly-framed photo when you see one: when it's a picture of a room, it feels cramped and unappealing. No matter the size of the room, shoot photos at an angle that makes it feel as big and welcoming as possible! 

  • Choose a corner that shows the best, most open view of the room.
  • Avoid standing with your back against a wall: this angle can shorten the perception of depth, especially in a smaller room.
  • Be careful not to shoot from too high or too low: this changes the point of view and skews the shape of a room. 

If you're not sure of the best angles for a room, shoot photos from several places and angles, and then compare them. You'll know the best options when you see them!

4. Honesty Is Still the Best Policy

Potential residents expect the property photos they see online to match what they see in person when they schedule a showing with you. If your property needs a little work, do it through renovations—not photo editing. That said, there's a time and a place for skilled photo editing—but it shouldn't mislead your potential applicants.

  • Make sure all photos accurately represent each room in the house and all exterior areas of your property.
  • Keep photo edits to a minimum: if there's a crack in the ceiling in the living room, don't digitally erase it to create a flawless ceiling for the sake of the internet.

Photos edits can include:

  • Toggling the brightness or contrast to match reality
  • Adjusting the white balance for accurate color representation
  • Cropping to better frame a room for your property listings.

Never change the color of the walls or flooring, and don't erase flaws—fix them.

Side view of young female photographer working with professional photo camera in studio

5. Use a Professional

We take high-quality photography for granted with today's cellphone camera point-and-shoot lifestyle. If it feels like the time and work it takes for better listings is too much, don't be afraid to work with a professional! As a leading provider of Seattle rental management services, we know the value of hiring an expert regarding your property listings.

Professional real estate photographers have the right equipment and training when it comes to how to light and frame each room in your property. In the age where your online listing matters more than ever, it's worth it to showcase your rentals and catch the eye of your next resident!

Seattle Rental Management Can Guide You to Perfect Listings

The perfect listing for your property is the one that helps get it rented quickly with a new, high-quality resident! Keep in mind that while the photos you use to represent your Seattle properties are crucial to filling them with new renters, they're not the only element of your listing that matters.

When it's time to create the perfect property listing, Seattle rental management can be the guide you need to help your properties rise above the pack. Real Property Associates has you covered: you can learn more about what it takes to craft an expert listing for FREE with our Property Listing Checklist! There's no reason to fall behind the competition when it comes to your listings; as the first thing a potential renter sees, you need to nail it—and we can show you how.

Download the Property Listing Checklist