You've just finished renovating a new investment property, and you're ready to list it to find a new, responsible tenant and begin making money. Or maybe you’ve completed your latest rehab on a fix-and-flip, and it’s time to sell to new buyers. However, before you list your property, you need high-quality photos to show off the space. When it comes to real estate investing online, presentation is everything—bad photography won't do the trick. In fact, many seasoned investors will tell you that low-quality photos can cost you both time and money on your investments.
Unfortunately, many real estate investors make severe mistakes when listing their investment properties. Here are a few key things you can do to avoid making some of the same pitfalls when creating listings to rent or sell properties (and make more money)!
Don't Take the Photos Yourself
As a real estate investor, there's always the temptation to save money by doing something yourself. However, just because your phone's camera takes HD quality images doesn't mean that it's a good idea to use your DIY real estate photos for an investment property listing. If you take this risk with the images for your property, your listing could stay up for a significant amount of time, leading to income loss.
When your property doesn't rent or sell quickly, a real estate investor must pay for the utilities and mortgage on that property (without any income coming in to offset those costs). That means the longer your investment property stays on the market, the more money you lose.
Don't Ask a Friend or Family Member to Take Photos
Unless your friend or family member is a professional real estate photographer, it's rarely a good idea to cut corners and save money by asking a family member for a favor. Even if your cousin does a decent job taking Instagram photos, that doesn't mean they're right for the job when it comes to real estate investment photos that must sell or rent your property.
Hire a Professional Real Estate Photographer
If you do have a family member that specializes in real estate photography, it might be worth considering paying them for their expertise. However, real estate investors must understand that photography isn't one-size-fits-all. Much like how you wouldn't look to a commercial real estate investor as a potential mentor when you plan to go into the residential real estate market, you wouldn't want to hire a professional food photographer to take your real estate photos.
Real estate photography is a specialty that takes time and experience to master. By hiring a professional with an extensive background in real estate photography, property investors can trust that a property is captured in the best possible light.
Professional real estate photographers understand which photos are the most important for attracting potential buyers or renters and how to highlight the best features for your investment property. For instance, since the COVID-19 pandemic, many real estate buyers have been purchasing properties entirely online and have a preference for drone shots. A real estate photographer will know this and take great pictures of your property inside, outside, and above from the most flattering angles.
Take Real Estate Photos at the Right Time
Real estate photos typically look best when taken mid-day in direct sunlight when the lighting is favorable. If you're not able to get to the property at the same time as your real estate photographer, consider giving them access to the property to allow them to get the shots they need. Talk through the shots you want and what they recommend before they begin their photo session.
This is especially important during the winter months when the sun doesn't stick around as long as during the spring and summer. While taking photos after 5 p.m. may be ideal if you have a day job, potential tenants or buyers aren't as likely to choose your property if the time of day results in dark or unflattering photos.
However, if your property happens to have great architectural or landscape lighting, HGTV recommends getting a couple of snapshots of your investment property at least 45 minutes after sunset.
Work With a Real Estate Agent or Property Manager
In addition to your go-to real estate photographer, one of the best things you can do when it comes to catching the eye of potential renters or buyers when real estate investing online is working with a real estate agent or property manager to create compelling listings. While a real estate photographer knows how to capture the best possible photos of your investment property, your real estate agent will know precisely how to market those photos based on what buyers or renters look for in new homes.
While it’s easy to assume that potential buyers would click through every image your photographer took, that isn't always the case. As a result, your best prospects might avoid learning more about properties online that don't show their curb appeal right away.
If You DIY, Use Quality Equipment
If you're not yet in a position where your budget allows professional photography for real estate photos, more real estate professionals recommend avoiding cell phone photos. Take the time to learn a few tips about how to take quality real estate photos that will make your investment property "pop" online and stand out to potential tenants or buyers. You’ll also find it’s worth the small investment in a quality digital camera, tripod, and quality lens when you see the difference this equipment can make in your high-resolution property photography.
Invest in Your Real Estate Photos As You Invest in Properties
Successful real estate investing requires time and patience, including flipping houses or rental properties. So while you may be eager to post a new listing online after completing your latest rehab project or completing the make-ready for your rental property, it's important to remember that taking quality real estate photos can be one of the best things you can do for your real estate investing business and your portfolio.
As you add more properties to your portfolio, partnering with a reliable real estate photographer is a worthwhile investment that can help you find new buyers or renters faster while getting better monthly rent or sale prices for your properties. When building your real estate investing team, hold a place for a go-to photographer as your budget allows.
Find Better Properties and Deals With Privy!
As you continue real estate investing online, you might find it challenging to grow your portfolio without the right resources. Without new properties to fix and flip or add to your rental properties, you won’t have as many opportunities to take photos for listings that boost returns!
Fortunately, Privy offers real estate investors the chance to find properties and deals with insights from other property investors, so you can replicate their strategies and grow your real estate investment portfolio in your favorite markets. With the Privy Advantage, a real estate investor can easily track successful investments, identify profitable options and strategies, and close deals that are similar to the ones you admire.
For more information about how Privy works, be sure to reach out to us today. We're happy to answer questions about how our software can help you meet your long-term investment goals!
Get more insights into the ideal real estate investing team! Download our free resource, “Assemble Your Real Estate Investing Team: A Worksheet.”