Due to the rise of modern technology and the internet, the days of visiting your local agent and looking through paper brochures to pick your next home are now firmly behind us. Whilst property newspaper adverts and posters in high street agents shop windows do still exist, the most preferred way to finding a new property is online using our smart phones, computers and tablets.
When we are choosing our next home to live in, it can be an emotional rollercoaster and first impressions are important – as the old saying goes you can’t make a first impression twice. On an online property advert, the photographs take centre stage to grab your attention to tempt the consumer into booking a viewing, so it’s vital the photos really show the properties true potential.
Here are the two most common errors I see when I see properties being advertised online;
1. Not recognizing lighting is important
With regards to taking external photographs of a property, we feel that properties look their best on a bright, sunny day with plenty of blue sky! In England for example, grey overcast days are a regular occurrence and the tones this light provides does not always show properties in their best form, see an example below;
As you can see on the example above, just by brightening up the photograph and adding up a blue sky it looks far more appealing. The same would also apply to a garden, see an example below; £0
By enhancing green lawns, trees and shrubs you can really show off what your garden would look like on a good day, not an average cloudy day! We as an agent recognise this if we take photographs of a property on an overcast day for example, we will get them digitally enhanced as a standard procedure, so your property looks the best it can be.
With regards to the internal condition, it is important that the lighting is nice and bright in each room, so you can showcase how much space is on offer for the consumer. Poor lighting can make rooms or items look smaller than they are, so this could put off any potential tenants from booking in a viewing. A wide-angle professional lens should also be used so you can capture the entire space, as opposed to just a particular view or angle within the room. We use a professional camera. £0
Using a wide-angle lens and brightening up the room shows potential tenants if their furniture could fit within the space offered
It’s important to use light to showcase a property from an aesthetic point of view but also important to use light to show how much space there is within a property, something we are aware of at Kingswood Residential whenever we market a property. £0 £0
2. Properties advertised too early
The first few days of marketing a property are important for several reasons, we have already discussed that first impressions are nessasary but there are also other factors to consider.
When you newly advertise a property online, it can appear at the top of the property portals search pages for that area, an easy comparison would be you searching something on Google and it being the top of the page! Also, anyone looking for a property is most likely going to be signed up for portal property alerts so they can be directly notified of any new properties that come onto the market that fit their criteria.
These benefits will only last for around 7 days, so the longer that a property is on the open market, the faster it will fall down in the ‘new’ search pages, with the only way you will be able to get the property back up to the top or have new property alerts sent out would be to the reduce the asking price (note – properties will still appear in a price order search too)
Whilst it can be tempting to get your property on the market as soon as you possibly can, this can have a counterproductive effect if you put it on the market too soon. If your property is currently empty and under-going maintenance work for example, it would be best to wait until the work has been completed before putting it on the market, see the example below;
Not all potential tenants will have the imagination to see the finished article, so you could put off potential tenants by being inpatient and advertising the property too early before any works are complete.
Another example would be advertising a property where the property is too cluttered or messy. If a tenant hands in their vacation notice for example, it’s best to act quickly to take some marketing photographs before they start the process of moving out (if good photos aren’t already held). If you leave it too late, the tenant will have started the process of moving out which includes boxing things up, moving out furniture and leaving items on show which is not ideal for advertising photography. If you have left it too late then it would be better to wait until the property has been cleared until you take your photographs, as advertising a property with clutter and mess on show will put off potential tenants from booking a viewing.
Presenting a property in a tidy, clean condition will vastly improve your chances of potential tenants booking in viewings to see your property when seeing your advert online
It is also important to remember that the small details matter! For example, taking a photograph of a bathroom with the toilet seat up and having dirty clothes visible on the floor would catch your attention more than the bathroom fittings. Other examples would be taking a photograph of a bedroom with an unmade, untidy duvet on the bed or a television turned on in the background would distract you from the other benefits the room has to offer. These errors may seem obvious, but I do see them quite regularly!
We have a procedure that helps prevent these kinds of scenarios, we would make an appointment with the current tenants and inform them of what condition the property would need to be in before we arrive and what we are going to do so they are prepared (if the property to be photographed is still occupied). If we find a property that is not suitable to photograph then we will advise the landlord accordingly and would suggest to not just rush to advertise the property online until we were certain the property was looking as good as it can be.
We believe that with good quality marketing photography, you will increase requests for viewings for your property, which will ultimately lead to your property becoming let agreed quicker and reducing any potential void periods, whilst advertising your property with poor photography can have the opposite effect.
We recently advertised a property alongside another agent that had been advertising it for around 1 month with little interest, and within 3 days we had received good interest and a tenancy application. Our photographs were significantly better than the poor quality dull photos displayed by the other agent, so our photographs were no doubt the key to our result here.
Please visit the properties section of our website to see how we present our properties and avoid some of the most common mistakes that are made. We take pride in our photography to get the best results for our landlords.
Please contact one of our team to discuss potentially marketing your property to its full potential.
Christopher Williams MARLA