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Dear Patty - Marketing Photography

Wednesday, May 16, 2012  
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Dear Patty:

I am new to property management and I never had problems getting showing requests for my sales listings. My rental unit is in a good location, priced for the market, and is in great condition but I am not getting any inquiries. Do you have any ideas on what more I can do?


Dear Searching:

Since you stated the top three issues for rentals (good location, priced for the market, and geat condition), the one area you may be lacking in is your marketing efforts. What kind of photos do you have for the unit? Do you have a video tour?

Good marketing photos are absolutely necessary in the rental market. Unlike the sales market your potential tenants are not going to rely on a dedicated agent to find them a decent rental unit. They are most likely going search the most common rental websites. They are going to decide if they want a showing on just a handful of pictures.

In addition to a good camera there are some other items that might help improve your marketing pictures. The most important is a wide angle lens (10-24 mm is best) this will allow you to encompass more of the room in the photo. Other items that can improve your photography efforts are a tripod (especially if you are doing video) and an external flash.

Once you have the proper equipment the next thing you have to consider is the quality of your photos. You need to stage your photos just like you would stage the room for a showing. Are the counter tops full of clutter? Are there dishes in the sink? Are the toilet seats up? Do what you can to make a room appear more pleasant. Once you feel the room is ready to be photographed it is time to take a look at the lighting. Is there sufficient light or do you need to use your external flash?

Now you are ready to take your picture. Shoot each room from different angles and be as far into the corner or against the wall as possible to capture as much of the room as you can. Be sure not to shoot straight into the corners.

After you've taken your great marketing pictures make sure they are properly labeled and placed in a separate marketing folder so they do not get confused with your evidence or inspections photos.

Good luck,


"Patty the Property Manager” appears courtesy of the ORRA Property Management Subcommittee. Readers are invited to submit property management related questions to Patty by sending an e-mail to

The ORRA Property Management Subcommittee provides this property-management advice column as a service to ORRA members. The column is intended to provide a general understanding, not as a substitute for individual legal consultation. The column should not be relied upon in specific situations without consulting a real estate attorney.

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