Use quality, underwear-free pictures in marketing your property to tenants: Leah Calnan
Why are such poor-quality photographs used in the marketing of rental properties?
Already this year I have seen a property marketed with a photo of a clothesline with a pair of underwear on it. I kid you not. And another of a bedroom window. Seriously, what is that trying to show a prospective tenant – that there is a window or the style of window covering it has? But the best I've seen so far was a lovely picture of the back fence.
There are times when I wish I could make contact with the owners and ask if they have seen the way their investment property is being marketed. Maybe there is a reason why it’s still sitting vacant, and it’s got nothing to do with the asking rent!
But perhaps the fault isn't just with property managers; perhaps owners out there don't really see the benefit of having professionally taken or, at least, high-quality photos. Particularly now, with so many automatic features on both standard cameras and smartphones, it really isn’t that hard to take decent photos, but someone needs to set a standard of what is acceptable and what is definitely not acceptable.
When an owner isn’t paying for a marketing levy or working with a marketing budget, does it lessen the importance of using good photos? Does it become a part of the service provided by the property manager that doesn’t receive high priority?
And something else that puzzles me is that unless the property undergoes substantial renovations, the photos can be used over and over again. So why not spend a few dollars and have photos taken both day and night? Inside and outside the property?
Another suggestion is to pay the small connection fee to have the electricity connected; this is especially important during the winter months. Not only can you take even better photos but you can show prospective tenants through after 5pm.
Remember: it's both a tax deduction and another way of promoting your property differently to the majority of others that you may be competing against.
Sadly, it’s no wonder owners negotiate so strongly when it comes to the fees being charged by property managers, it’s because they really don’t see any differences between everyone out there.
So who will join me to make the world of property management a little different and a lot better? I want my business to be the Cirque du Soleil of property management!
Leah Calnan is the director of Metro Property Management in Victoria and is the chairwoman of the REIV Property Management Chapter.
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