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  • Michael Hawley

Make Your Orange County Rental Property More Appealing with Great Photos

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Harber media lease photography
A recent lease listing I photographed.

If you’re a landlord, you know that a beautiful online photography is the best way to attract great tenants. Prospective tenants are searching for homes on the internet, so if you want a lot of people to see your rental property, you need high-quality photos.

Today more and more real estate agents are hiring professional photographers to shoot homes. As a result, the quality of images is improving, which attracts many more potential tenants. And that makes a lot of sense. But a lot of rental agents are still taking their own photos and hoping that such photos will be enough to attract an influx of quality prospects.

Sorry rental agents, it just doesn't work that way.

Poor photos can reduce the number of inquiries, which can place downward pressure on the monthly rent. Renters are drawn to homes that look amazing, just like buyers.

How do you take great photos of a rental property?

Taking a good picture with your phone might seem easy, but it can be harder than you think.

When you look directly at a window, the contrast between the bright outdoor scene and the dark indoor scene may be too extreme for your phone’s camera to handle. Although some phones can balance this exposure, you might still get strange colors that detract from the overall presentation.

Another problem is the color cast by the lights in a room. For example, tungsten lighting makes a room look very orange compared to daylight, and other lights can make a room seem rather blue or green compared to natural light.

How can a professional photographer help?

When you are looking for an apartment or house to rent, the first thing that might attract you is the pictures of the rooms. Good pictures make a property look better than it really is, and poor pictures can make a nice place look run-down and unappealing. An experienced real estate photographer knows what makes a room look appealing and how to use lighting to create a realistic view of the room that will attract the kind of tenant that is looking for a home with those features and styles.

Consider virtual furniture for rental properties

Harber media virtual staging
Harber Media offers virtual staging for $50 per photo.

Another way a professional real estate photographer can help is that he or she can photograph the room with no furniture, or even poor-quality furniture, and then insert virtual furniture into the photos.

Use this method to hide the belongings of current tenants or their ugly furniture. It’s also a great way to show how much space is available if you shoot it when it’s empty. It's hard to visualize what will fit in an empty space, but your photographer can fix that by adding appropriate furniture into a room at a fraction of the cost of hiring real furniture.

You don’t even need to use virtual staging in all of the rooms. I know of some agents who use virtual furniture in just one photo, which they use as their hero shoot.

Think about your future landlords

When a rental agent uploads photos of a new rental property, they might like to think about the impression those photos give about themselves and their business.

What are those photos saying to future landlords about the level of professionalism shown by that agent?

Do the photos of the rental agent's listings suggest that the agent cares about their clients and their properties? Or do they suggest otherwise?

Instead of simply posting a property online and then hoping for the best, rental agents and property managers should take a step back and consider how photos affect the business as a whole. When they do that I think they’ll find that hiring a professional real estate photographer to shoot a rental property makes a lot of sense.

Harber Media would love to chat with you about your next Orange County lease/rental listing to see what services might be appropriate for showing off your client’s property in the best possible way!

Visit for more information including a photo gallery of recent work as well as pricing.

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