Recently my wife and I have been searching for our next real estate investment as we near completion of a sale on our rental property in San Antonio. In our current search we have looked in Dallas, Ft Worth, Waco, El Paso, Corpus Christ and numerous other locations. Our main focus has been multiplex homes as part of our buy & hold strategy. However, one thing keeps standing out as we search online, or better yet doesn’t stand out, and that is the properties themselves.
My wife and I run a real estate photography/video company out of Dallas so we always view properties with a lens of how good or bad are the photos. However, I am not writing this to solicit business but rather to raise a gap in the marketing of investment properties. We were very surprised at how few investment properties use professional photography. As we look at properties online it is really hard to gauge the condition of a property from bad photos. Not to mention that a lot of properties only have photos of the outside, some even appear to be drive by photos of the outside (blurry, bad angle).
From my perspective having focused and well-lit photos really helps me assess the property because before I travel 100, 200 or even 500 miles to view a property I want to get a better feel for it. Even in traditional real estate sales it always surprises me that people plan on selling a multi-thousand dollar product with really bad marketing. Even if the property is in bad condition I would like to be able to see all that upfront, it shows transparency.
So what is the investor to do when selling a property?
Well obviously you can always hire a professional photographer and let them handle the work. It is pretty low cost and saves you the time of having to do it. However there are other ways to get good images and do it yourself.
Use Your Cell Phone with these simple tips:
First, set your phone camera to 4K. Nowadays most modern phones shoot photos in 4k (UHD) which is vastly better than standard definition. Second, turn on the grid feature on your phone camera to get vertical lines of the property. Non-vertical lines are one of first things people’s eyes focus on. Third, open all blinds and turn on all lights (if possible), good photos need light. Fourth, if you can afford a cell phone gimbal get one. It helps keep the phone camera level and makes for easy shooting. Additionally, with a gimbal you can take video in a very smooth fashion.
There is some other higher tech equipment you can purchase to up your marketing. DSLRs are very common nowadays and if you have one use that instead of your camera phone. You can also get high end and move into a Matterport to provide a 3D experience of a property but I would only recommend that for turn-key properties as it is a bit pricey.
So as you get ready to sell your next property give a little time and effort into the photos. Properties with better photos have proven to get more views and sell faster. Something we all strive for.