Property photos are the vital first impression that can make or break a commercial real estate deal.
Great photography will engage more people who will potentially view and share a property listing. This, in turn, can lead to more inquiries for agents.
It’s important to present reliable, accurate images that provide a complete overview of the property while accentuating its best assets – and playing down possible drawbacks.
Here are some tips from the CommercialRealEstate team:
Preparation is key
Before anyone picks up a camera, the property needs to be tidy and free of clutter.
Depending on the size of the space and the nature of the business, this could take a lot of organisation so plan ahead.
Make a list of all the photos needed to match the features that will be included in the listing.
Prospective occupiers are interested in kitchens, common areas and end-of-trip facilities, so even bathrooms and utility areas such as bicycle storage will need to be photographed.
Styling can make a big difference. If the interior is looking dated or the premises are vacant, consider renting furniture, artwork or accessories to give it a boost.
If exterior shots are important to market the property, windows should be clean and outdoor lighting should be checked.
Garden and indoor plant maintenance should be up to date.
If there is illuminated signage on the building, ensure it is working.
Timing is everything
Every building is different. At what time of day does the property look its best?
Before sunrise and after sunset are good times to photograph a building exterior because of the low light and colour in the sky – especially if the building’s own lighting can be used as well.
To show off natural light, photos should be taken in the middle of the day when the sun is at the best angle.
However, a modern high-rise building may also look striking against a bold blue sky with bright sunlight in the middle of the day.
Including people in the photo can add personality and movement to an otherwise corporate image.
Aspects of the property will also determine the best conditions for photos. A roof terrace or a harbour view will not look as inviting under grey clouds and drizzle.
Be prepared to arrange more than one photo shoot for a single property or reschedule if the weather does not suit.
Pro tips and tricks
Composition and framing are the basic elements of any good photo.
Frame the surroundings, such as greenery, to add interest to a photo.
A photographer’s rule of thumb is to ensure vertical lines, such as window and door frames, always appear vertical.
A photo taken from a low angle will have “converging” vertical lines so to avoid this, the camera should be kept level.
On the other hand, converging verticals can be used for dramatic effect when photographing tall buildings.
Think about whether a photo is useful to a space-seeker. Will a shot of a pot plant really add value to your photo gallery?
Turn on all the interior lights and avoid using the camera flash.
Don’t forget to ensure the reflection of the photographer, bystanders or equipment is not part of the photograph. Check mirrors, glass and even shiny appliances.
Leave it to the experts
There’s no substitute for finding a professional to photograph your property – especially if they have real estate experience.
While high-end equipment and software is widely accessible to amateur photographers nowadays, skill and technical knowledge will always be needed to take a great photo.
People looking to buy and lease Australia’s premium properties expect imagery to match, so professional photography is an important investment.