It is more than likely most people in the group know a lot of these suggestions. That said, applicants are making decisions faster and faster.
It is not unusual for people to commit to 6 to 12 month tenancies from just viewing the pictures and video of a property.
So at the risk of stating the obvious - here are some suggestions that will ensure that you are doing everything you can do to make your room listing get the right attention. It can be easy to (when markets are hot) to rest on ones laurels.
So here goes...
1. Prepare the Space - make sure the place is clean...a camera is not a wand and you are not in Harry Potter. Get the cleaners in and make sure the place it at its best. Especially post construction.
2. Use Quality Equipment - Remember, prospective tenants will actively judge your property based on these photos. So put your smartphone away! Now’s not the time for gloomy, blurred, and pixelated pics. This task calls for a professional camera to deliver the highest levels of detail and quality.
My suggestion is hire a professional photographer/videographer to help. With all the gear and technical insight required, you're sure to end up with a better outcome. Sure, they’ll charge for the service, but it’ll pay for itself in terms of attracting new interest from prospective tenants who see the listing.
3. Use a Tripod & Wide-Angle Lens
If you are keen to plough on alone - small spaces and shaky hands can scupper a your attempts at taking awesome photos of their property! Know the struggle? Well, a wide angle lens and a tripod will both make a big difference.
Indeed, wide-angle lenses allow you to capture far more detail in small, awkwardly-shaped rooms; a single picture can reveal the entire space, without cutting any elements out. Place the camera on a tripod and you no longer have to worry about blurry images- regardless of the length of your exposure. All told, putting these gizmos to work should deliver far superior results!
4. Leverage Natural Light
It’s hard to overstate the value of lighting when it comes to photography. No matter where you are, how good your camera is, or what you’re photographing, the scene will never be depicted in full glory if the light’s bad. The best photos require soft, natural lighting- and lots of it.
With that in mind, avoid shooting snaps of your property in low or artificial light. Wait until daytime on a glorious sunny afternoon, allow the sunlight to flood in, and away you go! The photos will come out better and you’ll show people how light and airy the living space can be (another major selling point for anybody hunting for a home).
5. Edit the Photos & Videos
It’s always tempting to upload new residential property photos straight into listings. However, I suggest taking one last step and editing them beforehand. This allows you to add the finishing touches and make your snaps really stand out from the competition. A subtle alteration to a photo’s composition, or its level of light, contrast and saturation, can take it from ‘good’ to ‘great’.
If you hire a pro photographer, then they can and should do the editing for you. Landlords who go solo, though, may have to download some photo-editing software for the task. Thankfully, there are plenty of free options out there (such as GIMP) that can do the job. Also - they could user Fivver to get the editing done!
6. Dressing your property
I know its a pain. Think about it from an applicants perspective. They want to see a vision of what their life could be like. Dress the rooms to make it as comfortable and cosy as possible. Make sure you using soft high quality furnishings to bring your HMO to life. No one wants to live in a minimalist style room from "American Psycho". Try to furnish with a phone, and laptop, cushions, duvet, pictures, etc.
(BONUS TIP) Split the photos/videos by room
When it comes to remarketing a room, having to dig out all the marketing photos and videos for that advert is a pain. I suggest that you make sure each room has a dedicated marketing folder. As soon as it is time to market that specific room...your marketing pack with all the copy is ready to rock and roll.
Do you do anything extra to make your room stand out on Spareroom and other portals?
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