Property management through the camera lens: how quality photos can benefit your space

property management, good imagery

Today we can say it safely: digital is the new normal. Technology has revolutionized the world of property management in the retail servicescape, connecting landlords to a wide spectrum of brands while streamlining the entire process. While such technology has vastly improved the rental process for both parties, it has created a new set of challenges for landlords: enticing clients with imagery.

So, how should property managers attract the attention of these exciting new tenants? We have broken it down for you.

The unconventional way

While setting up for online property management is a separate topic that involves the principles of flexible space [placeholder for a post on importance of flexible space], getting all the information at a glance has first to do with photos.

To lease out your space in the open of the global network, you will have to represent it right, or, in other words, commit yourself and your team to the strategy of digital promotion. At the core of any promotion reside quality pictures of a product set to be sold. Pictures determine how customers approach your product, how they feel emotionally about it, and how will they be willing to proceed. Quality photos make the difference between catching the attention of your potential tenant, and them scrolling past your listing. 

In fact, the quality of photos are something you or your team can manage yourselves. By following simple photography principles , you can take converting pictures of retail space or knowingly outsource the task to a professional. 

Everyone likes great pictures, science tells

Images are the essence of our perception. Human beings remember 80% of the information they see and do, compared to 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. We comprehend, analyze, plan, and make our decisions mostly in visual patterns. Imagery triggers all kinds of emotions in our brain, with color combinations and proportions yet to be fully understood by science. What we know for sure is that visually pleasing photos can play a decisive role in the prospect’s train of thought. 

We simply prefer things that look better, thanks to our biology

An illustrational case is Airbnb’s marketplace, where the most successful listings make use of quality photos. While today great images are recognized for their importance within the platform, back in 2009 conversion was unsatisfactory for most listings despite meeting the high demand for the proposed services. After a good start, Airbnb was facing a downswing, and the company’s founders decided that poor photos might play a role in the problem. 

They rented a professional camera and took better photos themselves. The result was phenomenal: conversion of the listed properties doubled and then even tripled, securing Airbnb’s success. The company introduced their own photography services for new companies the next year after the experiment. So far, this was the most significant boost in their growth, which created an influx of investments and let management scale the business worldwide. 

Better photos create better conversion

If you decide to tap into the world of online property management, great photos are crucial for your marketing strategy. Visual representation of your space is where your potential tenant’s journey starts; it’s what stays with them throughout the consideration process and has a direct say in their final decision. Quality pictures are the way to go to secure relevance online, and as they are simple enough to take, their conversion yield is considerable. 

According to a complex research of Airbnb property demand in relation to image quality, employing of certain photography principles may boost property booking rate by approximately 7%.

However, great pictures are not something restricted solely to scholarly papers or savvy camera gurus. You can take converting photos yourself with a little practice and our photography tips, based on Spacewise’s clients’ experience. 

How to take converting photos of your retail space


1. Arrange everything in the photographed area

  • Make sure there is no clutter in a shot, such as delivery pallets, package materials, etc. 
  • Remove temporary signs, stickers or barrier tape
  • Position furniture so that the space is clearly visible
  • Wipe windows and glass doors
  • Pull up blinds

2. Take pictures with the proper light

  • Photograph your space in the morning or afternoon
  • Make sure there is enough daylight
  • Avoid taking pictures when there is direct sunlight shining through the windows
  • The light on a cloudy day is often optimal

3. Positioning of the photographer and the camera 

  • Photograph the entire room and, if possible, the surrounding area (especially important)
  • Photograph from the corner of a room if you can
  • Try playing with camera height
  • Hold the camera so that the vertical lines in the shot are straight
  • Show two walls of the room only, as three walls may visibly diminish your space

4. Save and share pictures in the best possible quality 

  • If you take photos with your phone, adjust quality settings (iPhone: Settings -> Camera -> Uncheck ‘Prioritize Faster shooting’; Android: open camera app -> go to settings (gear symbol) -> set ‘High’ setting for image quality/size/resolution)
  • Use technology like AirDrop, cloud services such as WeTransfer/Dropbox or email to share your photos. Don’t send them over messengers like WhatsApp as quality suffers drastically that way.


What else? 

If you want to further immerse yourself in the science of converting pictures or at least outsource the task in a more informed way, you may address the three basic photography principles:

  • Composition
  • Color optimization
  • Figure-ground relationship

For composition arrangement, photographers use techniques such as diagonal dominance, the rule of thirds and visual balance while setting up for a photo. The target here is to make an image visually pleasing to a viewer by arranging elements in a way that leads a viewer’s eyes to the center of focus of an image. 

Color optimization yields the best results when hue, saturation and brightness are addressed. As the Airbnb research shows, highlighting warmer colors drives more excitement and interest, while accentuating cool tones works best to relax a viewer.

Figure-ground relationship is about distinguishing of certain photo elements from the background, usually by color contrast. A photo is more likeable and converts better if we can clearly tell its components from one another, and everything does not blend together through the lack of varying tones. 

Each of these principles is a proven way to boost listings conversion in retail property management. By employing our tips and keeping the principles in mind, you may very well secure a healthy influx of bookings for your retail space. 

It’s clear to see how quality photos can benefit your space and yield better conversions. Considering that it is simple to address, creating captivating imagery should become a key factor in every property manager’s digital process. Try it out and see how it makes a difference.


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