Updated: Mar 12
The most important marketing tool for an estate or letting agent is the photographs, they are the first thing a customer will look at before reading any information about the property so it is vital that they look their best. We will soon be adding a detailed (if a bit over the top) property staging guide that will cover all aspects but for now, here are the most essential things you can do to make sure the property is photo-ready.
Preparing The Kitchen
Dinner party last night? Dishes piled up and the bin overflowing? Believe it or not, we have visited properties before for photographs where this is just the case, and as much as we don't mind moving the odd bit here and there we draw the line at becoming the cleaner.
Make sure plates, cutlery, towels, etc are hidden away, and no matter how cute you think your pig oven gloves are they are probably best left in the cupboard so we can show off your kitchen in all its glory.
Minimise the clutter on your worksurfaces. They don't need to be completely clear but just leave out the essentials, and if you have one of those fancy coffee machines, why not have it set up like you are about to brew those beans.
"I just love where that bin is placed," said no person ever. If you have an understairs cupboard or a secret storage place just pop the bin out of sight. We appreciate that not everyone has that space so don't panic, your photographer will move it out of the way when they are taking their shots.
Now, this is a delicate one so don't shoot us. Can I first start with we at Protoggy.com are huge animal lovers, especially dogs, however, be mindful that there are some people in the world that don't have the same opinion. So with that in mind, if you do have a dog, cat, or even a sugar glider (yes it does exist, see below) pop their food bowls and toys out of the way while your photos and 360 virtual tours are being shot.
I know what your thinking, you want one don't you, it's so cute.
Ok, just a couple more points before we move on (and this is the short version) Fridge magnets, hospital appointments, calendars, etc need to be put out of shot. As much as your viewers want to see that you have managed to collect magnets from every shop in Scarborough, or that on Tuesday you will be taking granny to get her new dentures it's very easy to accidentally display private information. Your property photographer will check each room to make no sensitive information will be in any of the photographs but if you can sort this before it will speed up the photoshoot.
Phew, we have arrived at the last one, and it's a big one. Knobs, yes you heard it, cupboard knobs and handles. If you have any missing or hanging off where possible get them fixed, the small repair charge will make a massive difference to your images and will maximise your chance of converting a web viewer into an actual viewer.
Preparing Reception & Bedrooms
Let there be light! Our photographers just love light. They all have their own preference of what time of day is best to shoot, and how bright they want the sun to be, they do all have the same thing in common, they want lots of light. Your photographer will use a mix of natural light and strobe photography to get the best of both worlds and produce images that truly pop.
Before we arrive open all blinds and curtains and turn all your lights on making sure all the bulbs work. The photographer may turn some off depending on the colour cast but by getting them on you at least know they will work if needed.
Are you still rocking the old-school TV Times magazine? Do you have the ultimate home media setup that comes with a plethora of remote controls? Hide them. No matter how quirky the angle you try and place them, they will still look terrible.
Turn all TVs off, if you have followed the previous step make sure the TV is off before you hide the remote. The people of the internet don't really want to know which episode of breaking bad you are currently on, however, we do. (We loved that show)
Fluff up those pillows and make sure the beds are nicely made (Hospital corners!) We have had an occasion where what can only be described as a pillow fight must have occurred before our photographer arrived. Total devastation.
Check the back of your bedroom door, does it have 15 different dressing gowns hanging yet you only ever use one of them? Stick them in your wardrobe, we don't need to know that you like spending your evenings sat in a Homer Simpson onesie.
(Picture used as an example sourced from google)
Badly squeezed toothpaste, sinks full of beard hair, over 50 shampoo products balanced around the outside of a bath, and our personal pet hate, bleach bottles around the toilet. These are things we regularly see. Keep hair and shower products to a bare minimum and get those flash bottles in a cupboard.
Remove any towels from rails and radiators. Yes, we know those matching Mr & Mrs towels were a wedding present from uncle Bertie, but a clean shiny ladder radiator is more aesthetically pleasing to any potential property viewers.
Pull back shower curtains and make sure that the toilet seat is down. For some reason, many clients leave these up for photos, we don't want to see inside a toilet, no matter how much you've cleaned it. And to finish make sure your toilet rolls and brushes are presentable. It's not expected for you to fold triangles in the bottom as some hotels do, just make sure they don't look like this.
Preparing The Exterior
Whether you own a banger or a Bentley, get it off the driveway. We are creating the marketing for an estate agent, not Dave's Discount Cars. If we are producing a 360 virtual tour for you then please make sure the car has not been parked across the driveway.
The reoccurring theme of removing clutter continues here. Hide the bins (if you can) If you have a ginnel down the side of your house put them down there as we generally wouldn't take any photos of that part of your property. If there is nowhere to hide them don't panic, we can move them to one side as we are doing different angles of your home.
Clean all windows, doors, and patios (borrow a jet wash, they're great fun) and make sure the lawn has been mowed.
Remove any dead plants and leaves and make sure the weeds are pulled from the driveway. If you have a hedge make sure the neighbor's cornetto wrapper isn't lodged in it, we see this a lot, and it's mainly the strawberry flavour.
Close all doors and windows and if we are doing dusk photography for you please make sure all internal and external lights are on.
But what if the property is empty?
Empty or not, the property needs to still have the same preparation. Make sure it is clean, tidy, and clutter-free.
Don't panic if you cant do all this or it seems overwhelming, just get what you can done and we will see you on the shoot!
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