First impressions last a lifetime. The photographs you include in your property listing will leave a lasting effect, so it’s important that they ‘pop.’ Real estate photographer Jonathan Bermann explains the realities of what it takes to get a selling shot.

At, we do a lot of research to understand our users better. In a recent survey sent to our Renter database, 70% of respondents told us photos are the #1 decider when they are searching for a property.

Presenting your property in the best light can mean the difference between little to no enquiry to a large pool of renters to choose from who value a clean and well-presented home. The first impression most renters have of a property is when they search for it online.


First impressions count

Strong visuals are so important. Renters will decide whether to click on a listing and then pursue it to the point of enquiry based on the photos you include. Give them enough to see what the property actually looks like.

A lot of people take photos with a low-quality camera phone and without the understanding of how to frame a shot. They end up taking pictures of what’s in the room, like furnishings or appliances or – unbelievably – the toilet, rather than the room itself. Renters need to see the space and layout of the property, not what’s in it. With so much competition in the market, if your first impression is terrible, renters will skip right over your listing.

Learn some photography basics

Look at a photo taken close up in a dimly lit room and compare a photo taken with a wide-angle lens and good lighting. The difference between them will be amazing.

Consider learning some basic photographic principles to improve the level of enquiry on your listing. For starters, get the exposure correct. Think about the lighting and the time of day. Take them too late, or on an overcast day and your photos may look dull and gloomy. It’s worthwhile getting the photo as best as possible before relying on post-production.



Even unfurnished properties can have their fair share of clutter. Hooks in the walls, wires or messy window furnishings are better taken down than cluttering up your pictures. Make sure your house is clean and that dishes have been removed from the sink.

Consider setting your property up as a display home, even if you’re still living there at the time. Don’t just stop at the interiors. Check to see the exterior of the home has also been decluttered and remove any outside rubbish. These can be hidden away for removal so the property is viewed in its best light.

Get low

Think about height when taking your photos. Most people look at a room from standing height. Your camera is digital and relies on someone to take the photos, so when taken at standing height, rooms can look closed in and smaller than they actually are.

Get down a little lower and, where possible, use a wide angle lens. It’ll open up the look of your rooms and give the impression of space.


Edit your smartphone photos

The camera in an iPhone is pretty good and often better than a regular point-and-shoot. Editing your photos with an app can dramatically improve their visual impact, turning an ordinary photo into something amazing. There are a number of smartphone apps that excel in basic photo processing techniques, including exposure and colour adjustments, sharpening, cropping and straightening.

Retouch your property photos carefully

Stunning imagery is going to be at the heart of your property marketing campaign. Just remember that using misleading photos will land you in hot water. The ACCC hands out hefty fines to anyone caught enlisting deceptive practices.

That means you can’t Photoshop out an enormous concrete tower, no matter how much it obscures your ocean view. Non-permanent fixtures such as a crane, or a removable washing line are generally fine to remove if needed. A general rule is that if you are not going to patch, fix, paint or clean it, then don’t Photoshop it either!


Consider hiring a professional

In my line of work, we have proven that properties with professional photos move up to 40% faster than those marketed with amateur or bad photos. It’s surprising that so many people will spend thousands of dollars on getting their property ready for market, yet will baulk on spending $100 or so dollars on hiring a professional photographer to take great photos of their number one asset.

Consider this: if you can move the property that much faster, you’re saving yourself potentially several weeks of lost rent that could tally into the thousands of dollars. Don’t be afraid to ask an agent for professional photos for your property.

List your rental property for free today at 

Jonathan Bermann

Jonathan Bermann is the creative genius behind Estate Imagery, a Melbourne-based photography company specialising in Real Estate, Architecture and Commercial photography. Jonathan has combined his passion for breathtaking images with his passion for real estate, running his own business for seven years and employing a team of talented photographers, videographers, copywriters and floorplan specialists. Find out more at