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How not to advertise a property for rent

If you want to see something mildly funny on the internet, you might just type the word ‘cat’ into Google. You wouldn’t, however, pay a visit to a widely-known property advertisement portal – unless of course you’re an estate agent getting a giggle at your whopping commission.

You’d be surprised, though, at how amusingly poor some of these photographs can be. There’s nothing worse than an armchair critic, though, so I thought I’d take a moment to offer some constructive criticism on some of the choice examples of not-so-good marketing I found in recent weeks.

How not to advertise a rental property with photographs


…use a disposable camera, wait until photos develop, and then use them regardless of how shaky and blurry they look.


At least we know what it’ll look like when we’re drunk

Fair enough, we at least have an idea what the bathroom looks like. This might even entice us to a viewing, and is in no way the worst example here. But consider: if you had a long way to go for a house viewing, would the risk that this shaky photograph could be hiding some mildew, stains, or cracks in the glass or tiling put you off?


…invest in a digital camera, or borrow a friend’s, so that you can tell what the photograph looks like before it’s printed.


…put up superfluous pictures that don’t tell us anything about the property.


I did believe you when you said ‘parking’.

The best that can happen is the tenant won’t particularly care, and the worst that can happen is that they’ll think you’re hiding something. If it’s a good local feature like a transport link or shopping centre, just list it in the description. Your tenant won’t be paying you to sleep in Sainsbury’s.


…put up photos that show the property’s best features.


…forget to tidy up before taking the photos.


You may be in an area with high tenant demand, but don’t think you can get away with lacklustre marketing. Putting up nice pictures smacks of professionalism, and high calibre tenants are looking for a professional service. Think how many decent tenants you might be putting off with photos like this one:




…take photographs that show your property at its very best.


…list no photographs at all.


What does my property look like? Come for a viewing, and find out!

Do you know what I do if I see a listing with no pictures at all? Yup. Nine times out of ten, I skim over it with no consideration whatsoever. It might be a little gem of a home, but with no photos to entice the eye, I don't bother.


…list a photo of the property! Even a blurry photo of a dirty house attracts attention in a thumbnail. If nothing else, get a photo of the exterior up there so the tenant can have a guess what the place might be like. Of course, if you can follow the tips above and list a gallery of cracking pictures, more the better.

For more tips on how to market your property effectively, see our blog on the subject.

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Amelia Vargo is an online marketing executive for CT Capital. Amelia writes for Turnkey Mortgages, Turnkey Landlords, TurnKey Bridging, TurnKey Life and Commercial Trust.