Why post pictures of just the pool?

Asked by KH, Pflugerville, TX Sat Jan 31, 2009

I have a (mostly rhetorical) question for anyone who lists places to rent online. I go to Craigslist or other sites to look for places to rent. Of the three-to-five pictures paired with the description, most or all of the pictures are of the pool or the lobby! Why post pictures of common spaces and not the living space you're trying to rent? I'm not going to rent a place because it has a pool. (Anyway, lots of places have pools. That doesn't set it apart.) When I see listings like this I figure, at best, the unit they're trying to lease is still occupied by tenants who won't let them photograph it or, at worst, there's something they're trying to hide about the unit and they think shots of a sunny pool will distract you.

(Pool shots aren't bad. Just prioritize.)

So, as a prospective renter--maybe for your listing--I ask you, please post better pictures. Same goes for using one of your five Craigslist pictures to post the view of the "for rent" sign on the lawn.

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Anita Dallas, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Jan 31, 2009
Are these listings for apartment complex units for rent? If so, are the listings posted by a real estate agent, NOT the complex management?

Then it may be that the agent does not have personal photos of the interior and there are copyright regulations about using photos of others. The agent is offering to help you lease an apartment there, but does not necessarily have the complex management's permission to use existing property photos.

If it is a privately owned property where the available unit is still occupied, then it may be as you suggest, the tenant does not want photos of personal belongings made public.

I agree w/you that is would be more helpful to see photos of the space available, a floor plan...something other than the pool, parking lot, etc.
1 vote
Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Feb 1, 2009
Some agents do this because it is easy. If all the units look the same they don't bother to take individual photos of the units. Sometimes it is because units are small and won't photograph well, so they take photos of the ammenities instead because that (pool, spa, fantastic gym) is what sells a person on that property. Sometimes the previous tennant does not have nice furniture, is a messy housekeeper, or already has their possessions packed into boxes and that does not make for a pretty picture either. There are a multitude of reasons. The answer is if you like the property, grab your agent and go look at the unit in question. Seeing it first hand will answer this question. good luck!
0 votes
Josh Thomas, , Austin, TX
Sat Jan 31, 2009
Great question. I wish there was a better answer, but it is usually because these are the only pictures provided by the complexes. Personally, I don't post ANY pictures on my craigslist ads anymore and they do ok. I used to post as many pictures as I could, and honestly speaking, it was a waste of time.

I'm glad you put this out there, because I have often felt the same way. Being on more than my share of apartment tours, I often roll my eyes when they tell me about the weight room that no one uses, the community center that's deserted, and the jacuzzi that looks like it's been abandoned for three years. When given the option, I always tell them to skip that part and just show me the unit. Much like on the guided tour, photos of these items are draws to get you to sign the lease. Nothing more.

Sorry for my rant.
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