Pets and property photography

Courtney Dunn
October 20, 2022

Are you a homeowner who wants to generate interest in your home? Maybe you're an agent looking for a great way to market your listings? There are many different ways to get results, but today we’re going to cover one of the more fun options—including pets in the photos!

Animals can be a great addition to real estate photographs. Our furry friends add a lot of energy and atmosphere to property photo shoots. There’s just something special about dogs playing in backyards and cats snoozing on soft rugs. Pets are an important part of our lives, and could be a huge part of the real estate market. 

We’re here to tell you why!

Increase your views

We know we say it a lot, but property photos need to stand out in order for potential buyers to stop scrolling. When looking at hundreds of listings, it’s easy to understand why people become overwhelmed or uninterested. No one wants to look at the same thing over and over again. When looking for a home, Gold Coast buyer Heather said, “I completely glazed over if they weren’t professional photos. At the moment there’s very much a style in property photography and it’s hard to remember which photo belongs to which house. You need something that makes you go ‘ahh, that’s the one with the German Shepherd.’” When asked if she was more likely to click on a listing with a pet in the hero shot, the answer was a definite yes, “I would go in and have a look—I’d want to know more about the house and whether there were any more photos with the pet included.”

Generating interest is vital when it comes to the online real estate market, and shares on social media are the way to go. Unless there’s something particularly notable about the property, you’ll need to get creative for this type of traction. There’s one thing we know the internet loves—cute animal photos. If you look at any video or post about animals, it’s more than likely to have a lot of interactions. So, why not use this to your advantage when it comes to your listing? People are likely to share photos of animals among friends and family, especially if it’s a type of pet they love. 

Be pet friendly 

Renting a property with a pet can be unbelievably stressful. Pets are a part of the family, and there is nothing more heartbreaking than moving to a place where your family is not allowed. If you’re advertising a rental that welcomes pets, why not include Annie in the hero shot? Whether or not the house welcomes animals will be at the front of potential owners’ minds, so make it clear from the very beginning.

Being pet friendly is also important when it comes to buying a house. There are many things that can make it difficult or unsafe for animals, such as the location, type of property, and regulations. Pet owners want their future home to be pet friendly, and including a furry friend in the shots will be reassuring.

Make a house a home

When asked how she felt when she saw listings with pets, Heather said, “it felt like I was looking at a home and not a house, and that it was likely to be a good match. It creates a warm feeling.” Many buyers are considering their pets when looking at potential homes, so why not make that easier for them? Decisions are influenced by emotional connection, after all.

When taking photos for your listing, it is important to consider the potential demographic. Is it an acreage property where a large dog breed could run freely? Maybe it’s an apartment where a fluffy cat could gaze out the window? Or maybe it’s part of a pet-free complex? The type of animal (or none at all) will provide valuable context for potential buyers, allowing them to choose the right home for them. 

On the other hand

As with most things, there are two sides to this particular coin. When it comes to including pets in your listing, it’s important to remember that this could possibly alienate potential buyers. Say, for example, someone with a severe pet allergy is interested in your home, but then gets an itchy feeling when they see a dog or cat in the bedroom—they’re probably not going to show up to inspect the property. Alternatively, the potential buyer could be enjoying a pet-free life, or they might prefer the listing to be impersonal. Either way, including pets in the photo will generate the wrong type of reaction. 

If you have your heart set on featuring a furry friend, but you don’t want to risk losing buyers, we’ve got some solutions! Try not to photograph animals in places that aren’t logical. While you might let Max sleep with the humans (no judgment here!), snapping a shot of him on the bed is sure to set off allergies. This also means he shouldn’t be in every image—keep him to a couple of great snaps, like the back patio or the entrance way. You can also make sure he isn’t the focus of the image, but a cute addition. 

Pets and property photography

As you can see, there are both pros and cons when it comes to including pets in your listing—but we’re definitely on the side of ‘do’! Whether you go all out with the pet photography or keep it to a minimum, we’re sure Smudge will help your listing get the attention it deserves. Pets are such an integral part of our daily lives, so it makes sense to include them in the search for a home. Perhaps, most importantly, those images will become an important keepsake for you.