About SeattleRentals.com

SeattleRentals.com is the advertising solution for landlords & managers with rental vacancies in the greater Puget Sound. We have thousands of renters searching our site each day & give you tools to easily distribute & manage your advertising. We can help you fill your vacancy quickly & easily. Visit our website or give us a call at 206-284-2554. Reachwerks provides highly effective, easy-to-use marketing solutions to businesses via our social networking content management, website design and development, email marketing campaigns, and advertising distribution system.

Show Us What You Love About Your Neighborhood With Our Photography Contest!

Now that summer has officially started (we all know that really just happened on Saturday), Seattleites can head outside and enjoy what makes their neighborhood great – whether it’s the farmers’ market, the local pub’s outdoor deck, strolling through the park with the kids, enjoying an outdoor concert… or just waiting for the bus home from work without getting rained on.

Those types of things are what make YOUR neighborhood the best one in Seattle, right?

We think so too.  That’s why we just launched an ongoing neighborhood photography contest called “This Is My Seattle.”

We want to highlight the individual appeal of each of Seattle’s neighborhoods. And who can do that best?  YOU can.

Each month we’ll pick a new neighborhood to feature. The first month is Fremont!

Fremont Troll

Now, here’s your assignment: go out there and snap some photos of Fremont.  Send them to us at photocontest@seattlerentals.com or via Facebook at http://seattlerentals.com/photo-contest.

If we pick your photo as the winner, you get $50 AND your photo will be featured on the Fremont neighborhood section of SeattleRentals.com!

We’re can’t wait to see what you come up with.  See you in Fremont!


Upcoming industry events

Take a break from the madness of summer and stop by one of this month’s industry classes or events!  Here are just some of the events happening between now and the end of August:

July 28, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
The Move-Out Process – RHA
It’s time to end a rental term and there are many things that go into the move-out process. This class will take 3 hours to go over inventory/inspection walk through, deposits, abandonment/storage, cleaning/fees, filing of paperwork and small claims. Make turning over your unit as quick and painless as possible!
$45, Members Only

August 9, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
South Sound Supper Club RHA
Landlord/Tenant Safety & Crime Prevention – Monthly Meeting of rental property owners, managers and investors. Come by and network with others in the industry and get your questions answered. This is open to everyone, not just RHA Members. You are welcome to order off their inexpensive menu.

August 10, 9:00am-1:00pm
Budget Prep Seminar – WMFHA
Basic Elements of a Budget | Where to Start| Identify Resources | Pitfalls to Avoid | Leveraging Partnerships | Understanding Suppliers and Forecasting Capitals Expenses | Budgeting for Increases | Managing Your Budget | Communication Skills
$39 Members, $59 Non-Members

August 10, 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Advanced Landlord Tenant Law – RHA
Building on our Washington State Landlord Tenant Law class, we look into the non- run of the mill situations that arise during tenancies. We discuss concepts such as retaliation and how to defend against discrimination cases. Consideration is paid to dealing with special situations such as tenant deaths, roommate changes, apartment relocations, etc…. This class is directed to answering all your questions. Includes WA State Lawbook on CD.
$45, Members Only

August 10, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
How To Read a Credit Report – RHA
Reading a credit report can be a difficult task. Come by RHA from 12-1 and learn what all the details inside the report mean. RHA Director of Tenant Screening, Megan McCormick, will go through our credit reports step-by-step and answer any questions you may have about our tenant screening products and compliance. If you have a report purchase through RHA, feel free to bring it. We WILL NOT be able to go over reports purchased from another company/vendor.

August 11, 12:00pm – 12:30pm
Resident Retention & Discount Program Webinar – RHA
FREE WEBINAR! By 2014, 68% of us will be using coupons. Programs with a few discounts are being offered at every turn — Groupon, eBay, and the Sunday paper. However, you can offer your residents more than 250,000 local and national discounts for dining, shopping, movies, recreation, and GROCERIES that they can use every day. Discounts are with local and national vendors and are unlimited use, so your tenants will get the discounts they want when they want them. Compete with the concessions offered by big property management companies. Provide a program that will save your residents the value of one or two months’ rent each year on items they use everyday. Nine of the top 20 property management companies are using this program and others are in the pilot stage. Don’t be left behind. Make your property the best choice for renters in your area with the most valuable amenities. RHA has teamed with Purqz to bring you the best options for your tenants and special pricing to you.

August 16, 6:00m – 7:30pm
Seattle, Eastside & North Sound Supper Clubs – RHA
Landlord/Tenant Safety & Crime Prevention – Monthly Meeting of rental property owners, managers and investors. Come by and network with others in the industry and get your questions answered. You are welcome to order off the inexpensive menu. Parking passes are available.

August 17, 9:00am-5:00pm
CAM / Marketing – WMFHA
Introduction to Marketing | Conducting Market Research | Promotional Marketing | On-Site Marketing | Creative Marketing | Developing a Marketing Plan
$125 Members, $175 Non-Members

August 17, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Introduction To RHA Forms – RHA
This free seminar will give you a brief overview of the extensive catalog of forms RHA has to offer. Learn which forms are required by law and which addenda RHA recommends.

August 18, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Finding Quality Tenants – RHA
Today’s tenant is savvy and knows what they want. This program is all about how to communicate the information the tenant needs to know. From learning to create effective marketing materials and presenting the rental home, to communicating rental policies and what exactly the lease means. This class is jammed full of practical information you need to have a successful rental.
$45, Members Only

August 23, 11:00am-1:00pm
August Chapter Membership Meeting – NARPM
Speaker: Property Management Panel – “Tips, Tricks and Forms” REMEMBER: Lunch is FREE for both you and your guest if you bring a first-time property manager as a visitor.
$25 Members, $30 Non-Members

August 24, 11:30pm-1:30pm
South-End Membership LuncheonWMFHA
Lunch | South-End Marketing Minute | Government Affairs Update with Joe Puckett | Minute to Win It Challenge!
$30 Members Only

Want to stay up-to-date on what and when industry events are happening when?  We post them on our Twitter account and Facebook page!

Taking Great Do-It-Yourself Interior Photos

Have you ever snapped photos of a pretty living room with a big window?  Did the photo turn out looking like complete crap?  Yeah, that’s happened to me too.

Taking interior photos of apartments and rental homes is pretty darned tough.  There’s plenty of great professional photographers in our region with all the equipment and training needed to pull off perfect interior photos (if you need a recommendation, contact us), but for those who prefer to handle it themselves, we’ve gathered some tips to help you snap advertising-worthy pics yourself.

Whether you have a fancy digital camera or are just using your iPhone, there are ways to get around some of the common hurdles to taking interior photos.


PROBLEM: Washed out or too dark photo

This guy's good.

This guy's good.

The most important rule of thumb for interior pics is never, ever use the built-in flash.  Natural light will always be better, no matter which camera you use – particularly the light you get right at dusk.

On your digital camera, slow your shutter speed down v-e-r-y slow to bring in as much light as possible.  On your iPhone, focus on a dark spot first, then move the phone back to your shot (it will brighten the photo).

Can’t take photos at dusk?  Close the blinds and turn on a few lamps.  When possible, position the light behind you so you don’t catch the glowing bulb in your shot.

In a bathroom? Grab a lamp, take off its shade and put it in the bathtub so the light is slightly diffused through the shower curtain.


PROBLEM: Can’t see the whole room

Stand as far back as possible in the room and avoid as much ceiling as possible in your photo.  Bring out your inner monkey by climbing into weird spots.  Crouching low on the ground and looking up a bit can make a room look bigger and reduce the shadows.

If you have a fancy-pants camera and plan on taking photos often, it might be worth investing in a wide angle lens.

For iPhones, there are apps that allow you to stitch together a few photos into a panoramic shot.  Two that I love are Pano and 360 Panorama.


PROBLEM: Uninteresting photos

There’s two things you are trying to accomplish here. First, you want to show the actual unit to a prospective tenant.

So, the photo you took of a nice vase of flowers in the room may have turned out great, but it doesn’t help the renter understand the layout of the room.  It’s important to have photos that demonstrate the “flow” of the unit’s layout.

That being said, you’re also trying to make the photos enticing.  In addition to your “layout” photos, throw in some interesting shots using angles and different focuses.

Climb up high and lay down low to see which turns out the best.  Try snapping close-ups of important details (ornate coving above a doorway? the brushed steel faucets?) with the background slightly out of focus.


PROBLEM: Whatever Emma, they’re still not turning out well                    

All right, this is where the magic of post-processing comes in.

If you’re using your iPhone, apps like CameraBag, Photogene and Photoshop Express allow you to adjust things like the lighting and contrast.  You can also use resizing apps like Crop when you accidentally put your hand in the photo.

Digital camera owners can use more enhanced desktop programs like Adobe Photoshop that have an array of editing photos, filters and aftereffects to make your photos look beautiful.

If Photoshop is too expensive for your taste, GIMP is a great freeware tool with a lot of the same features.

So – now that you’re armed with these photography skills, go take some awesome interior photos for your ads. Hey, maybe you’re the Ansel Adams of apartment photography.  I look forward to seeing your masterpieces.