Whether it’s an offering memorandum, leasing brochure, or your website – great photos make a difference. In commercial real estate great property photos are a must, but stock photos can really elevate your marketing.
Now I am not talking about photos of women randomly laughing while eating a salad. Nope. I am talking about authentic and unique stock photos, the type you or your friend with nice DSLR camera might have taken, the Instagram worthy type.
I tend to get a little extra when it comes to my commercial real estate marketing, but it truly makes a difference and helps me (and the property) stand out. For instance, when putting together a package for a retail center, I could just take a bunch of photos and add some tenant logos. However, I often like to add some stock photos to really represent the feel of the center. If there is a hair salon, coffee bar, florist, tax prep place and a gym I will add a little photo collage of stock photos somewhere in the marketing along with property photos, like this:
I really think this little touch helps to give the vibe and feel of the center and helps people get excited about leasing there or buying the property. You could also use photos of nearby landmarks and attractions. Get creative, it will help bring the property to life!
Great commercial real estate stock photos can also be used as your LinkedIn cover, on your ‘gram, in your email newsletter, in your advertising, and all-over social media to help define your personal brand. You can also use stock photography to highlight what it is you specialize in: office, retail, land, industrial, multifamily.
Best part is you can find really great stock photography for commercial real estate fo’ FREE!
Don’t worry, I got you. Today I am sharing all the places to get great stock photos for commercial real estate.
Hands down Unsplash is my go-to for great stock photos. Not only do they have a huge selection and really high-quality unique photos, but you can make and save collections so finding the photos you want I super easy. Also, Unsplash (and most of the ones listed here) grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer. I also really love that you can search by the same photographer so you can grab photos that have a consistent look and feel.
Here are a few of collections I’ve made to get you started.
You’ll will find collections for office, restaurants, retail, industrial, land, multifamily, medical office, hotel and more!
Another fantastic stock photography site is Pexels. They have a ton to choose from, plus they offer free stock video clips as well. Similar to Unsplash you can also save any photos you like to collections for later. I feel like they don’t have the same amount of commercial real estate related photos, but what they do have is really great.
I like Pixabay because you can search by orientation, color, size, etc., however, some of their stock photos, well, look like stock photos. Nevertheless, there are a lot of photos on the site. You can favorite photos but not save them in collections. Definitely worth checking out.
This one is very similar to Pixabay but still a solid option as it seems to get more variety all the time. There are a lot of sponsored photos on StockSnap.io that sometimes feel like they are part of the search which can be disappointing if you find one you really like but then realize you gotta pay for it. Whaa whaa… So just beware.
The options here are limited, but ISO Republic makes up for in uniqueness. Like StockSnap.io they will trick you with premium photos so watch out!
Burst is powered by Shopify so it is slightly more eCommerce centered yet there are still some really great stock photos here. They also have some Facebook Ad tips and guides that are worth checking out too.
In the words of DJ Khaled… and another one. Picjumbo has some options for you. The search feature isn’t the best, for example I get a bowl of cocoa puffs when I search “real estate”. Oh well, maybe I need more cereal in my life. More generic search terms work better: building, architecture.
Kaboompics are gorgeously styled! They are so dreamy that I often come here looking for CRE pics and get distracted in all the travel shots and just want to plan my next vacation. But back to work! Another cool feature is that once you find a photo you love it provides you with a complementary color palette so you can perfectly brand and coordinate everything.
Gratisography is a little offbeat. Colorful, fun and sometimes quirky, this site can certainly put a smile on your face! These are not your average commercial real estate stock photos! The only downside is that it is a small collection of stock photos.
This site offers a lot of different type of stock photos, especially a lot with people in them, minus a lot of the stock photo cheesiness. Either way, Pikwizard has some good ones for using in your commercial real estate marketing. Beware of premium photos scattered throughout, not all photos are free.
Reshot has some cool stock photos, you just need to go digging. Search feature isn’t the best and it’s a new site so not as many photos as the others, but they do have some unique, non-stock photography feeling photos.
Here we get a whole bunch of authentic photos, illustrations and mockups. There are so many creative options on Rawpixel. I could scroll through here for hours! Be sure to filter for “free” photos. Also, you do have to sign in to download unlike the others.
The name gives this one away. Startup Stock is focuses on startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. I imagine this would be a great site for office brokers or co-working offices too. Good photos, I just dislike the inability to search, lots of scrolling and loading, but probably worth it to get some real life feeling office shots.
Since we just singled out office brokers, let’s switch over to restaurant brokers! Foodiesfeed makes me huungraay! Any type of food photo you want they probably have it. From 5 star to food trucks, there are endless options. Even some name brand shots too! Mod Pizza anyone?
New Old Stock
We saved the oldest for the last, as-in these photos are actually old. So, if you feel like going old school then New Old Stock is for you. Here you will find some really interesting historical, vintage photos. Search bar is in the upper left corner (took me a hot minute to find it), search your city see what you can find! Want more? Library of Congress “free to use” section also offers a database of vintage photos for all the nostalgia you can handle.
As you can see, there are so many great (FREE) options for interesting and unique commercial real estate stock photography. So NBD, no excuses for not leveling up your CRE marketing, rocking your website or making you social media look slick!