Commercial Real Estate Photography – Part 1/3 (Property Types)

Commercial real estate includes retail, industrial, bulky goods/showroom, and office sectors, and relevant sub-sectors

Commercial real estate includes retail, industrial, bulky goods/showroom, and office sectors, and relevant sub-sectors. Each type of commercial property has its unique features such as design & architecture, layout, location, and car parking facility.

Commercial real estate agents will want to be able to highlight these elements in their marketing campaigns in addition to specific features relevant to the property sub-sector. Photographing commercial property requires an understanding of how the property is used and the features that are important to the tenant, their staff, and customers.

In this week’s Part 1 I will discuss the four most common commercial property sub-sectors that real estate photographers may encounter.

commercial real estate photography - petrol station
Petrol station / Service station


Office real estate refers to commercial property that is used for business activities and includes office parks, CBD office towers, smaller office buildings, and smaller office suites. This type of property comprises typically of an open plan layout for desk space and meeting rooms, toilets, and a kitchen area. Key features to highlight when photographing office real estate is access to public transport and road networks, safety, flexible workspace, natural light, parking space, and lifestyle facilities. 

commercial real estate photography - office building
5-storey office building


Retail property refers to everything from individual stores, showroom, to supermarkets and shopping centers. Retail store tenants and investors typically seek properties with high foot and/or vehicle traffic for increased exposure to potential customers and availability of onsite or nearby car parking. Your client will also want to highlight to potential buyers or tenants the access to road networks, ease of entry, and egress from the main road and availability of directional signage. If the property is also leased by anchor tenants such as major brands, you should also include these in your images. 

commercial real estate photography - retail centre
A neighbourhood centre


Industrial real estate refers to commercial property that comprises single or double-story buildings that are zoned for industrial use. The use of the building is typically dependent on the size of the building with smaller industrial buildings catering to a mix of warehouse and office space suited to start-ups, automotive services, and other small businesses.  These businesses require onsite parking and flexibility in the layout of the space. 

Medium to large-sized industrial properties are best-suited to businesses that need to manufacture or store goods on-site before being transported to other locations and customers. The largest of the industrial properties are logistic and distribution centers, which require ease of access for their drivers to and from major road networks. 

An industrial warehouse building

Special Purpose

Special purpose property is real estate that has limited use due to its unique construction materials, design, and other features. Examples of these properties include medical suites, service station, theme parks, etc. 

Medical suite within a purpose built medical centre

In next week’s article (part 2), I will discuss the safety precautions that need to be made when photographing commercial real estate.

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