Posts Tagged ‘increase bookings’

What to Do and What to Avoid – Your Vacation Rental Pictures Guide

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Although we already had a similar post in the past, the topic of vacation rental pictures is never off the table. I’ve been looking at our Rentalo vacation homes lately wanting to select high quality pictures to show as examples but unfortunately I ran into hundreds of very low quality photos. It only assured me that I should write about this subject again and try to include more tips this time.

When browsing through our inventory I saw really bad pictures and I’m not only talking about low quality, pixeled and scanned old photographs, but also pictures of a messy kitchen with dirty dishes, pools with towels and guest stuff lying around, dark hallways and many others. Only one question always popped to my mind. How do owners of these properties think they will book their homes?

I have a suspicion that many owners take things for granted. They think that their properties will rent just because they have great attributes, such as oceanfront or mountain views and because they’ve had many guests over the last few years. Well, the times have slightly changed and facing the economic crisis we all have to try a little harder. The competition is fiercer than ever and we have to fight for customers more than before.

I would like to encourage you to take a look at your property listings as if you were a traveler looking for a perfect place. Try to get into their shoes and think what you would like to see if you were the one looking for accommodation. I think everyone will agree with me that pictures are one of the most important elements of a good property listing. High quality and attractive photos represent your property and help travelers picture it. Remember that in Rentalo you can upload unlimited amount of photos. You can also describe them so that travelers know what can be seen on a particular picture.

I also gathered some tips on what to do and what to avoid when taking pictures of your property. It’s never a bad time to change your listing photos. Even though it’s cold and snowy where some of you have their properties, seasonal pictures appeal even better to travelers. You should always try to change your pictures when the season changes and emphasize different property attributes. For example hot tub and fireplace in the winter and pool or a large deck in the summer.

Here is what you SHOULD do:

-    Take photographs of all parts of your property, not only bedrooms

-    Turn on all the lights in your vacation property. It gives your house a special warm atmosphere

-    Wait for a sunny weather or a nice sunset to take pictures of your property from the outside

-    Put flowers, candles, nice sheets and fresh fruit in your house. Those look lovely on pictures!

-    Try to use a tripod to avoid blurry pictures

Here is what you should NOT do:

-    Do not use scanned and low resolution (pixeled) photographs

-    Try not to include people in your pictures

-    Clean your property before taking pictures not to capture a messy kitchen or swimming pool with guest stuff by it

-    Do not take pictures of dark rooms against the light

-    Avoid uploading pictures of hallways, narrow spaces and nothing specific

-    Try not to include badly cropped or zoomed photographs

-    Do not place pictures of nearby activities as your main photo. Travelers want to see your property first

Happy editing,

Marta