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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 has been Reviewed!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

It’s always such a pleasant surprise to see a positive review of your vacation home or website. This time was reviewed by the owner of a popular blog for vacation rental owners and managers called .

We have been referred to as the “site with a lot more information that any other travel site”. The owner of this friendly blog was also positively surprised by the complete and detailed information provided in our property listings saying: “it seemed as if they were hell-bent on getting their site certified on ISO9001!”

This is definitely a great start of the week! Read the full review of Rentalo on

Marta Olszewska

New Rentalo 3.0 – Already has many loyal fans

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I wanted to personally thank all the property owners that have emailed and called to thank us and praise us for the new Rentalo 3.0 release.  Thank you.


In making such powerful changes to Rentalo we took into account many factors that have emerged in the past few years in the behavior of online users.  Content is King.  Today’s online travelers are not the travelers of 10 or even 5 years ago.  Travelers are demanding more relevant content.


Relevant content is not just text or description.  Online users are becoming accustomed to watching videos and high resolution images of the products they are going to purchase.  With this in mind we wanted to give the property owners the power to display more content and include new technologies like videos, high resolution picture galleries and maps in their property listing.  That is what is at the heart of all these changes, empowering property owners and travelers and make the lodging market a better place for everyone.


I use every opportunity when I talk to property owners to encourage them to update their information right away.  Have you updated yours yet?


Stay tuned for even more changes to come!


Frank Suarez