The challenge in this crowded rental market (there are now over 15,000 in NZ alone – and growing) is to have your property stand out among the hundreds of rentals available in any given vacation spot. In this case, travelers will literally judge a book by it’s cover. If your listing doesn’t have many photos or low-quality photos, it is very difficult for travelers to feel comfortable booking your home. When it comes to your vacation rental, improving your photographs can significantly increase your bookings!
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to ensure that your vacation rental looks its absolute best. Follow these guidelines and you may be on your way to more bookings.
- Prepare your rental:
Vacation homes are the alternative to staying in hotels, to which hotels are professionally staged and photographed, giving guests a warm and enticing welcome. You can do the same. We suggest that you style your home with items that come with the rental, such as tableware, or adding a small flower arrangement or fresh fruit! Arrange pillows or a throw on your furniture for a cozy and comfy appeal. Small details matter. People want to see the comfort your home has to offer.
- Hire a professional photographer:
This is the easiest way to get all the pictures you need. Hire someone who specializes in real estate photography. Talk to your property manager about this – it will cost more, but if you want to increase your yield, the extra cost is well worth it.
- Prepare your lighting:
This can make a huge difference in appealing to your guest. Good lighting will make any room feel warm and inviting. Keep your blinds open and shoot at dusk or dawn to keep the photos warm and not overexposed or shadowed. Turn on lamps or smaller lights as an alternate light source, and take one picture with a flash and one without to compare natural light. Avoid tilting, keep your photos straight on and try to capture the entire room. The more photos you have of each room (showing a 360 degree view), the better result in booking. Travelers want to see all areas and angles of your home.
Photograph each room, the exterior, and make sure to get the view.
The more areas of your house you can feature, the more confidence your guest will have when booking your home. Showcase the best attributes of your home, such as the exquisite kitchen, or yard with a BBQ. Include an exterior shot as well. Don’t forget the essentials, like the kitchen and living room (since these are more of a bonus by choosing a vacation rental over a hotel). Photograph each bedroom and bed – this encourages your guest to envision themselves in the cozy sleeping quarters. It’s all about creating a sense of inviting comfort with your pictures.
- Put your best shot first:
Which picture of your home will get your guest to click? The one with the most appealing attribute. Give your potential guests a tour of your home by starting in one room and working your way through, creating a virtual experience as if they were personally walking through your home. Edit your photos, but not out of context. Enhance colors and create depth.
- Keep your pictures updated:
If you make updates in the house, re-photograph your home. Vacation rentals will see some wear and tear and it is your job to keep your home fresh and appealing. So if you update your home, update your photos!