We repeatedly encourage homeowners to improve their pictures. Pictures are not only the first impression of a property listing, but according to vacationers – the most important impression. As testimonials and data suggests: better pictures lead to better bookings. Really! Sometimes we feel like a broken record.
So, how can we help you achieve bright, inviting pictures that really will make you more money? Here are 5 suggestions:
1. Think summer, even in November. Turn on the lights in your rental. So simple and so effective. Suddenly a room looks and feels brighter. Please do not take pictures at night or when it is snowing. Buy fresh flowers that look summery.
2. Focus on making a picture pretty, not all-inclusive. I feel it is better to have a pretty picture of part of the room, than a picture of door jams with all of the room. Use the caption to explain the room and the details about the TV, walk-in closet, etc. Less ceiling, more room. And please, I do not mean to sound bossy, but tidy up first! Even consider setting the table for a meal, invite the vacationer to envision themselves on their vacation in your home. As Ansel Adams said, “Photography is more than a medium for a factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”
3. Be sure to photograph the master bedroom, living room, and kitchen. The person paying the rent is probably the person sleeping in the master bedroom, so be nice to them. Show them a lovely picture of their bedroom. And make the bed, for crying out loud! No mattress cover shots. People choose vacation rentals over hotels for many reasons, but one is for the kitchen, to cook. So buy some bananas or apples, put them in a bowl, and make your kitchen look lovely.
4. Go digital or don’t go. Thankfully, most of the scanned printed photos on the site have been updated, so this needs no further nagging. Use your mobile phone if you must. With the high quality cell phones and relatively easy digital cameras, images should be clear, bright and focused.
5. Hire yours truly. Does it all sound too time consuming or complicated? Have WeNeedaVacation.com stage and photograph your home. I have photographed more than 350 homes on our site with tremendous success. Here is a recent testimonial I received this week from a homeowner in Orleans:
“The pictures were wonderful! You really captured the look I was hoping to achieve. Thanks again for a beautiful job!” Click here for more information and testimonials.
The key is to put yourself in the shoes of a vacationer who is planning a trip to Cape Cod from out of state. Which pictures would lead you to inquire about the home and possibly mail a stranger a rental check? Also, look at the other rental homes listed in your town – how do they present their homes? And finally, don’t neglect the terrific marketing value of the pictures’ captions! A well-chosen adjective or “with sliders to back deck and yard,” for example, can provide a significant psychological impact on the viewer.
How do you use pictures to help in the success of your vacation rental listing?