Visual content is key in every vacation rental business! Vacation rental photography allows property managers to showcase their homes, highlight the top attractions in their destination, feature the unique experiences available to guests, and catch the attention of travelers planning their next vacation.
A picture paints a thousand words and statistics show that visual content marketing is king! Every image on your website is an opportunity to connect with potential guests on a visual and emotional level, display the personality and unique selling point of your homes, highlight the professionalism of your brand, and convert an audience of lookers into bookers, and repeat loyal guests.
Here’s our top tips for better vacation rental photography to boost your listings, up your bottom line, and separate your vacation rental business from the competition.
Top Priority is Clean & Tidy
The camera captures details easily missed by the human eye! Every detail stands out in photography so the first step to an attractive image is ensure the home is clean and tidy – inside and out. Once the home is deep cleaned and the yard manicured to perfection, it’s time to remove the clutter and pay attention to every little detail.
Store away all small appliances, cleaning products, trash cans, remote controls and messy electrical cords, straighten mirrors and artwork on the walls, and visualize yourself arriving in the home for a vacation – is the home cleaned to an acceptable and exceptional standard? Professional photography is an investment – always do a walk through to ensure you don’t have to do a second take!
Stage the Home to Inspire Potential Guests
Staging the home allows you to showcase the space as well as the potential and unique experiences your vacation home offers. Emotion sells and creating a scene that inspires, excites and triggers visual images of their vacation experience intimately connects your ideal guests to your homes and engages them to take action, and book!
The increased popularity in vacation rentals shows that travelers are no longer happy within the four walls of a hotel room and are seeking a welcoming home-away-from-home to be a part of their vacation experience.
Think of the best experiences your rental offers and stage the home accordingly. Every bedroom, communal gathering area (indoor and out), and unique selling point of your home should be enhanced with colorful and appealing props that trigger emotions and allow potential guests to not only visualize but experience your vacation home as their own.
Communal Living Areas:
This is where your guests are likely to spend most of their time so create an inviting atmosphere in the communal living areas – neatly stack wood and turn on fireplaces, set the dining tables for meals, display board games for family vacations, highlight scenic views, and set the stage for guests to visualize family and friends making memories in your home.
A little effort goes a long way in creating inviting guest bedrooms and images that portray a peaceful night’s sleep. Simple scatter cushions, throw blankets, an area rug, or a vase of flowers on the bedside table can turn a “bedroom” into a welcoming “guest suite”.
We’ve all seen the bathroom images with the camera (and host) visible in the mirror! Bathrooms aren’t easy to photograph but all that’s needed is the layout and amenities with a focus on the luxury bathroom essentials, plush towels, and guest access (private or shared).
A well-designed and thoughtfully stocked kitchen is one of the top amenities and biggest perks that attract guests to a vacation home, so showcase it well. Give guests a good idea of the appliances and layout, and a simple charcuterie board on the counter or coffee and croissants at the breakfast nook sets the tone for the perfect kitchen shot.
Outdoor Living Spaces:
Imagine you’re setting up the backyard for a day of family fun or evening of intimate entertainment – rolled up towels by the pool, fairy lights and hammocks in the trees, a bubbling hot tub or s’mores around the firepit … There are endless options for guests to imagine themselves unwinding in your outdoor living areas.
Have Fun with Seasonality:
If you like to dress up your homes, consider changing out your hero image (the prominent property image) to reflect the changing seasons and holidays. Travelers scrolling the web for their dream vacation home are more likely to click on a home featuring festive holiday décor, hot chocolate stations, and log fires when planning their Christmas vacation to the mountains.
A word of caution – always remember your images must represent an accurate description of the home – whatever “props” you use to stage the scene should be available in the rental for your guests.
Open up the curtains, windows and doors, turn on the lights and pick a day where the color of the sky sparks thoughts of a sunny vacation – dark and gloomy skies scattered with rain clouds don’t trigger images of a dream vacation!
Twilight is the best time of day to photograph the exterior of the home (fairy lights always add a magical effect) and choose a time of day with the most natural light for interior photography.
Guest Services & Amenities
Every brag worthy amenity and unique selling point of your rental should be present in your vacation rental photography. Your property images present an opportunity to highlight kid-inspired bunk rooms and games rooms, the perfectly perched hot tub with a mountain view, workspaces to inspire remote employees, and community amenities available to the guest during their vacation.
Aside from an accurate (and inspiring) representation of the amenities your rental offers, images are a chance to promote and upsell your guest services such as picnic baskets, grocery delivery, beach gear rentals and anything that enhances the guest’s stay and experience with your brand.
Highlight your Destination
Your destination is an equal part of the guest experience. A selection of images highlighting spring wildflowers, winter snow (or snowbird beach sands!), fall foliage, and top attractions and activities nearby create a subliminal connection between your home and vacation destination and allow guests to envision their vacation experience on a deeper level.
Hire a Professional Photographer
Not everyone has an eye for photography and a smart phone doesn’t have the ability to capture the look, feel or layout of your professionally managed home. Image is everything and high quality photography adds a touch of professionalism to your homes and brand with a high return on investment.
Images are your properties most affordable and valuable marketing asset. Investing in professional photography increases your average daily rate and booking conversions, improves the perception of your homes and brand creating trust with your guests, and taps into the visuals of the quality experience they can expect in your vacation rentals.
The Casago Difference
Casago offers a distinctive rating system that separates us from the more common vacation rental property management companies. Throughout our 20 years of servicing vacation rentals in Mexico and the US we have devised a system that ensures every property receives a stellar review.
Casago provides our franchisees and property owners with professional photos and a virtual reality tour of the property to maximize the listing potential.