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Airbnb & Vacation Rental Photography Tips
Ensuring your Airbnb or vacation rental listing has great photographs of your property is probably the simplest and most effective optimization you can make in order to get more bookings, fetch a higher average price, and increase your occupancy rate. A study by FlipKey (now owned by TripAdvisor) found that travelers are 83% more likely to inquire about property listings that contain over 20 photos.
Not only do high quality photos help to sell your listing and it’s best features, but they also play an important part in getting potential guests to trust you (and your listing) and hit the book button.
Some hosts have even taken to hiring professional photographers to take photos of their property. This can prove a good investment – there’s no denying that professionally taken photos can look great and make your listing more enticing. Airbnb reports that owners who have professional photos of their properties earn 40% more in earnings and had a 24% increase in occupancy.
For the host that decides to do it themselves, we’ve put together the following list of tips and hints which can help you take great photos of your property and get those bookings rolling in.
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10 Rules For Great Vacation Rental Photos:
Tip #1: Know The Basics Of Good Photography
Good lighting is key, so try and take the photos with natural daylight – ideally when the sun is at its highest point. Watch out for reflections and glares from shiny surfaces or mirrors.
Tip #2: Make Sure Everything Is Sparkling Clean
And we mean everything! Potential guests looking for the perfect place to stay will examine every detail in your photos, so be sure that everything is perfect and well placed, even when taking photos outside the property. Watch out for personal items or anything that might turn potential guests off – they don’t need much of an excuse to move on to the next listing.
Tip #3: Use The Space You Have And Try Different Angles
The things you see are not the same that the camera lense captures, so try different angles to give your guest a good idea of the whole place. Make sure to focus on the amenities your rental has and complement those features with plants, books, paints and other stuff that make it seem like the property is currently being rented. The point of having great pictures is that people who are looking for a place to stay, can really see themself there.
Tip #4: Keep The Camera Low & Horizontal
The best photos are taken from a low vantage point (about waist-height). If you don’t opt for a professional photography service, consider investing in a tripod.
Tip #5: Include Photos Of Local Attractions
Not every photo needs to be of your property. Be sure to include local points of interest and tourist hot spots that are near your property. No matter how nice your listing is, guests are likely traveling to experience local attractions, so including photos that show the experiences your guests will be able to have is always a good idea.
Tip #6: Aim For 2-3 Photos Of Each Space
Hosts should have enough photos of each room while not going overboard. Five pictures of the same patio area is probably too much, whereas 2-3 showing the best angles is normally about right. Overall, a good rule of thumb is to aim to have around 25 photos of each listing. Anything significantly more than that may get redundant.
Tip #7: Include Shots Of The Exterior Of Your Property
Photos of the interior of your property is obviously important, but having good quality photos of the exterior can help a lot too. If your listing is a house, be sure to show the front and back yards and any amenities you might have outside (e.g. jacuzzis or BBQs). If your listing is an apartment, some photos of the view from your window or balcony is a good idea, as well as an image of the building and maybe even the entrance. Exterior photos can help your guest understand your listing, which increases trust, and also reduces the probability of the guest not being able to find the listing when they are checking-in, which can lead to a bad experience right from the start.
Tip #8: Edit Your Pictures
Editing photos demands just as much attention as taking the photos themselves. Especially if you’ve spent lots of time rearranging things in your house and meticulously set up staging areas – you don’t want your photos to fall flat at the editing stage and then have to set everything up again. The best part is that you don’t need to be a photoshop wizard to make photos stand out. We’ve included some great free apps below that make it easy to edit your photos and give them that professional look which will help entice guests to book.
Tip #9: Include Some Shots With Guests
If done right, including some photos with guests can create an additional layer of trust and excitement for potential guests. If someone browsing your listing sees photos of guests having fun, they’ll imagine themselves and their friends doing the same in your listing.
However, before launching into portrait mode, there’s a few things to keep in mind. Traditionally speaking, real estate and vacation rental photography doesn’t include people. Guests are meant to imagine themselves in these spaces without the distraction of other people. So if you are going to include guests in your photos, keep them subtle.
Tip #10: Keep Your Photos Updated
The photo that you are showing is exactly what the guest is waiting to find when he gets into the property. If you make some changes, if you painted a wall, or added some new furniture or amenities, then do another photo shoot!
If you invest in great photos of your listing, you won’t need to change them that often – just make sure to check them regularly to ensure that they are a positive, but honest, reflection of your vacation rental.
Free Applications That Can Help You Produce Great Vacation Rental Photos
Snapseed is a free professional photo editor offered by Google which allows users to enhance photos and apply digital filters. As well as being free and available for Android and iPhone, it allows you to quickly and easily make your photos look professional.
Free and easy to use, VSCO is a photo editing tool that helps you give a professional touch to any photos you’ve taken – even if the camera isn’t a high quality one. VSCO is available on iPhone and Android.
Prisma is available on a free trial for iPhone and Android. While the main draw for most users of Prisma is the artistic filters that the app allows you to apply to your photos, it’s best to avoid these for the purpose of editing your listing photos and stick to the retouching functionality that the app offers.