Updated: Jul 10
What is the first thing a potential guest encounters when they see your listing? When it comes to vacation rental listings, photos are everything. The choices you make for your listing photos can make or break your success as a STR owner/operator. Follow the tips below to ensure that you are making the type of impact, and in turn income, that you are hoping for.
Now that our phone cameras have almost the same quality as a professional camera everyone thinks they are a photographer. Taking your own photos can be a great way to save money, especially in the beginning, but make sure you are paying attention to basic photography techniques.
A simple solution with a big impact is to assess the lighting before you shoot. If you have windows, open all of the blinds and curtains and capitalize on the natural light. Shoot during the day so that your listing feels bright and airy. If you a short on windows turn on the interior lights to brighten up and dark areas.
Shoot from multiple angles to give guests a good feel for the space. Corner shots are able to capture a large area of space and make rooms feel larger. Take more photos than you think you will need, and then be a fierce critic and only choose the best of the best.
Cohesive style and design can work wonders for a listings success. While each room can have its own feel they should be like different chapters in a book; we should be able to see how they seamlessly connect to one another.
Simple options to up your style
Declutter- Nothing ruins a guest experience, or a listing photo, like a cluttered space. Remove any unnecessary items for your STR, clear all counter and table tops, and make sure everything that remains has intentionality behind it.
Decor- Simple decor items make a big impact. Throw pillows, blankets, local art. All of these options add interest and cohesion to your space.
Details- From welcome gifts to detailed area guides, the extra details are the things that keep your guests talking. Make sure these are included in your space and that they are photographed for your listing.
All of your listing photos are important, but the cover photo is the crem de la crem. The photo that portrays your property best and will be most intriguing to your potential guest should be the first thing they see. Make sure the lighting is perfect, the space is styled and decluttered, and it evokes the feeling of what it would be like to stay on your property.
Focus on the Experience
While your property is the most important feature of your listing photos, make sure you are showing your guests what they would experience while staying there as well. Do you have an amazing coffee bar or breakfast spread? Show it. Is your back yard or lanai a mini-paradise. Show that! Do you have bikes, boards, or beach bags available for guest use? Make sure they see it.
I suggest limiting the photos of your surrounding area because those can be featured in your guides and through your social media. The listing photos should focus on your property and the guests experience there.
More is More!
This is one are where it is not possible to do too much. The first few photos are the most important to grab future guests attention, but include as many as you feel necessary to give a good feel of your space. Don't be shy... show it all. While we don't recommend uploading 100 photos and overwhelming your viewers, 20-30 shots are ideal. Just make sure all photos are high quality.