Vacation Rental Marketing Makeover Session 1.4: Amateur vs. Professional Photos – VRMB
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Vacation Rental Marketing Makeover Session 1.4: Amateur vs. Professional Photos

If you haven’t heard, I am working to totally makeover one lucky vacation rental owner’s marketing portfolio live (and step-by-step) for my subscribers to follow. You can read all the prior posts here.

Professional vacation rental photographsWhat is the most impactful thing that ANY vacation rental owner or manager can do to increase their bookings?

Get professional photos.

And in this post, you’re about to see precisely why.

A vacation rental business needs pro photos the same way a lawyer needs a suit

You’re just not serious without them.

This unequivocal bit of advice has been in my repertoire since the very first article I ever wrote.

Perhaps you’ve put the chore of professional photos off for too long?

Maybe you think you don’t have enough money to hire a good photographer?

It’s even possible that you believe your current amateur photos are good enough to get by?


4 Reasons Every Owner/Manager MUST Have Professional Photos


In case you need reminders on why professional photos are absolutely positively necessary in vacation rental marketing, here are some bullet points:

> Pro photos speak a thousand words: since they are the most influential factor in soliciting inquiries and THE main differentiator between you and your rental competition, allocate your time and money in securing them wisely

> Pro photos create the first impression: good ones can hook a guest immediately with “WOW Factor” while amateur photos say “we are unprofessional” or “we take shortcuts” or “we skimp on things”

> Pro photos are an investment, not a cost: they will pay for themselves year upon year

> Pro photos are EASY: unlike much of the stuff I discuss on this blog, hiring a professional photographer is as easy as a phone call (no extra work involved!)


Proof That Professional Photos Work


If you want proof that making the investment in professional photos is worthwhile, here are three supremely compelling research studies:

> Pro Photos Increased Bookings By $8,000 In One Week

> 78% Of Travelers Prefer Professional Photos To Amateur Ones

> Professional Vacation Rental Photos Result In “HUGE” Profits For Debbie In Scottland

> $200 Pro Vacation Rental Photos Makes Massive Change


How To Find The Right Vacation Rental Photographer


So you’ve accepted the fact that you need professional photos, but don’t know where to start?

Simple geography makes recommending ONE singular vacation rental photographer to all of you impractical…

However if you don’t have any contacts or recommendations, any owner or manager can conduct a simple Google search for “[Your city] architectural photographer” like I did…

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 12.17.45 PMMy search for Amy’s makeover brought me to this database of Las Vegas architectural photographers.

I looked at a bunch of the work and settled on Cameron Carothers whose website showed some pretty amazing work at a reasonable price (the investment cost us $1500, roughly the rate of 3 nights booked at Amy’s rental):

Website: Carothers Photo

After chatting with him on the phone, Cameron expressed an interest in expanding his business more into vacation rentals (if you’re in the Las Vegas region, contact him for sure).

From there, it was just a matter of scheduling to get Cameron in there when Amy didn’t have guests!!!

Next, Cameron put in about a 2-week turnaround on the photos and BOOM, we’re live on Amy’s VRBO page.

The result on day #1?

“4 Inquiries Today!!!” Amy wrote to me. “No booking yet. But HECK, it is active!!!”


Examples: Before & After Professional Vacation Rental Photos


This is very exciting: to watch Amy’s property marketing really come together.

As you can see from this cool little interactive slider tool below (best not viewed from mobile device), there is quite a difference here between amateur and professional vacation rental photos:

  • Before-Backyard
    Before Backyard After
  • Before-Kitchen
    Before Kitchen After
  • Before-Living room
    After-Living room
    Before Living room After
  • Before-Trellece
    Before Trellece After
  • Before-Master bathroom
    After-Master bathroom
    Before Master bathroom After
  • Before-Master bedroom
    After-Master bedroom
    Before Master bedroom After
  • Before-Den
    Before Den After
  • Before-Bedroom
    Before Bedroom After
  • Before-Front
    Before Front After

And beyond just the before and after photos, check out these ‘money shots’ that Cameron took, which we will be using in all of Amy’s marketing from here on out (Hello Architectural Digest!!!).

Considering the first booking Amy generates with her new fancy pics will make that investment back, the rest is smooth sailin…

front ext dusk webfront door webdining room webrear overall dusk web_1


About the Author Matt Landau

Matt Landau is the Founder of the VRMB and the Inner Circle, two online resources dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers generate more bookings.


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