OK so you’ve heard me say it time and time again: photographs are perhaps the most defining factor in setting yourself apart from your competition and booking more nights.
But you still haven’t quite made the jump to get professional photos taken of your property?
Well here are some examples from a subscriber of mine who realized she needed better photos, tried on her own, and ultimately hired someone for under $200 to produce some real magic. According to Paula, the owner of Casa Paloma (a neat Spanish villa in San Diego):
“I wanted to THANK YOU for your advice (more like your mandate….) to get professional photos of our vacation rental – we found a couple who specialize in real estate photography – only $190 for 10 to 12 photos of our house, and the results speak for themselves.
We originally took some (admittedly) BAD photos when we first listed the house for rent in mid-November, then updated the photos in early December after furnishing & decorating the house and researching proper lighting/staging methods.
Then, we had the professional photographer come last week.”
As you can see, there is a marked improvement from photo #1 to photo #2. The owner simply did some reading online about lighting and staging. And just about anyone could probably make this jump simply by putting forth the effort. But photo #3 is a serious upgrade. Here’s Paula’s take:
“I didn’t think my amateur photos were all that bad, heck, we got 4 months booked within 6 weeks of posting our listing. But I can definitely see the improvement in the professional shots. I’ve practiced the “Theory of Constraints” system toward Continuous Improvement in my professional life for the last 10 years, and will apply this same process for our vacation rental business – thanks again for sharing your tips & advice with newbies like me.”
Here is a another before and after example of Paula’s vacation rental photo makeover (this time, the living room):
As you can see, there is a small (but very defined) difference between professional photos and those which owners choose to take themselves. It’s the difference between GOOD and GREAT. In terms of cost, this investment was equivalent to one night’s rental at Paula’s Casa Paloma. Which is to say, the first booking she got from her new set of pics, she’d made her money back. And from the looks of it, she’s already generating more bookings than before.
I would encourage all owners to give their rental the gift of professional photographs. If you think your amateur photos are “good enough” you’ll be letting that mantra seep into your entire marketing portfolio. And I refuse to let subscribers of mine be “good enough.” They can and will be “the best!”
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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