A picture is worth a thousand words…
If you’re the owner of holiday rental accommodation, you’ll know that it’s not always easy to catch the attention of tourists and entice them to book your property for their break. There’s an awful lot of accommodation on offer, and it’s difficult to stand out from the rest in the eyes of potential guests. So, what can you do to make your tourist rental home more attractive?
Here we discuss one of our property tips: the importance of using good photos. We all know that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so while the description of your accommodation, and any other accompanying text, are essential elements in their own right, any photographs that you upload should ideally have the characteristics we’re going to look at next. So, whether or not you’re an expert in photography, please pay attention!
The key points
- Quality. These days we’re very much used to leaving our camera behind and taking photographs with our mobile phones. But even if your phone takes good pictures, bear in mind that you’re only going to take photos of your holiday rental home once, so the images need to be good quality. With your camera, you can select whatever size of picture you like, so although your smartphone might be new, your camera is bound to take better photographs. And as we’re talking about one-off images, you also have the option of borrowing a ‘good’ camera from a friend or relative. It really is worth the effort.
- Tidiness and ornaments. Before you rush willy-nilly into taking photos of your entire rental home, you should first make sure that it’s completely clean and tidy. Here are some small details that can help make an attractive photo stand out from the rest: place some flowers in a vase on the table, along with some magazines; leave a blanket near the sofa and a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, etc.
- Luminosity. If you’re lucky enough to own a rental property that receives a lot of natural light, try to make the most of it in your photographs. You should never take your images against the light, i.e. facing the window or balcony. Instead, you should place yourself wherever the latter are located so that you’re right inside the pool of light. The rooms will look bigger and more attractive, and you’ll get sharper images. You should experiment with different ways of lighting the rooms: with and without flash, with the house lights on, shining a light source into the darkest areas, etc. The advantage of digital photographs is that we can take as many as we like until we get the right one. The important thing is to be patient and to spend a bit of time getting a good result.
- Getting the angle right. The next point is related to the previous one: the correct angle for your photographs. People’s attention is always more readily attracted by wider-looking rooms. You can achieve this wider look by standing in a corner and taking your photographs from a raised area (you can even climb onto a chair, if necessary). You can also use a selfie stick to take pictures from an angle that provides more width.
- Size. When we spoke about quality earlier, we also mentioned the size of your photographs. While it’s important to take your images in a high-quality mode, don’t forget that you’ll have to reduce their size when uploading them to either your own or another accommodation website. We recommend an ideal size of around 150KB, and you can achieve this by using whatever photo editor you have on your computer. Why should you do it? To avoid the web pages being displayed slowly. If the images are too big, it will take time to move from one photograph to the next, and any potential guests may get tired of waiting and abandon your advert.
- The right presentation. There are two easy-to-fix mistakes that some owners make: uploading their photographs with poorly chosen rotation, and leaving them with the date stamp visible. The latter can be fixed with the camera (or by using an image editor), and it’s as simple as selecting a menu option so that the date stamp doesn’t get displayed. As for the other error, well, it may seem obvious, but you should check the rotation of your images before publishing them, as some will look better when displayed horizontally while others show up best vertically.
- Number of photos. How many photographs of your rental accommodation should you upload? Generally speaking, it’s the advertising websites themselves that set the limit. But if you have a choice, we recommend you use only those images that you regard as essential for highlighting the qualities of your holiday home. Remember, quality matters more than quantity, and tourists can get a better idea of what your holiday rental home looks like from 8 very well-taken photos than they can from 20 poor-quality ones that lack detail.
- Focus on your property. Something tourists really dislike is looking at a rental property online and then finding out that the photographs include lots of images of the area around the holiday home (views or nearby sites). Instead, you should focus on the inside of your tourist rental property. You can also include some photographs of the outside, but it should be clear that they’ve been taken from somewhere within your holiday accommodation, such as a terrace or a balcony. And if there’s a private complex for your guests to enjoy, it’s also important that you take a photograph or two to highlight any features such as a swimming pool, a garden, a recreational area, a children’s play area, etc.
So, now that you’re armed with all this advice, all you have to do to get good results is to find a camera that takes high-quality photographs and apply our tips. You’ll make the advert for your rental property much more attractive for tourists than those of other, similar, holiday homes. What’s more, you won’t have to employ any complicated techniques; you’ll just have to pay attention to a few details, while those owners who ignore them will be left with repetitive images and unable to get the most out of their holiday rental homes. So, once you’ve seen the results obtained with the new photographs of your rental accommodation, you can tell us all about your experience!