Photographing your Vacation Rental
Taking proper photos of your vacation rental property can go a long way. Currently this may be one of the easiest ways to stand out from the competition. A majority of the vacation owner websites are full of listings with improper and overall poor photography. If you have partnered with a reputable management company they will either provide photos or outsource them to an area photographer. If you have chosen to rent your home or condo by owner than you will want to pay close attention to this section. If you have a high-end luxury rental in a competitive market than you will want to partner with an area photographer yourself. Do not run out and use the first guy you find, be sure to do a little research and ask for sample images.
Preparing the Property
If you have just purchased and furnished a brand new home than this will be easy. The rest of you will want to schedule photos just after you have completed your annual maintenance and deep clean. The little details can go a long way and making sure the furniture and carpets are in the best condition is best. Scuffs on the walls, overgrown lawns or vegetation, and unkempt items will clutter your photos and deter renters. When prepping the rental for photos you will want to turn on every light in the property, if a bulb is out replace it. If a light fixture does not work, get it repaired. The brighter your home appears the more likely a potential renter will feel comfortable with your property. You will also want to make sure the curtains and blinds are open. We suggest slanting the blinds to prevent harsh light lines in the photos. Depending on the direction your home faces and the light it received you may want to try photos at multiple times through out the day. Prior to shooting the photos you will also want to de-clutter your property. Put away unnecessary items and limit the amount of nicknacks. Remove your family photos and do not put them back when you are done. You are preparing your product for the world, be sure to keep that in mind. You want your home, condo, cabin, or villa to look it's best. This will result in more money in your pocket!
Selecting a Camera
This is easy. Find the best camera you or any of your friends or family members own. We highly recommend a digital SLR if possible. If you do not own one it may be time to upgrade. Whatever you do, do not take photos with your cell phone, a non-digital camera, or low quality digital camera. If you do not have access to a quality camera and do not wish to purchase one, then it's time to contact a professional photographer. If you are a little more advanced with photography consider using a wide angle lens to highlight more room features than a standard lens.
Taking Photos of your Rental
Now you are ready for your first semi-professional photo shoot. The careful preparation will go a long way once you start taking shots. Follow these photo tips.
- Frame your shots and pay attention to what you are photographing.
- Highlight the uniqueness and selling points of your vacation rental.
- Think of what you like to see when you plan a vacation and capture the same thing.
- Take clear photos of every room and the full exterior of the home even if you do not intend to post all of them on the owner rental websites. This will hep document and inventory items that may go missing or end up damaged later.
Vacation Rental Videos
Now that you have prepared your home and put your best foot forward with quality photos you will want to consider if you should take it one step further. Travelers are becoming more sophisticated and the rental pool in most areas is growing. A video will help attract additional guests and distinguish your property from others. Filming a property is much more complicated than taking photos. Generally we suggest deferring to a professional videographer. To search for someone qualified in your market look to real estate listings. A simple internet search should turn up a few video companies. If you are going to try it on your own consider consulting with a tech savvy relative or friend. As technology advances filming high quality property videos is getting easier but still not straight forward for the average property owner.