Snap, Click, Book: The Impact of Listing Photos on Vacation Rental Success - Article Banner

Photos can be your best marketing tools when you’re trying to attract guests to your vacation rental property. When someone books a home or a condo or an apartment instead of a hotel room, it’s because they’re looking for an experience that goes well beyond basic accommodations. They’re looking for a sense of comfort. They’re looking for space and privacy. They want to feel like they’re in a home away from home. 

Photos will show them what kind of experience they can expect. A good picture will let them imagine what it would be like to stay in your property for a few days or weeks or even a month or two. 

What kind of story do you want to tell? 

Photos are especially important now that we’re in a world that shares everything online. When you post a bunch of high-quality images with your listing, you can expect people to share them on social media sites. They’ll send them to the friends and family members they’re planning to travel with. 

The photos have to be easily appreciated online and with mobile devices. That’s where a majority of people are searching for their next vacation home. 

When travelers come to Anna Maria Island or any location around Florida’s Gulf Coast, you want them to choose your property. The best way to stand out and to really sell your home to the people who are looking is by investing in high-quality photos. 

At Anchor Down Real Estate & Rentals, we’ve been successfully advertising vacation rental properties to travelers for years. Part of the reason we’re so successful is that our marketing strategies are visual. We take a Snap, Click, Book approach, and here’s what it looks like. 

Snap: Taking Professional Photographs for Your Vacation Rental Listing 

Hiring a professional photographer is an excellent investment, especially when you’re committed to attracting as many people as possible to your rental home, and especially when you understand that the marketing of your property is just as important as the property itself. You could have the best rental home on the beach, but it won’t get rented if people can’t see how fabulous it is. 

Professional photographers will understand how to capture the best lighting, the best angles, and the best backdrop for your vacation property. They’ll know how to make the appliances in your kitchen stand out. They’ll make the garden tub in the primary bathroom look inviting. The story a professional photographer can tell will capture the emotions of the potential guests because each picture will be an invitation into your home. 

We know that photography might not be in your budget at this time. If that’s the case, a professional vacation management company can also take some excellent marketing photos for you. We know what guests want to see; the bedrooms, the outdoor space, the kitchen, and the surrounding neighborhood. Property managers have listed a lot of properties, and we have a system in place to showcase your home with great photos. 

You can take high-quality pictures, too. If you have a great camera or access to some good equipment, you’ll be able to focus on the best shots in the best light. Even the cameras on today’s smartphones can do a great job of telling a story through pictures. 

Click: Motivating Vacationers to Take a Closer Look at Your Listing 

Like we said, the best way to attract potential guests is by showing them a story of what it would be like to rent your property. They’ll want to see the kitchen where coffee will be made every morning and dinner might be cooked. They’ll want to see the bedrooms where they put their children to sleep and the balconies and patios where they might enjoy some fresh air. They’ll want to see their view and the spaces where they’ll gather as a family or group of friends. 

Show them photos of the following: 

  • Kitchens, including the stove, the fridge, and a dishwasher if there is one. Let them see that the kitchen is fully stocked. When they click on your listing, they’ll want to know there are wine glasses and a can opener and plates and pots and pans. Take a photo that includes seating; is there an island and a kitchen table or a formal dining room? 
  • Bathrooms. If there are soaking tubs or walk-in showers, make sure you have the photos to prove it. Double sinks in the primary suite will always be of interest. Make sure the bathrooms are clean before you start taking photos, and always put the toilet seat down in the shot. 
  • Living areas. Dens, living rooms, family rooms, recreation rooms; be sure to share photos of any spaces where your guests might relax, watch a movie, get some work done, or play games with their traveling companions. The photos should show off the furniture, the electronics, and anything special, such as a fireplace or an air hockey table. Maybe there’s a hammock for naps.
  • Outdoor space. Whether it’s a small courtyard with your vacation condo or a large yard that leads to the beach, your guests will click on your listing and begin looking for how they’ll spend their time outdoors. 
  • The general area and neighborhood. You don’t have to give them a Google Street View style look at where you’re located, but don’t be afraid to include some pictures of what’s in the neighborhood. Guests will likely click on a listing with photos that show off the beach, a great restaurant, or some nature trails. 

You want to get the click and keep them interested in your property. The more time they spend looking at what you have to offer, the more likely they will be to think about staying at your home. The photos will draw them in and bring them deeper and deeper into your property and what you have to offer. Think of it as similar to curb appeal. If you were selling your home, you’d make sure that your first impression was impressive; you’d landscape and plant flowers and spruce up the front of the home to be welcoming and attractive. 

The photos do the same for your online listing. Think of them as your curb appeal. 

Book: Moving from Looking to Booking 

Exceptional photos will allow your guests to feel excited about booking their trip. When your pictures are engaging and able to connect emotionally with potential guests, those guests may save the photos and return to look at them over and over again between the time that they book and their actual vacation. It’s exciting. Make this easy for them. Give them an entire gallery to enjoy. Vacationers are unlikely to book a rental home that only has a handful of photos. They don’t want to piece together what their vacation might be like by staring at the same five pictures. 

An abundance of photos, however, will lead them right to the booking page. They’ll be excited to continue planning their trip. They’ll spread the word. 

You want you listing to include all the photos that are possible. You should share some pictures on social media as well. This will allow people on those platforms to take a look at what you have to offer. You might even reach people who had not planned on visiting this part of Florida. 

The pictures don’t have to end after the place has been booked. Send your guests a picture or two ahead of their trip; shots that they didn’t see on the original listing. This will continue to drive up their anticipation and remind them of what they have to look forward to. These will also be easy to share; drawing more attention to your rental property to potentially increase additional bookings

Tips to Remember

Write DescriptionYou want the photos to be what stand out, but that doesn’t mean the written description has no value. You’ll need words that match the energy of the photos. Keep your copy concise but detailed, and make sure you’re describing what a potential guest is already imagining based on your photos. 

Don’t waste time including low-quality photos. Anything too pixelated or blurry will only look unprofessional and sloppy. Leave those out. 

Include captions with your photos. These can be just a few words that help you show off the picture and the home. 

Watermark your photos when you can, to avoid scams. 

Videos can be useful, too. Consider a walk-through tour or a digital floor plan. 

As you think about renting out your vacation home, remember that reaching as many potential guests as possible is critical to keeping your property occupied with high-quality vacationers. You want to do more than slap a few generic pictures onto your vacation listing. Invest in great photos and you’ll find that you attract great tenants. 

We have an excellent capacity for taking pictures and creating dynamic listings for vacation properties like yours. If you’d like some help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Anchor Down Real Estate & Rentals.