As a holiday rental owner you’re well aware of the importance of displaying quality photos on your website.
Photos that do your property justice. That appeal to your target audience. That encourage them to stay on your website a while longer. That entice them to make a booking.
Yes – your holiday let photos do have the power to do all of these things…
… assuming they’re good.
Some holiday let owners make the mistake of thinking that whizzing round their property with a smartphone snapping each room will be enough. Often overlooking the outdoor areas, or at best, taking a quick shot as they leave.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a property in an extremely desirable area with limited rental options, that may be the case. But those are few and far between.
These days, competition is rife.
Your holiday rental must stand out. And the best ways to do that are:
- Quality photos
- Engaging text
For now, we’ll focus on photos.
We’ve talked about staging photos before, and have even been fortunate enough to get some expert tips from professional photographer Sarah Kay.
So if you’ve followed that advice, the photos of your holiday let should already showcase your accommodation in its best light.
But all too often we see holiday let websites that are let down by their photos.
Some showcase plenty of interior photos – some of which are nicely staged, others not – but it’s rare that we see the same care and attention going into the outdoor shots.
And if that sounds like your holiday let website, you’re missing out on a BIG ‘selling’ opportunity.
Be it summer or winter, guests staying at any holiday let are either going to want to spend time outdoors, or going to want to spend time looking outdoors.
So they’ll want to see what your property offers them – outside, as well as in.
Put it this way, if you were looking at websites for two similar properties, one had stunning outdoor photos and the other didn’t, which one would you choose?
With this in mind, here are seven simple suggestions for your outdoor photos that will maximise appeal and encourage those enquiries:
1. Take the shot at dawn or dusk
Or as professional photographers call it – The Golden Hour.
Why is this a good time to take outdoor shots?
Because the sun is at its lowest making the natural light soft and more flattering. There is also less contrast, so you’re less likely to lose parts of your photo in shadows.
2. Switch on the exterior and interior lights
When taking a photo of the property itself, again capture the shot at dawn or dusk for better lighting, but also ensure that both interior and exterior lighting is switched on.
This makes the property look more inviting and welcoming by adding extra warmth to the shot.
3. Add hanging baskets, plants, fairy lights
Imagine arriving at your property for the first time, can any improvements be made to increase its appeal?
For example, put up some hanging baskets next to the front door. Or perhaps fairy lights in the porch or around the balcony.
Then take a photo.
A little imagination could turn your holiday rental into a romantic hideaway or creative retreat, brought to life through clever photos on your website.
4. Jazz up the garden
Whether you’ve got an acre of land or a compact practical space, make sure it’s in tip top condition before taking the shot.
If you’ve got a beautiful garden, take the photo when it’s in full bloom. And perhaps another under a heavy frost in winter – both will look enticing.
If your outdoor space is small and practical, make sure it’s neat and tidy with some potted plants and one main focal point e.g. cute bistro style table and chairs.
5. Stage the perfect alfresco dining
Really capture the mind of your guest by creating the perfect outdoor entertaining area.
Setup a table with a few tapas dishes and glasses of wine ready for a stunning sunset.
Or perhaps, get a BBQ on the go with plenty of delicious treats …
Think of what your guests will want to do when holidaying at your accommodation and paint a picture – the easiest way to appeal to the senses.
6. Got a USP?
If your property has a swimming pool, hot tub, tennis court, ocean views, fitness centre, or something else equally unique, make sure you’re flaunting a photo of it on your website.
But don’t just take a quick pic.
Remember the point of this exercise – capturing the best photo to entice your website visitors to make a booking.
So stage the shot.
Got a swimming pool? Put a couple of sun loungers, umbrella and table next to it with a jug of iced water, a book and a pair of flip flops.
Got a hot tub? Switch it on and place a couple of G&T’s alongside.
And it’s here that ‘normal’ rules can be disregarded … slightly. For example, you may find the shot portrays the USP better with people in it – a couple relaxing in the hot tub, or a four playing tennis.
But if you do decide to use people in your photos, make sure they look natural – ideally not looking directly at the camera.
Above all, make sure they add to the idea for the shot. If they don’t, leave them out.
7. Family-friendly rental?
Whilst you don’t want to have kids games thrown all-round the place messing up your photos, if a large part of your target market are families, you should show how you cater to them visually.
Simply allocate a section of your outdoor space as kid-friendly with a selection of fun games to keep them amused.
This meets the children’s needs and lets the parents know that they have their own space – something I’m sure most parents will appreciate!
Now take a look at the outdoor photos on your website.
Do they do your holiday rental justice? Are they enticing enough? Would you want to holiday there?
If not, take some new ones.
Try taking them in different seasons, different light, different weather conditions. And set up some simple staging to really capture the imagination of your potential guests.
Good quality photos of the exterior of your accommodation are as important as those of the interior.
Make sure yours are exceptional.