How High-Quality Photography Can Boost YOUR Vacation Rental Property

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They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so what are your vacation rental photos saying about your short-term rental? Do they showcase the best of your property, inspire potential guests to imagine themselves there, and encourage more clicks? If they don’t, they aren’t doing your property justice. In this digital age, where travelers have thousands of options at their fingertips, your property has to stand out – or it just won’t book.

Marketing photographs – pictures of your property – are like curb appeal for the online shopper. They are a key part of vacation rental marketing. They stand out, make your property look its best, make guests feel welcome, and encourage more bookings. And as a short-term vacation rental property owner, aren’t bookings your end goal?! 

We’ve been in the business for decades, so we understand how important high-quality real estate photography is for a property. If your photos are lackluster, dim, and lacking in details, renters will click to the next option. So how important is high-quality photography for your vacation home? It’s key! 

Great property photography allows guests to imagine themselves in your property. They also are a first glimpse into what guests can expect. If your photos are dark and unappealing, guests will assume your property is as well. If the photos are crooked and missing the great details of your property, guests will assume you’ll miss the details during their stay and that they won’t enjoy a great guest experience. 

Thankfully, we have a simple solution. Give your cabin a spruce, have professional photos taken, edit your photos – to honestly show your property as it is – and be sure to focus on the most unique aspects for your guests! Then get ready to welcome guest after guest…

Take Your Photos from Good to GREAT
As we said, photo quality is a representation of property quality to guests. If you think your photos are “just good enough,” that isn’t cutting it. While smartphones can take decent photos, unless you’re seasoned at taking and editing photos in this way, your photos are likely subpar. Staying competitive in this growing vacation market begins with high-quality property photos. 

Think about this: if your property is fantastic in person but isn’t represented that way in the photos, how will guests know? We’ve often seen lesser-value cabins rent more than higher-end properties simply because they invested in high-quality professional photography. This one simple fix can make a big difference in your rental income! 

What are my options?
If you’ve decided that your property’s photos could use a spruce, you can do one of two things. One option is to let us take care of it all, with a professional photoshoot, pro editing, lighting, staging, and more. The second choice is to do it yourself, and while we don’t usually suggest this, we do have some tips if you decide that’s what’s best for you! 

Let the Pros Handle It 
Not up for handling the photo process on your own? No worries! We can take care of everything at Georgia Cabins for YOU. We’ve been showing off fantastic vacation rental properties for years, and we understand what guests want. Our professional photographers know how to get the best shots, which lighting to use, and how to enhance your property and its greatest features. Our professionals also focus on honest editing, creating eye-catching photos that depict your cabin in a way that will leave guests with no surprises (at least not the bad kind!) when they arrive. 

While professional photography is an investment, we believe it’s worth it. You will likely see more bookings in a short period of time, and you may be able to raise your rental rates with a bit of polishing up! When guests see your sharp, vivid photos, they will more easily imagine themselves sipping cocoa by your fireplace, hosting movie nights in the theater room, cooking holiday meals in the cabin kitchen, playing games, and relaxing in the hot tub. And when guests can imagine themselves there, they’re more likely to book so they can have that experience they’re seeking! 

Photography with Georgia Cabins for YOU
When you become part of the Georgia Cabins for YOU family as an owner, you get more than just management. Each new owner receives a brand-new photoshoot for their property, along with pro editing by our on-staff Design & Media Coordinator. You can even add on a Matterport 3D walkthrough of your property, drone photos, and more! Give us a call to find out about pricing and options for YOU.

Do It Yourself | Vacation Rental Photography Tips 
If you’ve had previous photography experience and are confident you can handle it, we have some helpful tips to help you get the most high-quality photos possible.

  • Take your photos on a sunny day, inciting feelings of happiness and warmth. Photos on rainy, cloudy days aren’t as inviting!
  • Choose the best season for your property. Does your property have great mountain views, lots of trees, or a lush valley below? Consider shooting in fall for fantastic colors or getting some winter shots of the snow-covered mountains. Spring and summer always offer lots of lush greenery that makes a property pop!
  • Showcase your property’s best amenities! Highlight the hot tub, game room, theater, cool kids’ room, impressive fireplace, or stunning views. 
  • Don’t overlook the simple things. While you want to showcase the unique amenities of your property, you don’t want to look past the conveniences guests enjoy. Get great shots of the kitchen, laundry area, bathrooms, and parking area so guests can get a real feel for what they’ll experience when they arrive. 
  • Highlight the holidays. If you decorate your property during the holidays, get some great photos of that! Guests love seeing festival fall decor, Christmas decorations, and more. It makes the feel at home! In fact, we have many guests who specifically request a decorated cabin for the holidays! 
  • Stage, stage, stage! Go the extra mile with details to make your property look like home. Set the table, put out a board game, set wine glasses or coffee mugs on the deck with a view, or place a blanket and book on the bed. Staging doesn’t mean you have to hire a an interior designer or buy extra, either. Use the items your property provides to give the guests an idea of what they’ll enjoy when they arrive. 
  • Find different angles! Keep the camera waist high and choose photo angles that best showcase the amenities, floorplan, and spaces. Also, don’t forget to use the right format and size for the website. 
  • Check as you go. Don’t just take a bunch of photos and hope they turn out well. Check your photos as you go so you can reshoot, adjust, and find the best possible image. 
  • Shoot your photos in high-resolution, even if it’s just on your iPhone. 

Honesty in Photography
While you want your photos to shine and make your property look great, you should also be focused on doing so honestly. One great way to ensure bad reviews and unhappy guests is over-editing photos so they don’t look anything like the actual property. Guests do not want to be surprised when they arrive – unless it’s a happy surprise of extra amenities! 

Editing is fine, but be sure that the photos truthfully represent your property. Consider this example: You buy a luxe emerald green sweater online, but when it arrives, it’s a dull green in a completely different fabric. How likely are you to buy from that company again? Not likely. Potential cabin guests feel the same. They’ve worked hard for their vacation money, saved up time, and spent many hours browsing for just the right place to get away in North Georgia. They want to get what they paid for! On the other hand, if the property looks even better in person, your guests will be pleasantly surprised! 

Can I edit honestly? Yes! Don’t add a great view where there isn’t one, crop out undesirable items in your living room, or completely change the look of your property. You could, however, add a lit fireplace or images on the TV to enhance them. 

How to Prep Your Property

Take some time before you begin shooting to get your property prepared. Guests may zoom in to check out the place, and you don’t want to miss the details they’ll notice!

  • Give your property a deep clean and remove extra knick-knacks. 
  • Consider some updates and redecoration that will improve the photos – and your guests’ stays!
  • Turn on the lights, open the curtains, and make sure there is plenty of natural light. 
  • Stage the property with items you have around the home and put away things like remotes and cleaning supplies. 

When should I reshoot? 
Now that you have high-quality photographs, you may be wondering how long you can use them. Reshoots depend on how often you update and redecorate your property, as you want the photos to reflect what’s currently in your property. If you get new games, upgrade all the bedding, change out furniture, or make some awesome additions (or remove a key amenity), you’ll want to reshoot. Based on normal wear and tear, we suggest reshoots about every 3 years. Photography equipment also improves over the years, and this could mean greater quality photos in a few years. Plus, if you’re regularly updating your cabin (as we highly recommend you do), you’ll need new photos to reflect that! 

Ready to take your property to the next level with great photos? Give us a call at 1.800.580.5524 to chat about what we can do for YOU!