Archives For Photography

cat eyesThe average traveler will visit between 3-5 vacation rental websites, and inquire about 7 different properties, according to data from FlipKey. To make the shortlist, you need to do one critical thing: Get their attention!

That doesn’t mean SCREAM AND SHOUT at travelers with all caps, use lots of exclamation marks!! or even post photos of cute little kitties to make them swoon. It means putting together a great listing that speaks directly to your target traveler.

The real competition starts with the search results. If you’re updating an existing listing, take a minute to search for yours and see what kind of “first” impression it makes. If you’re feeling too biased, show a friend and see what they think.

Just yesterday I was asked to look at a great vacation rental in Maui. Their listing title said “true beachfront property” which was compelling to me as a traveler. One time I stayed at a hotel that said “beachfront” only to find a busy, 2-lane street intersecting my room and the beach. But, with their title in place, the first shot that appeared in the search results was a photo of the bedroom. Not exactly the beachfront I was envisioning.

All of the items that typically appear in the search results are pulled from your listing (you can’t customize them separately), so be sure to keep these in mind when creating your listing.

  • A small photo of the property (approx 1.5” wide x 1” tall)
  • The headline
  • Basic details (i.e. number of rooms, max occupancy, rates)
  • The number of reviews received, maybe including star rating
  • A very brief summary (i.e. the first sentence of your description)

Continue Reading…

YouTubeOnce you’ve decided to invest in video to show off your vacation rental, you’ll run into your next consideration: Where those videos should ‘live’ online.

When you add video to your website, the actual video file needs to be saved somewhere. You basically have two options:

  1. Save it to your own web server, with your other website files (i.e. pictures, documents, etc.). Unless you have the technical skills to understand what you’re doing, this option means a lot of work that’s not necessary.
  2. Save it using a third-party service. This solution isn’t just more straightforward, it also makes it easier for people to find your videos without visiting your website first (i.e. finding it via search engines, like Google or Bing, instead).

There are different video hosting services available, like Vimeo, but YouTube is still the leader in this space — and the service we’ll focus on for this article. Continue Reading…

video cameraYou already know that photos of your vacation home are important for booking guests: At least 84 percent of travelers go to your website looking for photos of your rooms and facilities.

But have you thought about video?

Video is often seen as photography’s flashy and demanding cousin with expensive tastes — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, especially when it comes to promoting a business like your vacation rental, a video still needs to look good. However, as frequent YouTube viewers can attest to, a good video doesn’t have to be costly or complex.

How popular is online video these days? There are more than four billion videos watched every day on YouTube, and 72 hours of video uploaded every minute — staggering numbers that make YouTube the second largest site on the web, even if it’s not the only video service available.

You don’t need to reach out to the masses, however; you just need to connect in a meaningful way with the dozens of visitors who may book your vacation rental over the next year or two. Continue Reading…

professional photoFor the fifth day of MyVR Marketing Tips, schedule a photo shoot for your rental property — with yourself or somebody else behind the lens.

You should already have high-quality photos that accurately reflect the quality and decor of your home. However, unless these photos are relatively recent, they can become dated over time as you repaint walls, replace a piece of furniture or two, or rearrange the backyard.

Good photos are arguably the most critical piece of your marketing tools. HomeAway recommends these seven must-have vacation rental photos for your promotional materials:

  • View
  • Exterior
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Master bedroom
  • Each additional bedroom
  • Outdoor amenities

HomeAway recommends against bathroom shots, unless yours is particularly spectacular, and suggests you don’t overdo it with the scenery shots.

If you still have a great set of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) photos, look for new images to add to your selection. Perhaps you could add a few photos of the local community, or highlight different features on your property?

While you don’t want to overdo it, you also want to ensure your rental is well represented; According to Flipkey, travelers are 83 percent more likely to make an inquiry on your property listing if you have more than 20 photos.

Choose your best photos and add as many as you can to any websites where you promote your vacation rental.

References:

 

This post is part of our 12 Days of Vacation Rental Marketing series. Subscribe to the blog and we’ll send you an email each day with a new post.

photo credit: Images by Ora

Bike Riding Niche Vacation Rental TravelTravelers have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation – vacation rentals are just one of them. Getting your property to jump off a page of search results is no small feat.

What if you could position your rental in a way that maximized your efforts and did a better job of attracting your ideal renter, while possibly increasing your income? Experienced marketers advocate an approach that does just that: Niche marketing.

A niche market is a distinct group of people within a larger group of potential customers. Many consumers aren’t even aware of the rental home market yet, which makes vacation home renters a distinct group of travelers already.

However, people are always on the lookout for accommodations and destinations that meet their particular needs. That’s your opportunity. Continue Reading…

The easiest way to get amazing photos of your vacation rental is to hire a professional photographer. But, for whatever reason (cost, time, budding photography skills, etc.) you may still decide to do it yourself. Since I did not get the expert photog gene, I decided to gather up the best tips from around the web to help you get the most out of your next photo session.

Travelers Do Judge a Book by It’s Cover

Quote MarkYou have just about 30 seconds to nab the attention of a traveler trying to find the perfect place for their upcoming trip.  So it’s incredibly important you choose a photo of your property that stands out in a crowd.

Source: Tripping

PanaViz Professionally Staged Photo

PanaViz professionally staged photo

Stage Your Rental

Quote MarkVacation homes are an alternative to hotels, and hotels usually have fabulous photos that are immaculately styled and photographed. Vacation owners can do the same, endeavoring to keep the images real. Hotels may have restrictions on props and amount of staging, but rentals are homes. People will lounge in them, cook in them; take leisurely baths and more. Stage the rentals to reflect these homely comforts. We suggest that you style your homes with items that come with the rental such as the tableware, adding extras such as a small flower arrangement and fresh fruit.

Source: PanaViz

Continue Reading…