Photos of your short-term rentals 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 a labor-intensive, expensive complement to the standard vacation rental photographs you need — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When it comes to promoting a business like your vacation rental, a video definitely needs to look good. However, as frequent YouTube users can attest, a good video doesn’t have to be costly or complex.

How popular is online video these days? There are almost 5 billion videos watched every day on YouTube, and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute — staggering numbers that make YouTube one of the largest sites 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 visitors who are searching for a short-term rental similar to yours.

For example, watch how this MyVR customer uses video to creatively portray his beautiful property, Pocket Full of Shells, and make it real for the viewer.

Getting the right information

Video gives you a dynamic way to draw people into what life at your vacation rental is like.

Video allows you to harness a unique sense of personality and hospitality that you want to impart to your guests before they even step foot on your property.

It’s qualities like these that can make the choice easy when travelers are evaluating a wide selection of options, but they’re often hard to capture in still photos.

What makes a great video?

Here are four tips to creating effective videos for your short-term rental:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Short is better
  3. Inform, educate, and entertain
  4. Target your audience

1. Keep it simple

Chances are, your vacation rental can “speak for itself”, so try to keep any speaking in your video to a minimum. Whatever you say should add to what the video shows, not distract people from what they’re seeing.

2. Short is better

Keep your video between 2-5 minutes. Anything longer than that and you will risk boring your prospects. Besides, you want to keep them wanting more! Try to balance giving people a great introduction to your property and neighborhood against the fact that people have increasingly short attention spans.

3. Inform, educate, and entertain

Figure out what message you want your video to communicate, and make sure the result is either informative, educational or entertaining. If your video doesn’t do at least one of these three things, it won’t be helpful to you — or, more importantly, your potential guests.

4. Target your audience

Creating a video is all about your potential guests and showing what you can offer them.

Think about the things that draw people to both the area and your property:

  • Tell the story of your home. Does it have a history? What made you fall in love with it?
  • Show off your space, including any rooms, facilities and outdoor areas.
  • Highlight the features that make it special: Privacy? Proximity to hot tourist spots?
  • Introduce the best of the neighborhood, like local cafes, markets, or parks.
  • Remind people of local attractions.

Video doesn't just complement your photos, it makes your properties come alive. Showing guests what their vacation could look like in an interactive manner is incredibly engaging and can break up the monotony of flipping through other listings' photos. Consider adding video to captivate guests and keepm them coming back!

Your description and photos may be what draw people in, but adding video to your marketing will get guests on your calendar.