For the first time ever here at Short Term Stays, we are sharing a little bit of rental industry wisdom from someone else’s perspective, and it comes from the genuine and wonderful Karen Spencer from www.thebusinessofholidayrental.com. Karen is a holiday home consultant, helping holiday home owners to create, to grow and to maximise the potential in their holiday rental to earn more. Check out her website right here for more insight on how to improve and get the most out of your rental. Now, let’s find out how to prepare for a photo session of your home.
We all know the benefits of having professional photographs taken of your holiday rental. It’s an investment and you will use the images to showcase and market your holiday property online day after day.
To maximise the end result and to get the images looking their best there are things you must do before the photographer arrives. The photographer’s job is to take the picture, your job is to present and stage the property first.
- Clean Everything
Ensure a thorough clean is carried out. Don’t assume that the camera won’t capture the dust under the sofa that’s only visible from a certain angle – it will.
Don’t think that the leaves on the patio won’t be visible through the window – they will be. Don’t take any chances like this when a simple clean (both internal and external) is all that’s needed.
Pay particular attention to windows – get them gleaming to maximise the natural light coming into your property and also make sure bathroom and kitchen taps and appliances are sparkling.
- De-personalize and De-clutter
When guests are looking to book with you, they need to know that the space they are renting is theirs to enjoy and you need to show them this in your images. You need to remove any personal photographs or personal items that will not be for guest’s use.
Before the camera clicks, de-clutter surfaces. In the bathroom remove any half used bottles of shampoo and hide the toilet roll brush (no-one needs to see this). In the kitchen only leave essential items on the worktop such as a kettle, toaster and utensil pot.
As with cleaning, take a systematic, room by room approach to depersonalising and decluttering.
- Pets and Children
If you’re targeting owners with pets you may want to take a few shots of dogs enjoying their time on holiday. Be sensitive though to guests who don’t have pets, so no pictures of dogs on the bed or on the sofa. A dog enjoying a walk nearby is preferable.
If you’re child-friendly then do show this is some of your photographs. Get some images taken with the books and toys that you provide and if you have any outdoor play equipment don’t forget these. Such images are key in attracting parents to book with you.
- The Detail
Take time to get the detail right for each shot. This is known as “staging”.
Plump up cushions on the sofa and neatly arrange the scatter cushions. Methodically straighten duvet covers and bed throws. Arrange fresh flowers in a vase. Ensure curtains are hung straight, chairs are neatly set around the table, placemats are aligned. If you forget such details you’ll spot them straight away in the photograph. So be very methodical in your approach and look at your property one angle at a time to ensure nothing is missed.
- Set the Scene
You need to think in advance of what shots you plan to use in your marketing and set up the props accordingly. Take for example your welcome hamper. As well as the goodies themselves, you will need to position the teacups, teapot, milk jug etc that will sit alongside your welcome tray goodies in the photograph
If you have a log burning fire, stove or fire pit ensure you get photographs taken of this alight. So make sure you have a supply of logs and matches so this can happen. Set fizz glasses in front of it too, to really set the scene and sell the lifestyle a holiday with you affords your guests
If relaxing in a bath tub is a key feature of your holiday rental then fill it with water, pour in some bubbles and get a photograph of that, with your complimentary toiletries and fluffy towels in the foreground.
Externally set the scene for summer with sun loungers, beach towels, fruit juice on a tray, to show guests how they can enjoy your outdoor space.
A small amount of work and preparation in advance of the photography will reap rewards. Your amazing photographs will show off your property to its absolute best. You’ll stand out from the crowd and get noticed by future guests.
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