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Lachlan Kraemer By Lachlan Kraemer • July 10, 2017

Professional photography: a deciding factor in booking short term stays

In real estate, image is everything. A poorly showcased property will never attract as much attention as a well-styled and professionally shot property because by it just doesn't look as interesting. When it comes to short-term rentals, photography is arguably even more important because your property is constantly being showcased constantly to hundreds of potential guests looking to book somewhere to stay. 

Why professional photography?

Photography is crucial for a short-term rental listing because the first impression that a guest will form of your property comes almost entirely from the photos. This plays a central role in their decision whether or not to book your property. Having professional photos of your property puts it a but above the competition.

Why?

They are more engaging

Think about it: when someone views the list of available properties in a certain location, each listing has two things they can use to evaluate it - the title of the listing and the photos. Of those two things, the photos will be by far the most attention-grabbing part. Humans are visual creatures - 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual and we process images an astonishing 60,000x faster than we process text (source). This means that a striking photo will capture someone's attention much faster than anything else on a listing.

They convert more

Airbnb has statistics to show that listings with professional photos convert on average twice as well as those which do not. In other words, listings that have professional photos get twice as many bookings as those that don't (source - number 3). 

Professional photography considerations

There are a lot of considerations that go into a professional photo shoot of a home. The purpose of the photos will determine how they are staged. For example, photography of a property being listed for long-term rental is more functional, with the purpose being to highlight the features of the property from the perspective of someone looking to live there. Photography for a short-term rental property is more like an interior design shoot, with the point being to create a sense of warmth and intimacy with someone looking at the photos so they feel a connection to the property and want to stay there.

Lighting

Lighting is really important when it comes to a photo shoot of a property. A professional photographer will always tell you when you make a booking with them that their services are weather-dependent. This sounds weird given that they work inside, but what they mean is that if it turns out to be a cloudy and dull day, their services will be pointless. Bright, clear, sunny days not only make the background of the photos look better, but it brings out the colours and the contrast inside as well and makes the photos much more visually striking to look at.

Staging

The contents of the photo are also very important. Too much empty space (blank walls, empty floor space, etc.) makes a room look empty, cold and uninviting. At the other end of the spectrum, a room that is too crowded looks busy and cluttered and people don't want to stay somewhere that looks messy. A room that is well-staged and photographed from a good angle looks far warmer and more inviting.

The angle and scope of the photo are key in making a room look warm and intimate. Cropping the photo to make sure that the space is framed well by the contents of the room can make it feel more intimate and more spacious.

Compare these photos:

An example of a bad photograph to showcase a room for short term stays
An example of a good photograph to showcase a room for short term stays

 

The difference between the photos is clear - the second is clearly more engaging and welcoming than the first. The blank white backdrop of the wall with nothing to fill it makes the room feel cold and featureless, whereas in the second photo the staircase and wine rack break up the monotony and make the room look more interesting. The more eagle-eyed among you may have already noticed that they are in fact two different photos of the same room!

Similarly with the two pictures below, the framing and scope of the photos makes a big difference. They are obviously the same room, but the photo on the right makes the room look a little larger and brighter, while the door at the back looks bigger and lets in more natural light.

Distance is a key consideration for professional photography for short term stays
Distance is a key consideration for professional photography for short term stays

 

How we do it

Here at MadeComfy, we are aware of how much is involved in managing a successful short-term rental listing. Every single one of our properties is styled by a professional home stylist and then photographed by a professional real estate photographer. We have our own in-house stylists, as well as an established network of professional photographers. The results speak for themselves - check out our Facebook page to see posts of some of our properties that speak for themselves! When it comes to managing the actual guest experience, we have extensive hospitality expertise there as well to make sure you secure 5-star reviews. However, as the expression goes: well begun is half done. A well-staged and professionally photographed property sets up the guest for a great experience right from the very start.

MadeComfy provides an end-to-end property management service, which means property owners don’t need to do a thing when they hand over their keys. MadeComfy makes the process of earning greater returns from short-term renting effortless, achieving up to 40% more than long-term rentals and self-managed Airbnb listings. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

short term rental report