The Role of Professional Photography in Maximizing Short-Term Rental Appeal

Property Manager Tips
The Role of Professional Photography in Maximizing Short-Term Rental Appeal

Visuals matter when it comes to marketing, especially in real estate. Just as real estate agencies arrange online photo galleries for potential buyers, short-term rental managers should use compelling imagery to display their properties on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other vacation rental sites.

An experienced photographer with a strong portfolio knows how to position your property and furnishings to appeal to travelers of all kinds. A well-designed image presentation makes all the difference in increasing your rental revenue.

Why Do I Need a Rental Photographer for My Short-Term Rental Property?

A professional photographer can help drive interest in a short-term rental property in several ways.

More Bookings

Short-term rental photography is potentially the biggest driver in increasing bookings. A rental listing with strong imagery stands out among the competition without photos. Using compelling visuals is the best way to showcase your unit and spur interest.

More Income

With more bookings comes more revenue. That’s the bottom line for every business. In short-term rental photography, the images generate more interest and bookings, increasing your revenue as a result.

First Impressions Matter

In all likelihood, your rental property’s front photo will be the first thing prospective renters see. The most arresting, eye-catching visuals generate a sense of excitement. While rental owners may be able to take a decent photograph, a professional photographer has the experience to know which approaches work the best.

High-Quality, Reusable Assets

Professional rental property photos can be used in several places. They’re easily replicable across the biggest rental platforms and create a sense of consistency in your visual strategy. 

You can easily edit your images for distribution on Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other high-profile sites, as well as any other online profiles you manage.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Rental Photos?

A professional photographer for your short-term rental properties can unlock several benefits.

Higher Rental Rates

According to an Airbnb study, short-term rental listings with professional imagery charge up to 26% more in booking rates than listings with poor or no photographs. That’s because potential renters can see what they’re getting and are happy to pay more for what they know they’ll get.

Showcasing the Rental’s Best Features

Professional photographers think in terms of framing. While amateur photographers may simply take shots of each room on the property, a professional knows how to arrange the settings to attract more eyeballs. They’ll be able to catch the panoramic view from your property’s deck or the comfort of a well-furnished living room.

Saving Time and Effort

Short-term rental property managers are busy enough without stopping to take photos of all their properties. A professional photographer will likely capture better shots more quickly and give you time to run and expand your business.

Boosting Your Listing

Competition can be fierce on short-term rental sites. Managers need to take whatever actions are necessary to make their listings stand out from the crowd. Images always improve a web page’s search rankings and visibility, and white pages with insufficient imagery may get skipped over. For your social media channels, professional photography is a must.

How to Book a Rental Photographer

Here are some considerations and actions to take when you’re ready to have your rental property photographed for posterity.

Schedule at a Convenient Time

Look for a window of time between rentals to take photographs of your property. It’s a good idea to allow at least two hours for a professional photographer to take pictures of your property. Larger units may take an hour or two longer to photograph. Keep tabs on the weather, especially if you’re planning on outdoor shots.

Arrange Space Carefully

Prospective renters like to get an idea of the space they’ll have. Arrange major furniture and fixtures to give an impression of comfort and ample free space.

Draw Up a Shot List

There may be features of your property that you want to make sure are highlighted. List some specific features and angles you want the photographer to capture. They’ll know how to bring out the best aspects of your property.

Research Prospective Photographers

Check out the portfolios of any potential photographers to make sure their style matches the look you want. Also, ensure they know any pertinent regulations, such as whether they must obtain permits if they plan to use drones for certain photos. 

How Much Does Rental Photography Cost?

Photographers can charge clients by the hour, property size, and how many deliverables they’ll produce. There are no set fees, but you’ll generally pay more for the most qualified photographers. Allow for a budget of at least $200 for experienced real estate photographers, possibly $300 for those most in demand.

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Grace is the Chief of Staff at Safely and a licensed insurance agent. She began her journey at the company over a year ago in the Customer Happiness department, where she learned the ins and outs of the customer experience, getting to know Safely’s customer base and exploring Safely’s value proposition in the market. Grace was asked to step into the Chief of Staff role in 2023 and spends her time working on company-wide initiatives including investor relations, compliance, and expansion. Outside of working hours, you can find her trying new restaurants with her husband, walking her dog along the river, and exploring the city of Atlanta.

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