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How to Hook a Potential Guest with Amazing Vacation Rental Photos

Are you leaving money on the table with bad photos of your vacation rental?

Vacation rental photos are the number one most important thing you can do for your listing. Are your photo attracting or repelling your potential guests?

We only have a couple seconds to grab a potential guest's attention and really photos are what's going to draw them in. So today, I am going to provide three signs that it's time to update your existing photos, and I'll give you four tips you can implement for your next photo shoot.

Three signs to look for to know if it's time for new photos...

Sign #1: Bad Quality

This is pretty self-explanatory, but basically if your photos are dark or blurry, you definitely want a new photo shoot to make sure your photos are bright, light and airy.

Sign #2: Your Photos are Not Staged

If your home looks a little cluttered, a little messy or bare - it's time to get some staged photos. Taking the extra time to stage your photo will really help you home look polished and desirable.

Sign #3: The Quantity is Wrong

Airbnb will display up to 100 photos and Home Away will display up to 50, but just because they allow that many doesn't mean that you actually need to use that many. The ideal number here is about 30 photos and will nicely capture your home without boring the potential guest.

Did any of these signs indicated it's time for you to do a new photo shoot? If so, I have three tips to keep in mind when you improve your vacation rental photography.

Tip #1: Clean and Stage

As I mentioned earlier, but this is where you really want to thoroughly clean the home before you have your shoot. This include windows, counter tops, mirrors, etc. as you want your home to be sparkling clean.

When it comes to staging, that you go through and you open up all of the blinds, get as much natural light as you can, and then just try to do a few staging items. It doesn't have to be that every room of the house is staged, but you can do things like throw blanket on the couch, and some magazines on the coffee table. You could put a wine glass and a cheese board out on your patio table.

Basically, you just want to make the home look cozy and lived in and let that potential guest envision themselves in your home.

Tip #2: Select the Right Number of Photos

You'll want select around 30 photos and arrange them so that it's in the order that you would walk through your house. You kind of want your photos to have a natural flow.

You wouldn't want to go from the kitchen to bedroom one, to the living room to bedroom two. You want to have kind of your main living areas first, and then move into showing all of the bedrooms and then move to outside. So something that has a nice flow to it.

Tip #3: Choose Your Cover Photo Carefully

This is so important because this goes back to you only have a couple seconds to really grab that potential guest's attention from the feed, where they're looking at hundreds of other listings along with yours.

You might need to experiment with this a little bit, but you want to find the picture that really captures your home the best. This could be an exterior shot with a lake view or something that makes your home special. You want to kind of zone in on what's that one photo that really captures what's special about your home.

Tip #4: Hire a Professional Photographer

I can personally say we waited way too long to do this. Yes, I took photos with my iPhone 7 and they worked fine, but hiring a professional photographer was really a game changer, and just something I highly recommend to every single client. It will definitely pay for itself.


You have seconds to make a strong first impression and quality photos are a fantastic way to draw interest so that the potential guest clicks on your listings.

Let me know in the comments...will you be updating your vacation rental photos?


Need a Little Marketing Help with your Vacation Rental?

Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap

Whether you're just getting started with your vacation rental or you've been in the game for a few years but need a little help with the marketing, I'd love to help you on your journey.

That's why I created the Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap.

This is a seven-step guide to help you walk through all of the essentials that you need to do when setting up an optimized listing (as well as the most common mistakes I see vacation rental homeowners making).

Grab your free copy of the Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap.

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