Is Your Main Photo Killing Your Profits?

Why is the main photo of the vacation home rentals listings essential for profits?

The vacation rental sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and many more are online websites for renting mostly short-term vacation houses or vacation apartments. These websites are a very popular choice among travelers since the cost of renting a vacation rental home usually is cheaper than booking a hotel.

The properties from the vacation rental websites often provide a feeling of domestic comfort being equipped with all amenities. It is also very helpful in order to get into insights of the local culture. Another benefit is the possibility to contact your host and get personalized services.

For the hosts, the vacation rental websites provide them with an opportunity to make an extra income by offering for rent the space in their house that they don’t use, without putting a huge effort and budget to promote their space, since the hosts of these platforms relay for bookings from the massive organic traffic of the vacation rentals websites.

Also, few of these websites are coming with extra tools and services. For example TurnKey offers full-service property management for the ease and hassle-free management of the vacation rental listings, this is important because as a vacation rental host of a property listed in one of the major vacation rental sites, it is quite clear that you need to do some cleaning and organizing after a guest checks out.

However, along with all the advantages of using Airbnb, HomeAway, VBRO, TurnKey or any other vacation rentals websites, you don’t have to relay only to the organic traffic of the platforms, as a host there are some certain aspects which you can do to achieve a greater success and make your listing more attractive to the travelers.

Can’t you judge a book by its cover?

The travelers and your potential customers do since a picture is worth a thousand words’. This is true to a great extent. Particularly, in marketing your rental place, the more beautiful photos you use, the more travelers you can attract. The first impression at Airbnb or any other vacation rentals website is the main photo you choose to use. When the main photo is of low resolution, has a bad lighting, taken on the wrong side or made on the wrong mode it can help to lose potential customers.

So, let’s have a look at a few tips on how to make the main photo of your property better and a vacation home listing worth checking.

The main vacation rentals photo has to be always in landscape

vacation rentals photo

It is necessary to make sure that all the photos you will be using will always be in landscape orientation, never post photos in portrait mode especially the main photo of your listing. This might be a small detail but it makes a huge difference. Photos in portrait orientation may seem a bit strange. If the photo is taller it lacks a valuable space. Another reason is that the listing website can crop such a photo and at the end, it will look very poor. For websites like Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and many more the main vacation rentals photo serve as banners and they are very important because they attract valuable traffic.


Concentrate on the quality and clarity of the main photo

vacation rentals photo

The quality and clarity of the main vacation rentals photo is a key element in grabbing the attention of the travelers. It is important to make sure that your main photo is well balanced and not too busy, bright and of high resolution. As it was mentioned the photo is the first thing people see before choosing their preferred vacation rental home, so it is vital to have a well balanced and bright photo of your property as your main photo.

PRO TIP #1: Use a tripod.
Putting your photo camera or phone on a tripod allows you to steady the camera and be more conscious about creating your composition. First, you can take a quick test shot and review it, then you can make adjustments for the final perfect shot. Don’t forget to try to re-position the camera or change the lenses, make the necessary adjustments by changing or moving the furnishings and objects in the room your target is to create the perfectly balanced composition and shoot the most pleasing photo main photo of your property.


Play with colors and contrasts

vacation rentals photo

It goes without saying that the main vacation rentals photo has to have something catchy. Traditionally the vacation rental rooms are monotone and mostly white, try to add some color in the room and keep it tight and clean as you take the photo.

PRO TIP #2: Use correct lighting.
When taking photos of your property, finding the right light for your purpose can be a little tricky. As with many things in photography, the time of day you take your photos effects how your photos turn out. Attempting to set a more romantic or serious mood for your vacation home listing? Schedule your shoot for the evening. On the contrary, if you’re looking to show off the high-energy of your vacation home listing, you’ll want to utilize natural light and open those window blinds for a morning shoot.


Make your main photo an ambassador

vacation rentals photo

Not every vacation rentals photo can be a lead one. The task of such kind of picture is to provide expression for the viewer. Most hosts choose to show an exterior photo of their vacation rental home as their main listing photo to show to the traveler the beautiful location/nature around the property. However, if the property is quite old or the surroundings are not in your favor, you can use a well-balanced photo of the living room. Sometimes it looks really beautiful and provides the feelings of design touch. If there is a yard or a pool it would also be an advantage. Better to make a trial photo shoot and share it with friends and make a collective choice what is better.

PRO TIP #3: Shoot straight on.
Try to set your camera straight and not tilt it up or down. When you tilt the camera, the vertical lines in the photo get distorted, which won’t look professional. For a strong composition, shoot straight onto an elevation of a room or building. To do this, you want the camera sensor to be parallel to your subject. The result is often a more pleasing photo that has a nice, graphic feeling.

Get to know the competitors

Each major and minor city around the world is represented by hosts on the vacation rentals websites offering numerous options for vacation home/spaces. There is a strong competition so it is essential to know what is listed in your area what they have and what they do better. We strongly recommend you to make a research on what kind of “main photo” did your competitors choose to use. This will give you deeper understanding and knowledge of your competition and will help you to stand out from the crowd by choosing to be different.

To conclude what was mentioned before it is important to be unique. However, let’s not forget about quality and sizing of the main photos as it is the main “eye candy” of your listing. Don’t forget to pay full attention to these aspects and make your vacation rental home look outstanding and nice. Always remember that the composition of the photo, the lighting and resolution can help you bring more travelers to your vacation rentals home. Furthermore, if you are don’t feel comfortable taking photos, you can also hire a professional photographer to photo shot your property for you.

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