The key to boosting your short-term rental success

The key to boosting your short-term rental success
September 5, 2023 Sierra Freeman

The key to boosting your short-term rental success

What’s the key to getting as many as 20% more bookings and 20% more revenue for a short-term rental? It all comes down to photography that immediately grabs the viewer’s attention and shows off the rental experience. In addition to years of shooting short-term rentals, some of our photographers at Open Homes have also participated in Airbnb’s Pro Photo Program. Our Visual Artists know how to grab attention within the first few images and advertise an awesome guest experience – both of which contribute to rental success. Wondering how else photography helps your rental bring in the bookings?

1. Professional photography helps your rental stand out

The first hurdle when it comes to bringing in the bookings is the sheer volume of rentals on the market. Visit Airbnb’s website and you’ll see pages and pages of properties – over 6 million, in fact! How is your rental supposed to cut through the noise and stand out? Michael Elefante seems to have found the answer. He owns 7 Airbnb properties in Tennessee and makes a profit of $60,000 each month. He says one of his biggest mistakes when he first started out was using iPhone photos for his Airbnb listings. His advice? Leave it to the professionals. “Photos are everything,” he writes for Business Insider: “Even the best property can get passed up by thousands of potential guests if the first photo on your listing is poor quality.” In other words, it’s not enough to have any old photos of the Airbnb. Your listing’s first photo needs to be so good that a person will click on it after seeing just one small thumbnail in a very large gallery.

2. Professional photography lets your guests know what to expect

Guests want to feel confident about where they’ll be staying and having a trustworthy, highly-rated photography company can help sell them on your rental.

In the same way buyers appreciate seeing photos before they commit to touring a home, good marketing materials help potential guests know what to expect before they book. You can manage expectations by using accurate photos, which may also lower the chances of canceling bookings or giving negative reviews. Good, accurate photos will help ensure that guests will already have a good understanding of whether the rental will work for their needs. They’ll already know the type of experience they’re likely to have, and be excited about it!

3. Professional photography is rated as one of the most important features on a website

You’d never buy a house without seeing it in person or at least seeing photos of it. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 87% of home buyers surveyed felt that photos were actually one of the most important features on a property website. While that statistic refers to home buyers specifically, it also rings true for renters who want to see photos of where they will be staying.

Showing, not telling, is extremely important for short-term rentals. What’s more compelling: text listing the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities, or a beautiful photo collection of the gathering spaces, the keyless entry, a TV with streaming services, and everything guests might need to make a great cup of coffee in the morning? 

Our photographers understand that photographing a rental means capturing the features that will define a guest’s stay.The photos need to sell guests on the lodging and the experience they’ll have while staying at their home-away-from-home; professional photography can help achieve just that.

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