People do not book houses, they book pictures of houses. It's unbelievable when an owner will spend hundreds of thousands on a property, then tens of thousands on a remodel to make their property look amazing, and then take pictures with their cell phone to post online. The people considering renting your property have never been there and in all likeliness will not visit prior to making their final booking decision. Their decision of what they think your property is worth is based nearly entirely on the photos they look at online. After making a decision on location and amenities, potential guests go online looking at two things; RATES and PHOTOS. Your photos tell them if your home is worth the price when compared to other units. If the photos do not capture your feelings about how amazing your property is, then you need new photos!
Even though the bottom unit is a higher price, the photos make you feel like it's worth it.
Both of these dining/living areas feature granite counter tops, a nice dining set, and an appealing yard, but the bottom photo was taken by a professional photographer with great lighting and staging. You can guess which property will get the most bookings.
Don't go cheap, but don't spend an arm and a leg either. Look around for professional photographers that have experience shooting properties and request sample photos. A great portfolio is a must. What a photographer has shot in the past will give you an idea of what they will shoot in the future. Staging a shoot for when the weather is good and the home is staged is a MUST. BIt's also important that your photographer uses a wide-angle lens. Shooting a bathroom with a standard lens just will not show the entire bathroom space. Also if your property has amazing views from the windows, discuss this with the photographer and make sure they can get shots that can capture those views. This is usually done via a technique called HDR photography or combined exposures. Essentially the photographer takes one photo of the window with perfect exposure and focus on the scenery outside. They then take another photo that perfectly captures the lighting and exposure in the house. The two photos are then combined creating a perfect photo that shows both inside and the amazing views outside.
The outside looks good, but the inside is too dark.
Now the inside looks good, but the outside is too bright.
So you combine the two photos and "bam" you get perfect exposure for both inside and outside.
Owners who understand the importance of marketing understand that property photos must be amazing! Don't make the mistake of undervaluing photography when it comes to creating great listings. Look at the other properties in the area people are considering and ensure that your photos are top notch, and if possible, even better than the rest. Then, sit back and enjoy an increased number of bookings.