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Wow Your Prospective Guests with a Unique Thumbnail Photo

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Created on: Aug 28, 2009 12:53 PM by community-editor - Last Modified:  Feb 21, 2011 9:52 AM by community-editor
Many vacation rental listing sites will display a thumbnail photo in the search results to give travelers an at-a-glance look at the properties in a certain area. These photos are often the deciding factor of whether a traveler will click your listing to learn more about your home. It can be difficult to convey all that your home has to offer in a 1x2 inch photo, but because this is often the first impression of your home, it’s crucial that you select the best possible photo to display as your thumbnail.

Taking the perfect photograph of your vacation rental property is especially difficult if you own a condo. While it may be tempting to use a photo of the exterior of your complex or the shared pool, be aware that other owners in your area may be doing the same.

Take a look at these listings in the same complex in Destin, Florida:


While the photos may not be identical, they're similar enough that a prospective renter might get confused. If you see that other owners in your area have selected to use similar photos for their thumbnails, try to choose something different to stand out.

Vacation homes in winter regions may run across the same problem for winter photos. After a while, a bunch of houses under a fresh coat of snow all start to look the same!
 
 

If you have your heart set on an exterior photo for your thumbnail, be sure to feature the interesting architectural elements of your home, like a stone chimney or large entryway.

Another thumbnail pitfall you may want to avoid is the generic beach or sunset photo:
 

If you own a vacation home right on the beach, we know you must have many gorgeous shots of the ocean. However, your thumbnail photo is where you want to brag about your home instead of the area. Besides, this beach could really be anywhere. Travelers want know why they should book your property.

The good news is the thumbnail photo does not have to be an exterior shot of your property, so you have plenty of options for differentiating your listing from others in the search results.

When choosing a thumbnail, select a photo that is different from the others in your destination. Choose a picture that showcases something specific to your vacation home, like your living area, balcony, or hot tub.

Here are some examples of listings with well-chosen, colorful thumbnail photos:





Besides changing up the room that you feature in the thumbnail, you can try playing with the lighting. Although getting a good nighttime shot might require the help of a professional, the difference in hues could help you stand out in the search results.



Just because you have a cookie-cutter condo doesn’t mean you have to select a cookie cutter thumbnail photo. Be sure to not only consider the best features of your home, but also how to make your property stand out from the rest in your area.

© Copyright HomeAway, Inc. 2008


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