Curb appeal is a top priority when selling a home — and equally important to vacation rental owners who “sell” their second home daily on the Internet to browsing vacationers. Because the exterior photo of a vacation rental property is often used for the thumbnail or first photo, it's vital that the exterior photo of your home shows what it has to offer.
Here are 10 ways to increase your property's online "curb appeal."
1. Remove unnecessary objects from the yard, driveway, and patio area (vehicles, garbage cans, water hoses, beach toys, etc.)
2. Rethink your landscaping. A few strategically planted shrubs can really shape up a yard. If nothing else, be sure to water your grass before taking an exterior photo.
3. Work with your surrounding terrain. Most travelers are going on vacation to leave behind their suburban subdivisions with perfectly manicured lawns. Embrace your rustic, beach, rocky, desert, snowy, or urban setting.
4. Take the photo on a brightly lit day. A cloudy sky can put a dreary damper on your property's appearance.
5. Watch for shadows. Determine what time of day a photo needs be taken to avoid a dark shadow obscuring the front of your home.
6. Reflect the character of the area. Vacationers are often looking for the “feeling” of an area when browsing through listings. Make your beach condo appear “beachy,” your mountain chalet “rustic,” your desert pueblo “southwestern”, and so on.
7. Use a digital camera to take the photo so that you can crop, edit brightness, and increase color later.
8. Add little touches like potted plants or a thematic mailbox to make your property feel more “home-y.”
9. Consider taking a photo of the rear view of your home, including your pool, patio furniture, etc., if the front of your house is obscured by tall trees or bushes.
10. Change your photos with the seasons if your home is in an area where the seasons change noticeably. A photo with beautiful fall-colored leaves could attract leaf peepers to your home, and a shot with a dusting of snow might land you a booking from skiers.
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