As a vacation rental homeowner, you know how crucial good photos are to your listing page. If you're anything like the majority of homeowners, you will turn to a photo editor (such as Adobe Photoshop) to enhance your shots at some point. While this is usually acceptable— and even recommended— did you know that there are ethics to using a photo editor? This is something that may not have even crossed your mind, so we are here to help separate the dos from the do-nots. For those of you who have previously worried about using Photoshop, you are not alone. Some of the questions the Community has received include:
“By making my photos more colorful, am I misleading potential renters?”
“If I crop out a staircase or unsightly wall, aren't I essentially lying?”
Why photos are so vital to your listing? To show your property's features and amenities, to give prospective renters all of the information they need to decide if your property is for them, to highlight why renters should choose your property over the others in your area, and to make your listing more eye-catching. It's perfectly okay to edit photos to make them a better representation of what your property actually looks like.
It's Time to Use a Photo Editor if Your Pictures are…
|Dark and shadowy|
|Highly tinted one color (green, blue, yellow, etc.)|
|Much less colorful than the real life objects|
However, it's not okay to edit photos to make your property appear better (cleaner, nicer, better located) than it actually is. As a rule, it's fine to improve the lighting and color, but not to change any aspect of the property itself.
Six Signs You've Gone Overboard with Photoshop
1. The color of the sky does not appear in nature.
2. A past renter would not be able to recognize your property from the photos.
3. Your photos show your mountain property's “beach view.”
4. You've removed major objects from the frame that will be there when renters arrive (a prominent staircase, large shrubs in front of the house, unsightly furniture, etc.)
5. You've added objects to the picture that will not be there when renters arrive (a
flat-screen TV, pool table, scenic view, etc.)
6. You have a feeling in your gut that you're misrepresenting your property.
You shouldn't edit a photo with the intention of misleading renters. You want to showcase your property's best side but you don't want renters to be unhappy when they arrive and your property is not what they expected.
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