What Travelers Look For in Photos of Your Vacation Rental

    what travelers look for in photos photographsTravelers rely heavily on photos to guide their decision-making. Not only should your photos be high quality, they should also show the travelers what they want to see.

    Here's a guide to what travelers look for in each room:

    The Living Area

    Travelers pay close attention to photos of your living area since many vacationers spend a lot of time congregating in the living room with their group or family.

    Choose photographs of your living room that answer the following questions:

    How big is the room?
    How much seating is available?
    Does the seating appear to be comfortable?
    How big is the TV?
    Is there a fireplace?
    Is there a view from the room?
    Photo Tip: If you're living room has a fireplace, light a fire to bring the room to life.

    The Kitchen

    Many travelers cite the kitchen as their main motivation for staying in a vacation rental over a hotel. Therefore, it's important that you have a good photo of your kitchen to reel in those travelers.

    Your kitchen photo should answer the following questions:

    How big is the room?
    What major appliances does the kitchen have?
    How much counter space is there?
    Does the kitchen look clean and free of clutter?
    Photo Tip: Completely clear off the countertops before taking a photo of your kitchen. Even items like canisters and your knife rack can make the room feel cluttered in a photograph.

    The Dining Area

    Your guests will likely dine at your vacation home for a meal or two during their stay. Help them picture their family sitting around your kitchen table by choosing a photo of your dining area that clearly showcases the room.

    A photo of your dining area should answer the following questions:

    How much seating is available?
    Does the seating appear to be comfortable?
    Photo Tip: Before taking the photo of your dining room table, set the table as you would before a dinner party and include a colorful centerpiece (a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit) for extra pizzazz.

    The Bedrooms

    For many travelers, one of the joys of renting a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel is that everyone gets their own room.

    When searching for a vacation rental, these travelers want to see a photo of each bedroom and want to be able to answer the following questions about each room:

    How big is the room?
    What size are the bed or beds?
    Is there a TV?
    Is there a dresser or armoire for storing clothes?
    Are there reading lamps next to the bed?
    Do the pillows and linens appear to be of a high quality?
    Are there curtains or blinds for privacy?
    Is the room clean and uncluttered?
    Is there a view?
    Photo Tip: Make sure that you smooth the bedspread and fluff the pillows before taking a photo of a bedroom.

    The Bathrooms

    As a rule, travelers aren't especially interested in the bathrooms in your home that is, unless your bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub, steam shower, or other high-end or unusual feature. If you have a pretty standard, full bath with a tub, sink, and toilet, you'd probably be better off using your very valuable photo real estate to showcase another aspect of your home.

    Photo Tip: If you decide to display a photo of your bathroom, make sure that your reflection doesn't show up in the mirror.

    The View

    When choosing a photo of the view from your home, try to pick a shot that proves that the view is actually from your home.

    Set the right expectations for your view by choosing pictures that answer the following questions:

    What will I see when I look out the window or walk out onto the deck?
    Is the view from your actual home?
    Photo Tip: Take a photo of your view that proves that it's the view from your actual home. You can do this by getting a bit of your balcony railing or roof in the frame of the photo.

    The Exterior of Your Home, Building, or Complex

    The outside of your home tells the traveler a lot about your dedication to upkeep and the safety of your building or neighborhood.

    Make a good impression on prospective guests by selecting photos that answer the following questions:

    Does the home look well-maintained?
    Does the surrounding area appear to be safe?
    How close is the home to the nearest neighbor?
    How far is the home to the beach, mountain, or golf course?
    Photo Tip: Display a photo of your home shot during the upcoming season. For example, if you're trying to secure winter bookings, show your home under a fresh coat of snow.

    © Copyright HomeAway, Inc. 2009