Let’s say your house is just a block to the beach on the outskirts of Cape May’s Historic District. You advertise it on multiple websites. The house has four bedrooms, three baths, and sleeps 12. You charge the same rates as the guy down the street – clearly, it’s a steal.
So why is your next-door-neighbor’s availability calendar booked solid while you’re fluffing pillows to pass the time? Why isn’t your inbox flooded with inquiries? Why can’t you book rentals in the off-season? What are you doing wrong?
Maybe your photos are to blame.
Pictures are the most important selling feature of your online rental ads. Your potential guests are scouring websites filled with hundreds of other properties to choose from. If you want to land that guest, your house has to stand out from the competition.
Signs it’s time for new photographs
Try to think like a potential renter. Your online ad should make your home look like a relaxing vacation spot, not where you store your old furniture.
- Your current pictures don’t show what the property looks like today
- They’re blurry or grainy
- Someone is reflected in the mirror or a window
- The background has stormy skies, trash cans, or cars
- Countertops and shelves have a lot of clutter
- Pillows and blinds are crooked
- Beds are unmade
- Your dog is in the picture, but your property isn’t pet friendly (this sends the wrong message and can cause confusion)
Do these things before you take new photos
- Remove the clutter: refrigerator magnets, personal items, unnecessary countertop appliances, stacks of old magazines, soap dispensers, and anything on top of your cabinets.
- Fix your curtains, hide cords, straighten bedspreads and hanging art, and arrange throw pillows.
- Move your car out of the driveway for exterior shots.
- Replace worn items, especially bedspreads. Donate gently used items to charity, and visit discount stores in Cape May, Rio Grande and Cape May Court House to find new bedding and accessories at low prices. Can’t afford to replace the couch? Try a two-piece slipcover. Picture frames looking tired? Hello, spray paint!
- Touch up any obvious dents or scratches in furniture and walls. Clean fingerprints from stainless steel.
- Consider your furniture arrangement. Float your couch a few feet from the wall. Create conversation areas or a place to admire the view.
- Keep an eye on the weather. If it’s raining or gray,
reschedule exterior shots (or the whole photo shoot, if you
have a lot of windows).
- Use a digital camera, preferably with a wide-angle lens. Better yet, hire a local photographer. You’ll pay a little extra, but professional photographs stand out among your average point-and-click.
If you’re a CapeMayRentals.com advertiser, your first photo shoot is on us. Get in touch with us for information.