Do your photos transmit the idea of “vacation rental” when you look at them?
The photos that do not convey this concept, do not convert even closely to those that do. If your property does not look like a rental property in the pictures, people will not be so willing to rent it.
Do the following mental exercise: go through all of your photographs one by one and ask yourself if the photo you are looking at is a vacation rental property or a property for sale. The photos that look like rentals seem to have a higher conversion rate than those that have photos that look like properties for sale. This is due to an unconscious factor in which we see the photo and picture ourselves within that context, enjoying that scene (belongs to the “Dream stage” of booking a holiday, according to Google).
The users do not want to see photos of your property, but instead photos in which they can imagine themselves enjoying their holidays.
Make your potential guests yearn to be on your property. Find out what those who are looking for properties like yours, dream about. It could be a particular product or anything you can add into the photograph scene that makes users imagine themselves enjoying the property. It could be a glass of juice on a table, fruit, suntan lotion, a pair of skis or a ball in the pool.
Here are some tips to get more clicks on the photos of your rentals.
1. Photos with bright and clear colours stand out over photos with opaque and dark colours: This is related to how the brain processes visual information and subliminally highlights those elements that are brighter than the rest.
2. The skies must always be blue in the photos: No one wants to imagine enjoying their holiday home on a dull, cloudy day.

3. The water in the pools must be in motion: This makes the image look more alive, the pool is more tempting and again the person who is viewing the picture can imagine themselves in the scene, enjoying the water. So before taking the picture of the pool shake your hand in the water and give that “electrifying” effect.

4. When you take photos of the property, make sure that all the windows and doors are open: They will transmit a welcome message, and will bring freshness and life to the house. Again it is easier to imagine inside the house or entering it with all the doors and windows open than to do with all of them closed.

5. Use flowers in your outdoor images: Flowers as a foreground in an outdoor image guide the view towards the main image.

6. Put suntan lotion on your photos as part of the scene: Tanning lotions shout “Holidays”, and if the bottles are orange in color, the effect on the minds of viewers is even better.
7. Place alcoholic beverages on the tables: Bottles of wine, gin, half full glasses of alcoholic beverages invite you to relax and enjoy. You do not need to use real alcohol in the glasses or the most expensive wine. You can always fill the glasses with water (gin), and bring one bottle of cheap wine to fill the glasses and another bottle of expensive wine to place on the table.
8. Cut flowers and use them in vases or on beds and / or pillows: this gives freshness to the scene and concentrates the view with this symbol that communicates “happiness”.
9. Orange juice: The orange juice, by its tone and its meaning of freshness, catches the eye and gives life to the photographs. They can be used in various scenes (dining room, breakfast, next to the swimming pool, etc).

10. Painting: Painting a coloured wall in a room is inexpensive and has a high impact on getting more clicks. It gives warmth and creates atmosphere in the scene.

11. Fruits: Fruits just like the orange juice, give a lot of colour to the scene and attract the eye subliminally to the image. Use apples, grapes, oranges, pineapples, any fruit will do and especially watermelon attracts the eye with great results.
12. Use bright colour elements in the scenes of your photographs: One or two brightly coloured towels can attract the view to the image and generate more clicks on it.
13. Children’s inflatables: Usually the guests leave them in the rental houses so you should not even have to invest in them. They attract the view and create a blissful point in the photographs along with swimming pools.
14. Hammocks: The hammocks are an element that reflect a high level of happiness and longing for relaxation screaming “holidays”.
15. Terraces and outdoor meals: This is one of the ideal situations in which people want to see themselves in their holiday home, breakfast in the sun, snacks at sunset.

16. Parasols: There are plenty of bright colours and their great association to holidays. These are perfect to include in the scene, just make sure they are open.
Make all the tables in your photographs represent a scene, use products to recreate that holiday longing atmosphere in each one of them. The products give colour, shape and meaning to the photographs. And best of all is that the photos that follow these tips generate more clicks and more bookings!

Bibliography:
Blink. The power of thinking without thinking – 2006 – Malcolm Gladwell
Subliminal Persuasion: Influence & Marketing Secrets They Don’t Want You To Know – 2008 Dave Lakhani.
A special thanks to Alan Egan for his talk on photography, and who originally collected this information for his presentation at the VRMA European Conference in March 2017.