You’ve seen one sunset, you think you’ve seen them all.
But then a stunner like the one above pops on the screen, and suddenly, you’re wishing for purple-pink horizons. It almost looks manufactured, does it? In winter’s cruel, gray monotony, it’s hard to believe that people actually bid each day farewell with such glory.
But it’s the precisely those images that people expect when looking for that perfect beach escape.
The owner of this Hawaii vacation rental played the listing right with photos that ignite a tourist’s Polynesian fantasies. As I’ve advised before, your choice of photos can persuade a customer who may be on the fence. Make sure your images promote timeliness (who likes old photos), location and people in action. Place your potential renters there, chilling out with other sunbathers on the beach.
What this listing also does well is offer a good layout of the interior space to clear up any questions about just how much room there is. While it probably doesn’t matter to a couple on their honeymoon, a family of five needs to spread out. Here, bedrooms are on opposite ends of a common living room and full-size kitchen complete with its own breakfast bar. It’s not palatial, but when in Hawaii, most people are going to spend time outside anyway.
Finally, cater your content to your target demographic. If your vacation home is more suited for romantic getaways, show Mr. and Mrs. walking along the beach. If it’s better for groups, capture folks barbecuing out back or enjoying a meal around the patio table.
What not to do: Post “staged” photos that aren’t really reflective of the environment. Instead, encourage previous renters to contribute images from their vacation and write user reviews about their experience–perhaps in exchange for discounts off future stays. If they genuinely had a good time, that’s the best advertising you could hope for.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.