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Did you know that images generate 650 percent more engagement than text-only posts? Or that Airbnb listings with professional photos are booked twice as often as regular listings? Colorful, compelling photos have the power to transform bland, boring listings on vacation rental booking platforms and entice more guests to your property. Here’s the ultimate vacation rental photo checklist, with tips on how to optimize your images.

Tip #1 – Use Airbnb’s Free Professional Photography Service

We know you’ve heard it before, but we can’t stress it enough – Airbnb offers professional photography services to eligible hosts. It’s a win-win for all parties involved: A local photographer gets to showcase his pictures on your listing, and you get snazzy images for free. Airbnb’s platform allows you to find a photographer in your area and schedule a shoot via private message.

Tip #2 – Use a Selection of Photos

When it comes to your listing, the more photos, the better. HomeAway lets you include a maximum of 24 photos on your profile, something that could improve your search rankings on the platform. Airbnb recommends uploading at least 10 photos – all of which should be at least 1024 x 683 pixels – if you want to provide guests with a good view of your space. Although Airbnb never explicitly states the max number of photos allowed, the more you have the more it’s going to help with your listing SEO.

Tip #3 – Include a Floor Plan

Including a floor plan on your listing lets guests see the layout of your property without having to contact you. It’s cheaper than you think: Free tools such as Homestyler and RoomSketcher enable you to create a floor plan that shows the size of each room as well as features such as windows and staircases.

Tip #4 – Showcase Your Property’s Best Features

If your property boasts a stunning hot tub/pool combo, sprawling outdoor patio or cozy fireplace, include photos of these features on your Airbnb and HomeAway listings. Focus, too, on unusual property features that set your rental apart from the competition, such as a your pathway to the lake, your hammock beneath the trees, or the awesome reading nook in a sun-filled window.

Tip #5 – Take a Photo of Every Room

You want to provide prospective guests with as much information as possible to encourage them to reserve your property. Upload photos of every room in your house, including bathrooms and bedrooms, as well as outdoor areas. You might think pictures of all 3 bathrooms is overkill, but to your guests, it’s assuring to lay eyes on. You might also post a photo of your neighborhood so guests can get a feel for the area and picture themselves vacationing there.

Make sure your listing has clear pictures of:

  • All Bedrooms – clearly showing the sleeping surface in it’s entirety
  • All Bathrooms – make sure guests can tell if it’s considered a half or full bath
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Living Room – multiple photos are always a plus if it’s a large space
  • Entryway
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Special Amenities
  • View (if applicable)
  • Local Neighborhood

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