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Holiday Letting Advice – The Importance of Photography

  • 2017-02-17

Every investor will receive plenty of holiday letting advice when entering the short term rental space, from property managers, well-meaning (but not always clued-up) people who have dabbled in property investment, next door neighbours and many other people. Just about everyone sees themselves as experts when it comes to renting out property to holidaymakers. But, aside from experienced short term property managers who actually really do have ample expertise in this area, sometimes the advice you get is not always useful.

Holiday Letting Advice - The Importance of Photography

One thing that almost everyone will agree on however is the importance of photography when it comes to promoting your property. Humans are visual creatures. We need images to help us make decisions, imagine ourselves enjoying a holiday and get a broad idea of what we can expect from any given situation. In the case of holiday rental, images help prospective guests to see exactly what the property offers. A description and overview of features helps as well, but it is usually the photographs that seal the deal.

In today’s snippet of holiday letting advice, we will be taking a closer look at the role of photography. We’ll also share some tips on how you can improve your listing images to increase your bookings and broaden your exposure.

Holiday Letting Advice: Improving Your Listing Images

If you only consider one bit of holiday letting advice, make it this… photography is everything in the short term rental business. Poor quality images don’t only put potential guests off making a booking; they often make it easier for your listing to be overlooked for those with attractive, eye-catching images. On major booking websites, you have a few seconds to capture attention. Photography can be a make or break factor that makes the difference between your listing being seen or ignored.

How can you go about improving your listing photographs? Consider these helpful tips from our resident holiday letting advice expert…

  • Invest in a professional photographer. Unless you have serious photography skills, a background in photography, a high quality camera or all of the above, it is simply not worth the cost savings to try and do it yourself. Phone photographs, blurry or distorted images, low resolution images, bad lighting and strange angles will not do your listing justice even if it is a 5-star villa directly on the beach. A professional photographer will know exactly how to style and capture your property, focusing on its key features in a way that makes it stand out from the competition. If a professional photography shoot is not in your budget, another option is to hire a dedicated holiday rental property manager who provides this service along with marketing, guest concierge, bookings management, day to day management and many other tailored solutions.
  • Choose the time of day that offers the best light. Natural light is essential for incredible photographs. Determine the time of day that provides the best natural light by considering which direction the property faces, how much sun the property gets at a certain time of day, and the time when things seem the brightest. Arranging a visit with a photographer before booking a shoot can be very useful – most photographers know how to determine the conditions for optimal lighting and can advise on the right time.
  • Take the time to style your property. A well-style property will stand out in photographs far more than a bland, outdated or just plain uninspiring property. Once again, a property manager can be extremely useful for assisting you in positioning your property in the best light. Some other things that you can do is take a look at the top performing properties on various rental platforms to see how they have been styled, or browse home and decor magazines for inspiration. High quality bedding, furnishings, decor and appliances are all essential, while set dining tables, romantic bathroom scenes, luxurious bedroom styling and lifestyle type settings can also help to set the right tone.


As an experienced holiday rental specialist that provides holiday letting advice and services to a bespoke selection of villa, apartment and aparthotel owners in Cape Town, Totalstay has ample expertise in how to promote and market your listings efficiently. Contact us today to arrange a free evaluation, or to further discuss our tailored solutions that are designed to help you get ahead.