The importance of quality photography for marketing serviced apartments can’t be understated. Booking portals report that rooms with the highest quality visuals enjoy the majority of views, bookings and income.
The difference between serviced accommodation enjoying high quality marketing visuals and suffering from uninspiring shots isn’t necessarily huge. An amount of planning, preparation and some budget equivalent to just a few night’s stay can be all that’s holding back accommodation from achieving its full potential.
1. Overlooking your target guests
Do you know the guests you’re looking to fill your apartments with? Families, business travellers, or couples, perhaps. Each group is looking for something specific in the accommodation and its the one that looks appealing and ticks those boxes that will secure the booking.
Unfortunately, too often accommodation images show the space without any particular thought as to why this specific apartment is well suited to meet the needs of its clients.
A room is not just a room. For prospective guests, it’s a base for exploring the sights, it’s an easy option for managing the children while on a staycation, it’s well equipped for a morning of working remotely before heading to meetings, it’s a cosy setting for a romantic evening in.
These groups don’t all care about the same thing. Know who your guests are and make sure they know the accommodation will be ideal for their needs.
2. Worn furnishings and appearance
When car manufacturers advertise a car they don’t take a used car that’s a bit dirty and scuffed around the sides. They know the marketing visuals they use will make or break the sales of their product, and the same is true of marketing serviced accommodation. Imperfections will get noticed. Marks here, a wine stain here or a scuff there, all add up to detract from what’s being offered.
Schedule redecorating the flat ahead of a photoshoot so that the apartment looks every bit as fresh and appealing as it can in the images.
3. Unstaged rooms
Most accommodation providers will think about providing some flowers to brighten up an apartment, but staging goes much further than this and plays a key role in engaging with potential guests.
It’s all very well to show kitchen facilities and a dining table, but stage them to show a fresh cup of morning coffee or a family dinner and you’re creating a valuable and emotional connection with those viewing the listing. If they’re impressed by the scene and it relates to how they’d like to use the apartment, they’ll begin to imagine themselves there. When this happens the guest creates an attachment to the apartment and makes it far more likely they’ll make the booking than if they’d just been presented with an empty, unstaged space.
4. Missing the finer points
While each guest will undoubtedly receive a clean, prepared apartment, it’s worth making a special effort for images that are going to act as your sales person for the apartment for months if not years to come.
Cleaning needs to go that extra mile to ensure that:
- windows are clean and clear
- beds are neatly made with sheets tightly fitted without creases
- towels are correctly folded and placed evenly on beds
- cobwebs are nowhere in sight
- bathroom fittings and shower screens have been thoroughly descaled and are shining
- carpets and rugs are free of speckles or stains; and
- if improvement work has been recently carried out that dust is nowhere in sight.
Small imperfections spoil good marketing images and many imperfections multiply the issue, so treat the apartment to a deep clean in advance of a photoshoot.
5. DIY interior photos
Photographing interiors is notoriously tricky with a whole range of brightness and lighting colours present that if unmanaged make a room look dark with a strong, unattractive colour cast.
Even using a quality camera, unless every room enjoys exceptionally good light, you’ll likely find that you don’t achieve the desired look.
As a specialist interiors photographer, I spend my time on perfecting techniques to achieve the very best room shots using a range of specialist equipment. I may make it look easy but there’s countless hours of training, experience in what I provide, plus there’s hours of editing after the shoot to bring out the very best finish for the final images.
The good news is that obtaining a high quality, visually appealing set of images for your apartments isn’t cost prohibitive. In most cases the investment is similar to a few days income from one apartment – something you should make back many times over once you’ve got quality photography showcasing your apartments.
To find out more, contact me to discuss your apartments and specific requirements.