I’m excited to have Tyann Marcink back on the show today. Tyann specializes in Vacation Rental Photography and her business has really taken off since the last time we talked. She’s here today to share her story and some tips for breaking into this growing niche.
It’s possible that a few minutes ago, you didn’t know that vacation rental photography was even a thing, never mind a profitable photography specialty.
It wasn’t something that Tyann had ever really considered doing either. In fact, her “start” was a favor to her parents shortly after they purchased their first vacation rental property.
Tyann took beautiful, professional photos of their property and took over their marketing. That year they grossed an additional 25k in rental revenue. The following year, they made an additional 50K.
Photos matter in the vacation property rental business and with the growing popularity of sites like VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb, many vacation property owners are recognizing the importance of having professional images to market their properties.
(Here are the highlights, but you can watch the full conversation below or listen to the episode on the Momentum podcast).
Vacation Rental Photography is NOT the Same as Real Estate Photography
The purpose of real estate photos is to get a buyer in the door to see the property in person. Vacation rental photos have to do much more than that. Vacation rental photos have to tell a story, relay an experience and create enough trust so that someone will look at the images online and say, “I want to spend a week in that place. Here’s my money.”.
Selling Vacation Rental Photography
At first glance, some homeowners may have sticker shock at the cost of hiring a professional but when you break the numbers down, it becomes an easy sell. In high season many vacation properties rent for $1,000 a night. If having professional images helps you book even one extra night a year, they quickly pay for themselves. Even property owners who are fully booked can benefit from professional photos. When a property looks it’s best online, a higher nightly fee can be charged.
It’s also important to remind property owners of all the things that they can do with the photos. They’re not just for a listing page. The photos can be used on a blog, social media, newsletters, holiday cards, business cards, etc….While some listing sites offer photography services, those images can only be used on the listing site. The property owner has no other rights to them.
With StickyFolios, you can sweeten the deal for vacation property owners by creating a landing page for their property that has a gallery of images, description of the property and a link back to a booking site or direct booking. Check out this Folio that Tyann made for a client.
When Tyann started, she did a number of straight trades. In exchange for accommodations, she would provide the vacation property owner with photos of their property. This is a great way to get started and a win, win for everyone! However, once you have built a portfolio, you can charge a fee and have your travel expenses covered.
If you’re interested in this kind of photography, Tyann recommends posting to social media. Ask if any of your friends own vacation properties and need professional images. It’s very likely that someone will take you up on the offer.
Vacation rental property hosts and owners are actively looking for people who specialize in this type of photography. Property owners know other property owners in their area and many times, they’re willing to hire a photographer together and split the travel expense. This means, that it’s possible for the photographer to photograph several properties in one trip and collect several fees.
If vacation rental photography sounds like something that you are interested in, Tyann has written a number of excellent eBooks on the topic and her Checklist of Photos for Your Vacation Rental Property is available for free on her website. She also has offers a Vacation Rental Photography video course that covers three days of her teaching photographers everything they need to know. We’re also excited to announce that Tyann has created a Vacation Rental script for StickyEmail that will help you build your email list. “Five Reasons You Should Have Professional Images to Market Your Rental Property” is available now to StickyEmail users. Be sure to check it out!