Everyone has heard of Airbnb before - the service that connects people with short term rentals and allows home owners to set their properties up for rent while they are away. They were obviously on to something because that market has exploded in recent years. Looking to cash in on an extremely lucrative short term rental market, many other companies have sprung up to compete with Airbnb, and that has created a whole new area of business for real estate photography.
Homes for sale are one thing: they certainly need quality photos and marketing materials, but by and large, people actually visit the properties in person before pulling the trigger on a buying decision. Rentals, however, are almost always booked remotely, in much the same way one would book a hotel room. This is where quality photography counts for even more.
With stiff competition among companies like Airbnb, short term rental companies need to step up their game and begin providing additional services to homeowners looking to rent their properties. Taking on the role of a more traditional property manager, these companies are now offering to manage cleaning, minor repairs, furnishing, snow removal, security, and of course, marketing for the properties in their portfolios.
When it comes to marketing, the most important thing to have for a rental property is a set of quality photos. Without photos, properties for rent are doomed to sit vacant, almost always passed over for those with compelling pictures. For me, creating great photos for these types of properties is nearly identical to shooting photos of homes for sale, if not a bit easier. With a few minor tweaks depending on the client, I can shoot and deliver a set of 25 photos of a home often within a single day.
I'm now working with two separate companies like this, and it's a terrific experience. I can turn around each job quickly and more cost effectively than a residential sale, and as a bonus, the properties are always in pristine ready-to-rent condition. Check out some of the more recent properties I have shot, and you'll get an idea for the kind of quality I'm talking about: