As a professional property photographer in Durban I have been involved in helping local property owners market their spaces to the burgeoning Airbnb or Booking.com instant hotel market for a while.
I myself am an Airbnb host and I can say with alacrity that the images I have taken of our small garden cottage have probably been the biggest drawcard for new guests. When they check in to the space nearly every guest remarks on how it looks exactly the same as the images they saw on the internet. This is an important thing to note because travellers to these parts want to know that the places they stay at are right for them and the best way of conveying this sense of trust is to do it visually, with great photos of the space and what it offers. You can’t expect to get maximum eyeballs on your space if your images are dull, dreary and don’t convey anything about the space at all. For instance, what good does it do you to show photographs of chocolates on the pillow when there is no photograph providing context of the room that pillow is in?
Recently I was asked to photograph a penthouse apartment in the Point area for a property owner and this collection of images shows the kind of work that I do. You may be thinking, “Well, I could never afford to get photos like that done.” but the reality is that this particular job was done in under an hour and the client received 32 final images for their marketing at a cost of less than R1500. When viewed from an economic standpoint, that isn’t even the cost of one night in this penthouse.
The old wisdom of “you have to spend money to make money” couldn’t be more appropriate when it comes to marketing your property to potential renters. If you can spend money on linens, kitchenware and furniture for your instant hotel, why on earth would you hold back when it comes to the one aspect of your offering that you are going to make public, namely the photography?