I attend a few conferences a year specific to the hospitality industry. While attending these conferences I get the opportunity to meet folks with businesses catering to the same audience we work with. So, of course I look to see if they are a fit. Among these vendors are photographers, which I will cover today and what you need to know about:
- Fan Photos
- Virtual Tours
- Aerial Photos
Whether you own a hotel, motel, resort, vacation properties or a bed and breakfast, you know how important it is for future guests to have a strong understanding of your establishment. One way to relay this vision is through the use of photos.
Now I bet you thought I was going to suggest hiring a professional photographer to come out and take all kinds of still photos that will cost you a pretty penny. The only affordable still photos I have seen from a photographer are those from student photographers. If I’m not suggesting a professional photographer, then what is it I’m suggesting?
Not the kind on your ceiling, your true fans and past guests tell the story of your establishment better than anyone. I always suggest using their photos on social media and advertisements when you can. All you have to do is ask them, and most of the time they are more than willing to give you photos of their vacation for you to share. Think about it, how often is your facebook page tagged by a guest showing off their latest sunset at your property? I know it happens to our clients all the time.
These are amazing to have! It truly lets the guest know if this is the spot for them. I once stayed at a beachfront property, which I will not name, that was a massive disappointment. The website was okay, and the the few pictures they had on their site made me think this should be a good spot for me.
Well, when we got there it was nothing like the photos on the website. Of course I wanted to grab my phone and pull up Google, Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor and give their listing a piece of my mind. Why didn’t I complain? I was trying to be nice, since they must have really needed my booking to post fake photos. If they would have had a virtual tour, I would have known it wasn’t the place for me, and there would have been no harm done. They would have had a lot of negative reviews if I wasn’t feeling extra nice that day.
On a positive note, I recently stayed at an amazing place all because of their virtual tour, and the virtual tour didn’t lie! I loved their little hot spots that were embedded in the tour. That was icing on the cake!
If permitted, these are great to have. However, with the FAA rules, unfortunately not everyone can get an aerial photo or video, providing you use a reputable company. Of course, anyone can throw up a drone from Walmart and take a chance, but you didn’t get that kind of advice from me. I don’t give advice that could land you in hot water.
When choosing your photos and the way you will use them, one thing is key: ensure your photos tell a story. Today’s traveler wants to read a story that they can envision themselves a part of. If your story involves the sights of the beach, or the sights of a bubbling brook in the mountains then make sure your photos show that. Give them as much of an experience as you can so they are compelled to push that “book now” button.