Corte di Bukkuram, Pantelleria

Is it important to know about photography in vacation rentals?

Yes, it is important to know about photography in vacation rentals even if we don’t take the photos ourselves. I will try to explain why while showing a fairly spectacular photo of a villa under the Milky Way.

Corte di Bukkuram, Pantelleria

It takes only 20 second shutter speed to capture the Milky Way before the picture gets shaky due to Earth planet movement. It also takes a very clear sky with no lights and pollution, like the sky in Pantelleria island in Italy. Additionally, it is needed a great amount of skills especially if, underneath the milky way, you want to photograph your holiday rental.

The photo shown here is quite sophisticated as it is the result of a composition merging several photos using the “light painting” technique. Light painting uses handheld lights to selectively illuminate the subject or the scene and it has been used in artistic, professional and commercial photography for several decades. To know more about this technique you can click HERE!

As said, the Milky Way shot took about 20 second shutter speed while the villa was photographed by shooting 10 photos with a steady camera by “painting” the light with a flash in different parts of the exterior. The result is quite impressive!

As holiday rental home owners and entrepreneurs we know how important it is to show beautiful pictures both of our property and of it’s location. It is highly recommended to work with professional photographers to get great photos to catch the travellers’ attention in the competitive market of vacation rentals. It is also important for us to acquire some skills & knowledge about photography so we can do a better job when we are hiring a photographer. We don’t need to be professional photographers ourselves but we should be able to distinguish a good picture from an average one and understand a bit about the techniques used when we look at at photographer portfolio.

This photo has been taken by Iuri Nicolai while working with Fully Booked Home on a project to create a strong brand for Corte Pantesca, three villas in Pantelleria which belong to Villa Italy. Being familiar with the light painting technique and knowing that Iuri was capable of mastering this technique was key to choose him to collaborate on this project.

Written by Paola at

Super Host

Super Host Status: Who is the Winner?

When getting a Super Host status: who is the winner? My property Casita Sitges ( acquired a Super Host status on Airbnb a few months back. This sounds like a good news, right? Well, yes and no. Yes because travellers searching for a holiday rental can filter the properties with a Super Host. Because there is a small % of properties with a Super Host, your property will come up first in the search. Great for you! Additionally, the traveller is reassured that the quality of the property and the service they will get is higher than the one in a property with a regular host. True. Great for the traveller!
However, to become a Super Host in Airbnb, one of the criteria, besides the 5 star reviews, is to have at least 10 bookings within a year taken from Airbnb itself. This also means the following:

  • 10 bookings where Airbnb’s branding is ahead your own property branding.
  • 10 bookings where the host has no direct contact with the guest as he/she must use the airbnb’s mailing system to communicate with them.
  • 10 bookings for which you, as a host, have paid commission costs and your guests have paid even higher commission costs.

Commission costs increase the total rental cost to a guest with the effect of (rightfully) increasing the service expectations and possibly with the effect of eroding the perceived value of the property. In other words, you have to work a lot harder to offer the 5 star standards and in general a 5 star perception to your guest.

As much as it is nice to be acknowledged as a Super Host by a listing site (and most importantly by your guests) our goal as Holiday Rental Entrepreneurs should be another. We should become both Super Host AND Independent from any listing site. So, this is my goal and I am steadily getting there. Keeping a minimum of 10 bookings per year within any given listing site when striving for listing site independence is beautifully hard as direct booking from my own website increase year after year. This is the goal I put in front of any client I work with. Is this your goal too?

Post by Paola at

3D plans do make a difference!

3D Plans Do Make a Difference!

While showing a holiday rental property online you want to make it shine and 3D plans do make a difference!

A home staging and a professional photo shooting is a must do while putting a holiday home in the market. We are hoping for people to buy our products so we need to present them in the best possible way. Once the professional photo shooting is done, we need to choose the right photo sequence when uploading the pictures on a listing site. This sequence should follow the logical steps one follows when entering in a villa or in an apartment.

First the exterior, then the hall, after the living area, etc. However a series of individual areas or rooms pictures may not give the prospect the holistic view of the property. Therefore, a floor plan is surely a very useful communication tool that we want to provide to our prospects to let them understand as much as possible how is the property like. Let’s not make guess our future guests how our property is structured. And more, while we provide them with that information, let’s charm them!

A great way to do so is by using 3D floor plans. They are easy to make, relatively inexpensive and surely very helpful to any prospect who is interested in a property. The advantage of 3D plans, besides being really nice to watch, is that the prospect gets and extra important element to decide if the property they are viewing is what they really want for their holiday.

I recommend all my clients to create those 3D plans whenever they are listing a property on a holiday rental listing site.

The 3D plan displayed in this picture is the one I most recently created for a holiday rental apartment of one of my client. I use Roomsketcher, a great software very user friendly that can be learned just watching few video tutorials. And if one is not up to this kind of learning, Roomsketcher can draw the 3D plan for you. Whether you do it or you choose Roomsketcher to do it for you the end result is great.  Yes, 3D plans do make a difference!