Bed and Breakfast owners struggle with basic business decisions on a route basis. One of the most important decisions an innkeeper can make is how to showcase their property to the masses. We have all heard "a picture is worth a thousand words" and I believe that still rings true today. Matter of fact, I believe a picture is worth thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
If you are walking down the street in a major metropolitan city, enjoying a warm latte, and have money for shopping, what are you looking for as you pass the store fronts along your walk? What attracts you to enter a certain retailer that you maybe you have never heard of before? Perhaps it is their beautiful signage, it could be their colorful awning, or perhaps their showcase window is so appealing that you simply can't pass it up. If any of these things are true then that is exactly how shoppers feel when they are searching online for the Bed and Breakfast where they plan to spend their money and sleep for a night or more.
Your homepage, your accommodations page, and all that your property has to offer is your virtual window to potential buyers who are looking to spend their money. If your website is old and dusty from neglect you will soon realize in your google analytics that your bounce rate is quite high. Buyers land on your page, take a glance at your virtual store (your homepage) and if your images are not good quality images they will certainly bounce. So where do these buyers ultimately end up shopping? They go down the street (or in the case down the google search aisle) and find the next B&B and open their virtual door. If they have great wow factor photos that are clean, up-to-date, high resolution they will likely stay in that store and browse for a while and possible even give the property a call. Better yet, after browsing that beautifully decorated B&B's website they may go ahead then and click the "Book Now" link and make an online reservation.
What is the cost of high quality imagery for your business? Yes, a high quality photographer who understands the industry and knows how to showcase your property can be a sizable expenditure up front but instead of asking what is the cost up front you should really ask what is the cost to my bottom-line in the long haul for not having quality images. Loss of revenue and word of mouth to others looking to travel to the city where you are located can be devastating for your inn. Look for a photographer who understands the industry and knows how to showcase your property and make the investment. The cost up front for the next 3-5 years will be well worth the investment.