Are you looking after your image?
by David Weston
Chief Executive of the Bed & Breakfast Association
According to new research, B&Bs and guest houses may be missing out on a staggering £8.9m each year – all due to potential guests being put off by poor photography.
Analysis by eviivo, the provider of booking management apps for independent hotels and B&Bs, found that B&B owners whose photography is less than appealing could be losing out on an average of £28 per room, per night.
82% of the British public said that photos are one of their top three criteria when deciding where to spend the night, and a similar percentage admitted that they would not book a B&B or small hotel with bad photos on their website.
Teaming up with celebrity interior designer Sophie Robinson, eviivo put this to the test. They recently visited a range of B&Bs in Brighton to take two photos only a few minutes apart.
The “Before” shot was taken by someone with no experience and on a phone or tablet, whilst the “After” equivalent was taken by a professional photographer, with Sophie Robinson using her expert knowledge to help set the scene. The catch; they weren’t allowed to bring any new objects into the room that weren’t already there, nor were they allowed to re-decorate in any way.
When put to the public 76% would happily book to stay in ‘Property A’ based on the “After” image, compared to only 13% based on the “Before” picture.
Are You Looking After Your Image In Your B&B?
More interestingly, when asked how much they would value the two rooms the average rate per night came in at £43 for “Before” and £91 for “After” – nearly double the price.
Furthermore, a majority of people (61%) believed that the photos were taken years apart, rather than just a few minutes.
The findings were consistent across all the B&Bs that took part in the experiment, with the average price difference being £28 per room per night.
Sophie Robinson explained: “With more and more people booking accommodation online, your website with accompanying images is your virtual shop window. It is essential that you represent your B&B optimally with good photography. Pictures of rooms are often the first thing prospective guests look at and the Internet means they can compare with the competition instantly. Make your B&B steal all the appeal by posting photos that communicate style, freshness, and cosiness.”
Robinson only made minor tweaks to the rooms, all of which can easily be achieved by anyone at home, for example adjusting the pillow arrangements on the beds, ensuring the sheets are straight, and checking what is being reflected from any shiny surfaces.
So do make sure your photography is showing your property at its very best – or you may be losing sales as a result…
The Bed & Breakfast Association is the UK trade association for B&B and guest house owners, and exists to inform, support & represent owners. Membership costs £60 a year.