Donnie Whitaker has been with the dunes properties family since 2005 and specializes in second home buyers and investment properties. He is extremely knowledgeable about Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, and all areas East of the Cooper, having worked at Wild Dunes Resort as a tennis pro before joining our Isle of Palms office over 10 years ago. Donnie splits his time between the IOP and our centrally-located flagship office in historic Charleston.
When Donnie isn’t selling homes and showing properties, he likes to spend his time in the great outdoors shooting nature and wildlife with his camera. He has a passion for landscape photography from the mountains to the coast, which he likely inherited from his father. Donnie feels extremely lucky to live in a place with such natural beauty and photo opportunities everywhere you turn, but he also enjoys traveling for photography and fun, especially to his home state of North Carolina. You can view and even purchase his photos at his photography website or learn more about his adventures in Charleston area real estate at donniewhitaker.com.
In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Ravenel Bridge, Donnie recently entered a picture in the Post and Courier’s Bridge Photo contest. His photo was chosen as “Photo Pick of the Week” for Sunday, July 26, 2015.
The Importance of Professional Photography
Although this may seem like common sense, it is surprising how many legacy property management programs overlook this #1 in marketing a vacation rental home or condominium. The web has changed how customers absorb information. The importance of visual has not changed, but the speed in which a customers needs to experience the vacation home through photograph has changed dramatically.
Kerrin Sheldon with Fast Company suggests we have 20 seconds to capture an audience with visual. Other web specialists suggest this number as close to 5 or 6 seconds. Still, the argument and statistics support the claim; a web visitors needs to experience your vacation property almost instantly. VRBO & Homeaway have always supported this concept as these sites originally charged property owners by the number of photos uploaded. The more vacation rental photos, the higher your listing would place. Flipkey, a vacation rental search platform purchased by TripAdvisor, completed a study revealing HD photography increased bookings by 98%.
Still, the number of vacation rental photos alone will not guarantee success. More is not always better… if the photos are not fantastic. Photos must be attractive, accurate, and present not only the vacation rental, but the experience the vacation rental home or condominium offers to the guest. Professional photos often convey the message, “this vacation rental property receives lots of attention and therefore care.” This is vital to capturing vacation rental guest interest. Also, many traditional management companies forget the potential guest’s perspective. Guests wish to see amenities, decor, and styles… not just the view and the beds.
Most professional photographers will provide dozens of great, high definition pictures for only a few hundred dollars. Considering the potential return of tens of thousands… it is a wise investment. One which can make or break a vacation rental strategy.
by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513 1604
Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…
- View all tips for vacation rental owners
We’re so proud of this state of the art facility. It’s a place to come and truly experience the Lowcountry Lifestyle. We have private and public events and art openings, wireless internet, concierge assistance and of course we are open seven days a week for those of you looking for a no pressure real estate search experience. Our agents are there to answer your questions and help you find what you want and are looking for. Or if all you’re looking for is a great place to get a sandwich on a Saturday afternoon- we’re glad to provide you with some great suggestions.
We’re located right at the corner of King and Market St., across from Saks Fifth Ave. It’s a great spot to just sit and have a cup of coffee and people watch if you need a break from your day or visit downtown. Or if your party gets a little too distracted with all this fine King St. shopping and you just wish you had a place to escape from the stores- come on in.
Right now at the Studio is an exhibit of photos from Charleston Kids with Cameras. There are some amazing photographs of local sites all taken by kids. Stop by and have a look.
What a great event this was to welcome Brownie Harris to Charleston! Fun was had by all 70 guests. Randy welcomed the group and introduced them to The Real Estate Studio and the Studio’s featured artist Brownie Harris.
Just look at how beautifully the Studio was transformed into a dining mecca.
(See more pictures from the evening.)
Jimihatt, McCrady’s cook, started Charleston’s first underground supper club, Guerrilla Cuisine, about a year ago and it has become all the rage. Ours sold out before it was announced!
The guest chef, Kelly Franz of Magnolia’s, prepared a delicious menu featuring fresh fish and locally grown vegetables while Graham Worley and Kris Woodrum entertained us with their dueling guitar play.
The menu: watermelon Gazpacho with a smoked salmon cake; chopped cauliflower salad; pink snapper with eggplant au gratin and vegetables; triggerfish tempura with scalloped sweet potatoes; elegantly finished with “uptown” marguerite cheesecake for dessert.
Visit www.guerrillacuisine.com for next month’s event information.
Brownie Harris’ Grand Opening Reception is Fri., Oct. 3, from 6 – 9 p.m. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org