A picture is worth a thousand words – when it comes to your Airbnb listing, do yours tell a story of a relaxing vacation destination, or do they scream, “stay away”? While you might think that the Airbnb photo story of your vacation rental shows plenty to prospective guests, you may be making some basic mistakes that turn people away. Check out some common mistakes – don’t worry if you find one you’ve made. We’ll show you how to fix them, too.
Failing to fully show your Airbnb property on Airbnb photo
Your Airbnb photo array probably has the important things: the bedroom, bathroom, living spaces, and the kitchen. If you have a porch or patio, there’s probably a shot of that, too. What many hosts fail to capture are additional photos from different angles – such as the bedside view, peeking out a side window, or perhaps a long shot from across the room. If your pictures simply show the view as you enter each room, you aren’t giving your guests the full visual depiction of your property. Cameras can be deceiving with distance and space – multiple shots of each room from different places can truly show your guests how much space they have to spread out, or if your rental is an ideal cozy cottage for two.
Try to take pictures not just from different places in your Airbnb rental, but if you can from different heights, as well. Adding interest and visual excitement to your display can go a long way toward impressing your guests.
Choosing the wrong time to photo your property
When you take your pictures is almost as important as where you do. If your Airbnb rental has plenty of natural light, then selecting a sunny day early in the morning or late in the afternoon can flood your rooms with large patches of sunlight. If you know that the view is especially beautiful at dawn or dusk, consider taking your exterior pictures to capture that. An overcast or gloomy day can dampen the mood of your shots, as well as forcing you to rely on artificial, versus natural, light. The more natural light you’re able to use to capture your images, the better composition you’ll have.
Taking your own Airbnb rental pictures
Steal a page from your savvy real estate agent and hire a professional photographer to take the Airbnb photos of your listing. There’s a large difference between a quality professional camera and the camera all on your smartphone. In addition, professional photographers are experienced in making their pictures tell a story – even if the story is simply “book here.” A professional also has plenty of equipment to ensure that your rental – even if it’s just your guest suite – is shown in its best light.
Professional Airbnb photo is noticeably different from amateur one – when a guest notices that you’ve chosen to take the time and money to display your Airbnb rental, they’ll be assured that you take your role as a host seriously, with professionalism.
Taking poor quality pictures
Taking bad pictures might be worse than just taking one or two, or leaving just a verbal description. Bad pictures aren’t just ones that are slightly out of focus – they could be dark or have poor composition. Check your rental through the camera lens, and ask a friend or neighbor to come over – fresh eyes may spot trouble spots to avoid or something that could be cleaned up better or shown in a better light. They may also see things that you haven’t cleaned or removed – trash cans, for instance or excessive appliances on your kitchen counters.
You’ll want to stage your property, too – maybe a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, or crisp white linens on the bed. Check the condition of your blinds, lampshades, and other areas that can show dust in Airbnb photos. De-clutter with attractive baskets to hide guest toiletries, and ensure that your guest towels are bright and fluffy, stacked neatly. For inspiration, check out your competitive set, or even browse professional hotel websites.
Don’t forget a catchy caption
We know that a picture is worth a thousand words – but you can add some excitement and a bit of interest to your Airbnb photos with interesting captions. Instead of labeling the kitchen “kitchen,” consider taking some angled shots – one by the coffee pot saying “good morning.” For your outdoor views, you can include a caption “peaceful views.” Drawing attention to the best features of each Airbnb photo will help your guests envision themselves doing the activities in your Airbnb rental.