If you are serious about making money from hosting on Airbnb you have to get serious about your Airbnb photography. Approach your property like it’s a business. Not only do you engage yourself in the day-to-day running of the business (like maintaining it, replenishing consumables, etc.) but you need to also address the finer aspects of marketing it to potential guests. Essentially you want to hold some sway over how a potential guest perceives what you are offering them and the best way of doing this is to have it professionally photographed.
As the Airbnb platform has grown, so too has the sheer number of available spaces to rent in any one geographic area. This can be totally overwhelming to a guest, be they travelling for pleasure or for business so when they are searching for a place to stay the first thing that will get their attention is something visually strong, something that stands out from all the other listings in that area. Can you afford to use the DIY photography approach here?
I have photographed a lot of spaces for Airbnb hosts and there is a common thread when I receive their feedback: as soon as they changed their photos from their DIY ones to the ones I take they started getting more bookings. A lot more bookings! Good photography of your Airbnb space should not be viewed as an unnecessary expense, but rather as an asset that is going to have a positive impact on your bottom line.
My approach to producing good images for a listing is to imagine what I would be looking for in an Airbnb space myself and then build on that premise using my experience and natural proclivity to “feel” a space, rather than just see it. Some spaces naturally lend themselves to wide angles, but this doesn’t always work visually, so I have to be versatile and perhaps show some of the areas I photograph with less emphasis on the flow and more on the personal touches and soft finishings to build this “feel” in the viewer’s mind. I want them to know what it’s like to be in your space before they even set foot in it.
What I’m always trying to convey is a sense of style in relation to a sense of scale, so for instance, if I am leading you into a room with a wide shot, what would it feel like to sit in that room and look at other elements of it? That’s where a complimentary detail shot of (say) a coffee table or entertainment unit will give the potential guest a lot more to work with. The final collection of images all work together as a tapestry of what the space offers.
If you’d like to order a shoot for your Airbnb space(s) please check out my offerings here.
Here’s a little collection of images I took of a space I stayed at in Cape Town’s Gardens suburb in 2019.