Planning ahead is everything when it comes to taking the best Airbnb photos that convert your listing traffic into real Airbnb bookings.
You need to plan everything from your decor to the weather. From being ruthlessly clean to writing captions that convert. Read on for everything you need to know BEFORE taking Airbnb listing photos.
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How to Take the Best Airbnb Photos (Advice From a Superhost)
1. Do competitive research
Before you do any work on your own Airbnb listing photos, you need to have an idea of what’s already out there. Start by finding similar properties on Airbnb and taking a look at their listing photos. Ask yourself, Which angles make each room look the most spacious? What’s important to capture and what’s not? Make note of key things you want to implement in your own photos.
2. Stage your property
Staging your Airbnb makes it appear warm and welcoming in listing photos.
By ‘staging’ I mean adding decor and setting up your property in a way that helps guests envision themselves enjoying your space. A well-staged property can turn on-the-fence travelers into excited guests that immediately hit ‘book’.
Here are 5 simple (but high-impact) ways to stage your Airbnb listing photos:
- Create a full dining table setup with these high-quality dishes, silverware, and water glasses.
- Place a laptop, faux plant, and mini lamp on your laptop-friendly workspaces.
- Set books out as decor.
- Set a cup of tea out on nightstands, desks, and coffee tables.
- Put realistic-looking fake plants on empty shelves and countertops.
3. Thoroughly clean everything
Before you take photos, your Airbnb needs to be spotless.
Ask your cleaning company to do one deep clean right before you take photos. Not only is this crucial for taking great listing photos, but it’s also a good opportunity for you to make sure everything is cleaned as expected and provide feedback (before your guests do!).
And expect that you’ll need to rearrange things after they leave. (Get that throw blanket in the perfect position. Karate chop the heck out of those pillows!)
4. Check the weather
Quick story time. Less than one year into hosting, I decided to retake my listing photos (for the third time). And although I spent tens of hours planning and hundreds of dollars on decor, I severely overlooked the fact that the weather was expected to be awful the week I was visiting.
We’re talking snow or rain almost every single day I planned to take photos…except one.
And if it weren’t for that ONE sunny day, my potential guests would be looking at a bunch of listing photos with snow-covered-everything in the background when thinking about whether or not to book my Airbnb for their SUMMER vacation.
I got lucky (and hectically rearranged my plans to make sure I could take photos on the ONE sunny day I had). But YOU should plan ahead.
No matter what season your guests are booking for, warm and sunny never looks bad in photos.
5. Brighten your photos
Another important aspect in making your Airbnb appear inviting, fun, and spacious is having the right lighting inside your property.
The good news is, you can do several different things to achieve the right lighting inside your Airbnb:
- Turn on every light (both within the room you’re shooting in and, importantly, any other room in the background)
- Play around with extra lighting (I used my Ring light, but you can use anything)
- Shoot during the day (an absolute must)
And, no matter how bright your property actually is, you’ll probably need to edit them a bit afterward to showcase your property as best as possible.
One common mistake I see first-time hosts make is not adding captions to each one of their listing photos. Potential guests will likely look at your listing photos before anything else, so make sure to include key information in the captions.
Get your comprehensive guide to creating a listing that maximizes bookings.
Pro Tip: Identifying your target guest is a can’t-miss first step before creating your Airbnb listing. Without a target guest, you won’t be able to create a listing that makes your potential guests feel like you’re really connecting with them and speaking directly to them. This Target Guest Identifier will walk you through every step of quickly and effectively identifying your target guest.
7. Include local amenities
A guest’s ability to envision themselves at your property doesn’t stop with the property itself.
Including photos of nearby attractions helps guests associate those amenities with your property (think: local beaches, hiking trails, and other tourist attractions.) Convince your potential guests that by staying with you, they’ll not only have a great experience at your property but throughout their entire vacation as well.
Look at you go! I just know you’re going to crush it with your Airbnb listing photos.
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