The first thing prospective guests are going to see about your space is the photo, so we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having good photographs of your space. Airbnb offers professional photography services (for a fee) to hosts, but in our experience you can create your own great photos, even if you only have a cell phone camera.
TIP #1: Get a wide-angle lens
You won’t believe the difference a wide-angle lens can make in terms of making a space appear larger, and your ability to showcase more of a space, especially if it’s more cramped. Consider these two photos of the exact same room below. The one on the right is taken with a regular phone lens. The one on the right, with a wide-angle lens:
Which one looks more inviting?
Don’t have a wide-angle lens (or even a standalone camera for that matter)? For less than $30 you can get a simple clip-on lens that attaches to your smartphone. Trust us, it’s worth the cost.
TIP #2: Take lots of photos
Photos tell the story of your space. You’ll definitely want to photograph every room (including the bathrooms), just so that guests know exactly what they’re booking, but also feel free to photograph things like the view or neighborhood, parking spaces, or even simple things in the space that make it unique. Got a dog on the property that your guests love interacting with? Post his photo! Anything you love about the space or the area, showcase it. Photos not only inform potential guests about the space, but they also SELL the space!
TIP #3: Be aware of lighting
Good photography is a lot about good lighting. The time of day can greatly affect the light in a room, so think about your space and play with taking photos at different times of day. Try turning lamps on (or off) and see how it affects the photo. Turn your camera’s flash on and off and see how that affects things. Sometimes a flash can ruin a photo, so be mindful of your camera’s settings and play around with different settings. Don’t just trust the default on the camera. If the space isn’t well lit normally, try bringing in a lamp temporarily when taking photos of it. A brightly-lit photo will feel a lot more welcoming to a potential guest.
TIP #4: Pick your BEST photo as your feature photo
This should go without saying but I’ve seen lots of listings with featured photos that are frankly terrible. What you want is an inviting photo that’s going to draw someone in. You have two things on that initial view that is going to entice a potential guest to click on your listing: the price, and the photo. So as you review your photos, look for the one that feels most compelling to you, and make that your featured photo. Often times it’s the view, or an outside space the patio.
TIP #5: Review your photos after you’ve posted them
Two main takeaways here: one, adjust the order of your photos so they make sense. Group photos of the same area together and try and put your photos into a sensible order so people can understand the space better. Two, make sure you don’t have duplicates. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen listings where they have a bunch of duplicated photos, and it looks very amateurish.