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Airbnb listings versus Real Estate listings…. No, they are not the same.

When most people start planning to open an Airbnb, the last thing they think about is marketing. They are occupied with the process of getting the property, then rehabbing and furnishing the home. When it finally comes time to create your listing on Airbnb where do you look to get your photos taken? Do you take them yourself? Do you hire a photographer? If you hire a photographer, where do you look?

Most people would think to look for a real estate photographer, and for most people this would work perfectly. However, if you look to elevate your listing you need to educate both yourself and your photographer. I explain it this way… For an MLS listing you are taking photos to sell the home. For an Airbnb listing you are taking photos to sell the EXPERIENCE of being at the home. Some of your photos should do more than just show the room but try to show the experience they could have on the property.

This starts with having a conversation with your photographer. Make sure they understand your goals and are prepared to execute what you desire. When taking real estate photos, shots are commonly as wide as possible and shot from the corners. The goal is to highlight the entire room. In addition, you can take shots head on, or show just a small portion of the room. Look for opportunities to show key items in a room, or angles that give a first-person perspective. Shot like these give the viewer a mental image that places the person in the room.

Unique things about Airbnb listings are that they are closer to a hotel listing than a real-estate listing. Your approach should use items that are in the home in an active way to highlight how they can enjoy the home. A pair of glasses next to a pool, or a book and a cup of coffee on the porch, these examples give the viewer ways to see themselves relaxing at your property.

Finally, you should realize that your property listing will be active until you stop the service. This means you should periodically update your listing. Real-estate photos are hoping top be up for a month or two at most. The goal is to sell the home as quickly as possible. With an Airbnb the goal is to get to booked as often as possible. This means you need to update your photos to allow people to see what the experience would be like throughout the change of seasons. This might not mean a total change in photos, but certain photos should be updated. Try to envision ways your property could be used throughout the year. Is it near a body of water? If so, think of ice-fishing in the winter and swimming in the summer. Is it in a forested area? If so, shots of the trees in various states are essential, many people like to go look at foliage in the fall.

I hope I have given you a few things to think about. If you would like to discuss ways to use photography to market your short term rental, feel free to reach out. We are willing to answer any questions you might have.

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