Once you have the room furnished and set up ready for guests, you'll need good pictures for your Airbnb listing. Photos are really what makes a potential guests book your place over somewhere else. These are the most important part of any listing.
Some people hire professional photographers as well, however, there is a thing as being too perfect with pictures that makes it look photoshopped. Won't turn away all guests, but it does change their expectations. Also, consider the ROI. Spending a lot on a professional photographer may not yield many more bookings than if you do it yourself as long as your pictures are good. Look at other listings in your area to get an idea of what level you're competing with.
Before you take these, you'll need to get everything clean and setup up in pristine condition. Even a little detail like the straightness of the pillows, showerhead in the bathtub, towels, bedsheets, comforter set, trash can lid, everything needs to be as good as it gets. You will generally only take pictures once unless something changes, so make it as pristine as possible. Take the time to wipe down baseboards, tuck in sheets if needed, dust everything, and whatever else you notice that might make the picture not look ideal.
These can be taken with a phone if you have a good camera phone. I would say absolute minimal would be 8 Megapixels, but that would be just to start if you're ready otherwise. A 12 Megapixel camera on a phone will take photos that will show up great on the mobile app as people look up your listing.
Note that you really will NEED the Airbnb app to manage your listing. I point this out because if you don't have a phone with a quality camera, it might not handle the Airbnb app either. Invest in a new phone with a quality camera that you can use the Airbnb app with. Otherwise, if you want to invest a little in a camera you can get a 20 MP one fairly affordably.
Lighting is very important for these pictures. You will want to take these pictures during the day. Turn on all the lights and lamps when you take these pictures as well. If a lamp causes a glare you might turn it off. Adjust the blinds to be about halfway up to not cause glare, but still, let sunlight in. You probably don't need it, but buying photography lights like this can be a cost-effective investment if you can't seem to find the ideal lighting.
Other Photo Tips
Your pictures should all be Landscape orientation or horizontal. You don't want portrait or vertical orientation.
Stay back when you take pictures, get more in the picture rather than less.
Don't catch the tips of door frames. You're standing back in the doorway, but make sure you're just far enough forward that the doorframe doesn't appear on the edge of the picture. Same with wall or furniture and other such things.
Captions on photos help potential guests get a better idea of what they're looking at, why that picture exists, and what to expect. You want to take full advantage of the caption space to write out information about your listing. Much of this information will be copied and duplicated as part of your listing description and details otherwise, but plenty of people will skip reading your full listing but will read the captions as they scroll through photos. Make sure each photo has a caption at least explaining what's in the photo and why you're featuring it in a photo with a selling point.
Featured Thumbnail Photo
THIS is the most important picture! This along with the title is why people click or not on your listing. The first picture you'll have as your featured photo, or your Airbnb thumbnail. This should be a shot of the room. Preferably from the door as you enter the room. If this picture isn't ideal, keep retaking it and arranging things until it's as perfect as you can make it.
The caption for this photo should be a small summary of your listing. Use the full 250 character limit to have a summary of your listing. You can use this as a rehash of your Listing Description summary, which has a 500 character limit. Focus on the selling points of your listing, such as distance to the freeway if you're close, proximity to venues around, and why people would have a good stay at your place.
Bed Photo: Standing at about the foot of the bed, take a shot of the whole bed and get the nightstands in the shot. As long as the lamps don't cause glare, make sure the lamps are on.
Workspace Photo: A shot of the desk and chair together. For most rooms, it'll probably be placed around the foot of the bed, so you'll be on the side of the bed to take this photo. You'll also likely get the TV in this shot.
Closet Photo: Take a photo of the closet while it's open. This will show that they have a place to hang their clothes, put their suitcase aside, and find extra blankets and pillows.
Minifridge & Microwave Photo: This only needs to be a separate photo if it's not part of the closet or workspace photo.
Another Angle Bedroom Photo: If you have a large room or have a second entrance, you can take another shot from that entrance or the other side of the room for a different perspective.
Bathroom Photo: From the door take a shot of the bathroom. The hardest part about this will not being in the mirror when you take this photo. Make sure the toilet lid and the shower curtain is closed.
Another Bathroom Photo: You probably won't be able to capture the entire bathroom from one shot from the door, so you'll need to walk in and get another shot of the rest of the bathroom.
Showerhead Photo: If you do have a good detachable hosed showerhead, take a shot of it. This can be a real selling point for people.
Bedroom to Bathroom Proximity Photo: Chances are your bedroom and bathroom aren't directly connected, and it's around the corner in the hallway. Standing in the hallway you'll want a picture showing the room and bathroom so the potential guest understands the proximity.
House from the Street Photo: A shot of the house from the street helps give an idea of what to look for when trying to find your place. If you don't want to share the exact address, make sure the house number isn't discernable.
Entrance Door Photo: This lets the potential guest get an idea of what the door looks like as they walk up to it, to make sure they have the right place.
Entryway from the Inside Photo: This shot lets the guest know what to expect as they walk in the entrance door. This doesn't need to be taken from the entrance door, you can take this from the other end of the room and have the entrance door in the shot.
Virtual Tour to Room Photo(s): This may take a few photos. You'll want to basically make a virtual picture guide to go from the entrance door to their room. Could be walking through a living room, down a hallway. It could be through a stairway. Take a few photos to guide them to their room.
Shared Space Photo(s): The living room, kitchen, laundry, backyard, and any other spaces that guests will have general access too. If you already have these photos from the virtual tour to the room those will work just fine.
Other Selling Point Photo(s): If you have other selling points, like a view from the room, balcony, RV parking, or any other features you want potential guests to know about, take a photo of these as well.
You may have to take photos a few times. A dark spot might appear, you might get a finger in the shot, the trash can lid might be off, any other reason. So be prepared to retake the photos as you'll likely catch problems or come up with new ideas as you're creating the listing. You may also end up taking photos based on feedback from guests that make your place unique.
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