Real Estate Airbnb Photos – Dos and Don’ts
Anticipating the beauty and comfort of the place where you will stay is one of the key pleasures of planning a vacation. This is why, when you are renting out a property on Airbnb, your photos are so important. Airbnb allows ordinary people with a desirable spare room or other unused property to make a respectable amount of money sharing their space. However, professional real estate photography quality can make all the difference between a property that people love and want to rent and one that leaves prospective vacationers looking for another available rental. Read on to learn what makes great, enticing photos and what problems should be avoided:
Do Clean Up the Clutter
While one perk of the Airbnb experience is staying in a local person’s real home, this shouldn’t be taken too far. Make sure that, before you take your Airbnb photographs, you remove any clutter and personal items from the rooms. This includes newspapers, magazines, paperwork, tools and children’s toys. Potential guests should not see items in a picture that are not among the amenities promised with their stay.
In addition to removing junk, consider going lighter on any decor in a room. For instance, a collection of lighthouse figurines may be charming in your own space but can seem crowded and oppressive when you are staying in someone else’s. Limit yourself to a few knick-knacks in a room to balance character with clean and open spaces.
Do Bring in Plenty of Natural Light
Dark rooms look dingy and uninviting. Brightly lit rooms look warm and open. Choose a time of day when the most natural light will enter a room, then open up curtains to let it shine. The so-called “golden hour” is a period after sunrise or before sunset when the light takes on a softer, reddish hue that is especially appealing. Photos taken then are less likely to have harsh shadows as well.
If a room has no natural light, use artificial light effectively. Several gentle sources of light, such as a group of table lamps, are a better source than a single overhead fluorescent bar. Look for bulbs that are specifically designed to mimic natural daylight. These have a warmer hue that will lend a more welcoming look to your photos.
Don’t Try to Hide Flaws
This is one area where Airbnb photography and standard real estate photography differ from one another. In standard real estate photography, the listing is all about the home’s best features. In vacation rental photography, however, what you are highlighting is the experience. Photos that are deceiving can lead to bad reviews, which can hurt your chances of getting new renters in the future.
Do Photograph Every Sleeping Space
While it’s likely that your guests will spend some time relaxing at your property, the thing they are most interested in is that it’s a good place for them to sleep. Take photos of every sleeping area that you are offering. If you are counting sofa beds in sleeping possibilities, take photos of them pulled out and made up with linens and pillows.
Do Highlight the Property’s Best Features
Have a great view? Capture some photos of it at the most charming and breathtaking times of the day. Is a fireplace one of the amenities? Include a picture of it with a warm, roaring fire. Perks like hot tubs should also be shown with the cover off and the jets running so that potential vacationers can picture themselves there. While your text description is important, people take in information more quickly and completely when it is presented visually first.
Don’t Be Stingy About Photos
When it comes to Airbnb pictures, more is better. A group of many pictures helps your potential guests get a better idea of what the property is like and what they should expect. Include photos of the exterior of the home as well as the interior. You can also take photos of nearby attractions that make your place an ideal destination.
Do Use a Tripod to Get the Sharpest Photos
A tripod and a timer are some of the best tools to take your photos from amateur to professional quality. These allow you to keep the camera steady while you shoot and avoid camera shake that can make pictures blurry or lower in detail. Plus, with a camera that is completely still, you can use lower ISO settings and narrower apertures. These give you the sharpest and clearest photos to make your space seem most appealing. Whether you are using a standalone digital camera or the camera app on your phone, look for the “aperture priority mode.” Then, set your camera for the lowest ISO possible and an aperture of f/8 or more so that the entire room is in focus.
If you are in the market for an inexpensive, quality tripod this one available on Amazon is perfect for your needs: AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag
Don’t Use a Flash
If you are worried that your rooms are not bright enough, the flash is not the answer. Camera flashes wash out colors and detail and introduce harsh shadows. This all can make the room look flat and uninviting. Is your flash going off automatically? This is a sign that the room is too dark. Add light from outside to compensate. If the flash continues to trigger on its own, you can turn it off manually and avoid blurs by using the tripod and timer trick above.
Over time, update photos as your photo skills improve. It may take some trial and error to get the photos that best show off your Airbnb property. By taking the time to improve your technique and your staging, you can create a photo set that shows just why someone should choose to spend their next vacation with you.
If you don’t have the time or tools to make sure your Airbnb real estate photos look as professional as you would like, you can always contact us for the very best photographs of your rental property.