Instantly get more bookings with this 1 tip
As the short-term rental market becomes more popular with investors, the increased competition within the market means having a property that stands out is futile. The easiest and most effective way to do that? Stunning photography to do your property justice.
We say it time and time again at and chill, if there’s one thing you don’t want to skimp on, it’s professional photography. When people make decisions on where to book, photos are the first thing they see. It’s safe to say that the quality of your photos can make or break your listing and it’s essential that you’re setting yourself up for success from the get-go.
Taking interior photos is a specialised skill, so don’t be alarmed to find out that your iPhone can’t seem to capture your entire living room in the frame. Working with super-wide angle lenses isn’t easy, and if done incorrectly you can end up with fish-eyed looking photos.
Therefore, we highly recommend hiring a professional photographer to capture photos of your property, one that specialises in indoor photography and has experience in real estate photos. Once you’ve booked in your magic maker, it’s time to get the property ready for its debut.
Part 1: Staging and styling
Before we have a professional to come in and take photos, we have to make sure the property is photo-ready. Spending an extra 30 minutes going around the house and making things show-ready will add value to your nightly rate. Have you ever seen a photo with something embarrassing in the background? Yup – that’s what we want to avoid. We’re trying to get bookings, not go viral.
It’s the simple stuff:
- Fluff the pillows
- Open the blinds and have them at the same height or angle
- Hide cables
- Give everything a home and put it away
- Close anything open
- Wipe the surfaces
- Make sure nothing is wet
- Make the bed
- Close the toilet seat.
- Make sure the toilet roll is full.
Of course use this as a guideline to stage your property, and not a rule book. As with everything in life, sometimes breaking the rules can yield great results.
Take this picture for example:
The doors are left wide open to show-off the beautiful scenery background. This is one instance where the rule “close anything open” doesn’t have to apply.
The easiest way to figure out if your staging will attract bookings, is to picture yourself as a guest and ask yourself, “if this is a stranger’s home, would I want to sleep here?” and that’s part 1.
Part 2: Taking the right photos
Part 2 is photographing the right kind of pictures. Sure, nice photos will help increase bookings, but not if it’s a picture out of the window or the colour coordinated cushions on your couch. Making sure your photos showcase and highlight every aspect of your property is essential, because more likely or not, most guests won’t even read your description if they’re not slightly interested in the photos.
- Have at least three wide photos of each room to show your guests what the whole area looks like. If they can’t piece together your entire home from their screen then they will find another property that they can imagine themselves in.
- Contrary to the staging rule, taking close up photos of opened cabinetry can give your guests an idea of what your property will provide. I.e. kitchen cabinets, utensil drawers, hidden laundry, clothes hangers, tucked away hairdryer, extra toilet paper etc.
- Make sure all amenities are visible in at least one photo: i.e. Air Conditioner, dishwashers, laundry (again, it’s important) etc. If an amenity listed in the description but you can’t find it in the images, then it doesn’t exist.
- Take photos of all sleeping arrangements, even the sofa bed! Make your sofa bed up for a quick shoot, to give your guests peace of mind that it functions and exists.
- Don’t take photos that give away your property address. This means no images of your front yard or mailbox. All guests aren’t as lovely as we want them to be, and more malicious Airbnb users may take the opportunity to exploit your home.
Part 3: Ordering your photos
The last part to this photo journey is to order your photos for your listing. Our tip? Think of it as visual storytelling.
The first image doubles as the cover photo and must showcase the best feature of the property. This could be the balcony with an amazing view, the infinity pool or the gorgeous living room. It’s never going to be the bathroom even if there’s a Japanese toilet.
From there treat the order as a form of visual storytelling; you’re giving the reader a tour through the place. Move into the living room, then into the dining area, kitchen, followed by bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry. In the end, you can sprinkle in the surrounding area. Again, you want to be able to make the guest visualise their stay at your property. There’s no correct order, but there’s always an order that looks just right.
Here are some of our favourites
In the end, most people will still judge a book by it’s cover. A poorly showcased property will never perform as well as a well styled and professionally shot property, and in some cases, having professional photos can even save an averagely styled home. To make sure that your property is performing to its fullest potential, photos are the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to boost your listing – it’s fool proof.