Newsflash: (human insight)
People won't read if they can look at a picture.
So what do your pictures say about your property and how can you attract the eye of the beholder?
Here are my basic tips, and watch out for my next post on how to style your space!
If you are listing on Airbnb, take advantage of the free photography offer.
Yes, that's right: It's totally FREE! You apply online and the photographer will contact you within a few days to arrange a time.
My tip: Make sure your property is looking as finished and beautifully decorated as possible. You will only get one crack at the free photography so don't stuff it up! If you plan on replacing that worn old couch, hold off on the photography until it arrives. (See tip #7 below)
Also note that you can't use the Airbnb photos on any other platforms - that's a breach of their T&Cs.
I'm going to say it again:
Make sure your property is looking as finished and beautifully decorated as possible. You need to be a stylist! Pretend you are a set-dresser in a theatre or on a movie set. Make sure the beds are perfectly made and wrinkle-free, the cushions are artfully arranged, the paintings are hanging straight on the wall, the kitchen benches are clutter-free and the rubbish bin is not in shot! If you are not good at this kind of thing, enlist some help.
Finding a Photographer:
If you are not listing on Airbnb (or listing on other platforms as well) then you will need to arrange your own photos. It's worth the investment to hire a professional real-estate photographer, or try AirTasker.
We all strive for accuracy, but there are some parts of every house that are not so attractive so might be best left out. For instance, the laundry is often not exactly picturesque, and utility areas such as boot-rooms can be messy. Of course the best idea is to clean them up, but you don't need to feature them in the pictures.
Bathrooms can be tricky... you really should have a photo included in your deck, but some older bathrooms are not very attractive. Old bathroom fittings such as toilets and vanities can be hard to disguise or improve. Try your best with the decluttering and styling and try to take the shot from the most advantageous angle. If you have a shower curtain, ensure it is new, clean and pulled to one side! You could also try to take a humorous approach - line up a row of rubber duckies or bath toys on the window ledge for a bit of fun.
Rotate your pictures regularly
When guests are planning their travel, they spend a lot of time browsing and your leading pic is the only one they may see. They may start skipping over it if that pic does not speak to them. Avoid browsing fatigue by changing your leading pic from time to time - makes it look like a new listing.
Caption your photos
Write a really compelling description of what's in that photo. "Sweet dreams in hotel-quality bedlinen", "Million dollar views of Melbourne skyline", "This kitchen has all the mod cons to bring out your inner MasterChef".
You get the drift...
When you first start out you will need to take some photos of your own to get up & running quickly. This usually means taking some happy snaps yourself and as most of us don't have professional equipment, you will probably use your mobile phone. There's nothing wrong with that as a stop-gap measure so long as you:
Ensure the room is as well lit as possible
Take your photos in landscape orientation (they won't display on the site properly if you shoot in portrait)
Crop photos to make them look professional and focus on the main part of the shot