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What to Show in Your Airbnb Photos

Best Playa del Rey condos on Airbnb
Airbnb sent a professional photographer to shoot my Playa del Rey condo.

Recently, I was quoted in a blog post about how to make money through Airbnb, a service I have used extensively over the last year while I’ve bounced around Europe. The now ubiquitous service has allowed me the nomadic lifestyle I’ve dreamed of since I first wallpapered my room with maps and images of Australia in sixth grade (although I’ve yet to make it Down Under). Not only have I been renting out my Playa del Rey condo on the site, but I’ve used the service to book short- and long-term stays in several cities.

Having been both a host and a guest with Airbnb, I’ve learned a few tips for making your home’s profile appealing and useful to potential visitors. One of the most important parts of the profile is the photography. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your Airbnb pics the best they can be.

  • Be specific in your captions. Let me know this is Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, etc. A good format to follow: Bedroom 1: View from doorway, Patio: View of Vatican. This lets the reader know how many rooms there are, particularly if your decor makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other.
  • Don’t get too artsy. I don’t have time to waste looking at individual pieces of mass-produced art or close-ups of your rubber duckies. (Seriously, an apartment in Berlin had the latter as one of their photos, complete with the caption “friendly bath wildlife.”)
  • Show attractions last. I know what the Colosseum looks like. I want to see your place. But if you must include photos of attractions (and I know it can be good for search results), please put them last.
  • Don’t over-share. I don’t need five different views of the same bedroom. Two per room will suffice, even if it’s a really large room.
  • Make sure the photos are well-lit. Honestly, you have no idea how many dark, indistinguishable photos I’ve come across. If you don’t care enough to take good photos, I’m not staying there.
  • Get a professional Airbnb photographer to come over. Seriously, the difference between a professional pic and your dimly lit snap taken with your smartphone can make all the difference in the world. And since Airbnb offers this service for free, there’s really no excuse to having lackluster shots showcase your pad. (Note: Since this post was originally written, Airbnb no longer offers this service for free. But it’s still worth getting professional photographs, whether it be through Airbnb or another service.)

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