Bookings%2FPhotography Article.jpg

 

You asked: What can I do to get more bookings?

 

We went straight to the source for this answer: We asked guests what they look for in Airbnb stays, and we analyzed their booking behavior to find out what takes them from browsing to booking.

 

It turns out that, after price and reviews, photography is the most important factor. In fact, 60% of listing views start with a guest clicking on a photo, and over 40% of the time when a guest chooses not to book a listing, the last thing they clicked on was a photo. So photos matter, and they should be as good as possible. 

 

Check out our tips for taking great photos using your phone or camera, or if you’re ready to take your listing (and booking success) to the next level, consider professional photography.

 

We’ve found that pro photography can help your listing stand out and perform better than it otherwise might. Specifically, you can expect:

  • 16% higher probability of being booked
  • 39% higher total reservation amount (which means that guests tend to book longer stays)
  • 28% more nights booked
  • 26% higher average price per night

 

As a lot of you know, Airbnb can connect you with pro photographers in locations around the world. You can request a photoshoot at no cost up front; the service fee will simply be deducted from your future bookings.

 

If Airbnb’s pro-photography service isn’t available in your area, consider hiring a photographer that specializes in interior spaces.

 

Once you have photos that really do your place justice, it’s time to give potential guests some more context. Great photos need great captions. And guests really do read them. Captions are your opportunity to do two big things: direct potential guests’ attention to the unique and compelling perks of your place and help set expectations. So don’t just show them a pretty bed, tell them how comfy it is. Describe what they can’t see for themselves—that the tiles in the bathroom floor are heated, for instance. This is your chance to help guests imagine themselves in your space.

           

By taking the time to show and tell travelers how great your place is, you’ll attract more interest. Your attention to detail in your online listing suggests you’ll be a host who cares about the little things that count in person.

 

View this and other answers from the Host Q&A here.

53 Replies

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
New York, NY
Level 4

There are several pics that have been marked "dark" or "blurry" but were taken by your professional photographer, fyi. You don't take those down do you? What do you recommend?

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Calgary, CA
Level 3

Airbnb hosting tips can be tough to find and many factors will affect getting a good review from your guests. Some of these tips have been borrowed from other hosts, some we learned over time ourselves, and some I found while I did research for this post. I hope everyone can learn something from these. Happy hosting! Ps this is just 10 out of 50. Check out our Source: www.AirbnbUniverse.com

 

If Airbnb hosting tips isn’t what you are looking for you, then check out our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room essentials.

 

 50 Airbnb Hosting Tips

 

Be Upfront – Every city, building, the landscape has difficulties. Whether your Airbnb has 100 steps, the toilet clogs or your wifi is choppy. Let your guests know exactly what to expect before arriving. If you’re upfront then your guests know what they are getting into and will be ready for any surprises.

 

Have Your Number On Your Guests Keyring – Some Airbnb hosts won’t feel comfortable adding their full address onto the keyring. We suggest only adding your phone number due to privacy and it normally fits nicely onto the ring.

 

Be Flexible With Check-in and Check-out times – It is definitely tough to be flexible if you have same day turnovers. Changing your bed sheets, wiping countertops down, and vacuuming takes time. If one guest checks-out at 11 pm and your next guest checks-in at 3 pm, things can get stressful.

 

We have had many guests ask to check out later then what’s in our Airbnb guidelines. We try to keep them happy. How we manage this is by automatically blocking off the next day for cleaning and preparing. To be honest it saves us from scrambling last minute or rushing home to prepare for the next guest. The only downside is the potential profit you would lose.

 

Read All Guest Reviews – By reading your potential guest reviews, you will find out instantly if they have misbehaved during any of their previous stays. Airbnb host reviews are normal very honest.

 

Response No Matter What – Regardless if it’s an inquiry, spam, or a simple question, just reply. A simple “No” is adequate and not replying at all will affect your response rate and could stop you from getting Superhost status.

 

Give New Guests A Shot – Every guest has to start somewhere and at the beginning, this will mean no previous reviews. Give those guests a shot, but remember to ask them further questions. Message them via Airbnb App asking politely “what are you coming for?”, “is this your first Airbnb stay?”, “what time are you planning to arrive?” or “who are you bringing with you?”. These questions will get you a better feeling on if the guest is good for your Airbnb.

 

Get A Co-Host – If you have a spouse helping you with your Airbnb then great. We would suggest getting a co-host to help with at least the messaging. It can be overwhelming replying to all the inquiries and messages, especially if you have multiple properties. A co-host can also help if you ever travel to a country where you have no data…. or just want to enjoy your vacation in peace! With the recent Airbnb updated, you don’t have to share profit revenue if you choose to.

 

Go One Step Further – For us, when our guests check-in we leave them one bottle of water per guest in the fridge and one beside their bed. We also have a fruit basket ready, which has got us many compliments. You don’t have to do this exactly, if some of you guys have a gym membership, offer that for your guests to use. Another idea would be handwriting a personalized note before your guest checks in. Whatever it is, your guests will feel welcomed.

 

Share A Meal, Story, Coffee, Or Drink With Your Guests – This really depends on what vibe you are getting off your guests and if you are living in the same property. Some guests want complete privacy, others would love to share stories and enjoy your company. This will change from guest to guest.

 

Give Your Guests Space – On the same topic as sharing a meal, on the other spectrum, if you get the vibe that your guest is introverted or shy then give them space. Do not push to have an awkward conversation, which your guest will most likely hate. Let them have privacy.


Devin & Sarah, Superhost and Bloggers

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Houston, TX
Level 2

I have taken many of the suggestions above on board except professional photography.  I think my pictures are reasonably good.  I offer a private room in a historic home in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Houston.  I'm flexible with check-in and check-out times, greet guests personally, respond promptly, make coffee, offer filtered water, give my guests space, provide restaurant and activity recommendations when requested, offer a free pilates lesson for a 4 night stay, and sometimes provide fresh flowers.  I've even given a guest recommendations on elementary school options and found another guest a rent house.  I have 97% 5-star reviews (94) and have been a superhost for a year.  Many guests walk into my home and exclaim "it's so beautiful"!  

 

For the first 6 months, my place was booked solid but the following 10 months has been so-so.  There is alot of competition, but I've looked at the photos and the amenities are often equal and for a higher price.   A friend has a new-ish listing and is booked all the time.  Another friend gets more than 1000 views per month and I'm lucky to get 200.

 

I'd like to understand why I'm not getting views and what I can do to increase the level.  I've heard that Airbnb promotes new listings and once the listing is no longer new, it is no longer promoted .  What is Airbnb doing to market ongoing Superhosts? 

 

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Gulf Breeze, FL
Level 2

How can I offer a 20% discount due to late cancellations?  

Thanks 

Nadia 

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Washington, NC
Level 1

Obviously, there are differing views regarding host listing photos.  I took time to arrange our Airbnb space and property surroundings exactly as it appears at guest check-in and used an i-phone to capture images. I suppose pro shots could make the place look like a million bucks, but I think my photos are appealing enough. My favorite comment from almost every guest is that the place is so much bigger and more beautiful in person.  I might lose a potential booking or two on the site because the photos don't 'wow' enough, but I'd rather surpass guest expectation than dissapoint due to photo scroll oversell.  In two years of hosting, we've been given perfect 5-star reviews from every guest.  We even have to block some dates to give us occasional breaks from non-stop bookings.  The Airbnb format works if guest satisfaction is priority 1 for the host.  Sure, we love the added income, but we work harder than we ever imagined to provide a a clean, appealing, safe space for travelers at a competitive rate for lodging in our area.  That's what we're proud of and what our guests seem to be responding to, regardless of amature photos, with very positive results.

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Michael1989  I agree and that has been my experience as well. I just list a private room/bathroom with use of common spaces, and my photos are definitely not "pro",. in fact over half were marked by the Airbnb bot as "too blurry" or "too dark". Yet guests say one of the things that attracted them was the photos, and when they arrive, several have said "Oh! This is much nicer than I expected." And yes, 2 and a half years of hosting and 5*s consistently (fingers crossed I don't ever get one of those guests who is seemingly impossible to please)

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Parkmill, United Kingdom
Level 1

You have introduced the tips for getting more bookings  with booking for my property and reduced the price  for a reservation you have-taken without my consent. I have a strict rule  to  keeping. To my set price per night . And I don’t feel you have he right to make a decision on the price offered.  Due to this I have now lost  money on  this transaction as I have to still put in place all the usual. Cleaning and house sitting arrangements in place at the full price. 
I am requesting. That in future. You insult me before making he changes.  Amanda Fancourt 

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

I am a big advocate for professional photos. I use them in all listings. Professional photos don't have to mean misleading photos. In fact, when you use an iphone to take a photo, you are misleading the guest by showing your space as smaller then it really is. You are underwhelming them thus less likely to get bookings.

 

Underwhelming a guest will probably lead to great reviews because people don't come with big expectations. However, if you want to monetize your place as much as possible, professional photos will help. I disagree when people say professional photos lead to false expectations. That is only the case when the photos are overly photo-shopped. If it is done in good taste and in an authentic manner, it will mainly serve as a positive.

 

In over 200 reviews, I only received one review that mentioned the photos make the place look better then it really is. 1 out of 200 reviews which is almost irrelevant. And that guest had a history of leaving critical reviews for his previous hosts so go figure.

Re: Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

Also wide lenses are a plus for the viewer. Wide lensing a home shows the home as more accurate rather then misleading. When someone walks into a home, they see the home as wide if not wider than a professional camera shows. Thus, not misleading but painting a true picture of the home. The human eyes are capable of seeing a wide perspective so why not use a wide lens.

 

By doing wide lenses you show the space as how it would look when someone walks in. Also, the guest will spend less time analyzing the pictures to see where the rooms transition to other rooms. It is easier for the guests to visualize the layout of the home with wide lens photos than with an iphone. If they can have a better understanding of the layout and whether rooms transition into other rooms, that is a benefit.

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