When a guest books your place, and you want to find more information about them, you’ll often land on their profile page. The same goes for guests wanting more information about the Host. You’ll see the Host’s or guest’s “About” section, any listings/guidebooks/experiences, and any reviews they have received and left. You can already gather a lot of information from this, but there’s one thing that really speaks a thousand words: a profile picture!
There are many things a profile picture can give away simply by what is shown, how you’re posing, where you’re standing, or even whether or not it’s a picture of yourself. A profile picture allows you to tell a story about yourself that won’t come across as well as when just using words. Do keep in mind that a profile picture often doesn’t state facts, and anything we learn from them is usually solely based on speculation and assumption.
How do you pick your profile picture? What story do you choose to tell guests or Hosts about yourself? And why?
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments!
I prefer photos of the actual person - it helps me build an impression of who the guest is. Also helps me ”stalk” the guest online…😉 I think many guests must feel the same way. It does not have to be a close up, though - even a photo from a bit more distance works well for me.
My photo is my LinkedIn photo. My first name is not common in Sweden (I’m Norwegian), so if potential guests try to look me up before booking, they should be able find me. Hopefully this builds trust. Also, I wanted a photo where I look smiling and friendly, but not one that is very private.
And @Gillian166: I’m 51 too, and agree with you; we are old…
When a guest books your place, and you want to find more information about them, you’ll often land on their profile page............ there’s one thing that really speaks a thousand words: a profile picture!
I 100% agree.
And yet, we get to see the profile picture of a potential guest before they book. This is standard practice across all social media. It's a bit late to accept a booking and then see their profile pic is them smoking a bong with mates in a carpark......... that info might have been helpful prior to accepting them. In fact, just seeing the care someone puts into a profile pic is good info.
@Gillian166 That's a good point! Though as I mentioned, any info we get from a profile picture is solely speculation and assumption. You can't make a full and trustworthy judgement of character based on just one picture, and the guest you described might be someone who's actually very respectful towards your property and house rules. Smoking in a car park could also mean he doesn't smoke inside! 😜
Although having a profile picture helps (and I can imagine seeing it before accepting a booking could be helpful too), anything we learn from them should be taken with a grain of salt.
@Sybe absolutely, but you are looking at this from a glass half empty perspective.
the profile photo can actually HELP you get the booking approved. A nice simple portrait pic is reassuring, or maybe there's a pic of you and your cat and the host is a cat lover too, or a pic of you hiking and the host loves that about you. I'm sure discrimination happens in a minority of cases, I don't think we'll ever stop that, but a host should be able to use a combo of photo + the chat + past reviews to determine if a guest is a good fit. If a guest has 0 reviews, no photo, no ID verified and can barely write 4 words, why do I have accept them into my home and my life?
this policy of hiding the profile photo during reservation is actually protecting the bad actors.
@Gillian166 It's more words of precaution rather than a glass half empty perspective, but I understand what you mean. All in all, I think we're on the same line regarding how important and beneficial a profile picture can be! 😃
@Sybe I think humans have more in common with each other than not, and a pic of someone hiking with their dog says so much more about them than the "typical" markers we might use for discrimination (race, ethnicity, gender, religion etc), cos we see them as real person sharing our interests, so all the superficial stuff becomes irrelevant. I see that as a positive, whereas when you hide their profile photo I wonder why.....
i'm in favour of having profile pics re-introduced.
@Sudsrung0 as you described, i think it's perfect for you, shows the relaxed beach lifestyle and you look very friendly, normal and nice! that's what people want in a post.
My pic is actually 5 years old, i'm not even blonde anymore. I should probably update it but that was from a happy time and I like to be reminded of it. maybe this summer i'll take a new one when i'm back on the farm.
@Sybe there is that, but also I don't want to admit that i'm now officially "old" ! 😅
I just did a photoshoot for a dear friend as a gift and she is moaning over old she looks, and I'm like "babe, we are 51, we ARE old!" but of course, for her new portrait pic she will use on Linked in, I will do a little photoshop magic.... and btw my friend looks stunning, and she doesn't wear make-up ever.
@Gillian166 Being "old" or "young" is subjective! 😜
My mom always told me I'm an old soul in a young body but all you can do about your age is to embrace it and to live life.
@Sybe well, yes, maybe. I quite enjoy being "old" cos I am less likely to be emotionally reactive
but of course the realities of seeing our wrinkles and grey hair can be a shock when inside our heads we still feel 39....
I choose mine because we are in a beach area and most of our guest are International tourist, maybe they can relate to that, and I thought a more personal touch guest can see me clearly,
We do live near to that beach,
I do see lots of profiles with not photo Im not sure that the right thing to do,
@Sudsrung0 It's a good picture that aids to tell the story of your listing, and I can see you really put some thought into it, both the background and your pose. It really gives a holiday vibe! 😃
@Anna12317 It's a beautiful picture, and I can imagine you miss Willow very much. I'm so sorry for your loss.
A profile picture doesn't always have to be something that we choose for other people. We get to see our own picture often enough anyway, so why not make it something that makes us happy!
@Emiel1 And a gorgeous garden at that! What's the thought behind it? Is there a reason you chose a flower or specifically that flower? (I wish I could name it but my knowledge of herbology is lacking)
Is there a reason you chose a picture of a flower over a picture of yourself?