Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

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Airbnb Staff
Airbnb Staff

Airbnb Answers: Tips for getting more bookings

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 53
Sandra210
Level 3
Peterborough, United Kingdom

I have been hosting now since 2012.  Initially when we got started to encourage us to host Air bnb sent a proffessional photographer to tak the pictures free of charge.  They used techniques I wouldnt have thought of (not being a great photographer) I have added my own ( not such good quality) but they are a fair representation of the property in all weather and different sceanrios, along with pictures of the surrounding area and our village in different weather such as in the snow.  

I have updated some of the interior and since doing so I often get guests say the photographs do not do it justice.

I do feel its better for guests to have the expectations exceeded on arrival so they immediately feel positive about their arrival and not dissappointed.  

I could have my photographs updated as I have superhosts bonus's that can be used but have chosen not to at the moment as we have done well with the ones we have.

 

KristinandDan0
Level 3
California, United States

We paid for Airbnb professional photos for our first property and they were great.  The were an accurate representation of the property.

 

i couldn’t wait to see the Airbnb professional photos for our second property.  The quality of photography was not even close to what the first photographer produced.

 

i called the Helpdesk to inform them of my displeasure.  The answer was: sorry no reshoots.  In essence, spend the money,  Airbnb randomly pics a photographer and it is just luck if you get high quality detailed photography.

 

Not very good customer service for a super host .  Airbnb should take feedback on photography seriously especially when telling hosts how important pictures are.  I hope  this policy is revisited.  At a bare minimum hosts should get to rate the photographer AFTER we see the photos.

 

Thanks for listening.

Sandy81
Level 5
New Orleans, LA

Aside from using a professional photographer, where are the tips for getting more bookings? I feel like Airbnb is trying to steer me in the direction of using  their photographers, under the guise of giving me helpful advice.

Alan9
Level 2
Aveley, Australia

Hi Sandy,

I recently took advantage of ABnB's offer to use an experienced photographer, it was really worth it.

I have a photography background but the new shots were a real improvement on what I thought were adequate pics. I recommend you invest in your future.

Alan

Perth 

Australia

Mimsie0
Level 2
null

I do use the photos to show there is a share bath/shower. The only options are private half bath or completely share. My guests have their privacy for most bathroom events, but we share the shower. A guest once came in who was from France and she was like "oh like in France." Photos are good to display this kind of detail, but a more accurate system would be even better.

Taruna0
Level 2
Wellington, New Zealand

% agree 

Lyn-and-Mark0
Level 3
Lake City, TX

There are severals pictures in my listings that have been marked by Airbnb that need work.  Too dark or blurry.  In one case the furniture is dark leather - so yeah, it's dark.  Another was of white towles and I guess it looked blurry!  Their bot doesn't destinguish artistic shots.  I do not use professional photos in my listings.  I prefer to use my smart phone camera feature in all my shots and work at using existing lighting and staging to give a more accurate view of what the guest will get.  I think my pictures are good representations of my listings without being over done.  The one thing I don't want is to have a guest enter my units and feel let down.  My reviews are quite specific in the details that my guests share. 

Lauren484
Level 9
San Diego, CA

💯 agree! 

Corinne188
Level 6
Rocha, Uruguay

@Lauren484  I laughed, but could not agree more.  When we listed our house and I saw the photos I panicked.  OMG people are going to come and expect THIS?  And when in reality it was not as nice as the photos.  I would rather people be pleasantly surprised, than bitterly dissapointed. 

Lorena264
Level 2
México D.F., MX

I earned the professional photo shoot as a gift for being superhost for 4 quarters: The pictures definitely led to more bookings and yet, one person complained about the "outdated representation" and gave 3 stars in Accuracy. So get the pictures, know there will be bad customers and hope there will be few of them.

Lauren484
Level 9
San Diego, CA

That's great for those that want to do the professional photo. I am a super host. I choose not to do the photos. I feel that the professional photos make a space appear more than what it really is, and lead to false advertisement. I want my space listed to be authentic and for expectation to meet reality.

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hello @Lauren484,

 

Lovely to meet you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on photography here. 

 

I think as a host it is completely up-to-you as to whether you wish to include the photos you have taken or the ones from a professional photographer. We know that quite a lot of hosts like taking their own, but some would  like to have a few pointers now and again. This is why we create a post sharing some great tips on how you can take great photos, using your own phone (included in the piece above). 

 

Hopefully many have found these tips handy. 🙂 

 

Thanks again.

Lizzie


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