At one time, Airbnb was a lowkey service with just a few high-quality listings per city. If you provided a clean and cozy place to stay, you were sure to get booked. But nowadays there are over 4 million Airbnbs available all over the world, and your listing—no matter how wonderful it is—easily gets lost among the rest. With so much competition, how do you make your Airbnb listing stand out and attract potential guests? In this article, we’ll provide seven tips on how to make your Airbnb listing look its absolute best, including getting the perfect lighting and elevating an image using the Photo Editor.
1. Cut Out the Clutter
This tip applies in two ways. First, when you’re taking photos of your Airbnb, make sure you clean thoroughly beforehand, just like how you would before a guest’s arrival. Put out clean towels, make sure the kitchen and bathroom are stocked with the necessities, and sweep and mop where you can. Neatness is also key, because many people judge the cleanliness of the room based on what’s most visible. Clear any clutter from the shelves and make sure the bed sheets are wrinkle-free.
This brings us to the second tip. Forgot to move an object from the shot, or weren’t able to smooth out a stubborn crease? You can always use the Photo Editor to crop it out or touch it up. Stick to small stuff and make sure not to over-edit. You don’t want the photos to look doctored; more importantly, your listing should match your guests’ expectations!
2. Add Some Personality
How often do you scroll through Airbnb and see thousands of similar sleek, gray-and-white, Ikea furniture listings? One of the best things about using Airbnb versus a hotel is the unique personality and charm that every listing offers. Consider the vibe you want your room or home to have—is it cottagecore cozy, old-school elegant, mid-century modern, colorful contemporary? Try creating a moodboard using found images and our Collage Maker and replicating those aesthetics.
Just because you want to add some unique flare to your Airbnb doesn’t mean you have to break the budget. We’re not really knocking Ikea furniture, but consider thrifting some clean vintage pieces. For a quick lift, add some framed art to the walls, sticking to a theme. Use a few plants to spruce up a boring room and create a naturally inviting feel.
3. Make the Most of Natural Light
All the photos in this article have one thing in common: Natural light. That’s because when it comes to photography, natural light is your best friend. This is especially true when it comes to a house, where light can make or break the feeling of a home. An easy method of utilizing natural light is just to use as much of it as you can: Open every possible set of blinds. Follow the sun and take photos in the morning for rooms with east-facing windows, in the evening for rooms with west-facing windows. Place mirrors strategically to reflect light in shady areas. Even if the window only provides sunlight to a small area, a shaft of sunlight falling across a dim room can do a lot to add to a photo’s aesthetic.
Sunlight, especially at golden hour or in summer, also makes colors warmer and more inviting. If your Airbnb doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or if you’re taking photos in the winter, you can adjust the warmth of your photos using the Color tool in the Photo Editor. Using the Exposure tool you can also brighten your photos as needed, but nothing beats organic natural light.
4. Use Angles to Your Advantage
Realtors are experts at this one. Changing up the angle of your shot can actually give a snug room the illusion of more space: You’ve probably heard that a wide-angle lens works best, but you don’t need one. Really, even taking a picture from against the wall or through the door (versus a few feet inside) can do a lot to make a room seem bigger. Play around with different angles and distances until you’re satisfied. Try using an object in the foreground to lend a sense of depth, as with the hanging plant in the cozy living room below.
5. First Impressions Are Everything
The first photo in your Airbnb slideshow needs to entice and attract a person scrolling by—or else they’ll blow past your listing entirely. We’ve already given some tips on how to take beautiful photos, but how do you choose which one to show off first?
If you’re lucky enough to own a property on the beach or in a serene spot in the woods, it’s probably best to get a picture of the whole house with the surroundings included. Guests looking for Airbnbs in these areas are trying to make the most out of the location. But if it’s going to be your average stay in the city or the suburbs, you’ll make the best first impression with a clean and sunlit living or sleeping area. The living room and bedroom are where your guests will probably be spending the most time, so pick a photo that showcases the best features of one of these rooms.
6. Tell a Story
When you create your slideshow for your Airbnb listing, think about how you would set up a tour for a potential guest. As we said in Tip #5, use the first slide to make your first impression. But after that, think about how you would guide someone through your home. What’s the first thing they see when they walk through the door? What would the next stop be—the kitchen? The bedroom? Focus on areas they would like to spend time in. Showcase the yard or the porch if there is one. If you provide unique amenities, like board games or a well-stocked pantry, think about including these in your photos—but otherwise don’t waste slides on small details, instead creating a bigger picture.
7. Throw In Some Travel Tips
Including photos of local sights and activities might sway an undecided guest, because it helps you stand out among repetitive listings. Plus, it makes you seem like more of an authority about the area, and potential guests may find you a more trustworthy host. However, you don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too many images in your slideshow. You can always use the Collage Maker to display multiple photos at once without having endless slides to click through.
Improve Your Airbnb Listing Today
These tips may seem simple, but they can make a big difference in how your Airbnb listing performs. Even just switching up the lighting can make a difference between a good-looking Airbnb and a great-looking Airbnb! If you’re already providing a quality stay, then follow these guidelines and before you know it, you’ll be booked and busy year-round. Even if you can’t quite capture the perfect shot, you can always touch your photos up lightly in post so that they look their absolute best. Just open up the Photo Editor to get started.