The importance of a first impression with professional photos
First impressions last
Think of your first date or the first time you checked out your now partner across the bar or in the street. There was a distinguishing feature or first impression that stood out…their smile, their laugh, the way they dressed, or other elements of their physique that drew you in.
You then of course got chatting and worked out what qualities you liked or didn’t like and whether you wanted to progress things and see that person again.
Listing your place on short-stay platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com can be much the same.
Photos are your first impression, they are the physical appearance people will use to decide if they’d like to get to know more and then your property’s description is the ‘conversation’ for you to find out more about their ‘personality’ and decide if you want to see them again – or in short-stay accommodation terms, make a booking.
Professional photos are important
Don’t get me wrong, we all know that mobile phone cameras do get better with each release – but it’s nothing in comparison to a professional grade DSLR, especially those that have wider lenses to capture more of your space.
Authenticity is also key. Using our dating analogy again, there’s no point pretending you are someone you aren’t as sooner or later the truth will be revealed and your charade will be over. The same goes for your photography, there’s no point taking photos of things that aren’t likely to be there when your guests arrive. Ensure photos are as timely as possible and up-to-date as you want the images to match what they see when they stay at your property.
Let guests book with confidence. Bring your property to life as best as you can with multiple angles of your space to help put your guest “inside” – images that best highlight the space and how each room connects, as well as close ups of personal touches, help round out your property’s ‘personality’. Use as much light as possible and don’t jam pack your photos full of amenities.
Here are some examples of an initial listing with iPhone photos and then those with a professional 35mm lens. There’s no prizes for guessing which are the professional ones – it’s easy to see the difference of light and space.
Remember, most people will visually remember what they see more than the details they read in your description. It also helps to take photos of the area, the leafy streets, a nearby landmark or your favourite local café to add to your listing’s appeal.
Be sure to take many photos to appeal to a broad range of guests and refresh your cover photo often to help improve your Airbnb ranking.