Hands up who scrolls through the photos first when searching accommodation options on the web?
Human are visual creatures. Our brains process images faster than text. When marketing your holiday property, photos and text are important, but not equally so.
The better your photographs, the more appealing your property. It sounds like a no-brainer but a quick scroll through Airbnb will bring up more examples of what not to do.
If you want your property to stand out on Airbnb, then post excellent photos. More is better than less, but don’t go overboard either. Stick to 10 – 12 quality shots. Show all the rooms. No picture of the bathroom says it’s too awful to be seen. Omissions speak volumes. So do cover-ups. Nothing screams old, ugly, and uncomfortable as much as throwing a rug over the couch!
Photos of the exterior and area around the property can add appeal to your property. Include a few at the end of the photo reel. Generally, people prefer to see the interior first.
Not so handy with a camera? Then ask a talented friend or hire a professional photographer. If you’re strapped for cash, you might like to provide the latter with a short stay in exchange for the images you need. You’ll quickly recoup the cost.
Staging before the photo shoot is imperative. Cast a careful eye around and clear away clutter and mess. For staging ideas, flick through properties on Airbnb and real estate websites noting what makes an image striking and alluring. Note what is off-putting as well.
What makes you unique?
Try to capture what makes your property unique. Both in photos and text. What would make a potential guest choose your property over another? Is it a sought-after area? Is it the charming interior? Find it and focus on it.
The words you choose
We’ve stressed that photos are vital, but that doesn’t mean your words are irrelevant. How you present them can be just as significant as what you say. People tend to skim read descriptions on the internet. Set your text out to accommodate this. Use headings, sub-headings, and bullet points.
Talk about experiences so your audience can envisage their stay. Describe the benefits rather than just listing features. For example, if you’re in a quiet rural setting, list that as the feature and add why this is advantageous. By doing so, you highlight the benefit.
If you don’t think you have a way with words, consider engaging the services of an experienced freelance copywriter.
Profile and pricing
Completing the Airbnb profile and keeping it up-dated helps your property to stay at the top of the list. Make sure you finalise the ‘Trust and Verification’ section, which you’ll find under the ‘Profile’ sub-menu. Updating your calendar page daily and turning on ‘instant bookings’ will also improve your ranking.
Pay attention to pricing. People use Airbnb because they are looking for a unique option that costs less than a comparable hotel. Check what other properties in the area are charging and set your price accordingly.
Capturing people’s attention with fine photos and enticing text is a great first step. It gives prospective customer’s a wonderful initial impression. However, you can ruin that in a flash. Despite having the best marketing material in the world, you risk losing them if you aren’t responsive. Ideally, respond to customer queries within an hour, or at least within 12 hours.
Marketing outside Airbnb
Renting out your Eco Pod as an Airbnb host is a good starting point. Once you are up and running, you might like to extend your marketing beyond Airbnb. For example, create a website. You can provide more information, add your own style, create your own brand, and stand out from the crowd.
It’s never been easier to set up a professional-looking website, but that’s a topic for another day.