10 Tips for Taking Great Airbnb Listing Photos

The pictures of your space and make or break your Airbnb listing. You can have a great rental, but if your pictures don’t show it off, potential renters will bypass your listing.

Top-notch photography skills aren’t a necessity for taking great pictures of your rental space. We’ve shared 10 tricks that will help even novice photographers take great pictures that will attract guests to your listing.

1. Clean and Tidy

Make sure that the space is clean and tidy before taking any pictures. You want to prepare the space as if guests were about to arrive. Have it professionally cleaned and make sure to tidy up anything that may look “messy” in your pictures.

Pay attention to things like smoothing out the comforter, taking the remote control off the coffee table, and straightening the magazine stack on the desk. You don’t want anything to look too busy or cluttered; guests are attracted to open and clean spaces.

2. Make the Space Look Homey

Before you take pictures, stage your space as if a guest was arriving that day. You want everything to be clean, the comforters to be smooth, and the little details to be attended to.

Most prospective Airbnb guests are looking for a clean, comfortable and inviting place to stay. Add little touches that make your space feel more inviting. You can hang pictures of the area where you live or art from local artists on the walls. Use throw pillows and some small pops of color to make the space look fun, comfortable, and unique. Little details and touches can go a long way.

3. Highlight unique elements of your unit, people want to stay at places with character

People are looking at Airbnb instead of hotels because they want a different experience and a comfortable, unique space. When taking your listing photos (and when writing up your listing), highlight the unique and interesting aspects of your property.

You can focus on things like the comfort of the bed or a really nice sitting area. Don’t forget about your neighborhood or things near your property that people would find cool or unique.

4. Use Good Lighting

Bright spaces look more inviting and spacious. When staging your property for pictures, open all of the blinds and turn the lights on. Just that can make a huge difference in how your property looks to potential guests.

If you can, take your pictures on a nice day when the lighting in your rental is the best. Once you decide on this day and time, take all of the pictures that you need at one time. The pictures will look more complete and professional if they are all in the same style with similar lighting.

5. Take Pictures Outside

Don’t forget to take pictures of the outside of your rentals!

Even though your guests will be most focused on their rooms, they also like to see what they will see when they drive up.

6. Take LOTS of Pictures

Once you’ve gotten everything set up and your lighting right, you don’t want to have to do it again so take TONS of pictures. In the world of digital cameras, you can always delete the pictures that you don’t end up needing.

Airbnb recommends using 25 photos for your listing in order to have the best chance of booking guests, so you want to have lots of options to choose from. Potential guests want to see pictures of every part of the space so they can have a good idea of where they will be staying.

7. Take Pictures of Where Guests will Spend the Most Time

You might have the cutest entryway that a house has ever seen, but guests probably won’t be spending much time there. So, leave it to 1 or 2 pictures of the unique entryway and focus most of your photos on the living room, kitchen, and sleeping area. Take pictures of all of the beds because sleeping arrangements are one of the most important details for a guest in deciding where to stay.

When taking pictures you want to think more like hotel advertising than of real estate advertising. This is a great rule of thumb to keep in mind and to guide your photography session.

8. Use a Real Camera

Cell phones take great pictures, but nothing can beat the photo quality of a real SLR camera. It’s important that you know how to use the camera in order to get the best photo quality, so if this isn’t your strength try to find a friend or family member that might be willing to take your pictures for you.

9. Take Photos in Landscape Format

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Airbnb platform favors pictures that are in landscape format. They will look better and appear with the right formatting in your listing, so make an effort to take landscape pictures whenever possible.

10. Add captions

You can add captions to all of the photos in your listing, so you should take advantage of this feature. Because you’re familiar with the space the pictures may seem obvious to you, but your potential guests might not know exactly what they are looking at.

When it comes to your photos and writing your listing, more information is generally better. You want to eliminate the guesswork for your guests.

Enjoying Albuquerque

Albuquerque is one of America’s best cities for outdoor recreation, and it’s easy to see why. With the Sandia Mountains to the east, the Albuquerque Volcanos to the west and the Rio Grande running through, there is no shortage of new places to explore or adventures to take. Whether you are looking to hike, golf or anything in between, the Duke City is where it is at.

Golfing

With 310 sunny days a year, Albuquerque is an ideal golf destination. Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club, a public golf course, outside of Albuquerque has been ranked among the best golf courses in the United States by Golf Digest. You can golf at elevations ranging from 6,500-7,000 on the east side of the Sandias, play one of the courses routed around ancient cultural sites or shoot around along the Rio Grande. You can find any golf game you’re looking for right here.

Biking

Take to the trails in one of America’s top cycling cities, boasting over 400 miles of trails, paths, and lanes. You can choose a leisurely ride with your family or challenge your abilities with steep inclines and high-desert terrain. If you want to head out onto the trails, challenging mountain bike trails through the mountains, foothills, and forests. There are off-road trails for cyclists of all abilities. If you’re looking for something more recreational, there are great trails that run through downtown Albuquerque, along historic Route 66, and other urban paths. Grabbing some bikes and heading out on the trails is a great way to see the area (there are a lot of places offering bike rentals – we can definitely point you in the direction of one of the local bike shops!).

Skiing

Don’t let the fact that Albuquerque is in one of the southernmost states deter you from taking advantage of the awesome winter recreation in the area. Because of the high altitudes around Albuquerque, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor winter activities. The ski season typically lasts from mid-December to mid-March. The Sandia Park, nestled in the Cibola National Forest, offers uncrowded slopes perfect for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. Come take on the state’s longest cruising terrain, wind your way through a large network of cross-country trails, and hit the terrain park that is perfect for snowboarders.

Running, Hiking, Horseback Riding

New Mexico is called “The Land of Enchantment,” and just a few minutes on the trails show you why. The beauty in the diversity of Albuquerque’s landscape is sure to take your breath away. There are plenty of hiking and running trails that crisscross the Sandia and Manzano Mountains and foothills adjacent to the city. Or you can venture out onto the interconnected trail system throughout the city, or check out the 16-mile multi-use Paseo del Bosque trail.

If horseback riding is your forte, take to the bluffs, check out the waterfalls, or have a romantic moonlight ride. Contact one of the many horse ranches in the area to set up horseback riding tours and excursions.

Birding

Roadrunners, Rosy-Finches, and Hummingbirds oh my! Albuquerque ranks #4 in bird diversity in the U.S. Both amateurs and experienced avian enthusiast come here to discover an array of bird species. From the Sandia Crest to the Rio Grande Nature Center, you can spot over 300 species. It will take more than one visit though, as many of the species are migrating and can only be seen during certain times of the year, but after visiting once, you are sure to want a reason to come back.

Balloon Rides

You cannot come to Albuquerque and not experience this one-of-a-kind adventure. We are the Hot Air Balloon capital of the world and home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! With over 300 balloon pilots, superb year-round flying conditions, and the chance to see the lay of the land from a bird’s eye view, you don’t want to miss it. Did you know that Sandia means “watermelon” in Spanish? If not, I encourage you to take a sunset ride and witness why firsthand, as the setting sun illuminates the 10,600-foot peaks in awe-inspiring pink light!

There is so much more to experience here in ABQ and Rhino Realty B&B LLC can help make your stay comfortable. Contact us to find the perfect Airbnb for your stay in Albuquerque.

Showing Tenant Appreciation during the Holiday Season

It’s not necessary to give your tenants gifts during the holiday season, but it can feel nice to show your appreciation. If you do decide to do something for your tenants, remember that you are doing this as a token of appreciation and not to elicit thank yous from your tenants.

Here are some ideas that you can use to wish your renters a happy holiday season!

Send a Holiday Card

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to show your tenants that you appreciate them. A nice, generic holiday card with a personal message can go a long way. It pays to have a good relationship with your tenants, so taking the time out to do something simple like this is usually well worth it.

Money Off of Rent

There isn’t much that people want more than money, so taking money off their December or January rent can make a great gift. You can send a nice letter expressing your appreciation and letting them know that you will be taking $50 or $100 off one month of rent.

Holiday Party

If you have a common space where you can host a get-together, you can have a tenant holiday party. It can be simple and just feature some snacks, music, and maybe a raffle. If you have a strong sense of community, you could do something more extravagant – the sky is the limit with this idea.

Gifts

If you give gifts to your tenants, you will want to make sure to do something similar for each of them. You could give them chocolates, a gift card to a local place, socks, or boxes of hot chocolate. You don’t need to spend a lot of money; find a small gift that will work for everyone.

Make an Improvement to Their Property

This one is quite a bit more expensive, but it can actually benefit you just as much or more than it benefits your tenants. For the holidays you can upgrade something that the tenants will appreciate, that you’ve been meaning to improve, and that will allow you to improve your investment property. For example, you can put in new light fixtures, new appliances, or paint an accent wall. Tenants will be excited about the upgrade and your property will be better for it.

 

How to Write a Killer Airbnb House Manual

Your guests will typically read your house rules before they book your space, but that can be done quite a while before their trip. To make sure that they have all of the information they need and all of your house rules at their fingertips, you should provide them with a printed version of your manual when they arrive.

Most manuals are about 2-3 pages of information, which is about the right length to provide your guests with all of the information they need without providing so much information that they are overwhelmed.

Feel free to give your house manual personality by making it fun, but you also want to make sure that you’re providing your guests with the tools they need to have a great stay.

Basic Info

  • Property Address
  • Wifi Password
  • Safety Information (Airbnb provides a safety card that you can print out and fill out with this information)

House Rules

This section will include information about what guests are allowed to do on your property. Don’t go overboard here. You can list everything that your guests need to know without justifying why every rule is important. For example, you can say “Do not wear shoes on the carpeted areas of the house.” You don’t have to explain WHY you don’t want your guests wearing shoes on the carpet.

Helpful Tips

In this section, it is important to provide more detail than you initially think you need to. Giving guests more information than they need will help cut down on the number of times a guest has to contact you to help them with something.

To make sure that you’re including all helpful information, you may want to recruit someone who isn’t familiar with your house and have them walk through and tell you about anything in your space that is not self-explanatory.

Here are some examples of what you might include in this section:

  • Instructions for using the TV
  • Guide for which light switches turn on which lights
  • How to lock and unlock the door
  • Information about tricky faucets, HVAC units, windows, or doors
  • Instructions for using electronics (even if you think it’s obvious, you should include instructions for all electronics that you’re providing)
  • What to do with trash and recycling

Local Recommendations

Often guests opt for Airbnbs over hotels to have a more authentic and local experience when they are visiting new places. Share some local information with your guests. You can assume that they already know about the obvious tourist attractions in the area. You want to recommend great local places that they can check out in your neighborhood.

You don’t have to include tons of recommendations, but you probably want to include:

  • 2-3 local restaurants
  • Local bars
  • Grocery Stores
  • Bakeries
  • Hair & Nail Salons
  • Gyms
  • Post Office

Checkout Instructions

Remind your guests of the checkout time. Even if they read your listing carefully, they will probably need a reminder. Make sure that you provide detailed information about what you would like them to do at checkout time. Should they lock the door? Where should they put the key? Should they turn off the lights? Strip the bed?

Be very clear here so that they know what is expected of them in advance of checkout time and so that you are happy with the state of your property when your guests check out.

Making the Most Out of Customer Feedback

As a landlord, you’re in the business of providing your tenants with a safe and secure place to live. And, ideally, you want them to be satisfied enough to live in your property for as long as possible.

Often, tenants won’t come to you with little complaints, but as these build up, they might ultimately decide to move out, not pay you, or give a bad review.

While it may be tempting to try to avoid communication with tenants, you should always encourage tenants to provide feedback so that you can adjust your actions to better cater to your customers

Benefits of Getting Customer Feedback

Knowledge of your Property: Your tenants may mention issues or observations about your property that they wouldn’t have called you about. This allows you to have a better understanding of everything happening with your property.

Perspective: It can be really helpful to hear how tenants view your property and your management. Knowing how your actions and policies are perceived by your tenants will help you to improve the necessary aspects of your business.

Lower Renter Turnover: Because you will be better able to address the needs of your tenants, they will be generally happier with their experience with you. This will ultimately save you the time and money associated with renter turnover.

How to Collect Tenant Feedback

Use an Anonymous Survey: It’s important that your tenants know that their answers will be anonymous. If they think that you will know who they are, they will be less likely to provide you with honest feedback. Consider using an online or emailed survey so that it’s really easy for your tenants to fill out. They are doing you a favor so you want to make it as easy on them as possible.

Choose Your Questions Carefully: Take some time to think about the questions that will give you the most helpful information. You only want to ask questions about your property or your management, and be sure that the questions you choose are going to provide useful answers.

Provide an Incentive: Once you take the time to create a survey, set it up online, and send it out to your tenants, you want to make sure that they actually fill it out so that you can get results. There are a lot of different things you could do, so get creative. You could offer a raffle ticket for every completed survey and give away a TV, a free parking spot, or load up their laundry card. Remember that this is an investment – if you can keep your tenants happy you will be less likely to incur the costs associated with tenant turnover.

Do Something with the Feedback: When people take the time to share their thoughts and opinions, they want to feel like it was useful to someone. Make sure that you address the issues and comments addressed in the surveys. This won’t only help your tenants make their lives better, you will be able to better focus your energy and money.

What Airbnb Guests Expect from a Rental

Because each individual property on Airbnb has a different owner, it can be challenging for Airbnb to guarantee a certain level of service in their properties. Every guest comes to the property with different expectations and in order to give every guest the best possible experience, hosts need to get into the heads of their guests. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Just a quick note that Airbnb publishes Standards & Expectations that are available to all hosts and guests. Every guest staying in an Airbnb property can expect that these standards are met and can report any violations directly to Airbnb. These standards are related to basic treatment of people and illegal behavior. We’re talking more about the expectations guests have when staying on your Airbnb property.

Property Description, Amenities, and Photos Match Reality

Airbnb guests that come to stay at your property will expect that the property that you are offering matches the descriptions and pictures that you post online. It may be tempting to “gloss over” some of the less desirable aspects of your property, but it pays to be honest.

If the garbage truck comes through early in the morning, if your Wi-Fi doesn’t work throughout the space (it’s important to mention here that guests will expect that you provide Wi-Fi), or if there is a bad draft in the guest room, it’s worth mentioning. Your guests will be a lot happier if they know what they’re getting and if the property meets their expectations.

Cleanliness

We cannot emphasize this enough! Make sure that your property is sparkling clean every time guests arrive. Airbnb gives an option for charging guests a cleaning fee, we HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of this and use the money to pay for professional cleaning services.

Instructions for Using Confusing Electronics

Take a walk-through of your property and make sure to label or write instructions for anything that is different than the norm or isn’t completed self-explanatory. Keep in mind that you are used to everything in the house, so look around your property with a new set of eyes and see what might be confusing to someone using your things for the first time.

Hosts also need to give specific instructions for how to check-in, where to park, and basic house rules. Your guests are new to your house and you want them to feel welcome and at home. Make sure you explain everything so that there is no confusion and your guests can avoid frustration.

Quick Communication

It is important to be very responsive to your guests from the point of booking until they have checked out of your property. Because each Airbnb property has a different owner and a different style, guests want quick communication that helps them to build trust and confidence in their hosts. Always provide your guests with quick and complete answers to their questions.

Additional Amenities that go Above and Beyond Guest Expectations

Obviously, you have to offer your guests everything that is listed in your Airbnb listing. That probably goes without saying.

But, that isn’t all you can do to keep your guests happy. Here are a couple of ways to up your hosting game: offer coffee, tea, and snacks, have extra sheets, blankets, towels, and toiletries available in your guest forgets

It can sometimes be hard to spend the extra time or money that would make someone stay great, but with these in mind, you’ll able to Wow your guests on be well on your way to Superhost status.

 

 

Handling Package Deliveries

From daily needs to gifts to meals to subscription services, people are ordering more products than ever online. Because of this, there are more packages than ever being delivered and landlords and property managers have to figure out the best way to manage all these deliveries.

Some larger apartment complexes handle up to 1 million packages per year and see hundreds of hours of lost productivity managing the delivery and disbursal of packages. Time spent handling tenant package deliveries can increase substantially over the holidays when online ordering skyrockets.

Increased package delivery also demands that property management offices have enough room to store all of the package deliveries, a way to inform tenants that they have a package to pick up and the liability associated with taking responsibility for the delivered package.

For properties that don’t have an on-site management office to accept tenant package deliveries, you can run into trouble with delivery services leaving packages outside tenant’s doors. If the door opens to the outside, packages outside the door make it look like no one if home and may invite break-ins or property damage.

Online ordering is only expecting to increase in the coming years, so if you aren’t already dealing with these package delivery issues, you will likely start seeing issues pop up in the near future.

Here are some ways that you can handle increased package delivery at your properties.

1. Put Responsibility on the Tenants

Let your tenants know that you aren’t responsible for any lost or stolen packages. This is especially important if you don’t have an onsite management office that can handle packages because delivery services will likely leave the packages outside the tenant’s doors or in an accessible common area. Make sure to include this in the lease and remind your tenants in writing around the holiday season.

This method may seem like the easiest way to deal with the problem, but won’t work for every property. If you have an onsite management office, it is unlikely the deliveries will be made to the tenants, so you’ll have to find another way to deal with the packages. Also, more and more prospective tenants are looking for secure package delivery as part of their rental experience, so this method may cause potential renters to look elsewhere.

2. Install Oversized Mailboxes

You don’t need an oversized mailbox for every tenant, but can have one for every 7-10 units. This won’t completely solve the problem since some packages will be too large for the mailbox and there is the possibility (especially at the holidays) that the large mailbox will get full. But, it will help to decrease the amount of small and medium-sized packages that your staff has to handle.

3. Invest in a Locker System

While Amazon Hub is probably the widest known example of a locker package pickup system, there are a lot of new systems popping up. These can be inside a lobby that is accessible at all times of the day or even outside. Using these is a bit of an investment, but it does provide a quick and easy way for your tenants to access their packages any time of day.

Recent research suggests that residents view package storage lockers as an amenity that would encourage them to choose one property over another. Since online ordering and delivery doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, it might make sense to invest in some lockers that can be used for years.

If you are dealing with the fallout from excessive package deliveries, it would be smart to develop a scalable system that works for you and for your tenants.