Some insights on marketing and real estate photography for the Airbnb phenomena in Colorado Springs…
If you haven’t heard yet, the market for short-term rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc) in Colorado Springs is booming. We have a bunch of clients who either own multiple Airbnb’s or manage them. Business for everyone is expanding, and from our vantage point the market shows no signs of slowing or of saturation, yet. There are some good reasons for this. Demand is high and Colorado Springs is an attractive destination, and the supply of suitable properties to offer up to guests is pretty respectable. And for anyone looking to invest in a residential real estate property, the returns renting short-term are usually substantially higher than they would be with a long-term tenant. But, as in most things, short-term investors (“hosts”) have plenty of competition. Having quality real estate photography for Airbnb is hugely important and will make a substantial difference to your booking rates and quite simply, your bottom line. Here are some insights and suggestions:
We actually love to shoot Airbnb’s. Really because they’re usually designed and decorated well, and we’re also not stuck in the typical “for the MLS” box like we normally are on a shoot for a traditional real estate listing. And this is the key. The short-term rental platforms (Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc) don’t have that many stipulations or any crazy strict rules and regulations for pictures. You or your photographer are free to show the place off in as many unique, out-of-the-box ways as you can think of. Show it off at night, take close-ups, show your guest message-board or the complimentary Colorado craft beer you leave your guests. What makes the place attractive and unique? Photograph THAT.
Hot-tubs are awesome. Obviously, we like them (and your guests will too), but they also present endless visual opportunities. Turn on the lights at night and let them glow
Try different angles, wide-angles, maybe a little purposeful distortion … show off the features of a place to excite potential guests. Don’t just document a place with your pictures.
So yeah, this is kind of the same as being “different,” only better. The point here is to not necessarily document your short-term rental, but to market it. Get potential guests excited about your place and the special amenities it’s going to offer them during their stay in Colorado Springs. Colors, unique lighting, processing that pops—do it all. Hot-tubs and fire pits are great examples here … amenities that any visitor to our Rocky Mountain Almost-Paradise is going to want to experience, under a cool summer night’s sky. Show them off and don’t be shy.
Another awesome feature about the display of listing photos on the big platforms is that you’re not limited to just a few like you are with traditional real estate advertisement. Show LOTS of pictures (50+ if you can), but be sure to load the boldest, most attractive and most important ones first.
BRAND your rental…
I have to give credit for this one really to Evan Wilburn, one of the founders at Hostē, a short-term rental management company in Colorado Springs. Evan’s a fan of hammering this one hard. A short-term rental isn’t just a “listing” somewhere, it really is a separate business, a separate BRAND unto itself. Think about this, and share your place with the world thinking about this. Whatever it is, however many bathrooms it has, or what kind of beds or what kind of views it has, it’s unique, really. Again, the beauty of listing a rental on the short-term platforms is the open nature of these—they really are pretty laissez-faire when it comes to how you show your property, and also what of your property you show.
BRAND your place. Highlight whatever makes it unique (and sometimes even the fact that it might NOT be unique, is unique! Think value travelers…)
All of these photos are from a single Airbnb listing, offered and managed by the folks at Hostē. If they struck your fancy, here’s the link to BOOK IT DIRECT
Finally, beyond having great real estate photography for your Airbnb, there are also a myriad number of options for the digital marketing of your place outside of a listing platform. Create a web-page for it, and Instagram account or a Facebook page. But whatever you do, show it off well with some great pictures because it deserves it. Your bank account will thank you.
Will Burcher is a videographer, photographer, writer and all around good guy. He’s the founder of FēD.
[…] Will Burcher is a photographer, videographer and the founder of FĒD, a digital marketing company in Colorado Springs working actively in real estate marketing and the marketing of Airbnb’s. This article originally appeared on FĒD’s blog. […]