Proof How Important Professional Photography is for Your Airbnb Listing 😱

Proof How Important Professional Photography is for Your Airbnb Listing 😱


Hello my YouTube friends its richard
founder of short-term rentals secrets.com and Airbnb super host and
today we have the difficult task of adding value to Mary Kay Mary Kay was
kind enough to pay the $49 for her listing to be reviewed and I’ve taken a
quick peek at it and first off I just have to commend you I mean you’re doing
so many things so incredibly well I think we all have a lot to learn here
and so I’m gonna try and add as much value to you so that you get your
money’s worth and it’s probably more in the form of questions but for everyone
else like this is an ideal listing she’s doing so many things so incredibly well
so let’s go through and review we’re gonna do it in six steps the first is
where we’re gonna look at the title then we take a look at the photos and the
order of those photos the third is the thumbnail that she’s selected the fourth
is the description how she describes the property then we’ll take a look at the
listing reviews the people that have stayed what do they have to say about
Mary Kay as a host in her place and then finally we’ll take a look at the pricing
so let’s get into the very first thing which is the title and here Mary Kay
you’ve selected something that I think has a lot of meaning to you and it’s
actually descriptive but I don’t think it sells the dream and so I think that
the best opportunity for you based on all the photos and everything we’ll talk
about those is probably the headline the title itself has room for improvement we
will find out as we look through the rest of the listing that there is a
reason this is the alpaca cottage gracious comfort I think is nice and
something that we all appreciate an eclectic charm that’s a little bit
off-putting and I don’t find your place eclectic at all I find it really really
desirable I find it very luxurious I find it very serene I find it very
peaceful I find this working farm component of it where you talk about the
alpaca extremely interesting and so I kind of wonder if the title is leading
to the fact and we’ll talk about a little later that it looks like a lot of
your calendars open it could be the location it could be the pricing it
could just be the title because everyone who’s staying at your place really seems
to love it so I would try and change the title and I
would include things like a serene Oasis slash organic working farm or you know
that whole like farm-to-table movement people are really into knowing where
everything is coming from you might even highlight that you have a
working form you have the alpacas and the Roosters and the hens and you’ve got
the eggs and you’ve got all that other amazing stuff but gracious comfort
doesn’t mention it cottage doesn’t include that an eclectic charm certainly
doesn’t include that so I think if we can sell the dream of people coming to
this serene working farm you might get people to visit that aren’t staying in
Decatur or looking for Decatur or attending you know Emory so I think this
is maybe more of a vacation opportunity or a retreat opportunity than it is a
traditional college visiting opportunity so I think that there’s a little bit of
work that can be done on the title if you want to go ahead and post it when we
give you this link feedback ideas I’ll be happy to you know go back and forth
with you until we find a working title and as often is the case I don’t know
that we’re gonna nail it immediately you might have to do a/b testing and have
two or three different titles that you test until we see which one’s getting
the most clicks and then we don’t really care about clicks as much as we care
about conversions which title is getting us most bookings so I think that’s an
opportunity for you turning to the photos I mean they’re
spectacular honestly you know exactly what it is that you’re doing I don’t
think I’ve ever seen a night shot as a title shot it looks like it’s like low
exposure slow the sky is lit up in blue and the orange and pink in the sky and
the night lights and the path lights I mean it’s just it’s absolutely gorgeous
and I think you’ve done a terrific job with all your photos I’m not going to go
ahead and comment on all of them because they’re a lot and they’re beautiful but
I am gonna go ahead and and scroll through them so these viewers of this
video get the benefit of your terrific photography the other thing that I want
to highlight is you’ve done a great job of very lengthy to
descriptions that are different for each photo you’re telling the story you’re
not just putting the photo up there you’re talking about warm welcoming and
wonderful tucked in a grove of Georgia Pines and surrounded by perennial
vegetable and natural die gardens the Decatur I’ll pack a cottage offers
gracious comfort with high-end amenities okay so for that title this whole thing
about tucked in a grove of Georgia Pines and surrounded by perennial vegetable
natural die gardens work towards that that’s what you’re selling right the
fact that it’s called alpaca cottage not so meaningful and you seem to like the
gracious comfort I’m not opposed to it but I think it’s not the best place in
the title so this is absolutely beautiful
I love the the tray with it looks like some sort of little snacks and the
windows are open and the light is great and everything is just clean and perfect
and that’s a constant theme throughout I love the drone shot I’ve encouraged them
in the past but here you can see just how well-kept pardon me just how
well-kept and well-manicured the landscaping is it’s clear that you take
great pride in this and that’s important again you use the exact same sort of
wording here I would change it a little bit talk about what we’re looking at a
quarter acre a half acre organic I don’t know compost whatever it is that you’re
using and doing talk about that you’re going to attract people that want to
come to a working form that uses natural compost biodegradable horse manure
whatever it is that you do talk about that not that it’s nestled we already
covered that here’s a alpaca which is great and playful this breakfast looks
unbelievable I mean it’s just great now what I’m not clear about is do you offer
that for a guest if if you don’t it’s a little bit misleading if you do then you
definitely want to highlight the fact that like that’s available at an
additional cost or whatever I mean it’s just spectacularly decorated very
well-appointed very clean I love the barn door I love the paint
over here you’re attracting a certain type of person they’re going to
appreciate it I love the throw I love the way it’s folded I like the way it’s
over the ottoman you clearly have an eye for decoration
and for the style and it’s working really well I love the fact that you’ve
got the light plate painted in the light itself I mean just all these little
details that many people don’t get you’re nailing and I just think it’s
great so I want to highlight that for other people I love the fact that you’ve
got five stars on everything and I don’t know if you did this before but we’ve
been suggesting in our videos previously to go ahead and you know boast a little
bit talk about like what this is and and show people what other people think the
living room is amazing I love it the one thing that I might add is
something with a little bit of color perhaps either on this end table here or
on the center here it looks like you have a fern down low and then some dried
plants up here but maybe a you know if I had to be super critical some greenery
somewhere other than down low would be helpful I love the fact that you talked
about that you’ve got Roku and flatscreen and it’s an 1800s porch I
mean you’re telling a story it’s really compelling I absolutely love it heck I
might even come down in Decatur just to check out this place because it’s really
spectacular the kitchen is great it’s very well appointed I’m not exactly sure
what’s past here it looks like the the door is frosted so you can’t see through
it it looks like maybe just a path but you might want to just say like your own
private path leading to whatever but very nicely appointed this is a
beautiful photo with the flowers I assume these are local flowers from like
your garden if if they are highlight that the cheese course looks great the
wine the decanter again you really clearly know what it is that you’re
doing and this is fabulous I’m not sure that the cork and the wine bottle really
adds any value if I were gonna shoot it again which I don’t think you need to I
would probably remove it more alpacas and then there’s you know more working
farm you talk about the names of people and it’s evident that you really care
and you’re attracting the right people right people that are going to be drawn
to this are really going to like all these photos and it’s great
sheering day before and after it’s interesting you might want to include
when shearing happens if I was a parent and I was traveling and I wanted to
teach my children about it that might be like a really interesting trip like
we’re gonna go to Decatur we’re gonna go to this working alpaca farm they do the
sheering on whatever the third week in January I’m just making this up probably
not but whenever it is talk about it so that people can say this is what I want
to do and this is what’s amazing here’s pretty much the exact same photo taken
during the day and while it’s an absolutely lovely photo the magic really
occurred at that like the right time that you took that night shot with the
garden lit up and everything and you can just see it I mean it’s a great photo I
love this photo but the other one was just special and spectacular dick jr. is
a French black copper Moran one of the more colorful chickens on the farm ‘let
he sure is or I guess it’s he colorful the one question that I have when I look
at this and I looked in your description so I’ll just cover it here you know I
live in New York City we don’t really have chickens and hens and roosters and
stuff like that but when I’ve traveled and I’ve traveled an awful lot they
generally tend to make a lot of noise at like 500 at Oh 500 right that’s sort of
like that whole rooster thing so are these guys waking everybody up or if not
if they’re not roosters are they whatever they’re kept way off premises
you might want to include that in the description and maybe even here because
as interesting as it is if I’m coming out there for a retreat and relaxation I
don’t know that I want to even contemplate being woken up at 5:00 in
the morning by dick junior or pepper and you know again I’m showing my ignorance
maybe they’re nothing but I think highlighting it and assuming nothing
making sure people feel comfortable would be great this guy’s super cool
poofy peckerhead that’s my guy that Charlie chicks the eggs are amazing
they’re fresh eggs available for purchase according to availability
that’s super cool I love that I love the the sticker and the name and the
different colors I mean you’re really really doing it this photo I think
proved it’s it’s not in focus it’s very hard to read so just shoot another one
here’s a little eat-in kitchen you’re using Meyers clean stuff which we
recommend and we highlight and we recommend that so that’s good everything
looks really nice and clean here and I don’t have a lot to add a quiet writers
retreat I would love to come down there and write here it is at night I mean
it’s just absolutely beautiful here you do talk about the sounds of the chickens
going to roost again there’s a fine line between something being really like nice
and lovely for a short period of time and or it becoming annoying or
disturbing and so you may be immune to it what you find to be really soothing
and them going to roost might be really disturbing to somebody who’s looking to
write a book so you might need to quantify that a little bit more or
address the fact that they’re not roosters or I don’t really know how
you’re gonna do it but again you’re trying to attract people and while I’m
drawn to this working farm nature of it it would be helpful for me to know that
I could like sleep in this photo I think is actually your weakest photo where the
colors are a little muted and overexposed but I get the point and it
doesn’t detract from it but if you ever had butterflies again you could probably
reshoot this one and it’s just you know the clematis and the Mexican petunia
it’s lovely it’s absolutely gorgeous I love this porch the screened-in porch
you talk about morning coffee if you were gonna shoot it again let’s get some
morning coffee out there let’s get I don’t know a magazine or something a
book a throw I don’t know it’s just but it’s gorgeous I mean I can totally see
myself having a cup of coffee there and this breakfast place is fantastic I love
the wrought iron the door and the chandelier just super cool and then you
talk about the rocking chairs this is new I love this this is a guess a
greenhouse I don’t know what you what you have growing in there but you might
want to talk about the greenhouse a little bit and again if you were going
to shoot this again I might set the table a little bit or put
wineglasses out or cheese course or something just to show it like in in
action a little bit and then this photo I’m not sure it’s clear that you know
what you’re doing you’ve got unbelievable camera equipment and gear
but showing the photo of the camera on the tripods a little bit pod and you
don’t actually show the photo of the table dressed so those two I think you
could work a little bit and then here we talked about the organic heritage
vegetables and fruits and flowers and so on it looks like it’s sort of between
seasons you might want to take this again when it’s in full bloom when
there’s all sorts of stuff and then talk about what it is that you’re looking at
and you know somebody could taste one of your Tomatoes or something you might
want to highlight that again I really love the the drone shots and I love the
fact that you’re leading and suggesting that they could use it for an intimate
wedding or an event or anything like that if you do do those if we released a
video recently that’s said to charge more for those it’s perfectly fine
people that are throwing a wedding are going to be able to afford a significant
bump up versus what you know two people come in to stay at your place would
afford and there’s a lot more damage and wear and tear and risk and liability so
be sure that you’re being smart and profitable this photo is out of focus as
well and you know I think it adds value that it shows that you care and your
host it’s very difficult to read the writing here as you can see like it’s
almost impossible so I don’t know if you have to crop the photo a little bit and
that’s it so in a nutshell the photos are fantastic I absolutely love them I
had to really struggle to find anything to add value but we found a few things
and you know given the quality of the rating I’m impressed I was even able to
help and I hope it is helpful so let’s turn to the thumbnail I love the
thumbnail you nailed the thumbnail I want to go stay there like literally I’m
gonna pack my bag and I’m coming down and I’m gonna check out your working
farm and the alpaca and have a cup of tea on that back porch and the thumbnail
with the sky and the night lights and everything else is perfect I wouldn’t
change a thing great job turning to the description
so the first thing I want to say is I love the way that you highlight the
proximity and it’s just far enough away it’s sort of painting that picture
convenient to Emory we talked about sort of telling people like where you are and
when they might use you I’m not sure what CDC is or Mercer maybe they have
meaning if I was staying in those locations likely but don’t assume
anything right like just you might want to spell it out or explain what it is
you’ve talked about the luxuries and the bedding and the fully stocked kitchen
the charm and I think these are all great I absolutely love the description
you also talk about who it’s good for it’s perfect for a couple and business
travelers film and intimate events and weddings it’s friendly I think it’s
really really well-thought-out it’s evident you’ve put a lot of time and
energy into it it’s evident that you’re a skilled writer and you know what
you’re trying to paint so that’s fantastic you talk about new
improvements I think that’s really cool but I might put this sort of specific
stuff about your working farm higher up right it’s really important somebody who
does not want to be near or around alpacas or the different you know
chickens and so on or doesn’t care about the vegetables or anything else may not
be happy they’re as comfortable as it is it’s pretty evident that that’s you know
all encompassing and you’re you can’t really escape it so you don’t want them
there and the flipside is somebody like me that finds that super interesting and
intriguing I want more of that information I want even more detail I
want to know what kind of varieties how many different types of tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes we won the prize here’s a photo of the tomatoes like
really play that up you do a great job with the alpacas and the chickens and so
on you don’t do I don’t think enough with the farm-to-table aspect of it
there’s a huge movement so many people are interested in like eating good food
and not that they’re gonna eat your food but they’re connecting with somebody who
cares about that same sort of thing so this sort of paragraph where you talk
about the azalea’s the hydrangeas the various gardens let’s expand on it and
move I think here we go working urban farm
lit which is a small farm and once again we talk much more about the the animals
and we do anything else it’s a very thorough listing it’s a very detailed
listing it talks about the size of the memory foam mattress cool aloe gel
memory foam mattress that sounds quite comfortable we talk about the vintage
and it’s just you know it’s it’s thoughtful unfortunately I don’t think
people are gonna read this much but between the photos that they do read in
your descriptions underneath that and so on I think they’ll get the the gist of
it and this is sort of my point like this to me needs to be way higher up our
hens lay daily for the majority of the ear so we can usually accommodate guests
request for fresh organic eggs a guest said these eggs are so delicious you can
taste the love that’s about I don’t know three pages into the description that
needs to be upfront who doesn’t like eggs and even if you don’t eat eggs you
want to know that there’s like cool eggs and other guests love them so anyway I
think that this is fantastic I think you’ve done really well I think you’re
smart to include all of your social media stuff I haven’t seen what you do
there but I’m gonna check it out I think if the if you keep interesting things
socially there that’s actually a really great opportunity for you to grow your
business and get repeat business and I think it’s super cool interaction
with the guests I get other things to note I’m again you just do a very very
thoughtful time the cottage is very well equipped for leisure business travel a
recent guest commented any time we thought of something we needed we
realize you had already thought of it you go on about all the different
coffees I mean it’s you take this really seriously it’s really impressive you are
a super host I believe yep you’re a super host and you deserve it you’re
doing great work however I think there’s a little bit of room for improvement and
I’m gonna get to that in a second here when we take a look at your reviews five
stars on everything I’m not surprised at all I love the fact that you respond to
every single one and with personality and with specifics you mentioned
by name and their long and detailed so that’s fantastic and everybody just
loves everything so I’m not surprised by it in the least you know exactly what it
is that you’re doing and it looks like you’re doing really well in September
you had four people post reviews and in October you’ve had a couple three
already four already so I don’t know whether these are coming in you know a
week or two delayed but it seems like you’ve been really busy in the fall
which is fantastic and then it looks like the summer may have been slower and
I just don’t know if that’s a seasonal thing August was good I don’t know if
that’s a seasonal thing or you guys took it off or you were doing the
construction but it seems to me like you could be busier and that’s where we’re
turning to now which is the pricing of a hundred dollars per night when I take a
look at your availability it looks like October sold out and/or blocked
November looks like you have a fair amount of availability and you you’re
clearly using some sort of smart pricing I don’t know if it’s beyond pricing or
if it’s Airbnb but you’re clearly using something and that I think is really
intelligent and December is wide open and January is partially blocked I don’t
know if you’ve started blocking because then in February have no availability of
March none and so on so it’s possible that you’re only taking say 90 days of
bookings which may suit you I’m not sure that there’s a real benefit to doing
that but if that’s the way you like to do it that’s fine but it strikes me as
an opportunity to have more business I mean excuse me in the months of November
and December and what I can’t tell is whether it’s your pricing is off like is
this the slow season and you need to reduce your pricing do people not come
here during this period of time if you are close to Emory and Mercer and CDC
and whatever else and it’s also a great get away from those you know from the
city life or whatever maybe you need to shift your marketing so that in the
slower periods of November and December in January you’re getting business you
should at least be selling out on the weekends and maybe you will but it seems
to me like this is a fantastic place you’re not necessarily getting as much
business as I think you should and I’m not sure why I think you
should really be doing a lot more a couple of thoughts on the pricing also
as I try and find it here is I’m not a huge fan of flexible cancellations but
if it works for you then that’s fine I’ve said this before I’m not a huge fan
of weekly discounting at all and even less of a fan of monthly discounting if
you’re in the short-term rental space don’t be looking to rent for a month
you’re just giving away money out of your pocket that discount is your profit
literally your cost of doing business are the exact same if you give somebody
a 33% discount you don’t get a 33% discount on your expenses your cost of
goods sold is the exact same yet your revenue is lower therefore your profits
are lower somebody who wants to stay at a working farm and write a book is
likely able to afford the entire amount or they’ll be there for two weeks and
somebody else will come in for two weeks so since you’re doing it for profit I
don’t recommend that I think your cleaning fee is light I don’t know how
long it takes to clean this little cottage but if you figure $20 an hour 15
$20 an hour’s the working sort of wage you’re saying that this takes three to
four hours and I’d be surprised if you could clean that entire house and make
the beds as impeccable as it is and as clean as it shows in that amount of time
so I think you have room for cleaning fees I love the fact that you charge
more twenty-five dollars per night after two guests I think that’s really smart
and the security deposit seems a little bit light to me but you know I’m not
gonna get too hung up on that anyway Mary Kay you know exactly what it is
that you’re doing you’re killing it you’re doing a great job I’d like to see
you get even more business I’d like to see you get rid of your discount so you
make more profit I’d like to see you take if you had the interest and you
seem to be like into real estate and farms and decor and decorating and
renovating and building new areas I’d love to see you expand your business you
have a real talent here and I think if you were to take this one
Airbnb and start to save the income from it and put it towards a second Airbnb
that would be a fantastic opportunity for you and your family again it may not
be something you’re interested in but clearly you have the skill set in the
talent and I would encourage you to pursue it
so I hope you found this helpful this is one of the most thorough and and really
perfect listings I’ve seen thus far so kudos to you Mary Kay and for the rest
of us this is something that we can like shoot for and if you want your listing
reviewed go ahead and leave us a comment below
I hope you’ve enjoyed this I hope that you will liked the video and most
importantly if you haven’t subscribed to the video let’s see I can and say it if
you haven’t subscribed to the YouTube channel
please do me a favor I’d really appreciate that until then happy hosting

8 thoughts on “Proof How Important Professional Photography is for Your Airbnb Listing 😱”

  1. This is Super Helpful Richard…I am embarking into hosting AIRBNB…just requested for the Facebook Group…any other tool that may help me learn more before I start Hosting AIRBNB?

    Thank you in Advance

  2. Great video Thanks for all the info. What do i need to do to get my listing reviewed by a expert? Family friendly villa by the beach with pool in Seignosse France;

  3. The monthly discounts are to incentivize people to purchase longer stays. These longer stays then lower the costs of doing business from less turn over.

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