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In January of this year the world’s leader in short term vacation rentals – Airbnb – announced that its hosts in the Greater Houston area earned a combined $72 million in supplemental income and welcomed 512,000 guests to the area in 2018 alone. And that figure is expected to increase in 2019, as more and more travellers – couples, families and business people – discover the advantages that an Airbnb residence offers over staying in a traditional hotel.

This also means that more and more people will be giving the idea of becoming a Houston Airbnb host serious thought. And it can indeed by lucrative, even for those with smaller properties or even just rooms to rent. But as the number of Airbnbs available increases so does the competition. And to get an edge – and on the way to gaining that coveted Superhost status – more and more Airbnb hosts are turning to home staging to help ensure that the images they post online for guests are as attractive as possible.

How Important Are Listing Photographs to Airbnb Guests?

Let’s talk numbers to discover exactly how photography is a vital part of a successful Airbnb business and impacts your bottom line. A 2017 consumer review survey shows 94% of clicks were motivated by images. This is someone scrolling through 14 pages of Airbnb results and choosing to click yours because of the photos.Your Airbnb listing relies heavily on clicks. But how can staging convert clicks to bookings?

Great photos of your listing are hands-down the most important way to showcase what’s unique about your space to future potential guests. And Airbnb knows this, which is why they offer a free professional photography service to hosts. What they don’t do however is offer any styling tips.

Their photographer will show up and take technically great pictures, but it is up to you to ensure that your listing really shines in them. Which is where the investment in offering like my own Houston occupied home staging one day makeovers offers great ROI for the host who is serious about Houston Airbnb success.

Why You Need to Set a Scene

Staging an Airbnb is not quite like staging a home for sale. Staging a home for sale means that you do so in such a way that it will appeal to as many people as possible, across a number of demographics.

That is not the case for an Airbnb though. Hosts usually know exactly who they want to attract as guests and in this case home staging can be implemented to ensure that the listing appeals to them directly.

Is your Airbnb a little cottage, perfect for a vacationing couple? A solo suite for the business traveler? A downtown getaway for the city slicker? Or, a family home in the suburbs? Your competitive Airbnb listing was created for someone specific and your listing photos should resonate with your targeted guests and what they’re looking for.

Professional home stagers are adept at developing buyers eyes – or in this case, potential guests eyes. We are trained to understand what people are looking for and then how best to create a tableau that will appeal to them.

Evoking emotion with your photos is your secret sauce if you are an Airbnb host. Forget about the perfect angle, or showing off the expensive artwork, instead stagers use position and props to create a feeling of peace, organization, luxury, Bohemia….home.

A big dinner table lined beautifully with decorative plates will light up the face of someone looking for the perfect spot for their family vacation. A well-stocked desk in a well lit space will appeal to the businesswoman. Lining a spa tub with candles and champagne bucket will create in guests the feeling they are looking to have in your Airbnb. These touches and many more will help your listing beat out the competition and working with a professional home stager will ensure you add the right ones.