When it comes to the most successful short term rental listings, most of them have one thing in common: beautiful pictures. Think about it. If you were a realtor, you wouldn’t list a home without including pictures. How else would potential buyers determine whether or not to set up a viewing?

pictures can increase airbnb income

The same applies to your short term rental. When someone visits a vacation-sharing site like Airbnb, VRBO or Home Away, they want to do more than just read about what each property has to offer. They want to actually see it. 

Compelling imagery can help your potential guests envision themselves vacationing in your property, which will get them one step closer to booking a stay.

What constitutes a visually appealing short term rental listing? This is how pictures can increase your Airbnb income.

Neat and Clean.

Just because your property is lived in by you most of the year doesn’t mean the photos you put up in your Airbnb listing should demonstrate that. Before taking any pictures of your home, make sure it’s tidy and clean. Nobody wants to rent a property that looks cluttered or messy.


The brightness of a photo can affect the entire mood of your property. Darker pictures or those with yellowish or tinted lighting can give the impression that your short term rental is dingy or unwelcoming. Whenever possible, use as much natural lighting as you can in your photos (or at least turn on all the lights). If you normally use soft bulbs, replace them with bright white for your pictures. This will allow the true character and décor of your short term rental to really shine through, and is a critical step if you’re wondering how pictures can increase your Airbnb income. 


The most impactful Airbnb listing photos tend to have more of an open and airy feel. To accomplish this, many short term rental hosts use a wide-angled lens for their photo shoots. The more spacious and open your property appears in photos, the more attractive your listing will be to potential guests.

Resolution and Aspect Ratio

Even the best photos are useless if they’re not uploaded in the proper aspect ratio or do not have a high enough resolution. Not only do blurry or low quality photos fail to convey the true value of your property, but they also give the impression that you don’t care much about your listing and, in turn, your guests. (Note: the minimum resolution for Airbnb is 1024 x 683px, however, I suggest going higher.)

More Airbnb Photo Tips

Great visual listings showcase the short term rental host’s personal style. If you have unique décor, such as a beautiful piece of furniture or something else your guests might find rare and appealing, make sure you highlight those things in your photos. Using pictures, you can effectively demonstrate what makes your property different and special.

You’ll also want to paint as complete of a picture of your property as possible for your guests. Don’t just throw up a couple pictures of the kitchen and living room. Include as much imagery of your entire property as possible: interior rooms, exterior amenities, maybe even some highlights of the surrounding neighborhood. Remember – the goal is to get your guests to envision staying in your short term rental, so the more high quality pictures you can use to do so, the better.

Lastly, bring your Airbnb listing to life by adding captions to each of your pictures. This lets potential guests know exactly what they’re looking at and – more importantly – why it matters. This is important, because many visitors will skip right to the pictures before reading the property description. Having captions can help you create a more effective listing that will hopefully convert more viewers into paying, satisfied and repeat guests.

It may also be worth it to upgrade your bedding before you take your pictures. Here are a few tips for getting started.