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Branding—or Changing?

My husband and I ran our own photo biz for many years. We used one biz-related image as our “branding” photo for social networking.

We have so far approached our two Airbnb listings that way. We’ve consistently used a picture of the front of our house as the first image for each listing. We do change the other images fairly often.

We thought by keeping the first image the same, repeaters would easily recognize us. We also thought that if guests saw one listing and then the other, they’d realize they’re from the same house.

Do you think we should periodically change each listing’s first image?

I too like to have a photo of the house on the cover and have only changed it once when Airbnb sent me a notice to update it. So I just took a picture from a different angle but it’s still a photo of the house. I think it makes it easier for guests to find the house as they enter the cul de sac.

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Good point about guests finding the house. I like that. That’s also helpful in our case, because our house looks quite different from all the others on our cul de sac.

I’m curious to see what other hosts will say.

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I haven’t changed ours for years. I agree with @Ritz3 that it makes the property more recognisable when guests arrive. Also, if a guest is wanting to book a repeat stay, I want the listing to look the same if they go back to it several months after the initial stay.

Another point, of course, is that I’m too lazy to change it. :slight_smile:

But seriously, it’s a great photograph so I don’t see any advantages at all.

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Thanks. Nice to have confirmation.

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This is my thinking too. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to find me again, or send their friends to me. I’ve wondered if I need to give the place a name to facilitate this.

We have a name for our house, but since the Airbnb title is limited to so few characters, we couldn’t use it. It seemed more important to ID the biggest places that we’re near (big hospital, university). No room there for our house name.

Our guest rooms have names (and signs).

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I keep a spreadsheet with my guests’ information so I can find them to offer direct booking at a “discounted” rate. I sort by booking date, too, and contact them 10-11 months from that.

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Do you text their cell phones or collect emails?

Cell phone, usually; but I’ll send email if I have it or can find it online.

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It depends, is it working for repeat business? Do you get repeat business at all? I would think if you do get repeats they just find you by looking on their past reservation page or call direct. I leave business cards for direct bookings.

RR

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We get a lot of repeat business. Up to now, all of it has been handled through Airbnb because I didn’t realize I could have people book with us directly.

Biz cards are a good idea for repeaters, too.

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We do too and they usually contact me first asking if their dates are available. I make it clear to guests that I would encourage to return to contact me if they want to book in the future as sometimes my calendar doesn’t reflect what is actually available. Which is true, because sometimes we need a couple of days off but for an awesome return-guest, I’d open those dates up. I really don’t think they’re combing airbnb for a photo that they recognize. Besides, they will likely access your listing from their previous reservation.

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Ouch! (Again.)

I only have a “brand” due to having the existing dog boarding business here at the house when I started Airbnb. I used to use it in my title but decided I was being “too cute.” It was “K9 Karma Casa is now open to humans.” I thought guests would read and that it was important for them to realize they were staying at a dog boarding business. But then I had people not know what town they were in or where in the town they were in or that they had their own entrance and bathroom, etc. Plus I remodeled to separate from them so my dog business was no longer critical information.

Looking at listings to stay I prefer informative titles to branded titles. How many freaking cozy cottages with view/by the beach/quiet/etc. have I seen? They aren’t distinguished in any way.

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We have a number of Airbnb’s near us. ALL of them have a picture of the front of their house. Our strategy is to show what you get on the inside as the cover photo. Our business has boomed as a result. We’ve even picked up their formal loyal guests as a result of what people realized they could get on the inside. At the end of the day we’ve found our guests preferred seeing the inside over the outside. We’ve even gotten that feedback from them directly.

It’s not uncommon for curious guests to ask how Airbnb works. I answer their questions honestly, and that usually opens the door for me to ask questions like, “what made you choose our property over others in the area”?

That’s my two cents.

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I have an entire house listing. My cover photo is the king bedroom. The outside of my house is nothing special (ranch/rambler) so I decided to show the main bedroom instead. Seems to be working for me!

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