How to write good captions for your Airbnb photos

Most prospective visitors to your vacation rental look through your images first. While photos are the most powerful in attracting visitors to your site, another component of your visual portfolio where you can further differentiate yourself is the image captions. Captions are the first text visitors read about your property, way before they get to the property description. Smart use of this text could help you attract more visitors early in the process and convince them to take a deeper look.

Don’t repeat the obvious

Most of the time which room you are showing in a photo is obvious, yet there are many captions that state “kitchen” or “living room” as the only caption text to corresponding photos. If there are multiple kitchens, living rooms in the house, it is surely helpful to label them in your caption as it would help viewers navigate the property. In smaller homes, however, such statements are wasted space where you can highlight other aspects of your property instead to distinguish yourself from others.

an airby bedroom photo from airbnb website, with the following caption: bedroom  number 1 angle 2
Numbering rooms/spaces can help people navigate your property when you have multiple of the same space.

Use your captions to explain non-obvious advantages of your property

Take the opportunity to highlight the advantages that aren’t visible in the photos. Is your place very quiet with fast WiFi? Note that in the caption of the workspace photo. Do you have strong water pressure in the shower? That would be a great detail to add in the bathroom photo caption. Think through everything you enjoy about your rental; it could be a very comfy mattress or the natural light the living room gets in the afternoons.

a shower photo from the airbnb website with the following caption: Bathroom with large, high pressure shower. The toilet is in a separate room, making it easy for two people to use the bathroom at the same time
Highlight non-visible advantages to differentiate your property.

Highlight unique features

Some features of your property may be unique in your area, but an outside visitor may not be able to recognize that from an initial look. For example, if your vacation rental in Manhattan has a nice balcony, that would be a rare feature in the area, and well worth bringing to the visitors’ attention.

Help people imagine their time at your rental

Go beyond the features and describe the experience visitors can have in your space. Try to highlight the benefits over sole features. If your master bedroom is facing south, instead of just stating the fact, try to paint a picture: “You will be cozy and warm in our master bedroom with lots of southern exposure even on the coldest winter day.”

a kitchen photo on airbnb website with following caption: kitchen is fully equiped. new refrigirator and appliances so that you can prepare a gourmet meal using ingredients from the local organic markets
Go beyond stating the amenities and help viewers imagine the experience they can have at your property.

Try to use short sentences and attention grabbing words

Captions are supposed to be brief. Keep them short and sweet so that people can scan the text easily and take away the key points you want to communicate. Using clear language and emphasizing what you want to highlight at the beginning of the sentence will communicate your message to more visitors. Writing in a conversational tone would help people quickly understand the content as they skim.

Note that it is more difficult to write clear, short sentences, so take your time for drafting and editing. You can periodically come back and edit your captions to further improve the clarity of your written content.

photo of a building rooftop with workspace, with the following caption: why not take that zoom call on the roof?
Short and to the point sentences quickly convey the benefits of your place.

You don’t need a caption for every photo

You dont need to put a caption on every image, don’t overdo it. Using captions when they actually communicate new information will make them more effective, while using too many words and repetitive sentences may cause viewers to ignore your captions altogether.

Edit your captions based on changing expectations

Cleanliness is more important than ever for travelers right now. Do you have specific sanitization procedures put into place? Make note of it in your photo of a sparkling clean kitchen. Is your property downtown? You might want to highlight how it would make a great home office for those who need space. Is it in a suburban area? It is a great escape for those looking to leave the city, so make a note of that.

Use customer quotes wisely and when applicable

Using quotes from recent visitors to describe the benefits of your property could be a good way to share highlights. In doing so, try to match the quote with the given context in your images. If there's a specific comment about the view from your balcony at sunset, it can strengthen your message when paired with a nice photo of the said view.

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