In order to stand out from the myriad of Airbnb and short-term rental listings there are available online, use professional photography to make the first impression on potential guests.

You may have the coolest Airbnb listing in the world, but you can still lack bookings if you are not showcasing your property in the best way. And, to let you in on a secret, it's not just photos of your space that attracts guests.

Know your audience

The first step is to know your audience. Be as specific as you can. Are you catering to families? A couple celebrating a milestone? A girls' weekend? A couple who are looking to get married in an intimate setting? This is your primary audience. You'll want to market most to your primary audience and the photos you have should resonate with that audience.

Make your audience feel something

The key to constant bookings is to make your listing viewers feel a certain way when they look at your listing. Take a look at your current photos, as objectively as you can. What do they say to you, if anything? How do they make you feel?

What you want your audience to feel is up to you. It could be excitement and adventure if you have a listing like a treehouse or maybe cozy and relaxed if you have a forest cabin. Maybe you want

I can't tell you the number of times I passed on renting an Airbnb because I looked at the photos and didn't feel anything.

So how do you make your audience feel something about your Airbnb? You tell a story.

Have your listing tell a story

Think of your listing as a commercial for your property. The best commercials - the ones that you remember - are the ones that tell a story.

This is where brand photography comes in. In addition to your listing description, the photography is the number one way to show off your listing. You want your photography to be a mix of photos that show off the space and photos that tell others what it's like to rent your Airbnb.

For example, if your main audience is a couple who are celebrating a milestone, use props to show off what people can DO in your space, like champagne, a charcuterie board, romantic candles, soft lighting and cozy blankets will tie in your property photos with photos that say something.

Another example is if you want to attract families to your waterfront cabin, you could show off the watercraft you have available, kids running off the dock, vintage board games, making smores over the campfire, etc, etc. These images convey the very heart of a family getaway and will make other families want to experience that joy.

Photography can be more than just photos of your space, they can elevate your listing to something that others won't want to miss out on and that's why you should have professional photography for your Airbnb or short-term rental listing.