It's just a fact: homes that have photos of the interior have a better chance of finding an exchange. If you want your house to get lots of eyeballs and increase your chances of landing the home swap of your dreams, take a look at your listing's photos and see if they could use a makeover as the summer season approaches.
Your profile must have a minimum of five photos for your listing to be complete and for you to become verified. But more than the required five images provides a better view of your home so Members can envision themselves staying there! The priority should be to show other Members how your home looks inside and what they can expect. Being upfront and honest is always the best policy.
Even if photography is not your thing, if you put in some effort and time, you can take beautiful pictures of your home that catch Members' eyes and ultimately entice them to stay in your home. Here are some tips to take the best possible photos of your home.
Choose your tool
You don't have to have a professional camera to take great pictures of your house! If you have a smartphone, your camera phone is more than acceptable. The important thing is to get a clear and clean image that will inspire other members to stay in your home. Smartphones also allow for easy upload through the HomeExchange mobile app.
If you use a point and shoot camera or a DSLR, hold it steady or better yet, use a tripod!
Whatever tool you use to take the photos, make sure you are capturing images in high resolution so the photos are clear and not grainy on your profile. Don't use photos with a time stamp or any other type of watermark on them.
Natural light is your best friend
Don't take your pictures at night— choose a sunny day when light is streaming through your windows. The natural light improves the photos and makes them cheery, bright and inviting rather than dark and dreary.
Avoid using your flash! This often creates a cold and artificial feeling. Natural lighting is the best because it illuminates your home more authentically.
Take lots of photos
Don't snap just one picture of your kitchen— take a bunch so you have plenty to choose from. Try different angles, closeups, wide angles, amounts of light, and one with your freshly-baked cake on display.
TIP: Take photos from the corners of rooms to show the most of the space in a single image.
Set the stage...
Put away the pile of laundry you've been meaning to get to, hide the muddy shoes in the closet and make sure the dresser drawers are fully closed. A quick tidying up can make sure your house doesn't look overly cluttered and makes it more inviting for people browsing home options. You can set the stage with a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, a stack of magazines in the living room, live plants in the bathroom— whatever makes your home feel welcoming and look beautiful. Click here for more tips on home staging.
...but let it look lived in
This does not mean you have to re-decorate your entire house! Part of the beauty of a home exchange is that people are staying in your home, with all its quirks, the photos of your family on the walls and the chickens in the backyard. Don't be afraid to let your house look like people live there— because of course they do. Homey, personal touches make your house a one-of-a-kind experience that Members couldn't find anywhere else.
Highlight your home's special features
If your home has a pool, hot tub, laundry facilities, stunning view, claw-foot tub, impressive book collection, state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, funky bedroom decor— show those things off! A picture is worth a thousand words, so show off these things about your home through a picture rather than just listing them in your home's description.
TIP: Take outdoor photos, too: the front of your home, the yard, garden, barbecue, or patio so people can imagine themselves spending time outside while staying in your home swap.
Edit your photos
Once you have taken your photos, don’t be afraid to edit the images slightly. You might want to lighten them up if they are dark, or even crop out something unwanted. Some slight adjusting can take your photos from simply alright to a total wow!
Don't go crazy with filters and changing the colors of your photo, though. Turning white walls yellow and blurring the image is not the best idea for creating an honest and welcoming image of your home. Your home profile will look more authentic and people that view your profile won’t think you have something to hide.
TIP: Remember that horizontal (landscape) photos look better on the HomeExchange website. You can rotate and crop your photos directly on HomeExchange. Once you upload your images, you can hover over the photo and edit the direction of it right there! No need to have any extra editing software, it’s all built right in.