I’m camping today and am thinking about how when you book a place online the photos create expectations.
As a creator of experiences showing photos can work for you against you. If you give people the impression that certain things are oriented certain ways and then they get there and they’re not quite what it looked like, then it’s a bit of a disappointment.
So what kind of photos make people want to book but at the same time set their expectations up so that they will be pleasantly surprised when they show up?
What would it be like to show photos that were obscured or filtered so much that people really didn’t know what to expect but it would give them some sense? I think this would turn off most people.
But for the right people perhaps you are creating an experience of a mystery. The photos have added an extra anticpatory experience beyond hoping to get what you see.
Let’s Brainstorm A Better AirBnB Experience
Maybe instead of photos it could be sketches or bad drawings or a collage? Or maybe instead just show the things around the place they’re going.
When I was looking for airbnb’s in Japan there was one where the owner had dressed up like a ninja and hid himself in all the photos of the house. Peeking out behind curtains, couches, countertops. I thought that was really ingenious and made it fun and kind of set the tone for what people should expect. Though hopefully not he was not in the apartment dressed as a ninja while you stayed there.
What if instead you gave photos of the tiniest details? Or of items that didn’t matter but you would find when you got there? Maybe you could have previous guests draw or take the photos? Or maybe it’s some other media other than photos like a song or poem or a written note that is photographed or they make it out of Legos or construction paper.
The instructions to get to a place are also interesting. You can of course use Google maps most places but there’s also other ways that you could create a sort of a hunt to find the place and maybe there’s even some rewards on the way if they go and do the thing.
Like maybe there’s a store you partner with and if people go there first and get something then they get some sort of reward and they get the instructions to your place.
What if there was directions on how to leave? Perhaps the hosts send you off on some other adventure with some information that is fun and maybe helps the local businesses?