Building a trustworthy profile involves the completion of two key elements:

Profile Description

Compare the following two Airbnb profile descriptions:

Which of these appealed most to you?

Whilst there is nothing ‘wrong’ with the first, it lacks personality, color and depth. It does little in overcoming potential concerns prospective guests may have in committing to travel great distances and at great expense to stay in a complete stranger’s home.

The second profile introduces you, even if only briefly, to someone that looks like a real human being with interests and personality.

These reassuring attributes are intended to paint a picture of the type of experience the guest is likely to have if choosing to stay at that host’s place.

To create (or edit) your profile description:

  1. Login to Airbnb
  2. Click on your account profile photo in the top right corner
  3. Select Edit Profile
  4. Write your profile description in the Describe Yourself input box within the Required section

Principles

Providing these reassuring attributes will be specific to you, your home, and what you have to offer on Airbnb.

Nonetheless, when developing your profile description, try incorporate the following principles…

Tell Your Story

Tell people where you’re from, where you’ve been, and how you got to where you are now. Prospective guests take comfort in knowing that just like them, you too have been on the move in the past.

Share insignificant details

We all have idiosyncrasies and peculiarities, and exposing yours to a complete stranger will do wonders in helping to break down barriers that creates a sense of intimacy and connection. Your obsession with collecting fridge magnets may make you the butt of jokes amongst your friends, but proves you to be a person of interests and passions no matter how silly they may seem to others.

Demonstrate reliability and maturity

It’s a fair assumption that if you’re a well-liked person in your day-to-day life, that these attributes are likely to be consistent across all other areas of your life too, with hosting on Airbnb being one other such place. Mention your day job, volunteer associations you’re a part of or positions of leadership that demonstrate your maturity and credibility.

Focus on travel

Remember who’s reading your profile: Travelers. Sharing your thoughts on what you look for in a life partner might be good for a dating website, but telling Airbnb guests about where you’ve traveled and what good travel experiences mean to you will do wonders for building rapport. Share travel stories and positive Airbnb experiences that you’ve had in the past. Let prospective guests know that you’ve been in their shoes and understand what they’re looking for from their Airbnb experience too.

Write for your intended audience

Think about the type of guest most likely to stay in your place. Are they business people? Families? Gap-year backpackers? What kind of host are they most likely to connect with, and what sort of experience are they likely looking for? The way you communicate your values and ideals will be interpreted differently by different people. Your profile description represents an opportunity to connect with your target guests as well as weed out prospective guests that you may wish to avoid attracting.

Profile Photo

All hosts are required to have a profile photo. Make yours count!

Airbnb enable you to upload multiple photos, although only the first will be your designated profile photo.

There are many perspectives on what the critical ingredients are of a good profile photo: Some say don’t look too formal, whilst others say don’t be too casual. Some say surround yourself with friends and family, whilst others insist you should be the only one in the shot. Some say to show yourself amidst a fun environment, whilst others say not to let your surroundings dominate the focus of youin the picture.

Airbnb encourage uploading frontal face portrait photos that clearly show your face. But aside from this basic guidance, what’s the right approach?

The reality is that the right approach is simply to avoid the wrong approach. And the wrong approach is anything that detracts from building trust and confidence with prospective guests.

Your profile photo needs to instill a level of trust and confidence in guests that are yet to meet you and see first-hand how great you actually are. How you go about achieving this can be done in a multitude of different ways.

To make the point, take a look at the photos below…

From these photos, ask yourself… which of these hosts’ homes would you feel comfortable staying in, and which would you not? (HINT: They’re all the same person!)

Did some of the photos invoke trust, likability and rapport whilst others invited doubt, worry or concern?

Repeat this exercise, and for the same photos, pretend that you are now a...

Business person

Gap-year backpacker

Senior traveler

Did this change your level of comfort with the potential host? Probably so.

What this should highlight is the overarching need to be conscious of the type of guest you’re trying to attract and ensuring that your profile photo creates the necessary level of trust required for them to then book.

To edit your Profile Photo:

  1. Login to Airbnb
  2. Click on your account profile photo in the top right corner
  3. Select Edit Profile
  4. Select Photos from the menu on the left
  5. Click the Upload a file from your computer button

Download the Starting With a Trustworthy Profile cheat-sheet in...

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OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SECTION:

Less Daunting Than You May Have Thought
Step 1: Starting With the Basics
Step 2: Setting the Scene
Co-Hosts
Step 3: Get Ready for Guests
Understanding Your Target Guests
Use Headings and Bullets
Photos
Elements of an Airbnb Listing
House Rules