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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Download Episode! Kati and Brian Greene are two long-time travelers who produced an eBook of interviews with vacation rental industry “thinkers and do’ers”. Now, they have created a structured video course, teaching smart phone photography to vacation rental owners. There are good reasons to use professional photographers, but there are also good reasons to learn to take our own pictures to manage property updates and pictures of surrounding neighborhoods. Those pictures have to be good enough to blend in with the other professional pictures on our listings. And, it turns out, they can! 0-3:30 Debi describes how she met Kati and Brian, through a book interview. 3:30 – 9:00 The two are living in New Zealand but also Italy and France – they try to find longer term vacation rentals to base out of. They called themselves Superguests before Airbnb did, and are really into the guest experience. Their company, “” provides photography training so that hosts can learn to do their own photography using cell phones. During their years of travel, they found that something like half of the sites they’ve considered staying in lacked good quality pictures. Sometimes they’d book a place on another continent and really wanted to see the photo quality match the quality offered in the written description. 9:00 – 12:45 Discussion of why hosts would want to learn these photography skills, in addition to using professional photography. Kati says is more about the photographer than the high-end camera tool. 12:45 – 16:45 Kati and Brian’s Course: Kati describes the content of the 3-hour video course, broken up in three parts. First is getting to know your phone camera, lighting, all the technical stuff, then walking through an Airbnb looking over Kati’s shoulder, then editing the pictures, selecting the right photos and how to sequence them. The videos are mostly 4-5 minutes, with the longest being 10 minutes. The course is $197. They have a second level, which includes phone consulting prior to the shoot, and Kati will edit up to 20 pictures because she knows that a lot of people might be uncertain about editing. 16:45 – 18:00 Brian discusses the value of learning these photography skills. One example is that you can also take good neighborhood photos, something you don’t usually get from your professional photographer, because it takes too much time. 18:00 Kati & Brian’s Book: They interviewed 28 people who they feel are resources in the industry – an hour of Skype interview boiled down after editing to 5 or 6 pages, which are the best 2 or 3 minutes of the hour. They plan on doing a podcast that will utilize the original full interviews. They interviewed Matt Landau, Heather Bayer, Wheelhouse, Andrew McConnell, Logify, Party Squasher, Erica Muller, and many others including lots of Airbnb experts. They asked a set of questions focused towards a hypothetical new owner. They didn’t want it to just be a list of companies. The book is being offered free on their website. 23:30 Brian noted that 70% of people don’t entertain the thought of hiring a professional photographer. But whether you use a pro or not, there is a value of learning to do this yourself, being true to your rental offering with pictures that are realistic and good quality. Most of the modern smart phones, whether iPhone or not are fine for taking solid pictures. They originally thought the course would focus on the actual details of the photograph, but have evolved to teaching about the emotional appeal of the pictures. In her wrapup, Debi laughs about not intending to do an info-mercial but found the course to be really useful and recommends it. (Debi has no financial connection with Kati and Brian) LINKS And remember to check their free e-Book offer on the website

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