AirBnB France Country Manager Nicolas Ferrary discusses the San Francisco-based apartment rental company’s conception in 2009. Its founders quickly understood the importance of quality photography when they visited New York — its debut market — and saw the disparity between how apartments look in ads and what they’re like in real life. They addressed the problem by personally shooting the homes of their first “hosts” — the people who use AirBnB to rent apartments out.
AirBnB apartments photographed by professionals see eight times more views and 2.5 times more rentals than those without professional photography, so it now offers professional photography services for hosts at no charge. The site’s emphasis on image quality has been instrumental to its success, and the founders continue to invest in it: AirBnB’s network now includes 3,000 professional photographers in 112 countries.
Ferrary believes there are two advantages to professional photography: their quality, and their implicit guarantee that an apartment will look exactly as promised. However, the Country Manager warns aspiring photographers that this source of income isn’t sufficient to make a living full-time.
Ferrary joined Airbnb in 2012, when it opened its French office. As operations director, he led business development and partnerships. In May 2013, he became French Director, leading a team of over 20 people in the development of French hosting and travel. Before joining Airbnb, Ferrary was the regional manager of Groupon France and, prior, a consultant at McKinsey.