At BookingTeam.com, we work with property managers and owners to craft high-performing vacation rental listings and share it with the most popular rental sites. Here are the top tips from our team of booking professionals on creating great listing descriptions.
1. Craft a catchy headline.
Besides photos, the headline is the first thing that guests will see when browsing for vacation rentals online. It also impacts the search rankings, so it is essential that you craft high-quality headlines. What makes a great headline?
It should be descriptive and brief but grab attention. Take a look at our list of successful vacation rentals in the United States for examples of catchy headlines.
Headlines can also highlight a benefit or competitive differentiator that sets it apart. For instance, the top performing listing on Airbnb includes that title right in the headline. (Mushroom Dome Cabin: #1 on airbnb in the world). The headline does two things right. It highlights an accolade and it describes the property in a way that is short, sweet and attention-grabbing.
Test out different headlines and compare the performance. Testing different versions can help you craft the most effective headline and increase bookings. It may even be more effective to switch up the headline during major holidays and local festivals or events that attract crowds. Experiment and find what works best.
2. Pair copy with lots of professional level photos.
When it comes to vacation rental listings, a picture is worth a thousand words. Images play a key role in how your listing ranks on rental sites and search engines, but they are also highly influential in guest booking decisions. High-quality photos are essential to listings, but they can’t stand alone. They may get the guests to click, but you still need compelling and well-written copy to convince them that they should book with you.
3. Get to the point.
If someone clicks on your listings, that’s great. They are already interested, but the harder part is to convince them to read on and hopefully, book a stay. Don’t waste valuable time and space on trying to sell them. Their interest is already piqued. Instead, highlight the key features and benefits of your vacation rental.
These are often referred to as unique selling points (USPs). They are what sets you apart from similar listings in your area. Have you newly remodeled? Do you have scenic views and areas to enjoy them? You might want to highlight a balcony or roof area where guests can relax. You might have an indoor pool, hot tub or other relaxing features. If you are in a prime location, close to the city center or major tourist spots, make sure to highlight it.
One way to stop yourself from dumping too much–and a lot of unnecessary– information in your listings is to first outline a list of the top four or five benefits of your vacation rental. It can be the amenities, the scenery, local attractions or location. Make sure those are pointed out early on.
4. Avoid large blocks of text.
People have short attention spans and little patience, especially online. People scan more than they read. In fact, one study found that on average, individuals only read about 20% of a web page.
Consider that when you craft your listing descriptions. Opt for lists and bullets where appropriate and avoid large blocks of text. Break up paragraphs with spaces and remember to be clear and concise.
5. Write like you are talking to your ideal guest.
Imagine your ideal guest and what they envision in a vacation rental. What amenities and features are important to them? What atmosphere are they looking for? The vacation rental listing for a party spot geared toward Millennials will be very different from one for multigenerational families or business travelers.
Take some time to sit and think about the type of guests that will be most attracted to your property, and write for them. However, be careful. Capture the essence of your property but don’t exaggerate. Don’t say that your property sleeps 10 when in reality there are only 3 beds, a pull out bed, and some extra pillows.
6. Highlight your personality.
Your headline might say you are one thing, but if your listing doesn’t reflect the same tone and personality, people won’t be sold on it and won’t book. Paint a picture, be descriptive, but avoid using too much fluffy language and adverbs like very or really.
Guests want an experience, so don’t be afraid to incorporate some of your own character and tone in your descriptions. You may want to include some information on yourself as a host in your profile.
A successful vacation rental business relies on well-written listings. With BookingTeam.com, hosts get the benefits of professionally-crafted listings that are shared among all the popular rental sites.