With nearly two million professionally managed vacation rental properties throughout the United States, it’s extremely important to have an eye-catching listing if you want to increase bookings. The old saying, you can’t judge a book by its cover, simply doesn’t ring with truth. You can judge a book by its cover and a cover that doesn’t excite or give the reader a glimpse of what the story might offer, fails. The same is true with vacation rental listings.
But how do you create an eye-catching vacation rental listing or Airbnb listing? We can help. The best, attention-generating listings have three key components:
An appealing headline
A detailed and artful description
High-quality, staged photos
It sounds simple, but to really make a listing pop, these three components must be broken down into actionable details.
How To Write Rental Listings and Airbnb Descriptions Like a Pro:
It Begins with a Name
Before you can create an unforgettable listing, your vacation rental needs a name. A thoughtfully-created name stands out and lets guests know immediately what they’re getting in a vacation rental. Casago has several rentals with stand-out names. These include:
Contemporary Ocean Overlook
Cave Creek Retreat
Each of these titles creates a vivid picture with just words. With “Contemporary Ocean Overlook” you know right away that (1) it’s a modern design, (2) it has an ocean view, and (3), it’s likely a condo or apartment not on the ground floor. “Cave Creek Retreat” names the city and lets you know it’s all about the getaway, while “Mountain Therapy” immediately conjures spectacular views and awesome relaxation.
Choose a title that expresses the true essence of your rental. “Can’t Bear to Leave” is the name of a log cabin located in Big Bear, while “Sunsets & Sandcastles” is a beachside condo in St. Augustine. Both quickly sum up the heart of the rental and make a guest want to read more.
Pro Tip: Be sure to use the name of your rental about two or three times throughout the descriptive copy, but no more than that. Over-saturating the copy with the name can distract from the other essential information the guests need to read.
How to Craft an Appealing Headline
A headline should capture a reader’s attention, drawing them in and creating a desire to learn more. This is true if it’s a headline for a city newspaper, a magazine article, a blog post, or any type of real estate listing. Writing an attention-getting headline doesn’t have to be complicated. At Casago, we have four basic formulas that can be used to craft an appealing headline for your vacation rental property.
Formula 1: Adjective + Property Type+ w/+Top Features
Example of Formula 1: Luxury (adjective) Private Beach House (property type) with Chef’s Kitchen and Ocean View (top features)
Formula 2: Adjective + Property Type + Near + Landmark – Distance
Example of Formula 2: Spacious (adjective) 3 BR (property type) Near Volcanoes National Park—Just 2 Miles (landmark/distance)
Formula 3: Adjective + Property Type + Perfect for + Experience
Example of Formula 3: Cozy (adjective) 2BR Cottage (property type) Perfect for a Romantic Weekend Getaway (Experience)
Formula 4: Enjoy + Selling Point + at + Adjective + Property Type + in/at + Location
Example of Formula 4: Enjoy Ski-in/Ski-out (selling point) at Spacious (adjective) 4 BR Condo (property type) at XYZ Resort (location)
Headline words make a difference, so choose wisely. Take time and think about how different words impact meaning and imagery. What words would draw you in when you think of your ideal vacation? How about words like—luxury, private, spacious, ocean view, lake, mountain, retreat, cozy, modern, contemporary, downtown, resort, and beautiful. Include these words not only in your headline but in the descriptive copy of the listing as well.
Building a Microbrand
Branding is a key part of most marketing approaches, whether you’re selling a service or product. A microbrand is something that consumers recognize in a specific market, like vacation rentals. In the case of creating a vacation rental listing, you want to use the Casago name to help build your microbrand. Guests can connect with the name, recognizing the brand and feel confident in their choice to select the rental through Casago.
You want guests to be able to connect not just with the home they’re renting, but with you as a host. You want them to feel seen and part of something larger, and with Casago, that’s exactly what they’ll get. Let the guests know that booking a Casago rental means easy access to a team of professionals. The local Casago team will answer their questions and handle any issues quickly and effectively. Guests can book with confidence when they see the Casago name and with this type of microbranding you can increase bookings.
Writing an Artful, Well-Written Listing Description
Even if the only things you write are texts or the grocery lists, you can create an artful, well-written listing description for your airbnb or vacation rental. The easiest and most effective way to write a listing description is to make a list of bullet points with the information guests need.
Specific property type: 2 BR condo with ocean view
Unique selling points (USP): chef’s kitchen, large balcony, private beach access
Specific location or destination details: 5 minutes from state park, walkable to downtown shops and restaurants
Ways to enjoy the space: Spa-style master bath ideal for the ultimate in relaxation after a day of water activities
Call to action: We’d love to have you book a stay today!
The ideal listing description typically has about 700 to 1,000 characters, which is about 108 to 200 words. According to CharacterCounter.com, “On average, text contains between 5 and 6.5 characters per word including spaces and punctuation. Let’s look at the sentence: Book your stay today! It has just four words but a character count of 21 because character count includes spaces and punctuation.
It’s important to note that Airbnb allows both short and long descriptions. The short ones have a character limit of 500, while the longer ones have no limit. Vrbo recommends 700 to 1,000 characters. Emojis are also allowed in descriptions and can be a clever way to emphasize a selling point without taking up extra characters. Airbnb doesn’t allow emojis in titles, though.
A rambling description can make a potential guest lose interest. They want to know the specifics, feel excited about the property, and be confident they’re getting the vacation rental they need. However, try not to go too short. If you skimp, you may miss out on sharing key information a guest needs to choose your rental.
Quality Pictures Make an Impact
You’ve probably snapped a million pictures with your smartphone camera, changing the filters to add more light, crop unwanted areas, and generally make the pic the best it can be before sharing. Depending on your ability and equipment, you may be able to take the photos needed for your listing. Often, a professional photographer will be a better option. But before you snap a pic or welcome the professional into your home, consider setting the stage.
Guests want to be able to “see” themselves in the property. A home staging helps improve the quality of pictures you’ll share with the listing. To increase bookings, set the stage. While a vacation rental property offers a unique alternative to a cookie-cutter hotel room, it’s best not to have it cluttered with “personal” touches.
Quick tips for staging your property photos include but are not limited to:
Only use items in the pic that will be available to the guest
Set the table or dining area with the dinner and glassware that will be available to the guest
Keep the window coverings open, hung neatly, and spaced evenly
Turn off the ceiling fans and televisions
Hide any cords as much as possible and stash items like garbage cans, cleaning supplies, and remote controls out of sight
Clear the kitchen counters (it’s okay to leave out the coffee pot)
Clear bathroom counter, but set out the small amenities/toiletries that the guest can use
Fluff all the throw pillows and artfully drape any throw blankets
Straighten artwork and mirrors that hang on the walls
Make the beds, fluff the pillows
Turn on accent lighting for twilight shoots outside
Set a scene that will entice the guest. Create a tableau with a coffee mug and book on the table or wine bottle and glasses on the counter in the kitchen. Open a laptop on the desk and place a pair of sandals by the patio door or poolside. Remember, less is often more.
Casago Vacation Rentals Feel Like Home
The best vacation rental listings increase bookings because they help the customer visualize themselves living in and enjoying the space. When customers can see themselves lounging on the plush couch or standing on the balcony taking in the amazing views, they’re going to click through and book. Now that you’re ready to list your vacation rental, Casago is there for you, a trusted company effectively managing properties throughout the United States and Mexico. Contact us today, we’re here to help!