Nailing your vacation rental photos is crucial, but let's not forget about the text. Having a punchy, informative yet alluring listing description can be the diference between smashing the bookings and having a sad, lonely property that's empty most of the year.
To make sure your property isn't one of the lonely ones, here are seven key copywriting tips to help you write a winning vacation rental listing.
Your property headline is the first weapon you have in the fight to grab attention. Use it wisely — craft a headline that captures the essence of your property, and don’t forget to tweak it and test it to really discover what works.
For more tips on writing a catchy headline, see this post about naming your Airbnb listing.
A potential guest clicks on your listing. Score! Your awesome headline worked! But now your next task: keeping them interested.
Don’t waste your intro text on anything other than what’s most crucial to your listing. Cut to the chase, because a lot of people will stop reading before they make it a quarter of the way down the page. Mention your unique selling points early on — even if you summarise now and expand on them later — so you have a better chance of getting them into the reader's head.
No-one is going to sit there are pore over every word of your listing like its a Nabokov novel. Make it easy to read, even by those who only want to scan it. This is particularly useful for those who are in the process of shortlisting properties and just want to get an initial overview.
Below is the very first paragraph of a listing description for a gorgeous loft in Georgia. But try reading it quickly:
The opening paragraph is filled with initials, long surnames, incomplete sentences, and dates. The historical significance is a unique selling point, but it’s near impossible to grasp just by scanning.
Similarly the second paragraph is a visual quagmire of quotation marks, full stops and haphazard punctuation. Every time the word “minutes” is shortened to “min.” it has a jarring effect on the eye of the reader because the stop marks cause a break mid-sentence. Simply writing "2 min walk to Dry Bridge flea market" would be a huge improvement visually.
It may not be perfect copywriting, but we immediately get the sense that Zack is young, friendly and approachable. It's in the tone, the language, and the text emoji at the end. Everything about it feels natural.
Of course you don't have to use this tone. But using pronouns like "I" or "we" is more personal, while speaking directly to the reader with "you" connects them to the place and experience on offer. Try opting for these pronouns over impersonal or passive descriptions, and don't be afraid to let a little personality shine through.
So there you have it: 7 key copywriting tips for making your vacation rental listing really shine. Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments.