We recently discussed the value of a great vacation rental listing, and gave you 7 copywriting tips that will take your text description to the next level.
But beyond things like language and paragraph breaks, there's plenty more you can do to polish up your listing and make it the best it can be. And when a guest is comparing properties, these things might just be what pulls you over the line.
Here are five things you can do to easily and dramatically improve your Airbnb listing.
Not everyone is going to bother reading your photo captions — the photos should speak a thousand words. But why waste the opportunity to sell your property further?
A caption can textually highlight an aspect of the photo, making the viewer more aware or appreciative of it. For example, consider a photo of a living room with no caption, versus the same photo with a caption like “Beautiful, light-drenched living room with mid-century modern furniture". It's easier for us as the reader to accept the version of reality we're handed in the caption rather than to draw conclusions ourselves.
You can also use captions to reinforce information about amenities. Here’s a great example from a listing in Toronto:[caption id="attachment_421" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The photo caption reads: "Bathroom (Shampoo, body wash and toilet paper are all included. Hair dryer available)"[/caption]
The photo shows a bathroom that's not particularly captivating, but the caption helps to make up for it by reminding us of all the useful things that are included.
The description reads:
This may not be an example of beautiful, emotive copy, but that's exactly the point: knowing your audience means that sometimes it doesn't have to be. In other words, be honest. If there are drawbacks to your property, do mention them so guests know what to expect — but put the main focus of your text on what it's selling points are. Even if those selling points are things like practicality and budget.
"My place is close to the airport. You can take a free airport shuttle bus (to Long Term Car Park) and then walk less than 10 minutes to get there.
Conveniently located, only 2 minutes walk away there's a bus stop with bus that goes directly to Luton main train station with fast trains link to London.
Eateries are within 5 minutes walk from the house and local Tesco's grocery store is just down the road."
Bedroom 1: King size bed, ensuite with bath, flatscreen T.V. Bedroom 2: Double bed, laptop-friendly workspace, fold-out sofa bed.and so on...
Q: Bathroom, explain!
A: The boat is equipped with a house sized water heater ensuring you get hot water throughout the boat. Know, however, that you are staying on a boat. Long hot showers can be difficult. [...]
Q: Heat? AC?
A: Our boats are equipped with BOTH heat and AC. No matter the time of year you visit you can be assured that you will be staying in a nice comfortable environment!
As you can see from the text above, the owners have used the listing description to cover the most frequently asked questions, but they've created a format that's super succinct and fun. They know that potential guests are aways in a hurry to know everything, so they've posed the questions in a way that reflects this.
Often guests will choose a property based on the strength of the photos, the location, availability or price... but when it comes down to the crunch, even the small details of your listing can make a difference. What do you do to make your listing stand out?