An Airbnb listing description is more than just a rundown of your bed and bath counts—it’s a chance to connect with potential guests on an emotional level and hone in on what makes your rental one-of-a-kind.
That may seem like a tall order, but with a little bit of foresight it’s totally achievable. Read on for our five tips on how to maximize your vacation rental listing description to make the most impact on guests.
Take a look at your listing description. Do you see any instances of what we deem our “no-no words”—words like great, best, most or awesome?
If you do, chances are that there’s a better way to get your point across. Using hyperbolic language doesn’t land you any guests. Backing up your claim does.
Here’s what we mean: your property might boast the best view in town, but it’s the job of your listing description (along with your photos) to prove it. Instead of touting your “awesome view,” tell your guests what exactly they can expect to see. Does the window in your bedroom offer a top-story glimpse at the twinkling skyline at night? Can you see the sunrise over the ocean from your front porch?
Let’s take a look at this Portland apartment we recently wrote about. It’s got a lot of personality, but it’s not enough to boast “great character” if you want to fill your booking calendar. In our description, we went in-depth by describing just what makes this space so unique with words that conjure up a specific image and feeling.
“Recently remodeled and tastefully furnished in true Portland fashion, this basement apartment boasts a unique charm, with many of the original features and woodwork from its over-a-century-year-old building still in tact.”
When in doubt, think hard about how your rental is different from your competition. If you’re still struggling with how to rid your listing description of dime-a-dozen words like the ones above, we cover it in-depth here.
Not all of your guests come to your description looking for the same thing. A parent planning a multi-family getaway might be most concerned with your bed and bath configuration, while a group of outdoor enthusiasts or culture vultures may be most interested in how close you are to nearby destinations.
In today’s fast-paced world, guests will skip right over your Airbnb listing description if you don’t make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Breaking up your content into bite-sized sections with telling subheads makes it easy for every guest to skim your listing for exactly what they want to know.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend an introduction, followed by a separate section each for your living spaces, bedrooms/bathrooms, outdoor amenities and location. But with that being said, keep in mind that every property reaches its own unique audience—and should be structured to best showcase the information they find most important.
One of the most common pieces of advice we dole out to owners looking to improve their description is to mention your key selling points early and often.
We know there’s probably a lot to love about your home, but a useful exercise is to brainstorm 3-5 characteristics that set you apart from your competition, whether it’s a kid-friendly game room, sprawling outdoor space with private pool or location steps from the tideline.
Once you’ve established the traits that make you stand apart, be sure to mention them right from the get go—if not in the first sentence of your listing description, then at least in the first paragraph. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count.
Let’s look at an example of how we honed in on key selling points early on in a listing for another Portland apartment.
For this listing, we singled out the building’s historic charm and the rental’s proximity to quintessential Portland experiences—like exploring Powell’s and tasting coffee and microbrews—to quickly hook the target audience. Then, we tied it all together under the theme of living like a local to create a cohesive first paragraph chock-full of unique selling points.
You wouldn’t decorate a cabin in the woods in the same way you would a city penthouse—and you shouldn’t write about them the same way, either.
The vacation rental industry is deeply personal. For many guests, choosing a rental isn’t just about finding a place to lay their heads. They want to know that the property they choose is a match for them in personality and spirit.
Your Airbnb listing description copy is an opportunity to portray the attitude of your vacation rental. If you’re writing about a family-friendly beach cottage, you’ll want to use casual, conversational language and make mention of fun and togetherness. But if you’re writing about a high-end getaway in wine country, you should use sophisticated language with frequent references to luxuriousness and exclusivity.
Determine what your guest finds most important, and consider that when making tone and language choices.
We said it earlier in this post, but it’s a point that deserves re-enforcing. Your potential guests are the ones you’re writing this description for, so keep them in mind throughout the entire writing process.
One helpful exercise is to create imagined guest personas based on the guests you see most frequently at your rental. By determining their needs and priorities, and then putting an imagined name and face to that guest, you’ll be inspired to write a listing that caters directly to them.
It’s a lot easier to talk to Bob the Hiker, Jody the Mom and Alex the Golfer in your listing than it is to talk to a nameless, faceless crowd of potential guests.
If you’re still stumped…
Guest Hook is here to help. As vacation rental copywriters, we use the right words to help you drive more potential guests towards booking by optimizing your Airbnb listing description.