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The Airbnb description you had before February probably no longer applies.

The main reason is that your guest avatar has changed.

While people were going on vacations or traveling for leisure before, now your guest might be someone sheltering in place, working from home, or a traveling nurse.

Writing a description that is tailored to speak to your audience gets more bookings.

You need to think about what their needs are:

  • Work from homers want fast wifi
  • Staycationers want to escape lockdown in the city
  • Traveling nurses want a comfortable bed and blackout curtains (and space for their pooch and maybe family!)

An Airbnb 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. But as a host, you may not be a professional copywriter. So you may be sitting there, wondering, “how do I write an Airbnb description?”.

And not just any Airbnb description — one with pazazz, one that paints such a strong picture in your future potential guest (FPG')s mind that they feel emotionally attached to staying in your listing.

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 write the best Airbnb descriptions to drive more bookings to your rental.

Before you start writing the best Airbnb description:

Remember that before people read the description, they're going to look first read/look at:

  1. The photos
  2. The photo captions

The description will be secondary, so make sure that your photo captions also capture them the right way. They won't want to read a whole block of text, so in the first paragraph, break things down into bullet points and try to use emojis to keep their attention.

For example:

🏡 3-story penthouse with direct view on the river

📍 Five minutes' walk to downtown

🌆 Rooftop terrace with the most Instaworthy views

And go one, writing the USPs that are most attractive about your unit.

Now, for the 5-step formula:

Write the best Airbnb descriptions using the proven 5-step formula.

  1. Don't use generic words
  2. Break your description into segments (different areas of the property)
  3. Define your Unique Selling Point
  4. Establish your voice
  5. Think like a guest

I wrote a list of 154 power words you can use to better describe your listing

1. Get rid of cheap words

Great writing is short and to the point. It doesn't use any words that are unnecessary. Writing that plays on emotion uses powerful words that paint pictures in your readers' minds.

Start by looking at your Airbnb description. Do you see any instances of what we deem our “no-no words”—words like great, best, most or awesome? Cut them out.

There's a better way to get your point across. Using hyperbolic language doesn’t land you any guests, nor does using generic language that means nothing. 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?

Can travel nurses get to the hospital easily and sleep through the night in your super soft sheets?

Let’s take a look at this Portland apartment we recently wrote an Airbnb description for. 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.

Airbnb Listing Description

“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 intact.”

When in doubt, think hard about how your rental is different from your competition.

We talk about vacation rental marketing and getting more bookings in the new 2020 era in the STRPA Inner Circle, a community of like-minded hosts. Join us!


2. Segment your Airbnb description in sections

Not all of your guests come to your description looking for the same thing. A remote worker might be concerned about the noise and the internet connection. A stranded traveler might be worried about having a nearby grocery store. While a nurse just wants ultimate convenience.

In today’s fast-paced world, guests will skip right over your Airbnb 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 the following formula:

  1. Introduction: Write a brief introduction about the property using descriptive power words
  2. Bedrooms/bathrooms: Write a description of each bedroom and each bathroom
  3. Outdoor amenities: describe whatever you have outdoors: the pool, terrace, balcony, etc.
  4. Location: How far is your property from public transport, supermarkets, is it quiet, are their bars, are you close to downtown?

Structure this to best showcase the information they find most important.

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– Room 1: This is the master bedroom with a king-sized bed located on the top floor. It has an east-facing window overlooking the garden, so you'll have morning light to wake you gently. It has its own private bathroom with a bathtub, a TV with Netflix and a large closet.

– Room 2: This room has a bunk bed and a large writing desk and has sliding-door access to the garden. Also equipped with a TV with Netflix, AC and a private bathroom.

Room 3: This room next to the kitchen has a queen size bed and shares the common bathroom. It has a window overlooking the front yard & mountains. It has a small closet and a TV with Netflix.

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That's the description of the bedrooms. Now you would describe your kitchen:

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Fully renovated kitchen with oven, a four-burner gas stove and a marble island. Fully equipped, comes with:

  • Colander
  • Blender
  • 4 cutting boards
  • Set of sharp knives
  • 1 dishwasher
  • Plenty of pots/pans/cooking utensils
  • Wine glasses, beer glasses, champagne glasses
  • Fully stocked condiment drawer for your use

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Outdoor area:

Our patio comes with a tiki thatched cover so you can enjoy the seating area in the shade at any time of day. We have a gas barbecue grill and outdoor fairy lighting for having the coziest evenings in good company.

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 3. Define your unique selling points

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. This is the part of your Airbnb description that works as a sales page.

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.

Things that can be a unique selling point:

  • Architecture / history of property
  • Unique amenities – swimming pool, NetFlix, internet speed, office space, blackout curtains
  • Catering to specific kind of guest (traveling nurse, cityscapers, domestic travelers)

4. How to write a great Airbnb listing: Establish your voice

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 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.

5. Think like a guest

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. When you create this, ask yourself (and maybe happy past guests) the following:

  • Why are they traveling?
  • What is the main factor they look for when deciding on a short-term rental property?
  • What's their pet peeve when choosing a property?
  • What do they love about the favorite Airbnbs they've stayed in?

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.

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 description.

We talk about vacation rental marketing and getting more bookings in the new 2020 era in the STRPA Inner Circle, a community of like-minded hosts. Join us!