Archives For Description

farmhouseYou can probably distinguish between a yacht, apartment and a villa. But what’s the difference between an apartment and a condo?

The truth is, many of these terms can be used to describe the same property; one person’s chalet could easily be another person’s cabin. You may choose a term because of what’s commonly used in your area, or because of the feeling a particular word evokes. Here’s an overview of the more standard categories.

Apartment — one of a number of units within a building that is owned by one common person or entity. (See also condo.)

Bungalow — generally speaking, a detached house where the main living areas are all on one floor. It may be one-and-a-half stories, with additional living space in either a basement that has above-ground windows or a second floor built under the slope of the roof. More specific features vary by region.

Cabin — “a small one-story dwelling usually of simple construction,” as defined by Mirriam-Webster. The term has traditionally implied a more rustic building. (See also chalet, cottage.) Continue Reading…

cat eyesThe average traveler will visit between 3-5 vacation rental websites, and inquire about 7 different properties, according to data from FlipKey. To make the shortlist, you need to do one critical thing: Get their attention!

That doesn’t mean SCREAM AND SHOUT at travelers with all caps, use lots of exclamation marks!! or even post photos of cute little kitties to make them swoon. It means putting together a great listing that speaks directly to your target traveler.

The real competition starts with the search results. If you’re updating an existing listing, take a minute to search for yours and see what kind of “first” impression it makes. If you’re feeling too biased, show a friend and see what they think.

Just yesterday I was asked to look at a great vacation rental in Maui. Their listing title said “true beachfront property” which was compelling to me as a traveler. One time I stayed at a hotel that said “beachfront” only to find a busy, 2-lane street intersecting my room and the beach. But, with their title in place, the first shot that appeared in the search results was a photo of the bedroom. Not exactly the beachfront I was envisioning.

All of the items that typically appear in the search results are pulled from your listing (you can’t customize them separately), so be sure to keep these in mind when creating your listing.

  • A small photo of the property (approx 1.5” wide x 1” tall)
  • The headline
  • Basic details (i.e. number of rooms, max occupancy, rates)
  • The number of reviews received, maybe including star rating
  • A very brief summary (i.e. the first sentence of your description)

Continue Reading…

writing descriptionPhotos that capture the best your vacation rental has to offer are critical when it comes to attracting attention — but they’re not the only thing that matters. In fact, they may not even be the most important thing.

Without the “1-2 punch” from great photos and an effective description, travelers who come across your listing may move on to someone who does a better job of showing and telling what their property has to offer.

What earns an inquiry is a rental that captures the imagination or meets the needs of a particular traveler. Your description’s goal is to relay the key features of your property as effectively as possible.

1. Have a great intro

You first sentence helps shape first impressions and hooks people into reading more.

Starting with the basics, like “This three-bedroom house is in a quiet neighborhood that’s walking-distance to downtown,” is a simple way to begin.

However, an opening like this misses a great opportunity for two reasons: Continue Reading…