Photos that capture the best your vacation rental has to offer are critical when it comes to attracting attention - but they’re not the only factor to consider. In fact, they may not even be the most important consideration when getting attention for your property.
Without the “1-2 punch” of great photos and an effective description, travelers who come across your listing may move on to a vacation rental that better showcases 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.
Lead with your USP (Unique Selling Points)
Your opening sentence helps shape first impressions and hooks people into reading more. Make that first sentence count by highlighting your property’s unique selling points.
Maybe the property has a storied past that reaches back more than 100 years, or perhaps guests say they never forget the simple pleasure of the gardens you’ve cultivated. Try to think of a few things that set the property apart from competing properties in your area and make sure to mention those in your description and headline. Set the stage with something that sets you apart — then you can dig into the details.
Go beyond the basic details and describe the features your guests will appreciate — both within your vacation rental and the nearby community. Try not to think about what you want to tell people, but rather what they want to know. Why would people want to stay with you? What has stood out to your previous guests? There are a lot of options when it comes to accommodation, and your goal is to tell people why they should rent from you instead of “the other guys."
If your property is perfect for a particular group of people, tell them about it. Do you welcome pets? Do you have a saltwater pool? Or a playground set up in the backyard for kids? Highlighting these things waves a flag that lets travelers know your vacation property is a good fit for what they need. It’s also important to include the keywords that travelers might be searching for within the description to help your property get found in searches.
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for property descriptions between 300-400 words. This is enough room for you to share your home’s unique selling points, give a breakdown of bed arrangements, some popular features, and a bit of detail about your area and proximity to well-known attractions. There’s no need for flowery rhetoric about how important it is to take a vacation, or to describe all the things that are great about your city. If travelers are searching in your location, it is likely they have already decided on the location, but just not the accommodations.
Match your writing with your photos
Have you ever seen a property described as “luxurious” or “presidential,” only to find that you can’t tell whether the property is or not because the photos are poorly lit or blurry?
Not only is this another argument for professional photos, it’s also a reminder about syncing what you say with what you show: The photos you use should reflect what you’ve written in living color.
Make it easy to read
For all the effort you’ll spend writing a thoughtful description, the truth is that people don’t really read online - they skim. The best thing you can do is make skimming as easy as possible.
- Use brief paragraphs with just one or two sentences, and one topic, in each
- If possible, use bullet points for lists (note: some sites won’t allow this)
- Use bold formatting or italics to highlight key words or phrases — but use them sparingly or they lose their impact (note: some sites won’t allow this)