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3 Rules for Creating Effective Property Descriptions

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of vacation rental management this could not be more accurate. People don’t like to spend a lot of time reading, especially about their upcoming vacation. Pictures tell a story about your vacation rental very quickly — they are the first thing a future guest sees during their search, and ultimately it is the photos of your property that will determine whether that guest keeps scrolling down the list or clicks to the next property. A single photo will capture attention, but it is the written description of the property and its amenities that will ultimately turn that initial inquiry into a booking. Creating a quality written description of your property, therefore, is extremely important. Here are the top 3 rules to follow when creating a quality property description for your vacation rental.

Rule #1 – Don’t Be Vague

woman writing in notebookThe most effective property descriptions are thorough and well written. They don’t leave readers with questions or make assumptions about their expectations. Your property description should include every amenity you offer, no matter how small, because you never know what amenities will play a role in your guest’s final decision to book. Even if it is something that you may see as obvious or trivial, it does not mean the guest sees it this way or even knows it exists. The amenities in your vacation rental property add value to it, and everything that you can do to add value to your property will help you to stand out from the competition. In your description, list the big amenities like the view and location at the top, and then work your way down to the smaller things like complimentary toiletries. No matter how you format your description, be sure that everything you offer is clearly listed and guests know everything they will be getting when they book your vacation rental.

Rule #2 – Be Honest and Accurate with Your Description

One of the worst things that happens to any of us is when something we buy and are excited about doesn’t meet our expectations. This is especially true with our vacation or travel time. As vacation rental managers, you must remember that even a Motel 6 is a Ritz Carlton to someone. There is a demand for your properties at the right price and to the right audience, and getting that right will ensure your operations run smoothly and your guest satisfaction (and review score) is high! This is all done in your description. Don’t overuse the big adjectives like “marvelous” and “fantastic” or “breathtaking,” as we all know that those words mean so many different things depending on your experience. Stick with the facts and don’t overdramatize your descriptions. Granite countertops don’t have to be “extra thick granite countertops from the depths of Rock of Ages Granite Quarry” when just granite will do. If you stick to the facts, you will come across as more genuine and trustworthy, and even if you don’t have the nicest property of the bunch, that trust and transparency will go a long way toward the booking decision.

Rule #3 – Keep in Mind Your SEO

seo search barThe vacation rental management business is competitive, so it is important that your listings don’t get lost in a sea of competition. Beautiful photos and detailed descriptions are great, but they are irrelevant if nobody sees them. The best way to make sure that your listing gets seen is to incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into your writing. This means that you should write in a way that incorporates keywords and phrases that would be used by guests who are searching for a vacation rental property, while still making your writing flow and remain natural. Using keywords throughout your description helps the search engines show your property when requested by a potential guest. Search engines are trying to bring relevant content to their users, so you need the search engines to view your listings as relevant. This includes the headline! Writing SEO style descriptions might take some practice and research but is essential to your business. At Vacation Rental University, we have put together lessons and examples of how to format your descriptions in way that uses specific keywords naturally, so you can be found in searches.

The ability to book your properties is what will keep you in business, and writing effective property descriptions is one of the most important things you can do to increase bookings. Successful property listings include good photos, detailed descriptions, and are SEO-friendly. At Vacation Rental University, we walk you through all the things you need to include in your property listing, as well as provide you with templates and examples of effective property descriptions. Join our community of REALTORS and vacation rental managers, and learn everything you need to know to be successful in this industry and take your business to the next level.