Business AspectsMarketingVacation Rental Owners

How to write amazing descriptions of your vacation rental and boost your bookings

Navigating the property market is one thing, but marketing can feel like a whole new battle. Property descriptions can make or break bookings and can be tricky to write. Knowing exactly how to write an amazing description without any prior experience in the property market can feel very intimidating.

This journal entry aims to guide you through the best ways to describe your property to ensure that you market your property in the most effective way possible. Whether you’re a first-time vacation homeowner or a seasoned professional, our tips provide a simple way to boost your bookings and maximize your revenue.

Want some quick tips? Check out the slides below before you delve deeper:

Aim for more

We’ve all heard the saying ‘less is more’; the opposite is true for vacation home descriptions. Writing two sentences for a property description might mean a low effort job for you but will be fundamentally off-putting for guests. Your guests will be looking for in-depth knowledge of the property as a hallmark of being a genuine advertisement.

On top of this, a detailed description will give potential guests something to be excited about and allow you to highlight things that might not be obvious in pictures. It will also inevitably reduce the number of questions you might receive from anxious guests; making your job as a property owner slightly easier.

We don’t recommend writing a two-page essay on why your property is the perfect place to be, instead, we recommend creating an interesting description of what the property offers and what makes it different.

Brand your Property

Branding your property means embracing a certain tone, mood, or aesthetic to appeal directly to a target audience. Identify who might be most likely to stay in your property; it’s fine to base this on stereotypes! For example, if you’ve got a single bedroom countryside retreat you might choose to brand your property as a Couples Retreat, marketing to couples looking for a weekend away.

Identifying a target audience allows you to develop a tone and mood for not only the property but the way you choose to describe it too.

Highlight features that might be useful for the chosen target audience and tie in a sense of tone and language within the description itself. Doing this means your property seems more specialized and specific, making it more attractive for potential guests. This technique can be far more effective than creating a generic advertisement hoping for it to appeal to the general public.

Budget Properties and Honesty

There’s no shame in owning a budget property; they provide invaluable opportunities for less affluent families and are just as valid as higher-cost vacation properties.

It might be tempting to maybe exaggerate certain features to encourage guests, especially when revenue is low. Doing this will create a cycle of negative reviews and mar your property’s reputation, making it incredibly difficult to revive the business.

An effective strategy for a budget property would be capitalizing on positive features about the property. Does it have the bare essentials? Detail each one in a comprehensive list. Does the property lack certain facilities? Let guests know in the description and offer alternative solutions. Maybe there’s a restaurant next-door, or maybe it’s in an incredible location that makes losing out on some things okay.

Using your descriptions as an opportunity to explain why your property is special doesn’t have to mean citing luxurious furnishings–be honest about budget vacations, and reap the benefits of satisfied guests!

Accuracy is Reliability

A rental property description full of grammatical and spelling errors will seem far less attractive compared to a description written in fluent English.

If you struggle with writing, try drafting a description and asking for feedback from a friend or colleague before submitting it as the final description.

Doing this will help ensure that any mistakes that you make but accidentally miss will be picked up on; we’d advise seeking some level of feedback regardless of your fluency level. A friend or relative who knows the property might also be able to remember some additional features that you might have missed out.

An accurate description that fits the property and is written well is a sign of professionalism and will help to achieve your guests’ trust, even before they arrive.

They might also refer to your description when writing a review; the last thing you want as a property owner is misleading information in the reviews. By ensuring your description is completely accurate, you help safeguard against this and ensure that your guests arrive and leave happy.

Create a Narrative

Property descriptions can be boring to read, after reading through tens of advertisements, a good way to catch a holiday-goers eye is to use narration.

Creating a scene at the beginning of your description will help potential guests visualize and feel connected to the property before getting drudged down in specifics.

For example, ‘2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, panoramic views, kitchen diner’ is far less exciting than, ‘Let yourself be swept away by an endless view of ocean and sand as soon as you step through the door. With a kitchen that is attached to the family room, you can entertain as you cook, let your inner chef run wild and enjoy the local fresh produce. No evening is complete without a sunset, and the balcony provides the perfect view to enjoy an unforgettable moment every night, with the sun setting over the sea. Create memories that last in a home built for the perfect holiday.’

Engage with your inner scribe and try and set a scene that highlights features as you go along. This will result in an informative, interesting, and exciting introduction that will help attract guests.

This is your chance!

Remember the platform you’re on, advertising online means being the midst of countless other properties, you’re always amongst your competition. A potential guest reading your description means you’ve made it past the first hurdle; the photos.

An effective description is your last chance to secure a deal before a prettier image comes on screen and your guest clicks themselves away.

By appreciating the context of online marketing and trying your best to actively engage guests, your property will carry on a sense of enthusiasm and character, attracting customers.

Owner bio’s, yes or no?

Owner biographies can feel like an awkward thing to write and some property owners might see it as an unnecessary invasion of privacy and might want to keep descriptions only about the property.

An owner biography is not a personal biography; we’re not suggesting you open up about your life and personal experiences here, we’re suggesting you introduce yourself alongside your property.

An owner’s bio is the perfect way to engage with a sense of lifestyle and explain exactly why you were drawn to purchase the property in the first place. By adding a personal touch, the description automatically seems more trustworthy and valid, and even more professional. Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there and divulge your opinion on the place.

Questions are the Answer!

It can be particularly exhausting sifting through questions from potential guests, especially if they’re about the same thing. Here’s a clue–they’re asking because you’re not telling.

Questions from guests provide an excellent perspective and might just be what your descriptions are missing. It’s more than likely that if one person can’t understand something, or is curious about a certain thing, that more people will be.

By using questions to your advantage and adapting your descriptions as necessary, your descriptions will become far more effective. This will automatically reduce the number of questions you’ll receive, making your job far easier.

Get Inspired

If after reading through our advice you’re still feeling a little uncomfortable with writing a good description, why not foray through other properties’ descriptions?

We’re not suggesting you plagiarize their work, as that would be inaccurate, ineffective, and a bit immoral too.

Other property descriptions will however help you to understand the market a bit better, and also provide direct examples of branding, tone, and narration for you to be inspired by.

What not to do

Our final tip is kind of an important one; the don’ts of the vacation property marketing world. No matter how eye-catching it might look to you, ALL CAPS is never a good look. It looks rushed, unprofessional, and often makes it difficult to spot mistakes.

It’s also very difficult to read and will make it easier for potential guests to miss crucial information, resulting in either a click away or a list of questions sent to you.

Exclamation marks should not be over-used. It’s fine to be excited and to deliver an effective mood and tone, despite this, over-zealous exclamation marks look unprofessional and almost uncertain; like you’re trying to persuade guests falsely.

It can be so tempting to exaggerate, especially when you have a mediocre feature that’s on the brink of being something quite exciting. For example, maybe you have a decent-sized TV in an attic room.

Marketing this as a home cinema would be an exaggeration; alternatively, describing the room as the perfect place to unwind and relax with a movie, provides an honest description and avoids misleading guests.

Writing a description for your vacation property doesn’t have to be an exercise in “bullet-pointing”. By capitalizing on your narrative ability, or rather, experience and passion for your property, you’ll be able to successfully entice a greater number of guests and help create happy memories. We hope this article has been useful in creating your vacation property descriptions whether you are just starting in the property business, or looking to change things up some years down the line.

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