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The Dos and Don’ts of Effective Vacation Rental Listings

Your vacation rental listings are key components of your marketing strategy. Those little snippets of copy can make or break your entire booking operation.

To help you maximize your efforts, we've prepared a handy list of dos and don'ts for vacation rental listings. Use this guide to review your current property listings on both your own website and any listing portal partners you are using, and make adjustments to the listings that need some tweaking. Your booking calendar will thank you.

vacation rental listings

Here are four areas for consideration:

1. Choosing images for your vacation rental listings

DON'T: Unless you are a professional photographer, don't handle your photos as a DIY project. Poor lighting, shaky lens work, and unflattering shots of your properties send the wrong message to prospective guests.

DO: Invest in high-quality photos and videos of your properties. Use high-resolution photos to shine on various listing sites.

2. Titling your vacation rental listings

DON'T: Don't simply title your vacation property listing "3 bedroom, 2 bath condo". Why? If you title your vacation rental listing with so little imagination, travelers will lump in your property with all the other 3-bedroom, 2-bath condos available in your area.

DO: Think of your listing title as prime real estate. Use your title to highlight the most eye-catching, unique features of your listing. Ditch the uninspired superlatives, and put thought into creating a title that reflects your property and engages prospective guests.

vacation rental listings

3. Writing the body of your listings

DON'T: Don't fall into the trap of using generic, flowery descriptions of your property. In most cases, travelers are looking at multiple listings to compare amenities, prices, and features. Often, property owners and managers make the mistake of falling back on standard, recyclable descriptions for their properties time and again.

DO: Use your listing to describe what makes your property amazing in as much detail as possible. Be specific. Think in terms of what a guest looking at your property would notice first. You can get a good idea of the property features your previous guests liked most by looking at their reviews.

Play up your positives, while keeping things real. The more information you can give in the most original way, the more bookings you will likely acquire.

4. Creating listings for multiple channels

DON'T: Don't use the same exact listing copy across multiple channels. Google is averse to duplicate content.

DO: If you want to get the most bang for your listing buck, vary the content of your listings so that your property shows up more than once for those travelers that start their search with Google. Include strong keywords to increase your listing visibility with search engines.

The takeaway

Your vacation property listings can make or break your marketing strategy. Great vacation rental listings include high-quality photos, instantly engaging and clickable headlines, and property descriptions that highlight the unique value of your properties for guests.

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