Let’s face it. Not everyone is a great writer. The good news is that you don’t have to be in order to write a compelling description of your short-term vacation rental property. To write an inviting and attention grabbing description you need to keep a few time tested sales techniques in mind.
Who are you trying to get to read your description?
When you are creating your description you should have your ideal guest in mind. Who do you want to rent your property to? Think of them as you are writing and focus on what makes your property perfect for that guest. Is it perfect for the romantic get-away, the family vacation, a spring break blowout? Whatever it is, write to that guest.
3 Ways People Digest Your Description – Photos, Words, and Personal Contact
Keep in mind that everyone digests information differently. Some people will get everything they need from the pictures on your website. Others will read each and every word of your description and then there is another group who need the personal contact, a phone call, with you to make their decision. There are also a lot of others who need a combination of the three. Your website should provide information about your property that caters to each of these styles. Take the time and effort to have great photos, create a great description and make it look professional and polished.
A picture paints a thousand words, right? We’ve all heard it before….because it’s true.
There is no way around it. The pictures of your property on your website should be professional quality. Either hire a photographer or, if you don’t, just make sure they look like a professional took them. Your pictures need to be clear and bright so that your property is displayed in the very best light. Make sure you are taking pictures of the kitchen, bedrooms, living space, outside living space, views and anything that is a special feature of the property.
Take the time to stage the property so that it looks inviting. Put flowers on the kitchen counter or coffee table, have the fire lit and lights on, maybe a couple of wine glasses on the table on your deck. Make the viewer want to be in that room. Make it easy for them to picture themselves there. And, of course, get rid of the clutter so that the photos look clean and neat.
Taking great pictures is not easy. It is going to take some time and effort. If you don’t have the time or the patience for it then hire someone. I know, I know…that cost money. If you’re not into spending the money money, make a traded…two nights in my property for 50 professional pictures. That’s a win-win situation.
The Written Description
“If I had more time, I’d have written a shorter letter.” – Mark Twain
It’s easy to write rambling unorganized description. I think its called word vomit. It takes time and effort to create a concise and clear description that grabs your readers’ attention. Your website description of your property is the first impression a potential guests gets of your property. It’s a very small window for you to grab their attention…take advantage of that opportunity presenting a professional appearance, by making them feel how it is to stay at your property and telling a story.
Your Written Description Should Be…
“Long enough to cover the topic but short enough to keep it interesting.”
This was my favorite English teacher in high school, Mr. O.’s , response, when asked what the length of a writing assignment should be. It was annoying to me too…but it is an accurate response and gets the point across.
The first sentence should grab them. Don’t go with 3 bedroom 2 bath for your first sentence. Instead, use something more attention grabbing like, ‘skier’s paradise, ski right out the back door.’ Or, ‘See and hear the waves of the gulf from your bedroom balcony.’ Or, ‘a romantic weekend with your sweet heart in front of a roaring fire looking out on the panoramic views of snow covered mountains in your secluded mountain chalet.’ Keep that first sentence short; be clear and concise. Being creative is the key.
Choose Your Words Carefully. If you search through the main listing sites for vacation rental properties you will see the same words used over and over again. They are used so commonly they really don’t mean much as the reader reads them. Some of these are: nice, beautiful, cozy and luxurious. I’m not saying never use these words. What I am saying is, try to stand out from your competition and use words and phrases that are more descriptive and emotive.
Instead of saying it’s a nice 2 bedroom condo near the beach, explain that you are an easy five minute walk to the beach and you can hear the waves at night while sitting on your deck or you have great views of the sunset over the water. Use your words to make them feel what its like.
Now, I am not suggesting that you go to the thesaurus and use words that are so fancy that we will have to go to the dictionary to understand your description. Just provide more than the basic overly used words. Give them more!
Make it easy to read. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. You can still provide a lot of information but take the time to pare down the unnecessary words and sentences. Get the point across with as few words as possible.
Make the layout of your description easy for the reader too. No one is eager to sit down and read a page of words with no breaks. That’s why you limit your paragraphs to a few lines. After you’ve written it see if you have enough blocks to give your reader a break.
Proof read your description. People are turned off by sloppy writing. No one wants to trudge through a description filled with typos, bad grammar and abbreviations. If you don’t take the time to proof read your description you might as well not create it at all. Even better would be to have someone else proof read what you’ve written and your entire website description. I know, that’s more difficult, but it definitely results in a more appealing description.
Now that you have a great set of photos and a well-written description of your property you are almost done. One more piece…give them your contact number. Whether it’s yours or who you pay to manage the property, give them someone they can actually speak too. It lends a personal touch and it creates confidence and a sense of security for your guests. I also find, its good for me because I get my first chance to screen who stays at my place and let them know that I am particular about who stays at my house.
GET TO IT!
So, block out some time and get to creating your description through professional quality photos, great descriptive text that gives your reader the feel of your property and contact information so that they can reach you for information about your property.