Adding the right description to your short-term rental listings can increase bookings

Adding the right description to your short-term rental listings can increase bookings

A decent snapshot can convey a lot of information, but it can’t convey everything. That’s where the description of your listing comes in. If photographs are used to entice prospective visitors, the description keeps them interested and closes the purchase.

A compelling short-term rental listing description can persuade visitors that your property is the one for them. The good news is that you don’t have to be a word wizard to express anything correctly. Simply follow these easy steps to write a description that will excite curiosity and encourage reservations.

7 Essential Ingredients for a Great Short-Term Rental Listing

Open the door wide.

We don’t mean “large” in the literal sense. You may be tempted to draw attention to your listing by putting it in ALL CAPS, but research has found that doing so actually reduces bookings, perhaps because it seems less professional.

No, “open large” implies “get their attention!”

This is your time to mention something that will make OTA browsers pause and, dare we say, continue reading your listing. With the average human attention span of about 8 seconds (less than that of a goldfish), having a catchy headline for your short-term rental description is essential. You have 50 characters if you’re using Airbnb. Are you up to the task?

Here’s an example to make things easy for you. In Miami, you have a two-bedroom loft. Let’s spice it up a little and tell passengers why your two-bedroom loft is superior to any other two-bedroom loft instead of a “2 bedroom loft in Miami.” Consider the following: “A serene, contemporary apartment with a balcony overlooking the beach.”

  • Do you have less than 50 characters? 
  • Does it describe the space? 
  • Provides enticing facts that may increase the number of hits on your listing? 
  • Double-check. Don’t repeat what OTA browsers already know in your title. Because they narrowed their search for rentals in Miami, they know your apartment is in Miami. They have no idea if your apartment has a balcony with a view of the beach, rooftop access, or a private swimming pool. This is where you inform them.

Pay Attention to the Details (Even the Minor Ones)

Vacations are treasured events that need meticulous preparation, and visitors seldom like to be surprised. The description under your ad is your opportunity to tell them everything about your rental that the photographs don’t reveal.

Describe each room, including the number of bathrooms and showers and the size of the beds (twin, queen, or king). Discuss aspects that appeal to you, such as high ceilings or natural lighting.

Do you have a smart 4K 55-inch flat-screen TV?

Is your cookware of good quality?

A cloud-like couch that’s 12 years old?

Make a point of it!

While you don’t want to write a book that no one will read, being particular highlights the appealing qualities of your rental and gives visitors the impression that this is a professionally maintained listing into which the host has spent genuine time and effort.

Make use of the spell checker (and a Thesaurus)

You’ll have to put in some effort to make your description, well, legible if you want people to read it (and you will believe us). Boring and dry descriptions will lose the interest of a browser, but you don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to write an appealing description.

Replace stale, overused adjectives with more interesting phrases using a thesaurus (or, more likely, thesaurus.com). Look at other listing descriptions for ideas on making your words flow instead of crashing into one another. Use spell check for the love of everything good. It’s much too easy to overlook this, particularly when misspelled words may have a significant influence on your booking rates. Listings with bad language or spelling have been proven to trail behind the rest by as much as 12% when it comes to converting readers into guests, maybe owing to a connection with a lack of professionalism.

So double-check it, triple-check it, email it to a friend, and do whatever it takes to make sure your description is free of errors and interesting to read.

Consider Your Options Outside of the Rental

Your mother likely taught you that what matters is what’s on the inside. That is undeniably true (as you know, mum is never wrong). However, visitors want to know what’s in store for them outside the property when it comes to vacation rentals, so devote a section of your description to the surrounding region.

Is there any silence? Are you brimming with vitality?

What’s in the neighborhood? Is there a thriving farmer’s market nearby? What’s this, a pub strip? Is there a nearby restaurant that does a fantastic eggplant parmesan?

Even if your home is lovely, it’s unlikely that your visitors will spend all of their time inside, so let them know what the area has to offer.

Read Their Thoughts

Not literally, of course. However, you’ve undoubtedly gotten enough visitor inquiries to know what questions they’ll have regarding your rental. People have become spoilt with everything being instantly accessible these days, and they may be turned off if they have to go to the trouble of contacting the host to get some basic information before booking. As a result, don’t manufacture them.

Before they even ask the questions, use your description to provide them with the answers. Tell them how the local public transportation system operates and how far the bus or subway station is from your listing. Provide them with a list of local eating alternatives and a list of grocery shops and kiosks. Tell them how many people the property can hold and whether or not dogs are permitted. List a few of the house rules to figure out whether the home is right for them.

If prospective visitors can learn all they need to know about your rental from a glance at your description, they may decide to reserve it right away.

Make a list of the people you’d want to reach out to.

If you want to attract a certain kind of traveller to your short-term rental, you’ll need to adapt your listing description to appeal to that niche. You may add certain keywords to convey that this is the resort for them, whether it’s for honeymooners, business people, families, or college students.

Drop the term “romantic” and instead highlight the beautiful queen-sized bed and huge jacuzzi if you want to catch the Attention of a couple searching for some alone time. Talk about your high-speed wifi and your rentals’ closeness to the commercial area to attract business visitors. If you include phrases like “kid-friendly” or mention local parks in your descriptions, families are more likely to book your homes. For college students, it’s important to consider the local nightlife and bar scene, as well as your noise tolerance.

You may want to incorporate some of these elements in your title so that the correct individuals see your listing in the first place.

Frequently Updated

This is a crucial one! They’re all vital, but this one is particularly so. Too many property managers write their listing descriptions and then forget about them. FOREVER. In fact, according to a recent poll, 58 per cent of respondents do not update their descriptions regularly. This is a huge blunder, and it’s costing you money.


I’m glad you inquired! Not only would upgrading your listing improve your SEO (search engine optimization), but it will also inform visitors on why they should book your property at different times of the year.

Property managers worldwide are fighting seasonality, which is an unavoidable aspect of the game when it comes to the holiday rental industry. When the calendar isn’t working in your favour, including the attractions and activities occurring around your home at any particular moment is a good method to sell your listing.

Investigate everything that might provide your property with an advantage when it’s most needed. A World Cup match, a Coldplay concert, a town fair, or a weekly comedy night at a neighbourhood bar are all examples of events. Remember, if you let your listing description accumulate dust, you may as well let your property do the same.

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