How to Create a Quality Listing for Your Vacation Home

When a traveler comes to our website, he or she is shopping for a great vacation! This means that the listing information that you create for your property is more than just a running list of what you offer, but it is first and foremost an ad, and you don't have to be a business whiz to know that the better quality ads are the ones that bring the most sales. What does a quality listing look like? What types of information are essential and what are some tips for enhancing the information on a property page? What does the traveler look for in a property description? If you find yourself curious about the answers to questions like these, we're here to help!

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Let's Play 'Name that Property'!

You may think you're doing yourself a favor by cramming in as many adjectives as possible to your property's title tag, but there's a better way.  Your property's title is a chance for you to help travelers find your listing again and again without having to set several search filters such as size or amenities beforehand. It also makes it easier to talk about and promote your ad to others. If an interested traveler sees your property on our website, or even books it and stays in it once, it is much easier to show or recommend your property to someone else if your property has a specific, unique name. Just think, if a traveler browses the web for "flipkey.com" and "Casa Ladera", they are much more likely to find the specific property named "Casa Ladera" rather than if they were to search "flipkey.com" and "Amazing 3 Bedroom House BEAUTIFUL Luxury NEAR BEACH", for example. This is because several users will include descriptive words, like those in the second example, in their property descriptions. If you want to stand out from the crowd of rentals, you need a distinct name!

Having trouble coming up with a great name for your home? For starters, save information like the number of bedrooms and descriptive words like "amazing" or "large" for the property description section of the page. If a traveler searches the web for a property with descriptive words such as those, your home will still come up in the results as long as you have those key words included somewhere in your description. In creating a title, you may want to consider the location of your property and any particularities that it may have. Does the décor fit a certain theme? If so, try incorporating it into your title. Once you come up with a great name for your listing, edit your information to display your snazzy new title and don't forget to mention it in your property description as well when talking about what the home offers!

Give Your Description a Spring Cleaning

Take a look at your current property description. How does it look? Is it so long that it takes a full sixty seconds to scroll through? Is it so short that you don't have to scroll at all? Is it one large mass of words or does it have three finger-length spaces in between each line? If you answered yes to any of these things, you may want to do a little spring cleaning with this section of your property page.

While starting their initial searches, travelers visiting your property page are rarely reading your description with a detailed eye. Many travelers will skim through the parts that are easiest to digest. For this reason, you want to make sure that you property description includes a few things: 1. an attention-grabbing introduction, 2. a well organized form, 3. all of the interesting things about your property that are not already written in the amenities or other sections of the property page. It may sound a bit like you're going back to school, but a description with a well written introduction and an easy to follow organization can really change the way a traveler learns about your property. When introducing your home on your property page, try to answer the question, "Why should the traveler pick my property over all the others?" As you go on to describe the specificities of your home, try breaking the description up into labeled sections such as amenities, surroundings, renting details, etc. That way, the traveler can find the exact information that they are looking for and won't get frustrated by searching through pages of text.

In addition to the features listed above, the three most important generalities to remember when writing your property description are clarity, accuracy of the information, and creativity. A traveler isn't likely to book your property if they are having trouble understanding the details written about it, so make sure to read through your description several times and edit out any misleading or confusing diction. Have a friend or family member read your description and ask them if there was anything that they didn't understand or if there was anything missing that they would have liked to know about the property. Having misleading information on your property page can be very dangerous for property owners because the last thing you want is a claim on your hands due to some miscommunication!

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Dollars

When it comes to listing your property on any website, we can't stress the importance of great photos enough! The variety and quality of your photos could make a big difference in your rental income. In our experience, photos are the most influential way to get a traveler to click on your listing and ultimately book. Even if your home is small, old, or nothing fancy, a bad quality photo will only amplify any imperfections that the home may have. What does it mean to take a high quality photo? First, you don't have to have a super expensive or fancy camera to do so - what's more important is that you understand the camera that you have available to you. The most important feature of a quality photo is size. To take a high resolution photo, set the camera's resolution to the highest number possible. Uploading large photos to your property page is the best way to avoid those grainy, pixelated, and borderline unrecognizable photos that are so often ignored by travelers.

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Unless you're a professional photographer with lots of experience, stick to using the automatic focus setting on you camera since poor focus is another frequent cause for bad photos. Experiment with the lighting in your home to find the best balance for your photos. Similarly, experiment with the framing and position from which you take your photos to get a good variety of angles. Take picture of both the home's exterior and interior and label your photos with captions about where in the home you took the photo to give the traveler a better idea of the property as a whole.

Remember, just taking photos of your home as is doesn't always put the best foot forward. Make sure that the home is clean and free of unnecessary clutter before going on a photo spree! Most of all, have fun with it! Get creative and enjoy showing your favorite parts of your home to potential renters.

Chelsea Tyler is a Marketing Associate at FlipKey. During her time studying literature at Colby College, she traveled to Paris, France where she spent six months learning French and falling in love with the city. When she's not writing for the FlipKey blog, she can be found sipping red wine, eating her weight in cheese, and loudly critiquing new film releases.

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