Home Archives 2013 January 16

Daily Archives: Jan 16, 2013

Renting out a second home can be likened to running a business, so it’s not a bad idea to treat it as such. One important aspect to renting out your vacation home is how well you describe it on your FlipKey property profile. FlipKey listings provide space for a headline, amenities, and an unlimited amount of photos, so you will have a number of chances to describe your home in a way that makes it inviting to guests.

Writing Headlines That Get Noticed

Assuming you have a great photo for your property thumbnail, the next most important feature is your headline. You have 50 characters to summarize why your property will make the perfect vacation home, so be sure to make every character count! Using words that get people excited about staying at your home will make your rental more attractive to prospective guests.

The chart below shows a comparison of two different headlines for the same property. While the headlines on the left are shorter and less descriptive, the ones on the right are more detailed and emphasize the experience you want to provide your guests.

Basic HeadlineDescriptive Headline
Cabin house on Lake MichiganRustic Wood Cabin, Stunning Lake-side Views
Family Beach HouseWatch the Waves Crash On Beach with Kids
Utah Ski Vacation HomeSki Fresh Powder, Enjoy Outdoor Jacuzzi
Townhouse in TokyoExplore Japanese Culture & Language

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • Paint a picture. Try to visualize the experience you want guests to have, and make it come alive in your description.
  •  Use descriptive adjectives that pinpoint what makes your property unique. Generic adjectives such as “great” or “fun” won’t set you apart from the competition.
  •  Since travelers are already searching for rentals in a specific location, you can leave your property’s location out of your headline and save those characters for other important information that will help increase bookings.
  •  If you need to shorten your headline because of the character limit, you can use “&” instead of “and”, and also avoid including information, such as number of rooms, that can already be found in your description.
  •  Adjust your headline at different times of the year. Seasons change—so why shouldn’t your listing’s title? Take a look at our marketing handbook for more information on adapting headlines for each season.

Don’t Forget those Photo Captions!

With FlipKey, you can post an unlimited number of photos to your profile, so we generally recommend including at least 20. Writing captions for these photos is important to help the reader visualize what staying at your property will be like. If your vacation home has special amenities, you can take pictures of them and write the details in the caption. For example, if you have a collection of crystal wine glasses available for your guests, you could write that in one of the captions of your kitchen photos. Or even better, why not take a photo of the glasses and then write a specific caption for them? It’s a good idea to talk about your amenities in more than one section because prospective guests may not read your entire profile.

Emphasize Your Amenities

Listing your home’s amenities is another important aspect of your profile. Guests want to feel like they will be taken care of and that your property will offer them what they’re looking for in a rental. Try making a list of all the things that set your property apart from the competition. Using brand names and adjectives that “pop” will help showcase your home. For example, instead of saying “television,” you could say “60 inch Sony high definition TV with Comcast On Demand” (if that’s what you really have, of course). Or, instead of saying “Bed sheets provided,” you could say “Get a restful night sleep under our goose down comforters.” The more a guest feels that your home will offer them the memorable vacation they are looking for, the more reservations you will likely receive.

Happy Bookings!

Guest Reviews_white paper

White Paper Study, January 2013

FlipKey Research analyzes user trends, online data, case studies and manager input for property managers and industry professionals. In this study, we look at the importance of guest reviews and online reputation for the booking process.


  • 74% of TripAdvisor users state that they write reviews because they want to share a good experience with other travelers
  • 53% of respondents say they will not book a property without reading a review of it

More findings can be found in the full white paper: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Your Guest’s Opinion: How Guest Reviews Can Double Your Business