There’s a lot that goes into a single vacation rental listing.
For vacation rental property managers, putting together a perfect listing is like putting together a puzzle: each piece is important, and in order to get more bookings, there can’t be any gaps.
Vacation rental listing headlines (or listing titles) might seem insignificant, but they are actually a major piece of the vacation rental distribution puzzle.
Travelers browsing vacation rental sites such as Vrbo, Booking.com, Airbnb, and Expedia often gravitate towards listings with top-notch photos. It’s no secret that rental listings with great visual content get more bookings. But make no mistake: words matter, too.
That’s why it’s important for property managers to know how to write vacation rental descriptions that convert travel shoppers into confirmed guests. Before shoppers can scroll through photos or read a listing description, though, they have to click the listing to view it.
And what produces that click? A strong headline!
Strong listing headlines help vacation rentals stand out in search results on all the top OTAs and vacation rental distribution channels, especially when they’re paired with an eye-catching hero image. Listing headlines are the bait that draws travel shoppers in, and as such, they are absolutely an essential skill for property managers to master.
Here’s how to write the best vacation rental titles and listing headlines.
DO: Know the Character Limit
Before you start cranking out headlines, be sure to know exactly how much space you have to operate. Character counts vary across listing sites, search engines, and social media networks, so clarify that upfront. Also keep in mind: character count and word count are two very different things. Websites like LetterCount.com can be helpful in a pinch.
DO: Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
This is super important for headlines and listing descriptions. While crafting your headlines, include the features of your properties that will resonate with your target audiences—couples, families, pet owners, business travelers, and so on—and highlight them right off the bat with headline copy that speaks directly to their needs.
DO: Mention the Type of Property
It’s always a good idea to point out what the property is in the headline. Is it a family home? A villa? A farmhouse, cabin, or condo? Make that part clear upfront, then enhance the headline with features and benefits that make your vacation rental stand out. A simple formula for this might look something like:
When you apply that formula, the headline could be:
That headline lands in the 70- to 80-character range, which is generally where you’ll want to be. It specifies the property type right away, utilizes a strong adjective in “sprawling” (more on that soon), and calls attention to special features—including proximity to local attractions. Speaking of which…
DO: Highlight Local Attractions
If your vacation rental property is near cool things to see and do, make it known! Beaches, theme parks, historic landmarks, restaurants, recreation and downtown shops are all fair game. Just remember to keep your audience in mind: families with kids are looking for different activities than, let’s say, young couples, so adjust your wording accordingly. Some examples of this might be:
DO: Use Creative Language
Space is often at a premium with vacation rental listing headlines. But you can save some of that precious character bandwidth by utilizing abbreviations (“w/” instead of “with,” “A/C” instead of “air conditioning,” etc.) and symbols (“&” instead of “and”).
These little pops of creative ingenuity apply to adjectives, too: when you use adjectives, make them count! For instance, in the examples above, notice how we use “Sprawling Farmhouse” instead of “Big Farmhouse” and “Romantic Condo” instead of “Small Condo.” Every headline character matters, so when you can, opt for colorful, descriptive adjectives that drum up some emotions in travel shoppers.
DON’T: Be Repetitious
There is no need to bog down vacation rental listing headlines with details that are readily available elsewhere in the listing. That includes property IDs, addresses, and bedroom and bathroom counts. All of that information is already going to appear below the headline or elsewhere in the listing; save those characters for more enticing particulars.
DON’T: USE ALL CAPS
Doesn’t that feel like we’re yelling? Don’t do that!
DON’T: Oversell Your Vacation Rentals
Vacation rental listing headlines should be creative but they also need to be truthful. Don’t go overboard and paint an unrealistic picture of your property: travel shoppers still value honesty and transparency above all else, and you should, too. A good exercise might be to compare your headlines to others in your market. That way you can pinpoint what makes your vacation rentals stand out and craft headline copy that is both honest and unique.
Here are a few more formulas and corresponding examples. Remember, though, that these are simply ideas—none of this is set in stone! Be creative and flexible, and if you have time, try out different headline strategies to see which ones resonate with your audience.
If you don’t have time, or if you’re looking for help with your vacation rental listing content and property distribution, contact us today. We’ll fill you in on how VacayHome Connect’s industry-best vacation rental channel management and full-service distribution platform can help your property rental company—right down to your rental listing headlines.
The setup: [Adjective] [Property Type] w/ [Amenity 1] & [Amenity 2]
The headline: Luxurious Ski Retreat w/ Direct Mountain Access & Fireplace
The setup: [Adjective] [Property Type] w/ [Amenities] near [Attraction]
The headline: Pet-Friendly Family Home w/ Wifi & Games – Short Drive to Theme Parks
Or, if the proximity to the attraction is the big draw, flip it around:
The setup: [Distance to Attraction] – [Adjective] [Rental] w/ [Amenity 1] & [Amenity 2]
The headline: 5 Minutes to Beach – Charming Villa w/ Access to Complex Pool & Gym
The setup: [Selling Point] at [Adjective] [Property Type] w/ [Amenities] OR at [Location]
The headline: Panoramic Ocean Views Penthouse w/ Rooftop Deck & Hot Tub
The headline: Newly Remodeled Waterfront Cottage w/ Private Dock on Bluebird Lake