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Showcasing your home’s best features on your Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO profile tempts travelers to your property. Think of it like a virtual trophy cabinet, with all your achievements proudly on display. You might not have an Emmy or a “Moonman,” but in the travel industry, a contemporary kitchen, a hot tub or an impressive city-center location has enough power to raise booking rates.

Select the Best Features to Include on Your Rental Listings

Deciding which property features to shout about can be a struggle. Should you emphasize your meticulously manicured yard or newly renovated bathroom? Both?

Start by thinking back to when you purchased your home and ask yourself which features convinced you to make an offer on the property in the first place. It might have been something as simple as a cozy bedroom or a bright lounge that invites plenty of natural light. A separate laundry room, exterior lighting and a walk-in kitchen pantry are among the seven most highly desired property features by home buyers.

Next, think about how friends and family engage with your home. Perhaps guests congregate in the kitchen when you have a party or spend the bulk of their time in the back yard. It’s likely that these are the spaces your guests will spend the most time, too.

Alternatively, play up your location in your rental listing. Guests look for vacation rentals in fashionable, centrally located or historical neighborhoods. Oak Lawn, Dallas, and Poncey-Highland, Atlanta, are two of the 16 up-and-coming neighborhoods Airbnb recommended users to visit this year.

Don’t forget to check out the competition, either. Scour rental portals to find similar properties to your home and see which features hosts have included in their listings.

Let Your Photos Advertise Your Property

Photos have a powerful impact on guests. Research shows that visuals increase a person’s willingness to read content by 80 percent, and people are more likely to retain information when a relevant image is presented next to a chunk of text.

Include quality images on your rental listings that spotlight property features which resonate with guests. Upload a picture of your kitchen to draw visitors who want to cook their own food, for example.

Short, snappy image captions are a must-include, too. On Airbnb, add titles by clicking on the white box underneath an image in the “Manage Listing and Calendar” screen; on HomeAway, click “Edit Property & Rates” and then “Photos” to add a caption.

Some photos will be more instrumental in attracting guests than others. Arrange pictures so your most striking image shows up first on a listing. This photo – usually a picture of the exterior of your home, a breathtaking view from one of your windows or a balcony, or the best room in your property – will appear in a potential guests’ search results, so it needs to grab attention and lead prospective guests through to your complete listing.

Optimize Your Title

Your listing title is a fantastic place to include vacation rental features. You won’t have long to get your message across (up to 35 characters on Airbnb, and 45 on HomeAway and VRBO), so you’ll need something clear and concise. Use abbreviations like 3BR (a three-bedroom property) if you’re short on space.

You might want to include your location or style of decor in your title, or concentrate on that one amenity (hot tub, tennis court, Netflix) that sets you apart from your competition. “Chic 3BR City-Center Condo w/a View” (35 characters) is an example of a competitive title.

Highlighting your property’s must-see features with quality photos, a tantalizing title, and a detailed description increases booking rates. Prospective guests won’t need to contact you for more information before they hit the “Request to Book” or “Book it Now” button, either, resulting in speedier reservations and better SEO for your listing.

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For more vacation rental tips and ideas for attracting guests take a look at these related posts:


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