Writing a good listing is like creating a sales letter, advertising copy and a marketing leaflet, all in one. It should excite, inspire and motivate as well as tell a story about the great time your potential guests could have. It shouldn’t be a list of features and facilities that can be found in other places on the listing, but this is what many owners do. Beat the competition by being persuasive and enticing and you’ll be rewarded by more buyers than window shoppers.
1. Keep sentences to an average of 16 words but vary occasionally with some that are shorter and the occasional longer one to give some rhythm to your writing. This creates a flow of text that is conversational and will create rapport with your readers.
2. Get rid of unnecessary words and inflated language and keep it simple. If you have to look up the spelling of a word, you should probably not use it.
3. Keep paragraphs short – no more than two or three sentences. This creates structure and leads readers through your property in a logical fashion.
4. Write in your readers’ language to attract your target market, for example, attract families by telling a story about how their children will enjoy staying at your place. If you have a ski chalet use jargon your guests will relate to, like ‘back-country’ and ‘powder’ and ‘après ski’. Explore ways you can get on your readers’ wavelength.
5. Appeal to their emotions with powerful words and phrases that motivate readers to imagine themselves on vacation. Use metaphor and visualization to take them there.
6. Tell your readers how they will feel – relaxed, rejuvenated, tranquil etc.
7. Use a mix of visual, auditory and kinesthetic words – describe what they will see, hear and feel.
8. Create rapport by telling a bit of your story – why you love the property so much. This can have a powerful impact on a personal level.
9. Make your writing conversational – as if you were speaking it aloud. When you’ve completed it, read it out to someone else, or record it. Does it sound natural?
10. Tell them what makes you unique. What is special about your place? Is it romantic? Does it have an amazing gourmet kitchen that home chefs will love? Do all the bedrooms have themed décor?
Let us know your secret of a good listing. What works well for you? We’d love to hear about it.
Heather Bayer is Director of Owner Community at VacationHomeRentals.com. She has been renting her vacation homes for over 20 years and is author of the book Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit