True or False: A long boring description will turn away potential guests?
Well, we certainly don’t want it to be BORING! But we do want it to be as long as possible, we’ll get to the proven reason for that in a minute.
Why the Description is so Important
While not the #1 most important part of a listing (thats the photos, as we discussed here), the description is probably the most important way to close the sale and get your guest to book your unit.
If they were interested enough to click and read your description, they are probably seriously considering your unit.
Yet many people screw this up with minimal, lackluster, or otherwise lousy descriptions. Don’t be that person!
Answer Their Questions before they Ask
A description needs to preemptively answer any question AND overcome any objection that person may have about choosing your unit over some other unit.
If you can successfully do this, you can close a lot more bookings.
So, lets review how to get this done, and cover some great tips to make your description everything it can be!
How to approach the description
Think of this like a long form sales letter, answering all kinds of questions can really help you as long as its useful info.
Once somebody is interested, if they read to the end, they are more likely to buy the product, in this case, book your listing.
First, try to find a few good descriptions from the most popular places by good hosts near you (as we mentioned in our post regarding market evaluation). Its always good to get a pulse of what your competitors are doing before you start, so you know what you have to beat in order to capture higher market share.
The Critical First Two Paragraphs of your AirBnB Description
Start your description reviewing your USP (or Unique Selling Proposition). This has to be front and center, and in the very first paragraph. Mostly, I cover the WHAT my unit is with a heavy helping of USP to get my point across. Here is mine:
You can sleep up to 6 people in this deluxe, 2-bedroom, 1.5 Bath, Luxury Condo. It is a super easy 2 block, 8 min walk, to the very BEST part of Waikiki beach (the King Kamehameha statue). Many bars, restaurants, and the biggest grocery store in Waikiki are next door and walkable.
Notice I hit some key points, even though they are a bit redundant: # of bedrooms, how many people it can sleep, and of course the key location which is the #1 selling point of my unit.
In the second paragraph, I think its important to start hammering home exactly WHY they should book your unit. OK they know what it is, but why exactly should they book your unit compared to the others. Here is what I wrote:
Save big compared to staying at a hotel. Why spend $500+ or more a night for two hotel rooms when you could stay in my 2 bedroom condo! Hotels also charge an arm and leg for parking at $40 a night, Wifi for $20 a night, plus eating out every meal, and you quickly see how my place is a huge bargain. Since we include free parking, fast wifi, and 2 private bedrooms, our place can be a great home base for your family, 2 couples, or small group! Also, you can cook your own meals and really save a lot with all the comforts of home!
Notice how many things I got in there? Cheaper than a hotel, how much money they can save with my unit (even though its priced at $250+ a night), plus all the great amenities it includes like parking, wifi etc.
The middle part of your AirBnB Description
OK, so what about the 3rd and 4th paragraphs? Next, I would start to cover your rooms in detail. Walk them through each room, and the contents of each. Make one paragraph per room covering everything included and hitting the highlights, how comfy the bed is, how big the TV is, what kind of view the room has, etc etc.
After you describe each room, now its time to review all your great amenities. Talk about each one, plus the bonus stuff you can offer. As I talk about in 3 Great Pricing Strategies for your AirBnB Apartment, adding some relatively inexpensive but location specific useful props can really be helpful.
Near a river, buy a kayak?
Great biking trails nearby, get some bikes! You get the point.
I’m right near one of the best beginner surf breaks in the world, so I got a surfboard and boogie board for my guests! Plus I have a ton of beach gear, like chairs, a cooler, umbrella etc.
That stuff probably cost me $250 in total, but its all worth it and it leads to some great guest reviews and happy guests!
Anyway after you are done with all the amenities, now its time to go into hyper descriptive mode.
If you are really stuck for ideas, copy the best things you like about them. Just don’t copy it word for word, but use their ideas. Use their formats, but with your information.
Bonus things to add to your AirBnB Description Details
If you do this correctly, you are going to get a few brownie points because very few hosts put this much effort into their description.
Adding more text is generally better. A good format is usually welcoming and grabs attention.
- Including things like your walkable score (walkscore.com) or 5 minutes walkable to the top 5 things in your neighborhood (if its true – of course your walking speed may vary). People are usually very concerned about walking. A high walk score is a nice littler feather in the cap of your listing! Mine has a walk score of “ 87 – Very High” with a 100 out of 100 in the sub categories of Dining and Drinking, Shopping, Groceries, and Cultural/Entertainment.
- Add a comp to a local hotel! Why pay $300 a night for a hotel when you can stay at our 2 bed condo for the same price!
- Add event specific info. Like this place is perfect for Honolulu Marathon, or whatever event. Inserting local cultural or historic reference is a good thing to mention.
- Any connection to the history of the area? Go ahead and ramble on about the tourist attractions and historical sites near your building.
- List everything you can think of! Do the walking distances to every single place you can walk with google maps – how far is it.
The more you write, the higher chance the guest will feel comfortable with your unit and they will be more likely to want to book at the end. This shows you put a lot of effort into your listing and you are likely a very good host.
Have a good description or more tips you want to share with us? Leave a comment below!