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    Sprucing up your listing description

    An honest and detailed listing helps guests envision themselves in your space.
    By Airbnb on Nov 18, 2020
    12 min read
    Updated Jul 7, 2022


    • Focus on what makes your space unique

    • Be accurate about your space to set the right expectations

    • Update your listing details
    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing

    A great listing description is one of your best tools for securing bookings and setting guests’ expectations. We’ve learned from Superhosts that your property doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s crucial to tell guests exactly what they’ll find when they arrive. Here’s how to get travelers excited about staying in your space.

    Showcase your special features

    There are millions of listings on Airbnb. To convey what’s special about yours, take a few minutes to think about those appealing, one-of-a-kind features that set it apart. That could mean highlighting the location or unique amenities of your space. “We’re a 5- to 10-minute walk from some of Bend’s best restaurants and breweries,” say Superhosts Mike and Jill, from Bend, Oregon. “[Our] highly acclaimed mountain bike trails are just a 15-minute bike ride or a 5-minute drive away.”

    Write a catchy title

    The title of your listing and main image are what convince guests to explore your listing, so it’s important to use them to highlight your space’s strengths. Think about what makes your place appealing and unique, and put those qualities in your title.

    A short title of 32 characters or fewer, including spaces, works best for guests searching on mobile phones. Try to stick with simple and descriptive words, and don’t use emojis or symbols, which can mean different things in different parts of the world.

    You should also aim to avoid using title case (where you capitalize most words) or all capital letters—unless it’s a proper name or a standard abbreviation like “U.K.” Sentence case, which calls for only capitalizing the first letter of the first word of your title, can be easier for guests to read.

    Here are a few examples of great listing titles:

    • Cozy mountain hideaway for chefs
    • Eco-friendly studio near LAX
    • Luxury beachside villa with pool

    For more details, check out these guidelines for writing your listing title.

    Tell the story of your space

    Your listing is where you market your space, and storytelling is a key part of great marketing. Often, the story you tell is about the experience you’re offering guests. So help them imagine themselves as heroes in the story of their own adventure. Have a top-floor apartment with a tree outside? “You’ll feel like you’re in a treehouse!” Even a modest, city-center room can be “a perfect base for exploring.” For more inspiration, check out Superhosts Tereasa and David’s advice for effectively telling your story.

    Superhosts Tereasa and David give their tips to harness the power of stories.

    Think like a traveler

    You don’t have to be a great writer to craft an appealing description, but you do need to use concise and compelling language. Start by thinking like a traveler: Share must-know information at the beginning of your description while highlighting the selling points.

    For example, host Ryan of Santa Marta, Colombia, says he always gives context to his guests up front. “Because it’s a pretty remote location, there’s a lot of information that we like to share with our clients,” he says. “We’re on the grid, but we’re in a very rural area. When the power goes out, it might go out for a couple of days.” As long as his guests know this before booking, they understand that they’re not going to have a typical travel experience and they can plan accordingly.

    If you don’t know how to begin, talk with a friend and describe what it’s like to stay at your place. Often the best details will come out right away, in an appealing, conversational way that makes for a strong listing description.

    Be thoughtful and specific

    “Direct beach access and stunning ocean views from every room” is how host Matthew starts his listing in Nicaragua.

    Olga’s listing in Mammoth Lakes, California, emphasizes its convenient parking because she knows from experience that skiers love it when they can haul their ski gear into the property easily. She also makes sure to point out that her home has a wood-burning fireplace because she knows skiers love to unwind in front of the fire after a day on the slopes.

    Keep it brief

    People are often scanning listing descriptions for the features they’re searching for, rather than slowly reading. Writing for the web means writing for scannability, so keep your language succinct. Talk about aspects that aren’t already conveyed elsewhere on the listing page, and use the amenities checklist to share information about all the features you have to offer, like wifi, parking, and air conditioning—this way, your listing will appear when guests filter for those amenities.

    Be authentic and honest

    Though you may want to show off how special your place is, don’t oversell or exaggerate it. Being clear about both the unique benefits and any quirks helps potential guests decide right away whether your space is right for them.

    It’s especially important to add accessibility features and highlight any aspects of your property that might pose a challenge for some guests. The “Other Things to Note” and “The Space” sections are opportunities to provide this type of context.

    “In your listing, make sure you include descriptions of your property’s quirks,” says Superhost Nikki of San Francisco. “Explain them in a way that’s honest and clear, without being a turnoff. You want to provide enough transparency to help your guests select the property they want.”

    Share your personality

    Whether you’re listing a private room in your home or you’re the host of several properties, guests will likely want to know more about you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

    Superhost Tiffany talks about her favorite design and hospitality tips.

    Make the most of photo captions

    Photos are one of the primary factors in a guest’s decision about whether to book your space, and captions provide an opportunity to connect visuals to the experiences guests will have. If you find yourself stumped on how to caption a photo, think about what you can add that the camera doesn’t necessarily capture.

    If you’re showing a bed, tell your guests what size it is, and mention the type of mattress, if relevant. Have a photo of a cozy window nook? You could mention that it’s the perfect place to curl up with a book at sunset.

    Read other listings for inspiration

    Read through the listing descriptions of interesting properties for inspiration—and check out other hosts’ reviews to understand the types of moments and details that guests love. No matter what type of space you have, identifying opportunities for delight will help bring your listing to life.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.


    • Focus on what makes your space unique

    • Be accurate about your space to set the right expectations

    • Update your listing details
    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing

    Nov 18, 2020
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