Vacation Rental Marketing Makeover Session 1.1: Titles & Descriptions – VRMB
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Vacation Rental Marketing Makeover Session 1.1: Titles & Descriptions

If you haven’t heard, I am working to totally makeover one lucky vacation rental owner’s marketing portfolio live (and step-by-step) for my subscribers to follow. You can read all the prior posts here.

The theme of this session is going to be how compelling proper writing can be when it comes to vacation rental titles/descriptions (and oppositely, how ineffective poor writing can drag you down).

Realizing that Amy’s property (http://www.vrbo.com/419875) is one of 526 ‘Las Vegas’ rentals on VRBO and one of 471 ‘Las Vegas’ results on HomeAway, one of the things that becomes immediately evident is that Amy needs a better description.

I mean, check out the description she started with here:

Amy’s Listing Title: Location & Elegance! Near Strip, Town Sq, Outlet Mall & Airport
Amy’s Listing Description: Peaceful and beautiful oasis in the desert. This five bedroom house sleeps up to 11 people. It has a lovely pool and spa, playhouse for the kids, outdoor dining and relaxation areas, ping pong table, large designer kitchen which opens to the family room, a formal dining room, game room, and small area to exercise in the garage. During the cooler months, there is a great dog run to keep your pets safe if you leave for a few hours. The house is in a great location and really a fun place to relax… please note, this is our home and while we welcome guests, we do not allow parties or events here. Our rates vary from $399 a night to $350 … going lower if you stay longer! (Holiday rates are $450). Contact us in you are interested — we will do our very best to accommodate your visit … and our calendar can sometimes be changed, so ask! We would love to hear from you!

Some quick things I observe:

The title is not compelling.

The description is all smushed together in one paragraph.

Its sentences are fragmented.

It’s grammatically incorrect/inconsistent.

Reading it, I get the feeling that Amy wrote this description (like a lot of owners do) the day she signed up for the listing site and pretty much never changed it…

Impromptu, off the cuff, abbreviated…etc.

But do you remember back to The Great Description Experiment when I compared the results of a poor description/title versus a professionally written description/title?

The difference was an improvement of more than 100%!

So I contacted Christine Anderson again and had her chat with Amy on the phone and create a tremendous new version of Amy’s description (Note: I am constantly amazed by Christine’s ability to truly grasp the feeling of a property over a 20 minute phone call — she rocks):

Amy’s New Listing Title: Palazzo Paradiso—a Taste of Tuscany Only Minutes from the Strip
Amy’s New Listing Description: With its backyard oasis, romantic decor, and one-of-a-kind amenities, Palazzo Paradiso has all the allure of an exclusive Tuscan villa…

But you don’t have to fly to Italy to rent this fabulous home!

Hidden away in Bermuda Springs—yet only minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip—Palazzo Paradiso is your ultimate Las Vegas vacation rental.

Even the most well traveled among you will OOH and AAH over all the little luxuries that await you at Palazzo Paradiso…

This is especially true of the over-the-top master suite, which features a private sitting area, an indulgent king-size bed, and a decadent bathroom with a multiple head steam shower and Jacuzzi tub.

Your guests will feel equally pampered in the four elegant guest bedrooms:

Three have queen-size beds (one of which is downstairs), and the fourth has twin beds, with the option to sleep an additional two children (or adults, if you want) on a trundle bed and a pull-out mattress.

But the real showstopper is the backyard oasis—the perfect retreat from the summer heat.

Watch your kids splash around in the sparkling pool as you sip cocktails under the patio misters. The yard is lushly landscaped and has a cool, private feel.

As night falls, gather around the granite-topped outdoor dining tables and savor an  alfresco dinner right off the grill. Our nearby fire pit adds a hint of romance and luxury to the already resort-like ambiance.

Prefer to eat inside? The cooks among you will love our gourmet kitchen, which opens to the spacious family room.

The elegant indoor dining area adjoins a formal sitting room and overlooks the garden.

Don’t take a gamble on lesser accommodations. Give yourself the vacation you truly deserve by booking this magical villa today!

Can you feel how much more compelling and engaging Christine’s description is?

It reads like a travel brochure…but just wait:

[wpsharely id=”10244″][/wpsharely]

To really hammer home the difference, we had Christine create a new Owner’s Bio for Amy because I believe Amy’s personality is just as important to her marketing as the property details themselves:

Amy’s Old Owner Bio

About the owner: This house is our home. We are a family that has been given a great opportunity out of state and we have relocated for a while. We have worked hard to make this an amazing place to be and we wanted to share it. This house is special to us and we hope you enjoy it.

Why the Owner Chose Bermuda Springs:
This property is close to everything in Las Vegas. The Outlet Mall and the new and amazing Town Square for shopping, dining or the movies, easy access to the freeways, the Airport and the Strip. We are three blocks to the Airport Car Rental Facility … you can walk here or to the Outlet Mall! There is simple not a better location! But we do not think you will want to leave – it is a very beautiful and comfortable place to be!

The Unique Benefits at this House:
Our home is unique because of its location and its beauty. Everyone who visits falls in love with the home and wants to stay! The indoor/ outdoor features and the peaceful feeling helps everyone relax feel instantly at home. We will work with you — let us know if you are interested in stay in our special Villa!

Amy’s New Owner Bio

About the Owner:
Renting our vacation home has been a fantastic experience—largely because of all the interesting guests we’ve hosted!

How else would we have met the Danish soccer team or the world dodge ball champions, not to mention the dozens of other families and friends who have made our house their home away from home?

Our family of six lives in Redondo Beach, California. Your contact, Amy, works as an attorney (the nice kind) and Arbonne consultant. We enjoy renting vacation homes  ourselves—with four kids and two dogs it’s a joke trying to stay in a hotel.

Our favorite destinations are Italy and Mammoth. We’re avid snowboarders and water skiers.

Why the Owner Chose Bermuda Springs:
We love this location! We’re minutes from the Strip, the airport, and the brand new  Town Square, and you can easily walk to the outlet mall for a day of retail therapy. The airport’s rental car facility is also within walking distance.

The Unique Benefits of this House:
Palazzo Paradiso is full of luxury amenities you won’t find at most vacation rentals—including the steam shower in the master suite, the outdoor fire pit, and the patio misters.

All of the furnishings are top quality and inspired by our travels in Tuscany.

This new owner’s bio tells something of a story!

It allows travelers to associate with Amy and her family…

To understand Amy’s tastes and preferences, and potentially, connect on a more personal level.

I have a feeling that these two changes ALONE will start to result in more listing page views and inquiries (not to mention, the work cost less than 1 night booked at her rental)…

But in the name of pure transparency, in a few weeks, I’ll be posting the side-by-side pageviews and inquiries results from the moment our upgraded copywriting was put in place.

About the Author Matt Landau

Matt Landau is the Founder of the VRMB and the Inner Circle, two online resources dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers generate more bookings.

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