Hosts are competing for clicks across the web. What can you do today to make sure your listing gets clicked and your property gets booked?
I’ve published 100’s of properties on various platforms including Airbnb, HomeAway, Expedia, Agoda, Ctrip, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and various other platforms. The experience gained has been significant. Giving me methods and ways to ensure properties I list are optimized so that my listing gets clicked.
Below I share with you 7 insider tips to make sure your listing gets clicked.
Read on, apply and make sure your listing isn’t left behind in the dark depths of listing obscurity.
7 Insider Tips to Make Sure Your Listing Gets Clicked
Invest in a professional photographer. I know it’s tempting to take the photos yourself but the bottom line is, the people at the top of this business are using professional photographers and this is who you are competing against.
As well as this the photographer is most likely experienced in knowing what matters for these photos and will give you the best practices to ensure you get the most out of the photoshoot.
It may seem a bit pricey but think of it as an investment. The more you get clicked the more money you’ll make. That photoshoot will pay for itself.
Think outside of the box. While your apartment may be lovely and special, ultimately it’s not the only reason why people are coming to stay at your property. Make sure to get photos of the local area, highlighting reasons why people will enjoy staying in the locality.
Potential guests always want to see the outside of the property as well.
This serves two purposes:
1. It ensures the quality of the building and that their experience will go beyond superficial interior aesthetics.
2. It will help guests identify your property when they arrive giving them an increased level of confidence and increasing the likelihood of them booking with you.
Next, once you have the high-quality photos, put some thought into how you arrange them. Making sure to put your top 3 to 5 photos as the first ones people will see.
These first few photos will ensure higher clickability. Be careful to pick the ones you would want to click on if you were the guest. Put yourself in their shoes.
Below is one of the pictures of one of Sea N’ Rent’s apartments in Tel Aviv – a balcony over looking the Mediterranean sea.
You have about 1 to 3 seconds to get someone to take in your headline and make a decision to click.
This means your headline has to be:
- Short (Most platforms have character restrictions)
- Showcase the unique selling point (pool, gym, bright, new etc.)
- Sound appealing (use powerful words such as amazing, beautiful, luxurious etc.)
A lot of people make the mistake of trying to cram too much into their headline. This often has the opposite effect.
Try following this formula:
Power words + Property type + unique selling point
Just about anybody can do that.
The real skill comes in making it as short as possible and packing in as much information as possible. This is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
3. Response Rate
Most booking platforms will favor showing properties with a high response rate. This is why at Happy Owner we have a team that operates 24/7 to ensure we have a very fast response rate.
All properties managed by Happy Owner get this service.
The faster you respond to guest queries, the more likely you are to be ranked higher on people’s searches. This ensures more impressions and therefore more clicks. More clicks mean more bookings.
You’ve either got to be ready to answer or outsource the work to a credible property management company that offers you’re properties and guests that 24/7 support.
If you don’t continuously update your prices and stay competitive you may be pricing yourself out of your listing getting clicked. Having an overview of the market that is relevant to your property will ensure you price yourself within the market range for what you are offering.
Property management companies use various types of software and strategies to achieve this and to stay competitive.
In the world of short term vacation rentals reviews are basically currency. The more you do to earn top reviews the more booking platforms will push you up the rankings. Again increasing your impressions and increasing the likelihood of your listing getting clicked.
This is why property management companies value so much the concept of customer service.
What is done on the ground is vital to how your property listing performs online. Literally, nothing will boost your listing and increase clicks more than a stream of top ratings and great guest feedback.
If you want to be ranked high you either need to be hungry for those top reviews or work with a property manager that knows how to get them on a regular basis.
The truth is there is no secret to gaining high-quality reviews. You get them because you’re good at what you do. If you’re not willing to invest the time and effort on the ground it will show on your online presence.
The two biggest reasons why people fail at descriptions is because:
- They under value the art and technical skill that is content writing
- They under estimate their audience and produce generic meaningless descriptions
A description should be laid out and composed well. Most importantly it should go into a degree of depth in terms of the unique value and characteristics of the property.
Bad content: This amazing, spacious, and bright kitchen has a toaster, kettle, oven, stovetop, and espresso machine
Good content: An archway leads you into the kitchen space, naturally lit up due to the south-facing floor-to-ceiling bay window overlooking the sea.
The first example could be applied to so many kitchens. However the second description is much more unique to this specific listing.
As a general rule, always stay far away from generic descriptions. It’s lazy, lacks imagination and people see right past it. You’re fooling nobody.
7. Online profile
Whether you’re on one of the major platforms like booking.com or Airbnb or even if you are selling direct from your own website, profiling yourself through the various tools or via an About page is an essential component.
This is your opportunity to build up your online presence and establish credibility for yourself and your listing.
People want to feel confident about booking your property. Exposing yourself as a real company or person as the case may be will go a long way to giving a sense of transparency which will, in turn, build trust.
A strong, professional profile will ensure your listing gets clicked a lot more.
With all of the above said, remember setting up your property is not a set it up and leave it process.
Listings must be revisited. Feedback from guests will affect what is important and what you want to bring to the forefront of your listing.
At Happy Owner we regularly make adjustments making sure to A/B test features of our online property listings to see what has more of an impact. This could be changing a headline or changing the order of the photos. Then reviewing the analytics to see if it increases performance.
This is how we always stay competitive for all the property owners we partner with in Israel.
Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?
Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.
Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.