Home » Holiday rental business » Build the Perfect Property Headline in 4 Steps

By Andrew McNulty, Co-Founder of Guesthook.com

How on earth can 75 characters really make a difference?

Guests just look at the thumbnail photo and decide, right?

Wrong. Yes, the photo probably counts for more. But in a sea of guest choice, a well-worded headline can lead to the click. Actually, I’d go one step further – a badly worded headline is like referring guests to your competitors!

So let’s talk about how to sell your property in 75 characters or less!

Vacation rental marketing - Headlines

Step 1: Identify your Unique Selling Points

Don’t go any further until you’ve determined two or three features that set you apart from your competition (the Unique Selling Points, or USPs).

These will be the backbone of your headline.

Need help in determining your USP? Ask yourself:

What do my guests most often praise about my rental in their reviews? Likely, this is one of your USPs.

What’s the #1 question you get from prospective guests? (“How far are you to the beach?” “Do you have a pool?”) These FAQs give you a good idea of what your target guests care about. If you have a pool, and get countless inquiries about whether you have a pool, this should go in your headline.

Does my competition also boast this unique selling point? Do a quick search of the other listings in your area. If they have the same USP, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. But you might have to put a bit of your own spin on it.

If you both have pools, for example, think about what makes yours different. Maybe it’s heated. Maybe it has a waterfall. Maybe it’s tucked into lush tropical landscaping. Now your unique selling point is more unique than theirs. Win!

Write these three USPs down. You’ll need them for the rest of the steps!

Vacation rental marketing - headlines

Step 2: Pick your rental type.

Now decide what term to use to identify your rental type.

Cottage? Cabin? Chalet? Bungalow? Villa? Condo? Mansion? Estate? Casita? Lodge? Among a long list of architectural terms, only one perfectly captures the mood of your rental and its surroundings.

Remember: be honest! Not every house is an estate or a villa.

With that in mind, there’s nothing wrong with calling it a “House,” if no other fancier term is quite right. Some vacation rental marketers disagree with me and insist that “house” is just too bland. But I disagree.

Why? First, people want to know what they’re getting at a rental. “House” creates a specific, accurate image right away.

And there’s another reason. More on that in Step 3!

Looking after Millenial Guests

Step 3: Pick Your Perfect Adjective(s)

Even if you use the somewhat boring (but honest) “House” to describe your rental, you can still make it shine. Because now you’re going to find the descriptive word (or words) to modify it.

This is where one of your 3 unique selling points kicks in!

For example:

One of my copywriting clients has a condo in Hawaii. Though his is just one of many units in a high-end building, he has a killer USP: he has several pieces of original art by a prominent San Francisco artist.

So, for his headline, I combined “Condo” with a word that captured the essence of his rental: “Artist.”

“Luxurious Contemporary Artist Condo at the Edge of the Pacific with Ocean Views” [vrbo #669990]

This not only conveys the USP of original art, it also targets exactly the market he wanted to reach: those who appreciate art—maybe even people who are artists themselves.

So “Condo” becomes “Artist Condo”…creating a much richer depiction of the place.

Take a look at your 3 USPs. Which of these fits as a descriptor of your rental itself?

The more specific and sensory, the better. Feel free to use multiple words! “Palm-Shaded Beachfront” says more than “Beachfront,” for example.

vr marketing crafting headlines

Step 4: Add your other USPs.

So, let’s say you’ve now got a headline that, so far, reads: “Palm-Shaded Beachfront Cottage.” Now it’s time to add another USP.

Maybe your oceanfront cottage has a private fire pit on the beach, for example, or a pair of kayaks waiting for guests to use. Maybe your guests often comment that your spot is particularly romantic.

Add in those features, like so:

Palm-Shaded Beachfront Cottage With 2 Kayaks – Perfect for Honeymooners!

Voila! The perfect, 72-character, listing-site-ready headline.


Still stumped? At Guest Hook, we can help! We write everything from headlines to full descriptions to entire websites for vacation rentals. Actually, we’ll even write your headline for free if you drop us a line via our contact page.