Creating a Killer Rental Property Listing Pt. 2: Your Headline

There’s no doubt that rental property hosts all want the same thing – To attract guests, get their place booked, generate revenue, and create an excellent experience for all.

The problem is – with the increasingly crowded marketplace of Airbnb and VRBO, not all listings are created equal. It doesn’t take long to discover that some listings get booked solid while others end up in a digital ghost town.

So what goes into a GREAT listing?

In the first post of this series, we covered the importance of the very first impression you will make with potential guests – YOUR FEATURED IMAGE.

Once you dial in your featured image, we can then turn to the second most crucial part of your listing. While your featured image is the first thing that people will see, YOUR HEADLINE is the first words that people will read.

How to write a “scroll-stopping” headline

The truth is, people only stop to engage once they see images or read words they understand. When they are confused or bored, they simply scroll past what it is you are offering them.

The only way around this is to write words that give them a visual imagination of what they want to be true of their vacation.

Here are 4 keys to writing a headline that guests will not ignore.


1. Stick to what’s remarkable.

Many hosts waste their headline with words that describe the obvious.

For example, if the guest is searching for places in Denver, it is not necessary to use the words “Denver townhome” in your headline. They already know that your home is in Denver. It would be more valuable to tell them what’s unique about the townhome. Or refer to a part of Denver that is more specific.

Furthermore, listing the number of rooms or beds, is not necessary in this space, since those details are part of their original search.

Instead, focus on using words to convey what is interesting or unique about the property. Draw attention to what others really enjoy.

Consider these questions:

Is it close to a specific location?

Does it have a unique amenity?

Is it suitable for a large group?

Does it speak to a budget-conscience guest?

What is recently remodeled?

Ideal for privacy?

Good Examples:

Don’t have the budget for a private home? Get the next best thing!

Look no further! A quaint mountain cabin close to Breck!

Bad Examples:

Beautiful home in Denver, Colorado

Your home away from home


2. Avoid overused adjectives.

When it comes to describing your property, try to use words and adjectives that can’t be easily used by another property owner.

In their excitement, many hosts describe their homes as “Amazing, Nice, Clean, Wonderful, and Beautiful” and use phrases like “Home away from home.”

Here’s the deal, we know you love your property! But EVERY host believes their property is AMAZING!! Also, the fact that it’s clean should not be a selling point. Every property should be clean!

Instead, try to use words that are specific to the home, design style, amenities, features, and nearby landmarks.

Good Example:

Brand New Townhouse with Private Rooftop Deck & Garage

The Modern Couple’s Getaway | Loft with Private Balcony

Bad Example:

Very Clean & Cozy Spot

Your home away from home


3. Keep it readable.

Many hosts know how unbelievably important this headline is, and so they try to jam pack the headline with as many words as possible.

Headlines that are stuffed with abbreviations, slashes, and semicolons are often unreadable and not attractive. This kind of writing makes the guest feel like they are deciphering a complex code, rather than booking a home.

Your listing should try to read fluidly and naturally. Stick to full phrases if possible with words that seem like they belong together.

Good Example:

Cozy Capitol Hill Studio Apartment

Bad Example:

2bd/2.5ba townhome in dtn Denver w/ patio


4. Create a visual imagination.

The headline is your chance not only to tell your guest what your home is like but to help them imagine themselves there. If they can picture themselves in your home, there is a greater chance they will click on your listing and get your place booked.

Creating a visual imagination can be accomplished by using language that full of emotion, color, texture, and sounds.

Talk about what they will feel, what they will see, and what they will hear.

Good example:

Listen to Ocean Waves from a Beautiful Beach House

Sip Cocoa by a Warm Fire in this Wintery, Log Cabin


In summary, your HEADLINE is not something you want to screw up. It’s the first words a guest will read, and if you master this part then you’ll be well on your way to a fully optimized listing. But what happens AFTER a guest clicks?

Stay tuned for our next post in which we tackle YOUR SUBHEADER.

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