2. Descriptive Title & Summary
Often overlooked, the title of your listing is very important. You have very little space to make a good impression. Include descriptors that potential guests look for like “Studio, 2BR, Lakefront, Newly renovated, Centrally located, etc.”
It is important to note, however, that Airbnb is only searchable by location and is not searchable by keyword, so your listing name just needs to be eye-catching and provide as much information as possible. It is a good idea to add descriptors like “cozy,” “large,” “sunny,” “luxury,” etc., but only if they are true.
Your title and summary need to be descriptive and honest, but they also need to attract potential guests. It is important to spend a little time crafting a thoughtful title and description in order to get as many reservations as possible.
Airbnb gives you two places to describe your listing in your own words, the summary and “the space.”
The summary will be the first description of your space that potential guests see when they click on your listing. You can add a quirky hello and description, or you can write a straightforward features list. This is a shorter description, so make sure you list the most important features. Here is what we have for the summary of one of our apartments:
Recently renovated 1BR apartment on one of DC's most iconic neighborhoods. This unit features a large bedroom with a queen bed and extra pillows, a large living room with a large couch and a small dining table for two, a recently renovated, fully-stocked kitchen and gorgeous renovated bathroom with tub and shower.
Located on a quiet street, but surrounded by hundreds of restaurants, bars and shops, you'll love coming back to your cosy home away from home.
This section allows for a longer description. Here is where you should list every feature that you can think of about your rental. This will save you from answering the same questions over and over.
It is very important to be honest about any negative features, like no A/C in one of the rooms, no parking, etc. For the same listing above, we have a more detailed list of features.
* 1 Bedroom with queen size bed and extra pillows
* Fully renovated kitchen with gas stove, oven, microwave and dishwasher
* Fully renovated bathroom with shower and tub
* Furnished living/ dining room
* 40” flat screen TV with basic cable + HBO
* ROKU streaming TV and media player
* Free Netflix account
* Free wireless Internet (can be a little slow at times—Comcast is a pain!)
* French press AND electric coffee maker with coffee and tea (sugar and creamer included)
* Fresh linens and towels
* Shampoo and soap
* Hair dryer
* Iron and ironing board
* Washer and dryer in basement, coin-operated
* Binder with info on transportation, sightseeing, dining and entertainment
* Wordpress website with more info on DC and the neighborhood
* Now featuring complimentary Evolve Skin Products, Handmade locally especially for our home :)
Other description sections
Make sure to fill out every section of your listing. A 100% complete listing is more likely to get listed early in search results.
If there is a room or part of the rental that you do not want your guests to access, you need to make it clear in this section and in your welcome email. If you have a seasonal pool, make sure you let your guests know what months the pool will be accessible and when it will be closed for the season.
It may take a while to develop your own hosting style and how much you want or need to interact with guests. When we started out, one of us tried to always personally greet guests, but that was because our rental was a block from our home office. We have recently been using lockboxes and seldom greet our guests personally unless they request to meet us. We use a lockbox and send our guests clear instructions on how to access it on the morning of their check-n. We like to give guests their space, but are readily available when they contact us. We’ve found that this works very well with most guests, especially business travelers and younger guests. Older guests sometimes like to meet us, and we make ourselves as available as possible for any guest who appears to need more personal attention.
Describe the surroundings. Let your guests know what makes your neighborhood unique; whether there are restaurants, tourist attractions, and transportation nearby; whether they need to rent a car or there are rental bikes; describe the parking situation, etc.
List the nearest mass transit stops and how many blocks it is from your property. List bike share stations and distance, if applicable. Give potential guest parking options etc.
Other things to note
Is there anything else about your unit that you would like your guests to know? If you offer parking for an additional charge, or whether guests need to let you know whether they will be sleeping on the sofa bed so that you can leave sheets for it, this is where you make note of it.
Number of guests: NEVER overcrowd
List the maximum number of guests you can accommodate comfortably in your rental. Our units are small, and we like to keep our maximum guest number to 2. We do not have a sofa bed and do not allow overnight guests to sleep on the couch. This significantly reduces wear and tear on our furniture. Also, as a host, you don’t want too many people squeezing into your place, this will make your neighbors uncomfortable and will make it more difficult to maintain your furniture and to keep your space looking fresh and new.
Is this your home?
If your rental is also your home, make sure you let your guests know this, so that they can expect to find personal belonging in your rental. Make sure you de-clutter your space before every guest and that you make space in the bathroom and closest for your guests to comfortably store their belongings. You do not want your guests complaining about clutter or having to maneuver around your personal stuff.
Make sure you clearly spell out what the sleeping arrangements are. Specify the number of beds, the total number of bedrooms, the number of beds per bedroom, and the number of beds in common spaces (sofa beds/futons).
Sleep is very important to a large number of guests, so make sure that there are no surprises. Make sure that areas designated as bedrooms have heavy drapes that block out natural light and that mattresses are well maintained.