In the past, travelers were limited in their options for accommodation: Stay in a hotel, hostel or traditional bed & breakfast. Whilst the concept of providing four-walls-and-a-roof to travelers is far from unique to Airbnb, each and every place listed on Airbnb is unique to the flavors of the host, their home and the local neighborhood.

So what does this actually look like? It may be comic book fans that aren’t shy to display their collection of Superman figurines in every corner of their home. Maybe it’s a beach-side bungalow that embraces its surroundings through color, decor and furnishings. Or urban retreats that adapt to their hustle-and-bustle metropolis surroundings.

Guests frequently select their Airbnb in the hope of being exposed to unique experiences and local flavors. Many are looking beyond just price in their selection process.

79% of guests choose #Airbnb because they want to live like a local Click To Tweet

Your listing needs to be crystal clear in communicating…

What kind of place you have

What kind of experience you will provide to guests

Why you love where you live

Why guests will appreciate choosing your place over other alternatives

As the sole mechanism for providing prospective guests with an insight into what it might be like to stay at your place (and all the reasons your place is better than others they may also be considering), your listing represents the vital link between simply being listed and actually getting booked.

Prospective guests are yet to see your home and have not personally met you – they have only what they read on your listing to go by in deciding where they want to stay.

There are different elements of an Airbnb listing – everything from the listing name, through to a summary of the space and the local neighborhood.

Getting each of these elements right is critical to slowly edging prospective guests closer and closer towards the necessary comfort they need to feel before booking your place. The ability to lose them at any point on this journey cannot be understated enough.

There’s a lot to get right in building an effective Airbnb listing that generates reservation requests. This represents both an opportunity and a challenge: Get it right, and you set yourself up for long-term success on Airbnb. Get it wrong, and you risk becoming another anonymous listing amidst a sea of competition. Make sure you seize the opportunity.

To truly give your Airbnb listing depth and color, you should complete each of the sections available to you. You have the ability to provide additional details for each of the following sections of your listing:

Listing Name

A high-level summary of what makes your place uniquely great

Listing Summary

A brief overview of the key selling points of your place

The space

Information about all the different areas and amenities within your place

Guest access

An overview of the spaces that guests will have access to within your home

Interaction with guests

Information on how you'll be available to offer help and/or socialize throughout the stay

Other things to note

Other details that may impact a guest's stay (for better or worse)

The neighborhood

Information on what makes your local area great or unique and any key local attractions

Getting around

Information on public transport, driving and walking options

Listing Name

AIM: To make your listing stand out from other listings in search results, enough to make prospective guests want to click through and take a look at your listing page.

CHARACTER COUNT LIMIT: 50 characters

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Don’t focus on the things that guests can learn elsewhere (eg. the number of bedrooms or bathrooms)
  • Highlight your differentiating attributes (for example, is it family-friendly? Close to the city? Free access to gym facilities?)
  • Remain conscious of your target guests and the type of travelers most likely to be interested in your place. Make sure to tailor your listing name to their particular interests

Poor Example

3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Apartment

Best Practice Example

Family-friendly Dream NYC Apartment

EXAMPLES:

Here are a few of the titles for top performing Airbnb’s from all around the world:

  • Sunny Studio Close to San Telmo  |  Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Perfect Escape Sunny Roof EnSuite  |  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Modern Luxury Close to Beach, City and Transport  |  Sydney, Australia
  • Luxury design apt w spacious sunny balcony  |  London, UK
  • Romantic Hideout in Paris  |  Paris, France
  • Lovely Room, EXCELLENT AREA for Access to all NYC  |  New York, U.S.

Listing Summary

AIM: The aim of your listing summary is to provide a teaser that whets the appetite of prospective guests enough to make them want to keep reading the rest of your listing page and descriptions.

CHARACTER COUNT LIMIT: 500 characters

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Use bullet points
  • Focus on the top-5 differentiating attributes of your place
  • Highlight amenities and features most likely to appeal to your target guests

Poor Example

The apartment is a big 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in Gramercy (2 rooms are larger). It is already furnished and there is also a big kitchen. It is kept very clean & we are close to everything you would want. It also has a rooftop and an elevator

Best Practice Example

  • Massive 820 square feet 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom with lounge
  • Fully-furnished, light and quiet
  • Large appliance-stocked kitchen
  • Minutes walk to trains, bus, shops, food and nightlife
  • Doorman / elevator building with laundry
  • Stunning rooftop view

The Space

AIM: To provide assurances to prospective guests that all amenities and features of importance to them will be provided at your place.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Use headings and bullet points
  • Breakdown the description of your place into its individual rooms and sections of your home
  • Minimize use of overly-poetic language in preference for clear and simple descriptions

Poor Example

The apartment has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. 2 of the bedrooms are bigger than the 3rd bedroom. 2 of the bedrooms have a queen-size bed, and 1 of the bedrooms has a king-size bed. 1 of the bedrooms has an ensuite attached to it – very useful! Each o the bathrooms have a toilet, shower and bathtub. The apartment also has air-conditioning and heating.

There’s a really big kitchen with pretty much everything you would want in a kitchen, like a microwave, oven and even a dishwasher.

In the building there is also a laundry room in the basement. The building also has a doorman, and an elevator which is neat!

Best Practice Example

THE BUILDING
  • Brand-new 23-story luxury rental building
  • 24-hour doorman
  • Magnificent 20-foot artfully-crafted marble lobby
  • Laundry room with washing machines and dryers
  • Hallways elegantly carpeted and wallpapered
  • On-level garbage and recycling chute
APARTMENT AMENITIES
  • Double-glazed, insulated, sound-dampening windows
  • Hardwood oak floors
THE BEDROOMS
  • Room 1: 180 square feet with ensuite bathroom, queen-size bed, television, walk-in closet, dresser, bedside table, desk and couch
  • Room 2: 180 square feet with king-size bed, walk-in closet, 2 dressers, bedside table and desk
  • Room 3: 120 square feet with queen-size bed and 2 dressers
  • Air-conditioning / heating units in each bedroom
   
 
 
THE KITCHEN
  • Beautifully appointed, European design appliance-stocked kitchen
  • Massive 100 square feet space
  • Microwave, oven and dishwasher
  • Top-of-the-line GE appliances
  • Granite floors
THE LOUNGE ROOM
  • Large 100 square foot space
  • Surround-sound television and entertainment unit
  • 4-person super-comfy sofa
  • Air-conditioning / heating unit
THE BATHROOMS
  • 2 superbly-appointed bathrooms, each containing: Toilet, shower with detachable head, bathtub, vanity with basin, extended mirrors and cupboard storage space
THE ROOFTOP
  • Incredible high-rise view of city
  • Uninterrupted views of Freedom Tower, Empire State and Chrysler Buildings

Guest Access

AIM: To maximize perceptions of personal space and access to amenities and home features that would be desired by guests

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Overtly state all of the areas that guests will have access to
  • Make mention of things that guests would appreciate having access to (even if they may seem obvious)
  • Explicitly encourage guests to feel at home and use all amenities they are granted access to within your place

Poor Example

Guest access

The entire apartment is yours. You can also use the laundry room and go on the roof.

Best Practice Example

Guest access

ACCESS TO EVERYTHING – FEEL LIKE IT’S YOUR HOME:

  • Complete and uninterrupted access to all areas of entire apartment
  • Access to in-building laundry room (with washing machine and dryer)
  • Access to rooftop

Interaction With Guests

AIM: To eliminate any apprehensions prospective guests may have around a smooth-sailing Airbnb guest experience and providing comfort that their preferences for personal space and socialization will be respected

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Include an introductory statement that recognizes the importance of a problem-free travel experience
  • Let prospective guests know all the ways you ensure guest concerns are taken care of
  • State all the ways you’re happy to be contacted before, throughout and after the guest’s stay

Poor Example

Interaction with guests

I’ll meet you at the apartment and give you the keys

Best Practice Example

Interaction with guests

I like to ensure your vacation starts off on the right foot.

I will personally greet you upon arrival at the building. To ensure your every concern is able to be taken care of, I also like to introduce you to the doorman.

Once you’ve had a chance to dump your bags and grab a drink, I’m always happy to give you a quick walk-through of the local area.

If you’re not up to it, I’m equally happy to run you through a list of key attractions and cheat sheets for making the most of your stay.

As a longtime local, I’m well-placed to suggest the best attractions, advise on the best ways of getting around, recommend key attractions or offer suggestions on anything that might pop up during your stay. I’m only ever a phone call away. And feel free to drop me an email anytime – I’m at the computer so often anyways.

And if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget half your luggage in the mad scramble back to the airport. Don’t worry – this has happened 29383492934 times before (especially with kids!) and we always find a way to get your prized possessions back into your hot little hands.

Other Things to Note

AIM: To call out any other details that may impact a guest’s stay, for better or for worse.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Explicitly mention any additional amenities or features likely to be of interest
  • Highlight the importance of having a positive travel experience
  • Invite the opportunity to open up communication channels for further discussion

Poor Example

Other things to note

The garbage chute can be accessed in the trash room which is at the end of the corridor and to the right.

Best Practice Example

Other things to note

Your enjoyment in our home is our PRIMARY concern.

Here are a few things we think you’ll want to know…

WELCOME BASKET: You’ll arrive to a welcome basket inclusive of milk, cereals, chips, cheese and crackers, sodas and juice boxes, chocolates, popcorn and other yummy snacks

COFFEE AND TEA: Premium coffee machine with wide selection of flavors, as well as assortment of teas provided free-of-charge

COOKING BASICS: Help yourself to condiments (such as jam, peanut butter, ketchup, mustard, etc.) as well as sugar, salt, olive oil, vinegar and a selection of herbs and spices – all provided complimentary for your stay

GARBAGE AND RECYCLING: There is a garbage chute and recycle room located right next to the apartment

PARKING: There is unmetered all-day street parking in the streets around the apartment. There is also a secure parking garage on-site. Regrettably, the garage fits small to medium-sized cars only

MAINTENANCE: The building has on-site maintenance. Speak to the doorman 24/7 to report any issues for immediate repair

Don’t be shy to contact me if you have any questions about the home or local area. I love to help my guests.

Neighborhood Overview

AIM: To let guests know why your neighborhood is better than other alternatives they may also be considering

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Use bullet points
  • Overview your neighbourhood’s key selling points and proximity to places of interest, key landmarks, attractions and public transport
  • In both content and language, overview the type of places that your target guests would be most interested in

Poor Example

The neighborhood

The apartment is in the Gramercy neighborhood. Getting around is pretty easy since the 6 train is very close to the apartment, and Union Square station is not too much further either. There are a ton of great tourist sites that are close by to the apartment, and a lot of great places to go out and eat around the apartment too.

Best Practice Example

The neighborhood

  • Located in beautiful Gramercy area and a couple of blocks away from trains (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R lines) and buses that’ll take you anywhere uptown, downtown, crosstown and into Brooklyn
  • No more than 15 minute walk to Empire State Building, Union Square, Herald Square, Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park and East River
  • Never more than 30 minutes away from neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, West Village, Chelsea, SoHo, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Times Square, Grand Central Station or any other downtown or midtown spot.
  • Located in the heart of countless bars, restaurants, shops and central transport hubs
  • Easy to get to by cab or public transport from JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports

Getting Around

AIM: To provide assurances to guests that getting around will be simple and uncomplicated

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Explain all of the various public transport options (trains, buses, cabs, ferry and driving) that guests have easy access to from your place
  • Let guests know where the public transport options will take them (as opposed to simply stating just what those public transport options are)
  • State the proximity and travel time involved in getting to each of the public transport options

Poor Example

Getting around

Getting around is really easy from the apartment. The 6 train is really close

Best Practice Example

Getting around

TRAINS: 5min walk to 6 line (taking you everywhere on the East side of Manhattan) and 10min walk to L, 4, 5, N, Q, R lines (taking you uptown, downtown, crosstown and into Brooklyn)

BUSES: 5min walk to multiple buses that go up and down 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avenue as well as crosstown (at 23rd Street)

CABS: Readily available cabs constantly driving past building and surrounding streets

FERRY: 15min walk to East River Ferry at 35th Street

PARKING: Parking lot located one block away

Need some help developing your Airbnb listing? Find copywriting and listing creation services able to spruce up your listing:

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OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SECTION:

Less Daunting Than You May Have Thought
Step 1: Starting With the Basics
Step 2: Setting the Scene
Step 3: Get Ready for Guests
Co-Hosts
Understanding Your Target Guests
Starting With a Trustworthy Profile
Use Headings and Bullets
Photos
House Rules