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How to Create an Attractive Listing of Your Vacation Rental

We at Mauiforum.org developed a certain approach to presenting vacation rental listings. We searched and experimented and finally came up with a listing layout that would show at a glance all that the property has to offer.

While every rental property is different and unique, we believe that the format of the information should be the same across all listings. It creates better experience for visitors and makes them like the website and stay on it longer. I wrote this article as a guide to creating a perfect listing of your beautiful vacation rental. Mauiforum offers FREE listings, no strings attached.

Register here: http://www.mauiforum.org/register.php
and save your login name and password for future use. Now you’ll be taken to Owner Home – from here you can enter and update your rental listing information.In the left navigation panel, you will see the red “Property Listing” heading. Click on every link under that heading before Preview link and enter your property information. Always click “Save” to save the information.

There is help on every data entry screen – just click the blue icon near the name of the screen. Please spend that 1-2 min to read the help – you will complete the data entry much faster this way.

Headline. The majority of people will glance at the headline and judge your place by the pictures before even attempting to read description. Highlight two-three strong selling qualities of your rental in an attention-grabbing sentence. We allow 100 characters in the headline, but some of the advertisers we publish to allow less. To be on the safe side, you could make it up to 70 characters long. We don’t recommend putting the rate or words about discounts into the headline. It creates a sensation that the property would not rent otherwise, that the owner is desperate.

Photos. You need some really attractive photos to catch visitor’s attention. We made the layout of our listing such that 2-3 photos (dependent on resolution) are visible right after the page loads. When your listing is published to Google Base or other advertising venues, up to three top photos are posted with the ad. The best photo should be in the first position – it is a “face” of your rental. We recommend to have at least two “picture perfect” interior photos and possibly one exterior photo to be placed in the first three positions. Choose the exterior photo that complements and looks well with interior ones.

Description. When your photos caught visitor’s attention, the description comes into play. Most people will not read through a lengthy description. You need to write two concise and expressive paragraphs. Think about the best features of your rental and its location. What qualities or improvements would make it attractive to renters? Don’t just copy and paste a description from your other website. Write an original copy, use short sentences and paint pictures with words. Make sure your description reflects what visitor sees in the photos. You can then continue with detailed description beyond the first two paragraphs for those inclined to read more.

AVOID TYPING IN ALL CAPS! This is one of the rules of Netiquette. When you use all capital letters, it looks and feels as if you were shouting. It might be OK to use caps in a couple of places for a few words to draw attention, but use them sparingly.

Rates. Be clear, detailed and explicit about your rates. We have an extensive interface that allows to enter your daily/weekly/monthly rates for multiple time periods. There are four colors to depict the rates on the Rate calendar: discounted, regular, high and holiday seasons. Make sure you have rates for at least one full year from now.

Rental Policies. If the visitor reads your rental policies, you almost did it! Don’t disappoint him and be ambiguous. Showing him how thorough and well organized you are will help you get the booking, not just inquiry.

Amenities. Check all amenities of your rental. In addition, every category has “Other” field, where you can list some extras – things not mentioned as options in this category. In Activities Onsite, list activities available in direct vicinity of your rental.




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