The property detail page, or overview page of each STR/vacation rental is critical to earning more bookings. While many people spend hours agonizing about the design of the homepage of their website, many guests spend less than 25 seconds on the homepage, and upwards of 3-5 minutes on property detail pages.
Put simply: a property detail page is where a guest will decide they want to book the property or move on and book somewhere else. Sharing all of the right information and cutting out any fluff or distractions to conversion is key to growing bookings and converting potential guests into paying guests. Here are some core elements (with examples) of great property detail pages.
High-Resolution Photographs & Virtual Tours
Nailing your property pages to earn leads, online bookings and, most importantly, results starts with a page that’s visually appealing. There’s nothing worse than reviewing a property page, eager to get more information about the listing, and then learning the page has low resolution photographs.
High-impact visuals help show off the space, nearby areas, things to do and a lot more. The lead section of high-converting property detail pages often features great photos of the listing. There are a few approaches to this
Quick Facts: Beds, Baths, Sleeps, Pet Friendly, Views
Before you get too far into the “middle meat” of the page, listing quick facts like beds, bathrooms, how many guests can sleep and pet-friendly status can be shared in a quick facts section or subheading.
Guests that are looking at the property detail page should know quickly if the property fits their needs. If they’ve got a party of 10 guests, but the property only sleeps 8, they can quickly skip past that property and find a more suitable option.
Easy To Read Property Descriptions + Amenities
Writing a great description is key to getting the guest to under the full picture (pardon the pun) of the property. Let me be clear: photos are the king and queen of your property detail page, but a well-written and engaging description can help set you apart from the crowd and earn a booking. With the property description, you can share key information about the area and even tell a compelling story about the property.
We asked Alessandra from Guest Hook about the core elements of a property description. Here’s what she said are the most important elements to include on every major OTA (Airbnb/Vrbo/Booking.com) and your own website.
- Engaging, Irresistible & Clickable Headline: on major OTAs, your thumbnail photo and headline is all you have to show guests to earn a click to a property detail page. On your own website, you can use headlines to use brand names for your property and sell what’s unique about the property. Unit names and numbers make for uninspiring headlines: sell the property!
- The Short Description / Summary: guests often want to quickly see the key information in this area of the property detail page. Often a short summary block, The Short Description tells in a few sentences what’s great about this property, what’s unique about it, and who it is for.
- Location Description & Area + Neighborhood: each property detail page should explain more about the area the property is in, so a guest can make the right decision for them. Walkable in a urban downtown setting? Out in the country? What’s nearby? Walkable? Distance from major attractions in the area? Use this section of the property detail page to share these details so a guest gets a sense of this information. Even consider putting a “kind of” accurate pin on an embedded Google Map so the guest can explore the neighborhood from afar.
- Features Description & Other Things To Note: one of the final pieces is an “Other Things To Note” section. This can be used in a sub header and typically is used to leverage some elements about the property that may not be ideal for all guests. For example, if the property is near a road and has noise throughout the day, explain that in this section. You can also share other information here like if you have exterior cameras in the property, if the property is NOT pet friendly or kid friendly (example: unsafe railings). It may seem counterintuitive to highlight reasons for someone not to book a property, but the truth is guests will appreciate your honesty and you’ll get fewer negative reviews over the long term versus overselling a listing claiming it’s perfection.
- Interaction With Guests: more critical on Airbnb than your own website or other OTAs, many guests want to know how and when they can reach out to you. If you’re a local property manager in town, explain that! Many guests prefer to book with a local manager or host that can help them if there’s an issue or problem versus a remote national manage that has a call center 1,000 miles away from the property.
- Getting There & Transit: arrival information may be an important field to include too. For example, if the property has has paid parking, requires a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to access it or other quirks, highlighting that is key.
- About The Host / About The Manager: while on your own website you likely have an about page, many guests won’t click on it (and it’s often quite buried in the website navigation). Instead, a short explainer about the host or manager of the property here can help guests to book and become more comfortable with you and your brand.
- Property Access Information: do I have to pick up keys (hope not!)? A quick summary section or sentence on property access (remote door code) will help to round out the property description section of any STR/vacation rental property detail page.
Detailed Property Calendar
Highlighting property availability can be done in two places: on the picker on the book now section and also in a dedicated embed on the page itself. Some property calendars choose to show rates, others choose only to show when a property is booked. Depending on your goals both can be an option.
Reviews From Past Guests
As a guest scrolls down the page, they’ve learned a lot about the property. Now, you want to leverage social proof to convince a prospective guest that past guests have had a great time! Earning and then highlighting 5-star reviews on the property detail page is critical towards building the momentum for a booking.
Simple + Straightforward Contact/Lead Forms
Even if you’ve perfected the entire property detail page, guests still have questions! Capturing that lead information is critical to driving high-value leads that will likely lead to bookings. Having sticky contact forms on the right side of the page on desktop, or even a quick access button “Property Question” on mobile can help drive more leads.
If a guest has scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page, but hasn’t found the right property for them, sharing similar properties can help to earn another page view.
Things To Skip On Property Detail Pages
- Share icons/buttons: for years I’ve seen property detail pages include share buttons for social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For years, I’ve never seen guests use these buttons to actually share the property on social media. I would make an exception for sharing via email or text message: but skip the social share elements.
- Email newsletter signup: once the guest is deeper into their journey planning funnel, an email newsletter signup form isn’t critical to be embedded on the page.
- Repetitive information (listing the bedrooms in three different places): often we see property pages that have the bedroom count in the headline, description and the heading of the page. That’s often repetitive and won’t help conversions. Use each field to its true purpose and full potential!
Leverage High Converting Property Detail Pages To Get More Bookings
Each of these elements can help improve the guest experience for your property detail pages. Creating the perfect page may be impossible, but the more you cover on the page, the higher you’ll see your direct booking conversions go. Want to see how we can help you build a better converting layout? Get in touch with us today.