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Five insider tips for great holiday let listings

Stef Scott

TravelNest works with thousands of owners to maximise holiday let listing performance on the world's best-booking sites.

We partner directly with 30+ top channels like Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor. Our industry-leading, insider knowledge puts our owners ahead of the competition. We know what makes listings perform well. 

Here we share some of the insider tips and tricks we use to optimise holiday let listings so they stand out on all the best bookings sites. This covers only a small part of what we offer. If you want us to supercharge your listing, sign up now! Our team of property marketing gurus handles all this optimisation as standard, plus much more.

About our partner channels 

We work directly with the big six: Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, TUI plus many more popular channels such as Hotels.com, FlipKey, HolidayLettings, Priceline, and VRBO to name just a few. The exposure we can offer gives our owners access to a huge global audience for their holiday lets. What’s more, our channels specific expertise means we can optimise your property better and faster. Here's how:

1. Get the basics spot on

Potential guests are looking for certain things in a property before they book, so if you omit to include them on your listing, you could miss out. Be a stickler for the details and make sure you have every single amenity you offer ticked off. Many of the channels like Airbnb and Booking.com take amenities into account when scoring your property - so make sure you’ve got them all covered!

What to do

Many channels (including Booking.com and Expedia) have a Policies area on every listing - this section is super important. Here, you can show whether your property has key things such as parking, WiFi, whether you do/do not allow children, if pets are/are not allowed, if it’s a smoking/non-smoking property, if you allow/do not allow parties/events, what your cancellation policy is and whether you collect a damage deposit and if so, how much. Go through this section carefully and add as much information as you can so your listing is represented as accurately as possible. 

The same principle applies to amenities. For example, Airbnb gives a higher search ranking to properties that provide these amenities - iron, desk, hangers, hairdryer, and that modern-day essential - WiFi!

2. Pay attention to photos

Getting your photos right is an absolutely critical part of your listing. Bad photos turn guests off, lose you potential bookings and make your property tumble down the search rankings.

Research from Booking.com shows that properties with 20+ images receive 6 times the number of inquiries than those with less than 5 photos. [1]

Expedia recommends 24 photos, but don’t be restricted to this number - the more high-quality photos you can include, the better. Give your guests a real feel for your property and what it would be like to stay there.

What to do

The hero photo is the first one potential guests see on your listing, so it needs to have the wow factor to entice them to click and find out more. If your property looks good from the outside, we recommend starting with a photo of the building/facade. If not, start with an attractive shot of the living space. Make sure you tag every single photo accordingly as this affects how well your property is scored - more on this later! 

it is important to upload all your photos as landscape orientation, not portrait. In general, online listings are designed for photos that are landscape - these also look far better on mobile devices which many potential guests will use. When it comes to photo resolution, go for the highest possible resolution you can - we recommend 2880 pixels on the longest side. 

3. Check your overall property score

Once you’ve uploaded your property information, the listing is given a percentage score - this is called different things on different channels. For example, on Booking.com it’s known as the Property Page Score and on Expedia, it’s the Content Score.

Booking.com says that properties with a score of 100% get up to 18% more bookings than comparable properties with incomplete content. [2]

What to do 

On channels such as Expedia and Booking.com, you’ll find details of things that are missing for your property that are bringing the overall score down. For example, your listing might need to be updated with:

  • More high-quality photos of each room
  • Photos of a higher resolution
  • Correct tags for all photos
  • Specific room sizes
  • Information about how to get to your property
  • Details about what guests can find nearby 

All these little extras improve the performance of your listing, so make sure you’ve included as much detail as possible. On these pages, you can also see how your property stacks up in comparison to the local competition. If nearby properties are scoring higher than yours - you have work to do!

4. Flex your calendar

Having a super flexible calendar is a top listing hack that applies to all channels. To boost the number of searches your listing appears in, having a suitable number of minimum and maximum nights stay is a must. For example, if a guest searched for a 4-night stay from Monday to Thursday and your property only allowed guests to check in on a Sunday and out on Friday your property would not show up.

To maximise your exposure to as many potential bookings as possible, we recommend reducing your minimum night stay as much as you possibly can, and similarly increasing the maximum nights.

To boost visibility further, allow guests to check-in and out on as many days as possible.

5. Write your description right!

Some of the channels, including Airbnb, correlate higher search results to properties that have more words in their listing descriptions with all fields completed. On Airbnb, you have 500 character limit for the Summary section and additional fields for things like Space and Location. We recommend filling out all the fields you can so your listing is as complete as possible. Doing this will help you race to the top of search rankings.

Find out more

TravelNest gets your property seen in all the right places. We can list your property on over 30 of the best booking channels including Airbnb, Booking. com, Expedia, HomeAway, TUI, and TripAdvisor. Sign up now!

Advertise your holiday let on Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, TUI

[1] How to add photos and videos on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/w597

[2] How does the property page score help me attract guests? Booking.com. Available at: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/commercial-insights/how-does-property-page-score-help-me-attract-guests

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