What makes a strong listing?
When planning a trip, guests often begin by researching their destination. Today, they are especially diligent in researching just the right property to meet their needs, so it’s critical that their experience at your property matches the description on your listing. In fact, more than half of travelers (53%) told us that they want to trust that the provider will deliver on their promises. The message is clear – a strong property profile must be up-to-date with detailed and complete information.
In addition to helping you market your property, think of your listing as the first connection in your guest experience. Guests don’t like surprises, so be sure to keep your content current to accurately set guest expectations. If you’ve stopped offering a free breakfast or one of your amenities is unavailable, but you still have it listed in your profile, a disappointed guest may leave a negative review. In the same vein, if you’ve implemented a pet-friendly policy, but it’s not reflected in your profile, guests may arrive and regret not bringing along the family pooch. Keep in mind the power of your property listing to build (or break) trust with future guests as you learn more about how to create a high-performing listing.
The images that appear with your property profile are perhaps your most important marketing tool – given that they will create a first impression for potentially hundreds or thousands of guests. Guests even told us that bad photos are the number one reason they rule out a property.
Our research also found that 88% of travelers believe it’s important to see photos of amenities before booking, and 57% said many detailed photos give them confidence to book an accommodation.
So, there’s no question your photo gallery is an excellent opportunity to tell the story of your property, make an emotional connection, and build trust and excitement about the experience of staying with you. Read our quick guide to effective hotel photography for best practice tips.
- Detailed descriptions of amenities
As discussed above, your amenities will help connect you with travelers who are searching for the guest experience you offer. Around 50% of travelers told us they are more likely to rule out a property with incomplete amenity descriptions, and 70% of travelers say they’re willing to pay extra for properties that have their favorite amenities and services. So, creating a detailed and current list of amenities will ensure your property listing is working hard on your behalf.
Include information about your rooms (toiletries, bedding, entertainment, views, etc.), property (pools, parking, fitness, accessibility, etc.) and details about the unique experience you offer (spa information, nearby activities, child-specific toys and games, etc.).
Learn more about the hotel amenities that are most important to today’s guests.
- Points of interest
Highlighting cultural landmarks, unique activities, and experiences in your local neighborhood and surrounding areas, not only helps travelers better imagine their stay with you – it establishes you as a local expert. We found that 89% of guests want to see information or features of the surrounding property location. The top descriptions they want to see include tourist sites, bars, restaurants, as well as shopping options. Many travel booking websites will allow you to review and curate your points of interest, so be sure to leverage these tools to create a compelling profile.
- Current rates and inventory
Another critical element to crafting a high-performing profile is maintaining accurate information on rooms and rates – especially during seasonality and peak periods. Keeping your availability and rates updated and competitive will help you maximize the number of bookings you capture and your occupancy. Learn more about revenue management in our guide and discover the benefits of using a channel manager to keep your inventory current.
- Clear policies and fees
Yet another opportunity to accurately set guest expectations, be sure to clearly state and keep up-to-date policies on topics such as cancellations, payment types, pets, etc. You should also detail any deposits and fees guests may incur. In most cases, this information appears in your profile alongside information on check-in and check-out times and optional extras.
- Guest reviews
Reading reviews from previous guests is an important part of a guests’ booking decision. In fact, 70% of travelers told us they read reviews before booking a property. Reviews don’t only build trust with potential guests, they can also have a significant impact on your listing’s visibility and, ultimately, the number of bookings you receive.
Most travel booking websites will include vetted reviews, and your responses, alongside your property profile. You should proactively respond to the reviews you receive to help set expectations with future guests and help them get a sense of the on-property experience they could enjoy. Most travelers (65%) said they are more likely to book a property that responds to guest reviews versus the ones that don’t.