Covering Your Achilles’ Heel: How to Write About Your Rental’s Flaws

Every vacation rental has an Achilles’ heel. Whether you’re working with a drab exterior, over-the-top décor or lack of legroom, the most important thing to remember is to be honest about your rental’s imperfections.

Travelers are willing to make concessions for value or location, but one dissatisfied review that calls out a shortcoming you failed to mention can turn savvy vacationers off for good.

Your listing description is the perfect place to stop skirting around your rental’s imperfections and start embracing them with open arms. We put our thinking caps on and came up with the most common flaws we see when writing about vacation rentals and how to address them.

The Yawn-Worthy

Sure, bright colors, shiny new gadgets and dazzling appointments might be drawing points for some audiences. But it’s not all about the ooh-ahh for every traveler. There are still plenty of renters who are happy to choose a simple and welcoming space.

For rooms or homes that aren’t bursting with pizzazz, comfort and functionality can be your saving graces. Let’s take a look at how these two characteristics can make even the drabbest space desirable.

kitchen

Neither an interior designer nor a chef would rave about this kitchen. But a family that’s calling your property home for a week doesn’t need a five-star gourmet cookery – they need a way to keep every mouth fed. From the large cabinets and long countertops to the appliances, there’s actually lot to love about this kitchen. Here’s how we would convey that:

Satisfy your palates and stomachs from our simple and functional kitchen, featuring plenty of cabinet space to store a full stock of ingredients and ample counter room for feeding even the biggest groups. A convenient galley-style design and complete offering of appliances makes every meal a breeze.

ranch house

How about this simplistic ranch in the middle of a pretty typical neighborhood? To many, “vacation” is not the first word to come to mind when taking a look at this average home. But with a focus on its quiet location and cozy familiarity, it’s easy to sell this rental with your copy. Check it out:

Make yourself at home at our welcoming family rental, tucked in a tranquil residential setting just outside of the hustle and bustle. Enjoy easy access to all of the area’s best attractions without sacrificing privacy at the end of the day. Large windows let the sunlight in, and a spacious driveway means surprise guests are no problem. In the evenings, take a stroll around the neighborhood – you may just find a local or two to give you the inside scoop.

The Eye Sore

During our time writing about vacation rentals across the world, we’ve come across some – interesting – homes and rooms. But here’s the thing about questionable design choices: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Some might call it ugly, we like to say it has character. There’s an audience for every home, so consider who yours is and play matchmaker with your copy. Here are a few examples.

orange bedroom

Feast your eyes on this bedroom. Pretty psychedelic, right? A photo of this space might scare away the fainter of heart, but with a little copy magic, you can elevate it from disagreeable to quirky. Here’s how we would do it:

Step into the 70’s in a vintage bedroom that you’ll be talking about long after you’ve packed the car to head home. This vibrant space features plush carpeting, a comfy twin and enough playful patterns to satisfy even the freest of spirits. Draw back the curtains and let the sun shine in: this is the hideaway all hippie hearts yearn for.

flower house

There’s a fine line between obnoxious and charming: this home toes it like the best of ‘em. Here’s the joy of it: this paint job adds a special kind of flair to an otherwise typical exterior, and that’s exactly what we’ll focus on in the copy, with a little bit of humor for good measure. Take a look:

Escape to our two-story flower pad surrounded by tropical ferns. From floods of natural light to a spacious driveway and garage with parking for every guest, our home is ready to accommodate and comfort even the largest groups. And with our signature colors and memorable flower mural, you’ll never have to worry about missing us from the street.

The Cramped Quarters

Bigger isn’t always better – there’s a huge audience of vacationers seeking intimate rentals that offer a break from everyday stresses. By tapping into a feeling of warmth and coziness, it’s easy for tiny spaces to score big points. Let’s take a look.

small house

It doesn’t get much smaller than this. By focusing on the secluded vibes and lush surroundings of this tiny house, we can show potential renters that size isn’t what’s important here. We’ll show you how:

Even if it’s the hundredth time you’re visiting our cottage in the trees, you’ll always feel as if you’ve stumbled upon something special. Our humble home has just enough room for you to steal away by yourself or with the one you love – and with its secluded location, it feels more like a hideaway than a weekend rental. There’s no sprawling spaces or luxury appointments hidden in here, but with a vast wilderness to explore, who needs that anyway?

Photo credit: @badlands777magazine

Photo credit: @badlands777magazine

With its minimal square footage and loud patterns, this bathroom’s a double whammy. But its soaking tub and unique design elements give us enough to tap into to sell it with our copy, so long as we keep the right audience in mind. Here’s how:

With it’s checkered tiles and funky pink fittings, this bold bathroom is the perfect respite for one rock n’ roller. Get ready for the day at a spacious single-sink vanity with a large mirror or bring the bubble bath and go for a soak in the tub – rubber ducky optional.

A little umph and an ear tuned to the wants of your renters is all you need to make the most of every ugly, small or boring detail in your rental.

Still stumped on how to turn your shortcomings into something special? We can help. At Guest Hook, our job is to craft great copy that encapsulates vacation rentals, flaws and all. Contact us today to get started.

2016-12-17T09:38:32+00:00 By |Copywriting Tips|5 Comments
  • This is so so valuable! Something I admire in Onefinestay is the “Home Truths” section. Great coverage here, and I think it will also spark some creativity for those funky pink bath tubs. =)

    • Thanks Matt for the comment. I’ve also seen something similar on Oliver’s Travels. They call it “What you should know” but it’s essentially the same concept. It’s a great way of building in some trust despite pointing out some potential shortcomings!

  • Tyann Marcink

    I love this! Embracing the property’s characteristics and promoting them instead of hiding what one might think are negative aspects.

    • Love that turn of phrase Tyann! Embracing the property’s characteristics is a great way of approaching any flaws. We actually discussed this very point on a webinar yesterday. You don’t have to confess every flaw but you should mention something important/obvious. Address it and keep it positive!

  • Tyann Marcink

    I love this! Embracing the property’s characteristics and promoting them instead of hiding what one might think are negative aspects.