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How to craft a rental listing that makes families fall in love with your cottage

Looking to rent out your cottage or cabin for extra income? By listing your property on Vrbo Canada, you can connect with millions of travelers from around the world, and reach those great guests that will appreciate and value your property. 

To help your vacation rental stand out on the site, and to attract families and groups looking to make the most of their “together” time, you’ll want to craft a thoughtful listing that highlights the main features of your cottage and showcases its unique qualities. Renters may be searching for specific locations, dates,  and amenities, but the contents of your listing are the key to catching their attention and inspiring bookings. To help you get started, here are four tips for creating a successful rental listing for your cottage.

Craft an inspiring headline

The headline or title of your listing is likely the first thing prospective guests will see while scrolling through search results. You want to be creative but also descriptive—avoid generic and vague titles, and try to home in on the key features of your property in a single sentence if possible. 

Ideally, you want to have a memorable headline that describes the property type and location. And if possible, include terms from Vrbo’s most popular search filters: cabin, cottage, pets allowed, house, hot tub, and oceanfront. Consider the appeal of a generic title like “Two Bedroom Deluxe Cabin” versus something more creative like “Beautiful Retreat by Lake Muskoka” or “Oceanfront Luxury Cottage by Eagle Reach.”

Be specific and detailed

The main description of your cottage is where you can convey key information to prospective renters about your cottage, and the types of travelers that it would be best suited for. You want to highlight any standout features of the property, mention any house rules, and authentically describe the amenities that would be most attractive to families looking for an idyllic or exciting getaway. For example, is your cottage close to a popular provincial or national park? Or are there many children’s games or water toys available to renters? This is where you could talk about the amazing sunset views, how there’s great fishing, and any other activities that groups can enjoy together. 

Share great photos

It’s fine to take listing photos on a smartphone if you don’t have a digital camera, as long as they follow Vrbo’s general photo guidelines. But well-lit, nicely cropped images from a good angle are crucial—they can bring your listing descriptions to life. Tidy up and declutter before taking any shots, and consider waiting for a sunny day if your rooms don’t get a lot of light. 

The main or featured photo in your listing should showcase the most appealing view of your cottage, whether that’s the beautiful exterior or the spacious living room where families can gather and play board games and watch movies on rainy days. The rest of the photos can be more informational, showing prospective renters how each bedroom is set up, what the dock and waterfront look like (if applicable), and the top amenities of the cottage, whether it’s a hot tub with a view or a sandy beach that’s child-friendly.

Check all the right boxes 

Amenities and location tags are important tools for promoting your rental. Location tags like “beachfront,” “beach view,” or even “Muskoka” can be helpful for renters since the exact address of your cottage won’t be provided until after booking. 

When putting together your listing, you want to check off any applicable amenities, providing additional details where relevant—for example, is it a wood-burning or an electric fireplace? Remember that some amenities may be must-haves for travelers, and your cottage won’t appear in their search results if your listing omits those features. 

Looking to make memories with your family at a cottage this season? Find a rental that’s perfect for you with the help of Vrbo.