How to Hack the Airbnb Algorithm (SS4)

Vacation Rental Copy & Photography 101

Welcome back to Success Unlocked, where our hosting business master membership coaches discuss operations, social media, unique builds, co-hosting strategies, and much more. This week’s episode is Systems Shakedown, hosted by Wendy Doris.

Wendy welcomes our very own Sarah Karakaian to go deep on what makes effective copy and photography in vacation rental listings. They share the latest wisdom on hero images, aspect ratios, collages, and so much more – before delving into the power of the pen, and how to write bookings-boosting description copy.

Wrapping up, they share their most important lessons learned from testing and tweaking their listings while singing the praises of constant experimentation, data-fueled insights, and keeping a sharp eye on the competition. 

(00:03:14) Quick Tips for Optimizing Photography

  • Prioritize an effective hero image for your STR listing
  • Differentiating from similar local listings 
  • What order should your photos be in?
  • How to preview your listing on mobile-view
  • When should you get new photos for your listing?

(00:18:29) Writing Effective Copy to Describe Your Listing

  • Too much or too little? Cut the fluff
  • Showing personality without overdoing it 
  • Writing image captions with purpose 
  • Writing for the new Airbnb page sections 

(00:25:26) Seeking Outside Opinions & Checking for Updates

  • Review your property with fresh eyes
  • Use marketing budget to fund a survey booking
  • Checking for new amenities in the platform
  • Schedule listing reviews on your operational calendar 
  • Track listing changes alongside booking success trends

(00:31:07) Tips for Testing & Experimentation

  • Mentioning big dates and events in your title
  • How often to tweak your listings and pricing
  • Seasonal sales and special discounts 
  • Collage photos, or no?
  • Leaning into trial and error 
  • Staying inspired by other hosts

Download a transcript of this episode.


Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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