How to list a vacation rental property: Building the perfect listing

Come out ahead on top booking sites with Vacasa's recipe for a winning vacation rental listing.

At Vacasa, the most essential marketing tool we have is your vacation rental’s online listing—and we aim to make it as perfect as possible.

Creating an adaptive, beautiful, and optimized online rental listing helps you earn more when you rent. Think of it like a snowball. Little things—like collecting reviews or using great photos—add up to help you get better exposure on vacation rental listing sites, which in turn wins you more business, and ultimately grows your rental income. And with Vacasa, getting the ball rolling toward vacation rental success is effortless.

How do we do it? Check out this 4-minute video overview with our portfolio analyst Chris Murphy, or read on for more details.

What we include in your perfect vacation rental listing

Check out the online profile below—it’s one of our most-saved vacation homes on Vacasa.com. Let’s break down what we’ve done to create this stunning North Carolina home’s vacation rental listing, section by section.

Vacation home photography: pictures you want to click through

When you manage with us, we professionally photograph your vacation rental with its online listing in mind. We capture your whole vacation home from multiple angles. Great photography helps your home look good and shows your guests what they’re getting, so they can book with confidence.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, our Matterport tour’s worth an encyclopedia

We’re not ashamed to admit that we geek out over Matterport’s interactive 3D tours. And your guests will love that they’ll be able to tour your property before they book.

But this above-and-beyond vacation rental listing feature can help you get more nights booked, too—our occupancy rates jumped 14% for rental listings with Matterport tours compared to those without.


Vacation rental pricing: a nightly price that’s always right

How you price your vacation rental matters. And at Vacasa, we’ve developed dynamic pricing technology that creates rates that adjust to a host of factors, including market demand, events, and more. The result? A filled-out calendar that helps you avoid leaving money on the table.

Our industry-leading tech deserves more than can be said here, however. Watch our resident expert explain everything dynamic rates can do for you.

Go in-depth >


Premium vacation rental cleaning: why we speak to your guests’ needs

It’s never been more important to show guests that you’re considering their comfort. That’s why we developed Vacasa Premium Clean. It’s our typical high standard of care, enhanced to follow CDC guidelines around cleaning when it matters most.

And the best part? Vacasa Premium Clean comes standard with our full-service property management. So you can feel confident renting—and your guests can feel comfortable booking.

See more about our cleaning process >

Vacation rental descriptions: professionally written copy inspires and informs

Our professional copywriting team fuses your insights, local knowledge, and sought-after keywords into a magnetic listing description that captures why your short-term rental is the perfect launchpad for a great vacation.

Vacation rental amenities sell guests on your vacation home

And listing your amenities clearly is a powerful way to get found online, too. We make it easy to see (and filter for) all the perks your home has to offer.

So when your guests book, they know what they’ll have on-hand when they arrive—and what activities they can get excited about.

Vacation rental reviews give you cred (and make it easier for visitors to book)

Do you read reviews before you buy something online? According to Inc., you’re not alone—91% of people look at reviews before purchasing, and 84% of people trust them as much as a friend’s recommendation. And what’s more, good reviews help you rank higher on booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo.

We not only include reviews in our listings, but ask your guests for their thoughts after their visit. That means you get good feedback more often—which helps generate more bookings for higher nightly rates.

But we don’t stop at the perfect vacation rental listing

There are a lot of places to book a vacation home these days, and homeowners who rent independently have to make hard choices about how—and where—they can afford to market online.

At Vacasa, we put your home on every booking site that counts, directly market to people who’d be interested in your vacation rental, and drive more people to your listing from Google searches—all automatically.

Learn more about our marketing >


Ready to make the most of your vacation home? We’re here to help.

Vacation rental listing FAQ

There’s no one kind of renter, just as there's no one kind of vacation rental. Some people like to go big when they go to a vacation home, searching for beachfront properties, private pools, and other luxurious amenities. Other travelers enjoy simpler pleasures, like a comfortable outdoor space.

It’s OK if you don’t own waterfront property—small touches can have an impressive impact. Consider the features of your home, then tailor your amenities to make those selling points even better. If you own a home near a beach or lake, add a few beach chairs, umbrellas, and floaties to your home’s inventory. Modernize your entertainment setup with a smart TV for easy streaming, and invest in a quality WiFi connection for remote workers and students.

But of all the upgrades out there, there are two major amenities you definitely should consider (if you have the ability). Guests increasingly search for pet-friendly vacation rentals and properties with hot tubs. Those upgrades can pay off: Vacasa homeowners have seen significant boosts to their income after making these changes to their properties.

With thousands of listing sites to choose from, figuring out where to advertise your vacation rental can be confusing. But selecting the right places to list your home can also be critically important.

At Vacasa, we know a thing or two about marketing. Check out our guide to the largest vacation rental websites to learn all about the pros and cons of Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other marketing channels critical to your business. And have a look at our comprehensive vacation rental marketing guide to learn how to make the most of your listing on every channel.

Competition in the vacation rental market is fierce, but there are concrete steps you can take to help your home win bookings online.

As you make a plan to improve your listing, ask yourself: “How will this affect my reviews?” Guest reviews are one of the most powerful data points that booking site algorithms use—and they're a rich resource for inspiration as you continue to grow your short term rental’s business.

With guest feedback in mind, consider what they see when they search for your home. Are your photographs done by a professional? Is your home well-designed and comfortable? Is the description of the amenities informative and keyword-rich? Your guests will notice (and reward) attention paid to the details of their stay.

Need some inspiration? See what makes these guest-favorite Vacasa homes shine online.

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Call 866-668-4282 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.

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