Be careful how you describe your listings

Last month I stayed in a room that was described as such: “the room is quite large by the standards of the city.” 

Well that’s great, but in reality the room was barely big enough to fit a queen-sized bed in it.

I had to shuffle sideways around all 3 sides of the bed that weren’t against the wall. 

I am not saying the host was lying. It’s very likely that the room was large by her city’s standards. But I still felt like I was somewhat misled.

If you’re looking for a short term rental, you’re most likely not familiar with the city you’re going to. So most people are going to assume a room a bit larger than that if they get a description like the one I got. 

Be extremely careful in how you word your listing descriptions.

You may say something that’s completely accurate, but still misleading. If people are expecting something different from what they get, they’re going to be disappointed and it’s going to show up in your ratings.

In my example, just adding a few words would have made a huge difference.

Something like “the room is rather small (although actually quite large by the standards of the city)” would have given me totally different expectations. And at the end of the day, I would have given her a much higher rating than I did. 

You may think that you’ll attract more bookings if you keep negative aspects of your space on the down low. That may be true in the beginning. But you’re also going to start racking up less than stellar reviews from unhappy guests, which is going to hurt you in the long run.

Don’t go there! Be upfront and honest about the limitations of your space. This will bring you happier guests, which in turn will make you a happier host! 🙂