How to Write And Edit Captions for Your Rental Portfolio
People read captions. While an image may be the main focus, a photo caption helps convey an experience. Here’s how to write captions that make guests want to book.
In this article:
- Why a Photo Caption Matters
- What to Include in a Photo Caption
- Photo Caption Best Practices
- Photo Caption Mistakes To Avoid
How to Write an Irresistible Photo Caption
Why a Photo Caption Matters
Many home-owners believe photo captions don’t matter. However, it might be more important than property descriptions because people are hardwired to consume information in a specific way.
According to an eye-tracking study, people read headings first, then look at images and photo captions. For this reason, they’re far more likely to read a photo caption before reading property descriptions.
Thus, a photo caption is your first chance to win guests over. Likewise, a pointless or weak caption may convince them to move on to the next rental.
Captions are also an easy way to add more information. For example, if you couldn’t mention the shower’s water pressure in the property description, a photo caption is a perfect place to add it.
A potential guest might focus on the image, but the caption helps them feel like staying at the property. And, that’s what you want.
What to Include in a Photo Caption
Many home-owners neglect captions because they don’t know what to write. Or they think it’s futile to waste time on captions.
Luckily, to write captions, you only need to include one of three things:
Explain Hidden or Extra Features
Focus on the not-so-obvious details. Include valuable information a guest won’t know by looking at a photo.
For instance, are the towel racks in the bathroom heated? Add it in the caption. Also, address the door if there’s one in the photo. Is it a walk-in closet, or does it lead to a private balcony?
If you can’t capture a particular part of a room, let guests know about it in the caption.
Describe the Experience
You’re renting a property, but guests are buying a holiday experience. And, people’s choices are emotional, but they justify it with logic.
In other words, it’s not only your property’s features that convert bookings. The emotions you trigger are equally, if not more, important.
Additionally, people like to touch, smell, hear, and taste things before spending their hard-earned money. That’s not possible with rental listings. But, you can still engage guests with descriptive captions.
Let’s say you have a rooftop pool. From the photo, guests can tell what it is. Describe the experience with: “Unwind next to the rooftop pool and watch the city’s sunset.”
In short, a sensory description that evokes positive emotion creates a stronger desire to stay at a property than merely knowing the features.
Quote a Happy Guest
It’s not always easy to write a caption. So, when writer’s block strikes, turn to happy guests for captions.
Read through the reviews and choose a quote that relates to the photo or captures it best. Add quotation marks, the reviewer’s name, and voila!
Social proof is a valuable asset because it’s the deciding factor for many guests.
Besides, they may be better at describing an experience from a guest’s point of view. Chances are they love things about your property you’ve already forgotten.
Photo Caption Best Practices
When it comes to writing captions, success is in the details. The best captions are straightforward, inviting, precise, and accurate.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind to help you craft a wish-I-was-there caption.
- Write captions in a conversational tone, almost like you’re talking to a friend. It’s easier to read and helps create a bond with your audience.
- Keep it short and write the most important information first. Readers scan texts to look for something of interest. Information at the start increases the odds of a reader noticing it and reading further.
- Ask a question. Do you want to hook readers with your captions? A question forces a reader to pause momentarily and think about the answer. Use it sparingly, however.
- Write a couple of drafts. Your first attempt won’t necessarily be your best. Write a few and choose one that works the best. And, if you think of a better caption later, change it.
Additionally, add a location to the caption to improve SEO, when relevant. People search for properties related to an area or landmark. For example, if you caption a photo with “Experience the best view of downtown Boston,” your listing will show up in search results for rentals in the area.
Photo Caption Mistakes To Avoid
A great caption can hook a reader and entice them to read further. On the other hand, no caption is better than a terrible one. It can stop someone from looking at the rest of your listing and instantly cost you a booking.
The good news is, it’s easy to avoid caption mistakes. Here’s how:
- Avoid generic descriptions with no value. If a photo clearly shows the kitchen, don’t caption it as “The Kitchen.” Add more value to it. Ask yourself: What makes it better than the neighbor’s kitchen?
- Spelling and grammar errors can make you come across as unprofessional. While we’re at it, avoid writing in all caps.
- Avoid not relatable or irrelevant captions. You are writing for an audience. If a caption is unrelatable or irrelevant, they have no reason to continue reading.
- Large clusters of text are intimidating. Less is sometimes more. Stick to a short sentence or two.
A photo grabs attention, but a caption can draw readers in and convey an experience. It’s arguably one of the most valuable pieces of your text. However, it’s something hosts often overlook when setting up their rental portfolio. Captions are the prime real estate of your listing. So use it to your advantage.
BoomSTR can help you craft captions that let people jump right in the photo. Book your appointment today!
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