Should your property have a name?
In short: yes. It is critical to have a memorable, enticing name for your property.
Why? To stand out, to be remembered, to be sharable by word of mouth and to be trusted.
90% of listings on online travel agent sites (eg: HomeAway) make the mistake of thinking they need to include features of the property in the title. When everyone does that, no listing is memorable – each description becomes a blur of poorly cobbled facts.
Try these real-life examples taken from a search result list on a popular portal:
- 'Private bayfront home. Pool, Hot Tub, Dock & View'
- 'Waterfront tropical escape - Private Home, Pool and Dockage'
- 'Beautiful waterfront home in the heart of town'
All sound the same, all make the mistake of not having a memorable name. There is nothing unique that entices a click in the list above. Guests wanting a feature can usually search it specifically anyway using advanced search tools.
Fact: Most guests will visit a portal and/or search engine several times over several days or weeks before making a booking. Many do not bookmark properties. So over several days they effectively start a fresh search every time. A great hero/thumbnail photo in search is critical and memorable to a degree, but let’s face it – most pools look the same after you have looked at a bunch of them (ditto for other features commonly in hero shots). The other factor on a search results page that should be memorable is the listing title.
Bottom line: If you do not have a memorable listing title you are giving away 50% of the memorability factor in a list of search results. And the only memorable title is a distinctive name. A list of features will never be remembered.
A good name is not just important to stand out in a list of search results.
- Past guests need a name to remember when they want to re-book and go to find you on Google.
- They also need a name to give to a friend or colleague over the water cooler. Are they going to say to their friend “search the place we stayed last year – it was awesome! It’s called ‘Private bayfront home. Pool, Hot Tub, Dock & View’. That is just not going to work.
- A name also makes your property appear more professional solid and trustworthy.
- Many VR commentators agree that properties with a name get booked more.
Action This Idea
Here is our formula for building a great name:
Include a feature – Pick the single most enticing physical feature of your property
Include a benefit – Pick a benefit that guests will gain by staying at your property
Include style – What is the style of your property or its setting that past guests comment most on?
Include location – Always include a location name in your property name. It helps SEO and fires off recognition in the mind of the searcher. If you are not in a known location, add 'near X'.
Using the formula above, here's an example:
"Oceana Vista Beachfront at Bay Point"
Feature = Beachfront (a key physical feature of the property that guests really seek)
Benefit = Vista (wonderful views are a benefit guests love)
Style = Oceana (implies beachy style)
Location = Bay Point (if your location is not as hot, add 'near X')
We've deliberately picked a really easy name for this example, just to show you do not have to be Hemingway to come up with an effective name. Of course, the more imagination you apply, the more memorable your name will be. Playing on words (eg: 'Oceana' instead of just 'Ocean') is a great place to start to spice things up.
Now come up with your unique name using the formula above!