One of your first tasks when you take new listings is to prepare the marketing materials, including property descriptions to be used in MLS and on other real estate portals.
These words, when used properly, can draw both buyer agents and potential buyers to your listing – and make your phone ring with showing requests. They’re your opportunity to make your listing attract the buyer who will fall in love with it. They’re important, and yet…
Too many real estate property descriptions are boring.
Quite often those property descriptions on MLS are as boring as a traffic jam. They’re either filled with facts that are already in the details or weighed down with adjectives such as great, awesome, beautiful, etc.
As you know, those adjectives mean different things to different people, so when used in your description, they don’t mean anything.
Years ago I overheard an agent telling a prospective buyer about a house on acreage. He told her the house was surrounded by “beautiful trees.” Her reply was “The only beautiful tree is a dead tree.” She meant it, too – she did buy that house and she had someone come in and remove every tree.
Your property descriptions should entice, and beckon the right buyers
Property descriptions should paint word pictures that let the reader envision being in the house – and being pleased with what they see. That means you need to add some information that isn’t in the details or evident in the photos. Note that I’m assuming you include plenty of good photos with every listing.
If the photos clearly show that there is a 3-car garage, don’t use valuable space saying so. Instead, say that the garage has X s.f. of additional space for a workbench or exercise area.
Instead of saying the lot has beautiful trees, tell what kind they are: tall pines, apple trees, etc. Instead of a large deck, tell the size. Instead of an awesome kitchen, tell what makes it awesome. (One of my least favorite words, by the way.) Give your readers specifics, not generalities.
Next, remember that people buy with emotion and justify with facts.
That means the benefits are every bit as important as the features. Tell the readers something that makes them think “Oh yes, I’d love that.”
How do you learn the benefits?
First, think about how you would use and enjoy the house if you lived there. What do you see that really appeals to you? Take notes.
Next, ask the homeowner what they love most about it. Ask what prompted them to choose this house over others they saw at the time. Ask what’s best about the floor plan, the location, or the neighborhood. Again, take notes, so you don’t forget.
When you’re ready to write your property description…
Remember that no house will appeal to every buyer in the marketplace – so don’t try to appeal to the masses.
Instead, envision your most likely buyer. Take time to give this some thought.
*Hint: It might be someone similar to who your sellers were when they purchased the home.
- Is it a single person?
- Is it a young couple with children?
- Is it an older couple whose children are grown?
- Is it a person looking to downsize?
- Is it someone moving up to a dream home?
- Perhaps it’s a multi-generational family.
Whoever it is, go through your notes and then think about what they would love most about the home.
Then write about those things.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”
― David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising
I know – MLS doesn’t make it easy to write good property descriptions.
I do occasionally write property descriptions for my clients, so I know what you face.
The limits on word count make it difficult, so it’s important to take the time to consider which benefits and features are the most important. Then try to make every word count. You may be tempted to use a lot of abbreviations in order to say more, but be careful! If the readers can’t figure out what you mean, more words do no good.
If you’re allowed an extra page, you can expand on your descriptions there. If not, perhaps you can add a link to a page your own website, where you can go into more details.
If you’re in a slower market with plenty of competition, consider creating a single property website – one where you can post larger photos and an appealing description of each room, the yard, and even the neighborhood. A domain name is only about $10 to $12, and many web hosts will sell you a package that allows unlimited domains.
Meanwhile, that first short MLS description, along with your photos, is what will make people want to learn more.
Do be sure to post your listings to all the real estate portals on line…
If the local MLS is the only place potential buyers can find your listings and read your property descriptions, you’re probably missing a LOT of possible buyers. Take that extra step.
Fellow Active Rainer Scott Godzyk wrote about that just this week. His market is moving right along, with his listings going under contract in 2 weeks or less, but he met a gentleman whose home hadn’t sold after 4 months. Scott looked it up on line, and here’s what he found…
Thinking of pictures…
Sometimes I really wonder what people were thinking when they posted their MLS photos. This morning I saw two photos taken in a bathroom. One showed a towel hanging above the tile work that I assumed was around the tub. The other showed a towel hanging next to part of a window. Not long ago I saw a photo of a bed – and the top mattress was turned sideways. It DID make me look twice because I wondered “What the heck?”
Why does anyone post pictures of towels or a bed? They aren’t for sale, are they?
The bottom line…
Every description you write and every picture you post has a job to do – and that is to make home buyers and buyers’ agents eager to tour your listing. Take the time to accomplish that goal.
Want more advice on writing a compelling property description?
And… if you’re stuck and want help, write me.
Young family Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Loretta Maimone says
Marte, I loved this particular blog…wait! I love all your blogs, this one especially! Thank you for your informative and useful information each week. No matter how busy I am, I always take the time to read your newletters or blogs,and delete the others.
Marte Cliff says
Thank you so much Loretta! I deeply appreciate your kind words.