Properties that stand out to potential buyers within a marketplace have a higher chance of selling quickly than those that don’t. Most marketers will tell you that content can help you grab your audience’s attention, and the same principle applies to real estate listings. For a house or apartment to stick in potential buyers’ minds, the listing needs to stand out.
However, it takes a lot of skill to make a real estate listing evoke feelings and emotions that would lead to buyers being interested. Here, 13 experts from Forbes Real Estate Council share valuable insight into how agents can craft attention-grabbing listings to ensure they catch the audience’s attention.
Members of Forbes Real Estate Council detail how agents can craft listings that attract attention.
1. Keep It Honest
Make sure you keep the listing honest. Buyers aren’t stupid and nothing is worse than finding out someone wasted your time because the pictures hid the garbage dump next door for example. Cozy? Not for a family but great for a working single. Vintage? It will need updates. You’ll be amazed at how legitimate pricing and honesty will attract bonafide interest. Respect the buyers and they’ll respect the process. – Charles Argianas, Argianas & Associates, Inc.
2. Hire A Professional Writer
Marketing strategies have been completely redefined in all businesses—if you think of any car commercial, the advertisements just focus on lifestyle and no technical specification is typically mentioned. It is essential to not only understand the stats of a property but also the story behind it. Start by looking for a playwright or someone that specializes in story writing. – Marco Del Zotto, LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty – Breckenridge CO
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3. Include MLS Data
Even if specific data is included in the MLS for data input (taxes, assessed value, size of the parcel, etc.), if it’s a positive attribute repeat it in the public listing description. Remember that not all MLS fields feed out to public sites. For example, “Low taxes under $1500 per year” or “public water and sewer” should be repeated in the text, not just in the data input field if it will help sell the property. – Erica Ramus, RAMUS Realty Group
4. Use Descriptive Language
You should always aim to use descriptive, meaningful language. Too many listing agents and property sellers try to use fancy words which actually say nothing about the property. It is much more effective to use words that describe specific features and characteristics of the property. Use specific numbers as well. – Taylor Valore, Mashvisor
5. Use The Hook, Story And Offer Method
Follow the hook, story and offer marketing method in order to write a compelling property description that will capture a buyer’s attention. First, hook the reader with an opening sentence that highlights what features would be most beneficial for the new owner. Then, go into the traditional features and amenities, such as beds, baths, square feet, etc. Finally, close with a sense of urgency. – Kris Lippi, ISoldMyHouse.com
6. Emphasize Pandemic-Relevant Aspects
With the current pandemic, buyers are looking for bonus rooms, ADUs, garages and large yards. Emphasizing these elements in a listing to appeal to work-from-home buyers is proving to be a winning tactic. It is also important to create a narrative that gives prospective buyers a sense of their future in the home. Stories build emotional connections which lead to financial commitments. – Megan Micco, Compass
7. Provide As Much Detail As Possible
One trend that real estate professionals need to sunset is taking shortcuts with listing details. Err on the side of thoroughness and transparency versus briefness and simplicity. When consumers come across your listing, they’re looking for details and information. With such a shift to virtual options, providing as much detail as possible is the best first impression one can make. – Matt Weirich, Realync
8. Highlight The Property’s Location
I tend to not only highlight the home and its features but also the location of the home. For example, a home could be in a community by a busy street but the home itself is away from the street. Potential buyers and their realtors need to know that. – Abhi Indap, Keller Williams Benchmark Properties (Brokerage)
9. Communicate What The Photos Can’t
Photos are always worth a thousand words, so when writing about my listings, I do my best to communicate what the photos and 3D tour can’t. I always try to highlight the location and proximity to entertainment, freeway access, etc. I’d also recommend highlighting features like included appliances or materials used and explaining how the floorplan can contribute to a buyer’s lifestyle. – Jennifer Anderson, Anderson Coastal Group
10. Use Relevant Keywords
Keywords are crucial. People are searching for “updated,” “stainless” and “granite” or other surface types. I consider who the potential buyer is and work to gear the listing toward that buyer: affordable, first-time homebuyer, no HOA, schools that are important, accessibility to commutes, parks and green space. Think about how a property makes the life of the owner better. – Michelle Ames, HorsePower Team Texas/Independent Realty
11. Talk More About Potential
Talk less about a property’s features and more about its potential or the things that truly matter to a future owner. Pools are nice and all but telling a family about the potential of a den being playroom for a growing family pays dividends. See things from the vantage point of the potential buyer. Less material, more practical works every time. – Chris Turcotte, Centum Financial Group
12. Highlight What Makes It Unique
Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Describe the features in the areas of the home that sell the house—kitchen, master bath, master bedroom. Anything that is unique about the house that a buyer would have trouble finding in other houses is also important, i.e., a backyard facing water, a backyard facing woods, a five-acre lot, etc. – Nick Ron, House Buyers of America
13. Include Upgrades And Warranties
Include any upgrades to the major systems and warranties that are available to the buyer. List the year of the upgrades and corresponding warranties. This will assure the buyer they are getting value for their money and that the buyer won’t incur costs immediately for replacing HVAC, electrical or costly upgrades to the property. – Nancy Wallace-Laabs, Profitable Landlord System
Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level executives in the real estate industry.