In an era of seemingly unlimited digital distractions and quickly shrinking attention spans, how can real estate agents write listings that capture prospects’ imagination? Photos are critical for making one ad stand out from the next, but the right words can persuade prospective buyers to notice an ad in the first place and then to take the next step — driving by a property or, better yet, reaching out to an agent.
How can real estate agents ensure that the words in their listings pack the right amount of punch?
1. Know what to highlight
Listings should focus on the property’s most important features, including square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, quality of the neighborhood and, most importantly, schools. In addition, buyers will want to know about a garage, distinguishing features like scenic views, recent renovations and extras like fireplaces and decks.
2. Use effective words (and avoid the clunkers)
Some words can compel prospective buyers to take action, while others may have the opposite effect. The problem, often, is knowing which is which. One study of real estate listings revealed some words that work, including: curb appeal, gourmet, granite, maple and fixer upper. Especially effective was “beautiful,” which appeared to help homes sell more quickly.
At the other end of the spectrum, words that did not help with selling a home included: motivated, value, must sell, clean and vacant.
3. Tell a story
Ads that imagine how buyers might use a home’s unique features can help to make a sale. For example, rather than simply stating that a home has a gourmet kitchen, an effective ad might set the scene of entertaining friends around the granite-topped bar in a spacious home with plenty of natural light.
4. Get the headline right
An attention-seizing headline can mean the difference between a buyer clicking on a specific ad or surfing right past it. In many cases, the headline is the first and only chance of persuading a buyer to take a closer look, and every word should count. While exaggeration or flat-out dishonesty won’t work, humor and highly descriptive words can help listings stand out from the crowd.
The value of a compelling listing
While real estate agents can’t control a home’s location, size or core features, they can write the most compelling listing possible. By highlighting the right features, choosing words carefully, creating a relatable story and crafting an alluring headline, agents can significantly increase the chances that buyers will take a closer look.