Writing that Sells Real Estate
Good real estate writing seizes the attention of buyers, definitively communicates features and advantages, and ultimately gives your client’s property the advantage in a voluminous inventory of choices. Ultimately good writing paints a picture in a buyer’s mind, allowing them to understand your points faster, enjoy your information more and remember it longer. But most importantly great writing compels a potential buyer to action, which is to schedule a showing. Bulls-eye!
Writing great real estate copy artfully blends (boring but necessary) facts with a descriptive benefits for the buyer. Often we are challenged by limited space; therefore, employing concise and powerful words is key. Because real estate writing is a unique skill set, requiring both fact promotion and creative description, very few realtors possess (or have developed) the right brain/left brain ability to pull it off. Instead, skeptical buyers find themselves scrolling through a sea of clichés, over-used adjectives that reveal nothing except that the agent simply didn’t take the time to write a good description. At any given time there are approximately 7 million homes for sale in the United States. That represents a lot of breathtaking, stunning and amazing residential assets for buyers to endure.
Buyers today want instant gratification and understanding. They don’t want to waste their time being misled, or misinformed. They want affirmation when they walk through the door of a property after being influenced by photos and words. One of personal pet peeves, and a huge time-waster, is to make a property sound like something it is not. A misleading property description is just as bad as a lazy one that doesn’t do the property justice.
Today’s real estate buyers simply cannot get enough photos and video with written details that awaken the senses: “cool granite” (touch), “unobstructed, pastoral views” (sight), “fragrant garden border”(smell), “a seasonal creek gently flows past the deck”(sound).
The opposite side to the coin of effective real estate writing is that more real estate attorneys are advising agents to ‘avoid verbs’ altogether. Property descriptions and ad copy have been used in disclosure related lawsuits. Agents are more cautious than ever about editorializing their listing descriptions because of this. However, this should not prevent agents from writing accurate and compelling descriptions. Sadly, some agents spend less than a few minutes quickly typing facts and clichés into the property description section when they load a new listing on to their MLS- bad spelling, poor grammar and all. These are the same agents who upload four photos instead of the 20+ photos most MLS programs allow. And forget photo details, though some will write “kitchen”, duh.
I applaud my colleagues who recognize that good writing plays a significant role in effective real estate marketing. Bad or lazy descriptions are like posting blurry (or upside down) property photos. Why not write in bold letter in the property description: “I’m lazy and I just don’t care!”