Agents failing to ‘stimulate emotional interest’ with ads

Some agents are making two crucial mistakes when creating their online listings, a prominent industry identity believes.

Geoff Baldwin, chairman of the Certified Practicing Real Estate Agent association, said some agents don’t realise the harm they do when they bombard buyers with information and fail to target their emotions.

Mr Baldwin said emotion is the biggest driver in any purchase, with buyers more likely to respond to emotional triggers than long lists of features.

“The majority of today’s real estate advertisements consist of long lists of features and ramblings about what is in a property, with little focus on how the property can provide benefits to which prospective buyers can relate,” he said.

“The emphasis is now on telling buyers what is in a property rather than getting them emotionally involved by telling them how the property can change their lives. After all, isn't that the aim of buying a new home?”

Mr Baldwin said the real estate industry could learn lessons from the car industry, which he believes better understands the motivations of buyers. Car ads say very little about the features of a car, and instead emphasise lifestyle, fun and family, he added.

Mr Baldwin said agents can also be guilty of “information overload” with their online listings.

Before the internet, agents often put too little information in their listings; now, they seem to be guilty of including too much descriptive text, according to Mr Baldwin.

Another mistake can be to include too many photos, so that images of attractive parts of the house get cancelled out by shots of untidy garages and weed-ridden gardens, he said.

“Savvy agents understand that property advertising is not designed to sell a property. It is primarily aimed at producing inquiry and viewings – in other words, getting people to the property so that they become emotionally attached and hopefully make an offer,” he said.

“Too much information can be counterproductive, so forget about the 500-word essay and the myriad of images and just focus on providing enough information to create curiosity, stimulate emotional interest, and ultimately to encourage enquiry and viewings.”

[Related: Geoff Baldwin urges agents not to badmouth each other]

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