Have you ever received an email from a colleague that was so poorly written you lost a little respect for them? The same rules of professionalism apply to your property listings.
When your property photos look great, the market is healthy and you’re achieving strong interest from buyers, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the words in your listing.
After all, writing listings is a time drain. You’re already juggling multiple deadlines, the phone won’t stop ringing, and you need to get the listing copy crossed off your ‘to-do’ list as quickly as possible.
But producing professional-quality property listings is about more than the buyer. Your listings also communicate your professional standards to potential vendors and the industry at large.
How can you be taken seriously if your listings are spattered with errors, fail to express the unique selling points of a home or are simply a bare-bones list of run-of-the-mill features dressed in empty adjectives?
It sounds like a steep hill to climb, but here are three tricks of the trade you can use today to instantly improve your property listings.
1. Delete empty adjectives
Poor real estate copywriting tends to use excessive adjectives to patch over its failure to connect with its target market and articulate what specifically makes each individual property special.
So, go through your listings and delete every adjective that doesn’t provide specific information about the particular property. Then replace the empty adjectives with real descriptors that contribute to building the buyer’s vision of the property.
For example, if you’re writing about a kitchen, don’t simply describe it as ‘gourmet’. Rather, be specific about the features that will spike the interest of your target market.
Like all good sales copy, property listings should be focused around the property’s specific selling points. Don’t waste your words on meaningless generalisations.
2. Refer closely to the floorplan
Good real estate copywriting builds on the value of your photography by linking the images together to provide a ‘walk-through’ experience for potential buyers.
Think of the copy in your listing as the tour guide. Building context around the photos, floorplan and video footage helps create a clear vision of the property in the buyer’s mind.
Rather than a simple list of features, a walk-through narrative will encourage your readers to picture themselves inside the property and help create an emotional connection over and above a rational one.
Refer closely to the floorplan as you write the listing. This will help you keep the flow of the home at front of mind.
3. Proofread like a pro
Making basic errors in your listings will quickly erode your professionalism, not only among buyers but more importantly among potential vendors who may be reviewing your past listings to assess your performance as an agent.
Use short, sharp sentences that are clear and to the point, and don’t overuse punctuation to extend a sentence. To help achieve this, avoid using dashes, semi-colons, colons and ellipses unless you understand their specific functions.
And be sure to get common industry terms and brand names correct. For example, it’s ‘Caesarstone’ not ‘ceasar stone’; ‘Colorbond’ not ‘colourbond’; and ‘Miele’ not ‘mielle’.
An old editor’s trick is to read your listing backwards. Doing so will force your brain to slow down to read every word individually and typos will become much easier to spot.
Investing a little more time in writing your property listings will make a big difference to how buyers, vendors and industry peers evaluate your professionalism. Don’t gamble your professional image on poor copywriting.