Are You Making an Impact in Your Listing With Words?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

 As a marketer (yes, we are, or should be), it is important to understand the impact of words in your listings so you may create the desired impression, convey essential information accurately, and encourage the reader to take action and come see the house.

The impact you create from words can be either positive or negative, and might NOT be what you intend. So a careful review of what is written, and an objective focus on the impact that may be created, will let you know if the desired effect is likely to be achieved.

 

THINGS TO DO:

  • Appealing to the emotions of the reader (in our case as listing agent, the buyer) is essential, as opposed to focusing purely on facts, numbers (bedrooms, baths, square footage) and other "dry" information. It will have a greater impact. Buyers buy with emotions and justify with logic, in general. And since so many listings focus on "the facts" why not go one better and focus on words that convey the joys and comforts of homeownership.
  • Certainly one must convey important information about a property that buyers will want to know, or should know. And this must be done accurately, so use the right words.  But if you don't know or are not sure, either don't say it or check first. Make sure you are not implying a fact when it is not

 SOME THINGS NOT TO DO:

  • If your spelling is poor, and there are typos, you can well imagine the potential negative impact this might have on the reader. Spelling errors are rampant in MLS listings, and no matter how much is said they seem to continue. Some are truly laughable ("walking closets" for example). And embarrassing for you, the writer, and perhaps also the client. And they distract the reader from the content. Will someone not tour a home for this reason? Unlikely, but still, aren't you supposed to be doing a good job for your client?
  • Certain words seem to get misspelled or misused, and do not convey a positive impact - their instead of there, hear instead of here, its instead of it's (it is), to name a few.
  • Puffery and exaggeration may be used with the intent to create impact, or to draw attention away from other less positive qualities of the listing, but I dare say they often don't work. It is likely obvious what the writer is doing, and it's deceptive and a tad bit dishonest. Expressing an opinion about a property that is not factual, or exaggeration, could be misrepresentation, especially if believed by the buyer.

 A few words that drive me nuts:

Yes, it's my personal opinion, but perhaps they bother others too.

  • "Doll house" and "cute as a button" (never got that one), for example. Says miniscule to me...how about you?
  • "Priced to sell"...hmmm, really? I suppose that IS the objective, so why restate it. But when the price says something else, I really am perplexed
  • "Won't last" is one of the best. Why say it at all? But it really looks dumb when 6 months later it still says "won't last." And those seem to be the only homes where this is said - the ones that didn't last didn't need it said, for obvious reasons
  • "Sold as is" conveys all sorts of things, some good and some not so good
  • "Must see to appreciate" always cracks me up - your pictures suck, in other words. Somehow this always makes me suspicious of what I am going to find
  • "Bring all offers" - I don't get this one either. Hmmm, are they saying the house is WAY overpriced so they know they need to encourage lower offers, if they get any at all?

Any favorite ones that irk YOU?

So what kind of impact do YOUR words make in your listings?

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Tags:
agents
listing

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
3,823,247
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Jeff yes I have always like the "Priced to Sell" comment myself.  Every time I see it I want to ask if they price houses not to sell :)
Sep 21, 2007 03:28 PM #15
Rainmaker
139,624
Vicki Lloyd
The Lloyd Realty Group - San Diego, CA
(619)452-9798, Real Estate San Diego California

Hi Jeff -

On the mis-spellings I've seen several times : "Hugh yard - room for pool!"   (I have a friend named Hugh, and we call him "Huge" just for fun!)

"Bring all offers" is agent code for "my listing is expiring soon, so help me pretend that there is some hope that this turkey will sell someday."

 

Sep 21, 2007 04:04 PM #16
Rainmaker
185,697
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Jeff, what a great post!  Let's see you hit all my pet peeves - misspellings, horrible photos and ridiculous phrases.  Some of my favorites are "This house sells itself" - really?   and "Bring your pickiest buyers" or "updates gallore" which are nowhere to be found when you get to the property.

Sep 21, 2007 04:30 PM #17
Rainmaker
237,793
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

I cannot stand misspelled words.  Another pet peeve is when a feature is described in the text - such as "incredible view" and then there's no photo...huh?  If it's so incredible, why didn't you take a bleeping picture and put it in the listing?  My number one sore spot is a listing that is 9 months old with no photos.  Can you say fiduciary?

WHEW - I feel better now.  Thanks!

Marlene

Sep 21, 2007 05:53 PM #18
Ambassador
1,090,840
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

"Call for more information" ...just for that I'm not going to call.

"Needs TLC".... why? Is is going to fall down after we close? Major repairs? Something band aids won't fix?

Sep 21, 2007 06:06 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,010,231
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida
"Owner Says Sell" and "Better than New" irk me, for obvious reasons.
Sep 22, 2007 02:26 AM #20
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

George - LOL. And so often they do, don't they?

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:37 AM #21
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Haha, Vicki - that's a good one.

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:39 AM #22
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Irina - Thanks, they seem to be the things that irk lots of us. And you see them regularly. I often ask about the updates since they aren't obvious, or so minimal that it makes no difference.

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:43 AM #23
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Marlene - the view thing drives me nuts. So often you see "ocean" view and nothing...not a hint of a picture. And like you, I am always amazed when I see NO photos at all weeks or months later, And it's not all that uncommon. Thanks for ranting.

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:47 AM #24
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sally - Needs TLC has always struck me as odd. And sometimes the TLC is so major that a gut might be better. Thanks for the comments.

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:49 AM #25
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Kevin - LOL. Owner says sells is not unlike Priced to sell. Why say that when the price says Owner doesn't want to sell. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Jeff

Sep 22, 2007 02:51 AM #26
Rainmaker
344,530
Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate
Hi, Jeff!  The most egregious to me, and it doesn't even involve words, is not having a single picture of the listing for days.  Ditto on the spelling and puffery.  Thanks for sharing!
Sep 22, 2007 02:59 AM #27
Rainer
96,539
Karen Villa Schweinfurth
RE/MAX Northwest Realtors, Inc. 425-308-3669 - Everett, WA
ABR, CRS, SRES, CyberStar
Hi Jeff, "excellent floor plan" is big here. Just what does that mean? And "peek a boo view" since we have Sound views here. This means standing on your tippee toes on the roof, usually.
Sep 22, 2007 05:24 AM #28
Rainmaker
409,251
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

To funny, but sooo true, "Bring your pickiest buyer" - not a chance in H*ll!!! I want to sell these pickies something,  I have but one nerve left, and they have been on it for 2, I say 2 months!!!!!

Oh! and I live in Florida and when you see "ocean view" duh, is that from the SELLERS PORCH? or the NEIGHBOR'S  BALCONY?!!!    Paaleeeze!!!!!

Or water view....From where??? Not from any windows in the house.  Now, if I walk to the end of the yard, and look down about 12 feet, there is a small canal about 20 feet wide... Come on people....

LOLOL

Karen Monsour, Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Sep 22, 2007 06:40 AM #29
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Yolanda - thank for your thoughts. Those things drive me nuts, too. And what about the client?

Jeff

Sep 23, 2007 05:55 PM #30
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Karen - LOL. The view thing is a biggie here too. Yep, the house has one, if you stand on tiptoes and look out the master bedroom window. But then we get those where there IS a view but no photo. Seems like we all have similar issues.

Jeff

Sep 23, 2007 05:57 PM #31
Ambassador
4,014,486
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ha ha, Karen. Same stuff here, too. "Don't bother to preview" is another. Guess you find the same problems everywhere. I always wonder if any of there statements REALLY makes a difference?

Jeff

Sep 23, 2007 06:00 PM #32
Ambassador
261,096
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity
I liked the listing that described the location as "bucolic" and the listing that described the home as unique.  I actually sold the unique home and they were right.  I probably had the only buyer in our market that would appreciate the uniqueness of the listing and fortunately for them, she qualified for the loan.
Sep 23, 2007 07:18 PM #33
Rainmaker
564,323
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Crappy ad copy will drive away buyers (and prospective listing clients) faster than anything.  It makes some agents look pretty bad.  Some agent remarks are so awful they should be mailed to Jay Leno at the Tonight Show!

I remember listening to a couple of college professors at a restaurant who were looking at a real estate flyer and laughing at the ridiculous description of the property. 

Sep 23, 2007 07:28 PM #34
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Ambassador
4,014,486

Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information