As I read Rick & Ines' great post Don't Steal The Show this morning, one line from the post caught my attention. "I have never understood why some agents have a fixation with walking people around a house saying "this is the bathroom, this is the kitchen, this is the pool," isn't that obvious?"
It struck me because this is exactly the same behavior some real estate agents display in their marketing of the home.
We don't buy houses based on information. Buying a house is an emotional decision.
And yet, property descriptions are filled with an endless stream of adjectives that do nothing but add to the noise. When your combing the Internet in your search for a new home, all of the descriptions begin to sound alike. The adjectives are so prevalent that they lose their value. Since I've never read "ugly master bath" before, I pay no attention to the words "beautiful" or "spacious" or "fabulous" or "gorgeous" placed in the description. Basically all you're telling me is that there is a master bath.
And, it really helps me NOT to have you put as the caption to a photo of the front of the house, "front of house." I know this may come as a surprise to some, but if I'm blind and can't see that it's the front of the house from the photo, then I can't read your caption either.
Your job is to get me to begin living in the house. I need to feel that this can be my home.
We start our search for a home based on information. "I'm looking for a four bedroom, three bath house in Woodland Hills, between $650 -$700K." But I've never bought a house based on information. We had been looking for our last home for months and had specific criteria and price range in mind. But the house we ended up buying was $50K over our "budget" and had one fewer bathroom and no master bedroom. We just fell in love with it the moment we walked in. We rationalized the purchase despite the fact that this homes "information" didn't match what we were looking for.
Help the Internet shopper begin the process of falling in love with the house.
Do your clients a favor: use more verbs than adjectives. Don't describe what's in the photo, describe how they're going to feel when they're in the photo! So, instead of "front of house," try "enjoy quiet evenings on the front porch." Instead of "gorgeous master bath," try something like, "soak in your private retreat." Instead of "elegant dining room," which is more a comment on the furniture that will leave with the current owners, try "entertain friends and family." You will set the home apart and yourself at the same time.
Craig Schiller's Real Estaging website has this as one of the reasons to stage a home properly. "Real Estaging creates an image of an inviting lifestyle that potential buyers picture themselves living." Your Internet presentation must have the same goal. Effective titles make a world of difference.
Be creative. Show your seller you understand their home. Try to use verbs when possible. Help the Internet shopper fall in love.
If you have used some creative descriptions that you felt worked well, give 'em up! We can all use the inspiration.