You write a property description for every one of your listings, and when you're writing for MLS you're often limited to what I think are too few words. You’re also confined to one long paragraph, which stinks, but there it is.
That means you need to make every one of those words count. After all, those descriptions could be the key to more showings and faster offers.
In some markets today, I suppose it doesn't matter, but in others, every bit of marketing matters.
So why do so many agents repeat what's in the details section – such as the number of bedrooms and baths, the size of the property, etc.?
In some cases it's because there isn't much else to say. I've been there and done that – staring at a piece of paper trying to think of just one good thing to say about a new listing. For the ugly singlewide mobile I'm thinking of I finally settled on the large, level lot. It had no trees or other vegetation to remove so was perfect for building a garage or putting in a garden.
In other cases…Perhaps it's just a matter of not taking enough time to think about the house before starting to write.
Next time, try this:
First, ask the homeowner what he or she (or they) enjoy most about the home and/or the neighborhood. They might alert you to something you haven’t noticed as a visitor.
Next, make a list of all the benefits and features that aren't included in the details section. A buyer may be searching for a bay window, a greenhouse room, or a nursery off the master bedroom. Don't make him or her personally visit every listing in town to find it.
Now make a list of the things that are included in details, but not in a way that makes them stand out. For instance, the listing details might note that a range is included, but not that it's a 6-burner Viking gas range.
Think about what this house offers that other similar homes don't offer. What does it have that would cause a buyer to choose it over another if all other features and benefits were equal?
Last, now that you've really looked at what the house has to offer, what are the one or two items that are most important?
Mention those first, and mention them in an interesting manner. Write a narrative that puts the reader in the house – not a dry list of features and benefits. Your words should paint "mind pictures" that bring that house to life.
Write more for your own blog or property web page...
Now that you have all that good information, you’ll have to pare it down for the MLS – but you don’t have to pare it down for your own website. When you blog about this new listing, use separate paragraphs so the features and benefits don’t get lost in “the wall of words” and expand on all the best points.
One more thing… Proofread!
Make sure you haven't misspelled or misused a word. Make sure you haven't used an abbreviation that confuses or misleads. Make sure you haven't added an apostrophe to form a plural.
As Gwen Banta so hilariously reminds us in her bloopers columns, failure to proofread can make an agent look stupid – or even make them look like they're writing porn. Here’s one of my favorites.
In case you were wondering, yes I do occasionally write property descriptions for my copywriting cients who are too busy to give it the time and attention it needs. In fact, I've written the copy for whole websites about high end properties. In order to do so, I ask for all the agent's notes, plus plenty of photographs.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net