If you’ve ever browsed real estate listings online, or the Homes section of your newspaper, you’re probably familiar with the Realtor®-ese used in the descriptions. It consists of short exclamatory sentences! Sometimes emphatically exclamatory!!! And it Often Contains random Capitalizations (though Realtor® itself is a Registered Trademark, which is why it is always Capitalized, in case you wondered.)
Why are so many real estate listings so badly written?
“Well, 98% of real estate agents aren’t professional writers, myself included” Jake explains. “Like a lot of small business owners or entrepreneurs, they are doing everything themselves. Some agents are not just writing their own copy, they are taking their own photos, designing their own ads, doing their own staging – everything. So sure, when they want to hammer home a point, they might turn to exclamation marks and capitals. Unless it’s really atrocious spelling errors, most clients aren’t concerned. What’s more important is that it’s all correct, all true.”
There’s no question that while some listings can make a grammarian cringe, that doesn’t necessarily mean the copy is ineffective. The goal is to engage a potential buyer enough to get them to go see the house – and an exclamation mark after the word ‘jacuzzi’ or ‘fireplace’ is probably not a deal breaker. “You’re not writing a novel, it just needs to be effective,” Jake explains. “What I don’t like is spin. Phrases like “won’t last long” – which is rarely actually true (and you know that when you’re still seeing it four months later).”
In this digital age, listing copy is primarily aimed at the buyer, but other agents are also an important audience, and an audience that hates to waste time. “For me, as much as what’s in the listing copy, it’s what’s omitted. No address, no MLS number, or a ‘for more information, call’- that’s frustrating.” The copy should give people the information they need to decide if the home is worth seeing, without having to make a phone call to the listing agent, or try to guess how many rooms there are from the photos.
There are certain words that have been proven to work wonders in a real estate listing. Words like ‘granite’, ‘stainless’, ‘new’ and ‘updated’. “These words do pack a lot of punch, but of course, they have to be true,” Jake says. “What they convey to the potential buyer is that the home is upscale or that the work has already been done. ‘Turnkey’ is another word that implies upgrades.”
Jake says his aim is to skip the one-liners and point out the real merits of the home. Maybe it’s a truly special neighbourhood, or character in an older home. “It’s what makes living in that specific home enjoyable,” he says.
Curious how Jake would Describe Your Home in a listing? Get In Touch with Jake Now! because This Offer Won’t Last!!!!!
Just kidding – get in touch anytime.