These days, the majority of people begin online when looking for a new home – and in our digital age, you have only a few seconds to grab their interest and entice them look further instead of scrolling on to the next place. Along with an eye-catching photo, the description in your property listing can make all the difference. AHRN.com has guidelines to help you best represent your property!
1. Determine The Best Features:
Make a list of the things that bring the most value to your place. Think of everything, whether it’s a chef’s kitchen or an open living/dining space, a fully built basement, upgrades and smart or green features, the size of the yard, basement or garage space, proximity to schools, playgrounds, a thriving town or notable nature, light and views, amenities like a pool, gym or event room in high rise or in the housing campus etc.
With the advantages best suited for your target market in mind, arrange the list to start with the features would be most important to your potential renter/buyer.
2. Make The First Sentence Count:
It’s no exaggeration to say you have a matter of seconds to catch interest. Just as novelists are told that the first sentence (and paragraph) is all-important to make a person buy their book or put it back, so too is your description – especially the first line or two.
3. Craft Your Words:
Use words that make them see, feel and experience your property’s assets. Take it from a great menu – steaks are juicy and tender, lobster is buttery and mouth watering, fruit is fresh, ripe, bursting with flavor, pizza has hot, bubbling cheese. You get the picture.
Write out what you want to say, then look for words to exchange for adjectives that will entice, and more active words. Use a thesaurus or ask others to help with the best alternatives. Then cherry pick where to insert them IE: Sweeping views vs. nice views, expansive living room vs. a big living room, pretty wood floor or a lustrous one.
Within that first sentence, try making the first words count too. Can you start with words like: Unlimited Possibilities (for fixer uppers), Pristine, Eco, Energy-efficient, Sun-kissed? Include appealing words we associate with home: warm, relaxing, peaceful, comfortable, welcoming. Practice turning phrases into answers to their needs, or speak to their dreams IE: perfect for entertaining friends and family, windows to yard to watch the kids play, rock on the porch in perfect temps, enjoy planting the plentiful garden beds.
4. Write It Well:
Good grammar and punctuation is key to professionalism – without it you are guaranteed to lose customers. Refrain from writing in all caps. While you might think it helps your words stand out, it actually translates as if you’re shouting at your prospective buyer/tenant. Avoid things like smiley faces, LOL’s and use exclamation points sparingly.
Eliminate typos and poor punctuation. Put your description on a word doc first and check for spelling with the red underlines and grammar with the green. Start each sentence with a capital letter, end in a period, and watch capitalizing words that shouldn’t be.
5. End with Call to Action:
Don’t miss this prime opportunity! The last line should invite them to act by using phrases such as: “Call now” or “Visit this home by contacting XXX.”
By all means, make it easy for them. Double check that your contact information is accurate. Emails, phone numbers or web urls are easily jumbled. Test any hyperlinks to be sure they work and open in a new page.
6. The Right Length:
Craft your description to 250 words or less. Remember, your objective — to interest/excite them enough to pick up the phone for more information, or book a visit. How do you do that most effectively?
Walk away from it and reread in a few hours or the next morning with fresh eyes. Or have someone else read it. Eliminate anything that doesn’t serve you best.
If it must be a little longer, break it up into bullet points to transform a big paragraph into clear, easy-to-read bites. Very effective!
Put It Into Action
Here’s an example of an actual ad from 2014 and a rewrite using our tips:
BEFORE: (302 words)
This large 3 bed / 2.5 bath craftsman style home is open, airy, bright and cheerful. With over sf of space, lots of upgrades have been made to the home.
The kitchen has premium stainless steel appliances. It has hardwood style flooring downstairs with upgraded newer carpet upstairs. The home is full of designer colored walls with stylish flooring and upgraded lighting and new wood interior blinds which makes for a cozy home. There are 3 large bedrooms and a loft upstairs that can be a family room, den or office (is now being used as a 4th bedroom). The master bedroom is private with an extra large bathroom with large walk in closet plus two storage closets, separate toilet area and a 6 foot soaking tub / shower.
Oversized, two car garage with alley access. The backyard has been beautifully landscaped with a flagstone backyard patio and privacy fence. The front yard has abundant greenscape.
The home is situated in the highly coveted area of Northwest Landing DuPont which is an established, tight knit community. It is located in a quiet low traffic area with great neighbors, right next to a trailhead for those nature lovers or joggers. The home is located within walking distance to both Chloe Clark Elementary School and the brand new Pioneer Middle School.
This home is just 10 minutes from Fort Lewis and McChord AFB. Intel and State Farm have campuses in DuPont and it is an award winning master planned community that is a very walkable, safe, desirable and neighborhood.
The home is available for move in 6/16/14. Application fee and background check as well as reference check will be performed on all applicants.
Call today for more information / pictures, to schedule a viewing or to receive an application for processing. Thank you!
Contact: XXX at 555-5555
AFTER AHRN.COM’s RECOMMENDATIONS: (259 words)
Feel welcomed home every time you arrive to this bright and airy Craftsman!
The spacious 2,350 sf. house offers 3 large bedrooms and 2.5 baths, plus a loft to make into an office, game room, den or 4th bedroom. Your master has it’s own extra-large bath with a luxurious 6’ soaking tub and shower, private toilet area, and 3 closets – one a large walk-in.
Chefs will love the kitchen with stainless steel appliances and ample counter and cupboards. Get the best of both floorings with stylish hardwood on the first level and new carpeting upstairs, accented by designer-colored walls, new wooden blinds and upgraded lighting throughout.
Your living space extends to the yard, with a verdant lawn. In the back, find a secluded oasis surrounded by rustic wooden fencing, where you can relax and enjoy outdoor dining on the flagstone patio amid beautiful landscaping. And make great use of the over-sized, two-car garage with convenient alley access.
Situated in the highly coveted area of Northwest Landing DuPont, it’s a quiet, low-traffic area with an established, tight knit group of great neighbors. The award-winning planned community is safe and easy to navigate. Both Chloe Clark Elementary School and the brand new Pioneer Middle School are within walking distance, you’re next to a trail head for nature lovers, hikers and joggers, and just 10 mn. from Fort Lewis and McChord AFB. Intel and State Farm also have campuses in DuPont.
Available 6/16/14. Call (name) at 555-5555 or email: email@example.com now for more information/pictures, to schedule a viewing or apply. Talk soon!
Application fee, references, background check necessary.
While there are many factors that can figure into a successful sale or rental, a well-done description is one over which you have total control. So make it the best it can be by using these tips!
We want to know:
What are some suggestive adjectives you would like to use?
Meet Your Contributor:
Rochelle Joseph is a Writer and Image Consultant who has had experience marketing, renting and buying/selling her properties for over 20 years. She has written and edited for several publications, including the Boston Book Review,The Emerson Review, ZooBorns.com, WildLife Magazine, the Houston Zoo, The Wildlife Center of Texas, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary as well as AHRN.com. She currently writes at her great gifts blog at http://lookyhereu.blogspot.com and her animal blog at http://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com.