Ever wondered how some real estate agents can craft property descriptions that hit home with buyers? How do they choose their words in a way that makes the ordinary sound enticing?

Ever wondered how some real estate agents can craft property descriptions that hit home with buyers? How do they choose their words in a way that makes the ordinary sound enticing?

It may not be as hard as you think. In fact, I’m going to share a simple secret. Those agents use words that toy with the emotions of their audience. Some writers refer to these words as power words.

Take the following phrase for example; which would be more likely to draw you in to learn more?

“Very nice house with lots of upgrades in a secured development,” or “Welcoming home with custom features located in a gated community.”

Both sentences say the same thing, but word choice in the first option speaks to fact whereas the second option speaks to emotion.

Every word that evokes emotion has power. The choice of “welcoming,” “home” and “community” solicit emotion. “Custom features” and “gated” soften the fact-based words “upgrades” and “secure.”

Here are some other examples of words and phrases you can interchange with current ones commonly used in property descriptions.

  1. Replace “unit” with condo or townhome. No one says “I want to purchase a unit.” The word unit doesn’t give a warm-and-fuzzy feeling.
  2. Instead of “lot” say homesite. Homesite suggests the realization of a dream. “The perfect homesite for your dream home” expresses fulfillment of a desire better than “The perfect lot for your new house.”
  3. Warm up the phrase “new development” with new neighborhood or community. Would you rather live in a development or a community?
  4. Neighborhoods should never have “restrictive covenants.” Instead, refer to the community agreement or protective covenants.
  5. Replace “guard gate” with security or welcome center. The word guard is associated with danger whereas security and welcome are related to safety.
  6. The commonly used word “upgrades” is cold and matter-of-fact. Try swapping it for updated or custom features.
  7. Avoid using “can’t” in a description. “You can’t miss this!” Replace can’t with “won’t.” “You won’t want to miss this!” Can’t is forbidding the reader, whereas won’t places the action with the reader.
  8. Another similar phrase to avoid is “have to.” Swap the phrase “want to” in, and once again you’ve gone from controlling their action to allowing the buyer to control their actions.
  9. Try to avoid acronyms and confusing terms whenever possible. Although many buyers understand what HOA, POA and regime stand for, there are many who don’t. Confusing words and acronyms can be a turnoff for some potential customers.
  10. Charge up potential buyers with these additional emotion-provoking words: 
  • Amazing
  • Blissful
  • Breathtaking
  • Delightful
  • Jaw-dropping
  • Jubilant
  • Magical
  • Mind-blowing
  • Protected
  • Secure
  • Sensational
  • Spectacular
  • Staggering
  • Stunning
  • Surprising
  • Wonderful
  • Wondrous

Using powerful words to stir up emotion is one of the best ways to provoke prospects to take action. But it’s also vital that powerful words are used appropriately.

You won’t want to use them in a manner that creates false advertising. When phrasing a description, your objective is for prospective buyers to visit the listing and be in agreement with how you described the property.

Missy Yost is a Realtor with Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Follow The Yost Group on Facebook or Twitter

Email Missy Yost

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