One of my favorite aspects of real estate writing is writing property descriptions. Highlighting the best aspects of any home through a well-crafted property description helps get people excited about your listing — and gets potential buyers through the door.
If you want to improve your property descriptions, I’ve put together some of my best tips, tricks and hints to help. Consider this your property description boot camp.
Step 1: Lead with the wow
The first thing to do when approaching a property description is to ask the client for the selling points of the property. Your market knowledge about what matters to that particular listing along with their intimate knowledge of the property and the neighborhood can go a long way toward helping you to choose a focus.
To improve your property descriptions, you have to start with the features that buyers in your area are looking for.
As I’ve said elsewhere, finding the “wow” factor, or the hook, in your listing and leading with it is one of the most important things you can do to instantly upgrade your property descriptions.
It ensures that potential buyers and their agents are immediately drawn in and highlights elements that people might be looking for, without forcing them to read the entire description, search the photos or contact you for specifics.
“Wow” doesn’t have to be reserved for luxury properties. Have a nice little ranch where all of the systems are brand new and it’s totally turnkey? “Wow!” How about a starter condo where utilities and maintenance are included in the condo fee? “Wow!”
Perhaps a retirement condo where maid service and transportation are available to all residents at no cost? “Wow!” There’s your lede.
“Wow” factor can be found in any home, no matter the size or the price point.
Step 2: Consider your ideal buyer
One night I received an email from a Realtor friend and colleague. She was telling me about a property description she had read that she said was one of the worst she had ever seen. That, of course, piqued my interest.
The property in question was a million-dollar manse in a tony suburban neighborhood. For whatever reason, out of all of the features the agent could have highlighted, he or she had started the description with the fact that the home was “walking distance to Safeway,” a local grocery store.
Think about your audience when you are writing property descriptions. In this case, your audience is the potential buyer and their agent or broker. Draw their attention to details that matter.
Had the property in question been an in-town apartment or condo, a local grocery store within walking distance might indeed be a great selling point. The detail wasn’t the problem; pairing it with a million-dollar suburban home was the problem.
Step 3: Tell a story
One of the most important aspects of marketing and of writing in general is the ability to tell a story. This is a major aspect of real estate marketing in particular.
This is, of course, no less true when writing a property description. Look for a way to help readers picture themselves in the home. Describe the home’s amenities in a way that creates an experience. Describe the local market in a way that makes people want to live there.
Step 4: Watch your language
But that’s no excuse to use boring, lazy language to describe a home. After all, if the description is boring, no one will want to see the property.
You don’t have to look for overly complicated words or multi-syllabic descriptors — what we used to call “50-cent words.” You just need language that’s a little more special than the everyday.
Step 5: Check, check, double-check
It’s the thing your teachers always told you in school — proofread your work before you turn it in. Yet, you’d be surprised how many real estate brokers and agents hit “submit” without reading over their property descriptions.
If you’re not a natural-born writer, find someone in your office or even in your family to give your property descriptions a once-over. You can even hire a copy editor or proofreader very affordably on a platform like Fiverr or Upwork to glance over your description and correct any errors.
It’s definitely worth taking that extra step to prevent embarrassing — and potentially traffic-killing — mistakes.
Step 6: Don’t forget a call to action
Remember, the best way to end any marketing copy is with a call to action (CTA). If possible, leave potential buyers with an imperative:
- Call for a tour.
- Check out our open house.
- Must-see — don’t wait!
Let people know what you want them to do while you have their attention.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.