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Your listings can feature beautiful photography, showcase captivating videos, and include fabulous virtual tours, but before a buyer puts in an offer, they’ll likely want to read about the property, too.
That’s why it’s essential for luxury real estate agents to keep their copywriting skills — and their pencils — sharp. Written descriptions pack a very powerful punch and should be the anchor to a wider marketing plan.
For over 15 years, I worked in sales, marketing, and interior design, and I know that what we communicate in words is just as vital as what we communicate through visuals. This has informed my real estate practice, with buyers, sellers, and investors knowing that they can come to me for information that’s as detailed as it is accurate.
I don’t expect to be winning a Pulitzer Prize anytime soon (yes, my last name comes from that Pulitzer — my husband’s great-grandfather founded the famous literary prize), but I do expect my luxury listings to include copy that brings each property to life. On that note, here are my top three dos and my top three don’ts when writing for real estate.
What luxury real estate copywriting should be
In many luxury markets, the name of the architect, landscape architect, interior designer, and builder or developer mean a lot to potential buyers. Along with providing a professional floor plan, I’ll also mention the home’s structural highlights — for example, a main suite on the ground floor, rooming for staff, elevator access, or the number of garage spaces. Luxury buyers are enthralled by the details that make a property unique.
Subjective perspectives are very impactful; use them to curate a description that evokes the impression of being in that location. I might mention the quality of the morning light that dapples the breakfast nook, or the serenity of lounging by the poolside. I want my tone and language selection to transport buyers, so they can envision themselves in the space as they’re reading.
Talking about how a person will feel in the property is just as important as talking about what they will see in the property.
Luxury isn’t limited to tangible things; it’s also a mindset, and copywriting can convey this by giving a glimpse of what’s possible. For instance, if there’s an outdoor space that offers a lot of privacy, I’ll note that it would be the perfect place for an intimate garden party or a tranquil retreat. You can also include simple phrases that remind prospective buyers that you’re selling more than just a home. Here in my South Florida market, it could be as simple as, “start living your best Palm Beach life.”
What luxury real estate copywriting shouldn’t be
1. Too much
Sharing too many details can leave readers feeling lost, so be careful to strike a delicate balance. Sounding overly zealous can feel off-brand for luxury. Writing words in all capital letters, trying to create drama or suspense through clunky ellipses, or ending sentences with exclamation points can make a listing sound more like a Twitter diatribe than a multi-million dollar treasure.
2. Not enough
As luxury agents, we can all do better than a canned description. Simply listing the square footage, the number and types of rooms, and the lot size is a missed opportunity. Buyers want to be motivated to explore further.
Err on the side of the specific over the generic, and the creative over the cliché. I see so many listings repeating the term “tropical oasis” that if I’m marketing a property with lush greenery and a calming atmosphere, I’ll call out those specific qualities rather than defaulting to a worn out phrase.
If your listing has a grand entryway, describe what makes it grand — whether it’s the quality and materiality of the hardwood floors, the award-winning firm that designed the lighting fixtures, or simply the sense of awe that guests will feel as they stand on the threshold.
Strong copywriting is a worthwhile investment
A little research goes a long way, and a knowledgeable seller is an invaluable resource. I always want details on the finishes throughout the property, such as the type of wood on the floors and the source of limestone or marble, as well as the branding of the appliances, smart home features, and anything else that sets this property apart.
Finally, hone your craft. Following luxury markets and top producers globally is a great place to start, and the ease of social media gives you an endless source of copywriting examples to learn from. I’m a firm believer that we can all be learning constantly as we strive to engage buyers and support sellers in more compelling and impactful ways.
Kourtney understands that finding the right REALTORⓇ is the first step in buying or selling any house. Her patience, integrity and willingness to work hard have become the trademark of all her sales transactions. Her professional career was launched at Palm Beach’s award-winning Smith Interior Design Group. Later, she used her acknowledged skills in interior design to open her own eponymous boutique, Kourtney Pulitzer. She is an active member of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, the Greater Ft. Lauderdale, the Florida Realtors Association and the National Association of Realtors.