Summarizing the best features of a property with real estate descriptions is just as important as great photography. Writing in a friendly yet professional tone is a challenge in itself, let alone creating a hooky introduction that leaves the reader wanting to learn more about the property.
Though writing real estate descriptions can be daunting, especially for high-end homes, there are ways to ensure that your copy is effective. The nature of the home should be reflected in the vocabulary of your real estate description, which means that extra care should be put into illustrating the magic of an upper-tier home.
Want to craft the best possible real estate descriptions for your high-end listings? Here’s what to remember.
- Frame the story carefully.
Before diving into a description, think about how you would like to frame a given property. The same home could potentially be marketed as a spacious living situation ideal for entertaining or a family home with the potential for a playroom or nursery. While it’s usually a good idea to allow the buyer to picture themselves in the home by keeping the description vague, sometimes it helps to get specific. For homes with defining qualities, try framing them accordingly. Here are some examples of framing with a given feature of a house:
- Large Pool: Summer spot perfect for throwing pool parties
- Treehouse: Whimsical family home with a backyard full of wonders
- Wine Room: Wine collector’s paradise
- Choose a strategic title for real estate descriptions.
Building on the idea of framing, choosing a title that grabs your intended audience is crucial to writing a successful description. After all, it’s not helpful to have cohesive and well-written copy if nobody reads past the title. Consider using unique adjectives, or at least adjectives other than “beautiful,” “awesome,” or “amazing,” as they will make the title stand out. If a home is rare for the area in terms of either price or features, try adding “rare” to the title. Additionally, try to avoid rambling phrases and opt for a concise title instead. Getting important information into a title is important, but making a title too long also impairs the effectiveness. As a general rule, aim for 5-10 words in a title.
- Hook the reader.
If you get readers past the title, it’s important to try and hook them further into reading the details of the property. This opportunity lies in the first sentence. Try to pack in as many details as possible while still remaining coherent. If possible, including the area of town, the number of rooms, nearby local spots and any recent updates or modifications that add value in the first sentence are often enough to get readers to continue reading. Scan through the headlines of similar listings and pay attention to what grabs your attention.
- Be selective with word choice.
The vocabulary you choose to use in copy sets the tone for the value of the home, especially when dealing with upper-tier real estate. Paint the picture of a lavish property by using tactile imagery. Being selective with word choice allows the reader to picture themselves in a given property, which could ultimately make them more likely to request a tour. Check out a thesaurus for ideas if you’re stuck.
Remember: It’s probably a good idea to avoid excessively abstract or confusing vernacular when considering word choice. Trying too hard to sound overly intelligent when writing copy can result in the reader feeling belittled and confused about what the property actually has to offer. As a general rule, keep it simple.
- Use photos as a guide.
Though the emphasis of advertising property online is usually placed on the photographs, the right wording is just as important. When writing real estate descriptions, try playing off the pictures to create the most cohesive copy. Tell the story of the home with the help of both written details and photos that display a clear image to the potential buyer.
If nothing else, make sure that the features mentioned in the copy are included in the pictures. It doesn’t cost anything to add as many pictures as desired on sites like Zillow and Trulia, so try to make sure that you include a picture if you mention a feature of the home.
- Cater to your audience using buzzwords.
“High-end homes” can mean different things to different people. Are you looking to list a beach house in Malibu? What about a cabin in Aspen? Do you find yourself listing family-friendly homes in prestigious New York City boroughs? Regardless of the type of home, try to think of the buzzwords your audience is looking for. For example, the buyer for a family home will probably be attracted to being close to nearby schools. The buyer for a high-end home in Aspen might be looking for a place with mountain views. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer when writing copy, and include the most important buzzwords, as they might even be filtering their property search based on one or two words.
- Inspire action with verbs.
This literary trick is an industry standard. Do you currently have a property that hasn’t sold? Try starting the copy with an action-oriented phrase. It may seem like a small detail, but adding this touch can add urgency to a listing and make a buyer feel like locking it down more quickly. Adding verbs could look something like the following:
- Retreat from the busy city to this Hampton getaway.
- Soak up the sun with this Malibu Beach paradise.
- Embrace Chicago winters with this city haven, complete with an indoor sauna.
Now that we’ve discussed some tips for making your copy more effective and polished, have fun with it! Whether you’re putting together a property brochure or writing an online ad, writing real estate descriptions effectively can catch the eye of prospective buyers and ultimately help you list and sell more properties.
Diane Hartley is president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of The Institute. For more information, please visit www.luxuryhomemarketing.com.