Using Listing Copy to Tell a Property's Story

InHouse Listing Description

The listing description is your opportunity to tell the story of your listing. It needs to be descriptive yet warm and welcoming at the same time.

Writing captivating listing copy can be difficult, especially when real estate agents have so much going on at any given time. With that, it is easy to overlook the listing description as a marketing tool. It’s important to take some time and write a listing description that resonates with home buyers.

With the help of the National Association of Realtors and leading digital marketers, we’ve come up with some tips for writing a listing description that tells the story of the home.

The Property Story

One way to think of the listing description is a written tour of the home. Start by illustrating the entryway and whichever room you walk into on the other side of the front door. From there walk the reader through the kitchen, living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms, describing each room all along the way. For example, don’t just say it has a patio. Help the reader envision their life at this home by showing that it has a large patio, perfect for hosting summer BBQ’s.

Feel free to say the brand names of appliances and the materials used for fireplaces, countertops, walls, and floors. What differentiates a listing description from a story of the property is that the story has a structure that flows through the house from front door to backyard, depicting each room and home feature.

Talking to Your Local Market

Part of the property’s story is how it fits into the surrounding community. Help your buyers visualize where they’ll be living in relation to schools, parks, restaurants, and entertainment venues. This will help paint a picture of the lifestyle the home buyer would have living at this home.

The adjectives you use to describe the listing are very important as home buyers in different regions have different preferences. If you’re an agent in the western part of the US, listing descriptions with words about view and scenery resonate with homebuyers. If you’re an agent in the northeast, you’ll do better talking about convenience.

Sounding Original

As a real estate agent, you want to show your clients that you’re unique. One of the best ways to show your originality is by telling the story of your listing with words that you don’t see in every piece of listing copy. So ditch the overused terms like “charming”, “immaculate”, or “motivated seller” and come up with a word bank for properties that varies based on price range or neighborhood.

If you’d like some help coming up with words that work, ask some of your former buyers what appealed to them in the listing description for the home they bought.

Some Things to Remember

A post about good listing ad copy wouldn’t be complete without a reminder to always check for spelling and grammar errors. Proper spelling and grammar shows that you’re a professional who takes his or her job seriously. Spelling is easy to fix with spell check but grammar is more difficult to edit. It will help to use complete sentences when telling the story of the property, giving it a more natural and conversational flow.

I frequently also see listing descriptions in all caps. A writer will typically activate caps lock to emphasize what he or she is saying. Displaying words in all caps is actually more difficult to read than text written with only the first letter capitalized. You should also note that typing in all caps does not improve SEO either. So, overall you’re better off capitalizing only the letters that need it.

Do you have a winning formula for listing descriptions? Tell us in the comments below!

Mat Friedman

Representing InHouse in NYC! I'm a co-founder, content creator, general people person, and part time office DJ. I love listening to others' ideas and sharing my own when I feel so compelled.

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