People who read your property descriptions can tell you don’t like writing them.
Do all the listings on your page start with the same phrase?
Are you using antiquated language to try to elevate the property?
Do you list out features but forget about the benefits of the house?
Are you using a property description generator?!
The end result is the same, they are mind-numbingly dull. Losing the interest of an ideal client between the images and a booking button is a bummer. Instead of creating more descriptions that feel like a speed bump in your process, it's time to make them work.
Testing on copy (A/B Testing) demonstrates that engaging and targeted copy can not only increase your sales but also find you the right kind of buyer... if you engage them. (1)
The good news is that your words can sell as well as your professional photography. Here’s how you do it.
#1 Change How You Think About Writing Property Descriptions
Double Aspect...Is situated…Boasts…A High Standard...Briefly Comprises…<insert agency name here> is < behavioural adjective> to bring to market...
These are jargon and filler that property descriptions are rife with.
If you rely on these phrases to get you through writing a description, you could be losing clients and buyers because you are not speaking directly to them.
There are plenty of good reasons as to why these kinds of words ended up in your lexicon:
There is a template
Your Agency has a format
You are just doing what everyone else is doing
Whatever your reason for using them, you will have an easier time attracting buyers and clients without them.
So how to get by without the archaic crutch of "Briefly comprises" and claiming to be "giddy" about "bringing a property to market?"
Change how you think about writing property descriptions.
Your property description is the thing that moves your potential buyer from looker to booker.
If you can let go of these words, a potential buyer will feel less like skipping over the details and more invested in what you have to say.
#2 Axe the Tired Adjectives
When was the last time you said “superb” out loud and didn’t feel slightly ridiculous? When was the last time you used it to describe a house?
“Finished to a high standard.” Are you ever going to sell something finished to a medium or low standard? How many times have you used that phrase in your property descriptions?
If you find yourself writing “superb”, “excellent”, or “stunning” in your property description, take a moment. Think about WHY you think this is "superb". Write about that.
“This superb property...” (boring)
“With highly rated neighbourhood schools and walking distance to the local shops...” Tell me why it is “superb”.
“Finished to a High Standard...” (snore)
"White quartz worktops throughout the kitchen create a warm glow, paired with brass finishes and finished oak open shelving.” Tell me what the “high standard” is.
“Highly desirable”? Tell your reader why!
#3 Build the Experience
You have a perfect buyer in mind. By writing them into the scene of the property description, you can create an emotional connection between them and the house.
The large kitchen comprises a kitchen island, double sink, and room for a side-by-side refrigerator (passive).
The large kitchen makes cooking with the whole family easy with kitchen island, double sink, and room for a side-by-side refrigerator (active).
By writing this “ideal buyer” into your scene, you are inviting them to imagine themselves living here. They are no longer passive observers of pictures and text. They are active participants in that kitchen.
This, in turn, creates in them an emotional investment in the property you are trying to sell. And humans turns out, are emotional buyers. Men. Women. Doesn’t matter. We are all suckers for a good story in marketing. (2)
#4 Format Your Property Descriptions
When people are looking at homes online, they tend to do a deep dive. That means that they look at all the pictures and they read EVERYTHING. And by the time they see your listing they might be almost done for the night.
Make it easy for them to read your listing. In copywriting, we write for three audiences:
SEO (search engine)
For a property description, make it easy for the Digger and the Skimmer.
Bold or List the Rooms
Hit return between thoughts
Use bullet points for benefits, not features
A couple of keystrokes can make all the difference in whether your listing gets the attention it deserves from a potential buyer.
#5 Think About Your Buyer in the Headline
I recommend always writing your headline last for property descriptions. This allows you time to think about what your buyer wants in a home. Not what exists inside the building you are trying to sell.
Who is your ideal buyer?
Is this home perfect for a small family with school-aged children?
3 Bedroom w/Large Garden & Garage near Chili Road School
A retired couple looking to downsize?
3 Bedroom w/Garage, Storage, Close to Shops and Amenities
A professional looking to invest in a first home?
3 Bedroom w/ Garage, Close to Downtown & Transport Links
Don’t think about what is important to you in the title or headline of the property description. Think about what is important to your buyer.
#6 Call your Ideal Client Out In the Property Description
Humans are self-centred. It doesn't matter if they are out shopping for a pair of shoes or researching the benefits of a flat-screen TV. They want to know that you are talking to them and addressing their needs.
Let them know that you know this is the right house for them right away. Get it in the headline, add it to the first paragraph and allude to it in the last 3 sentences.
They need confirmation that this house is the home for them. Hearing it over and over again will get them from “maybe this is a house worth seeing” to a “YES. It sounds perfect and I can’t wait to see it for myself.”
#7 Don’t Lie About the Features
Don’t be the reason that people don’t trust or like estate agents and property managers. According to PurpleBricks, the reason that people don’t like estate agents is due to lack of honesty and transparency.(3)
If the family lounge is small, don’t call it spacious. If the entryway is pokey, don’t bother mentioning the tiny shoe cupboard. It creates bad blood between yourself, the buyer, and the other agent.
If the family bathroom is tiny don’t “spend a lot of ink” on it. We all know a family bathroom has a toilet and a sink in it. Just get through it as quickly as possible.
The family bathroom at the top of the stairs has a shower/bath combo and overlooks the back garden.
Spacious family bathroom comprising panelled bath with shower over, wash hand basin.
You might think that it is obvious that the bathroom is tiny from the picture, but calling it “spacious” in the property description is deceptive.
It becomes very obvious when you start listing features that come standard with a room (like a washbasin) that you are trying to “fluff” it up a bit. When you lie or tell “un-truths” about a property, you end up wasting everyone’s time. Yours, the sellers, and the people who came to view the property with their agent. Don’t do it. Write around it.
Here is a property description example in the UK:
The above description is 1,220 characters.
Here is a rewrite of the same property description
3 bed, 1.5 bath w/Large Garden & Garage in Heaton Park.
Welcome to your new home in Family Friendly Heaton Park. This house is ideal for first-time buyers, small families, and people who love to entertain in the garden!
The dine-in kitchen features a gas hob, 1½ size sink and room for full-size freezer/fridge and dishwasher. The breakfast bar makes cooking and eating together a snap due to the huge worktop and stool seating. Light pours into the kitchen from the large windows that look out into the large back garden. A separate utility room w/sink and washer hookup makes it easy to navigate laundry day and has garage/back garden access as well as a W/C.
The front lounge with fireplace and reading nook has south-facing windows that take in the day’s sun. Large enough for a sectional and cosy enough for movie night.
All 3 bedrooms are on the first floor w/modern family bathroom, tub w/shower combo. The two doubles have full sliding mirror fronted closets with ample storage and large windows. The single bedroom is just the right size for a nursery, playroom, or home office.
The fully-fenced back garden has two entertaining spaces, a mature lawn, and an outbuilding, ready to become an at-home office or she-shed.
In the garage, there is plenty of room for bikes, camping equipment, and a car. With a paved driveway for a second car, you never have to park on the street. The front garden is waiting for you to fill it with your potted plants, a fire pit and outdoor seating for chatting with your new friends and neighbours.
Easily walk to local schools, Heaton Park, transport links and the local shops. Create your new home here!
This property description has 1,528 characters...and has a call to action.
Enticing and creative property descriptions don’t have to be flowery.
They just have to invite your ideal client to see what it would be like to live there, without bogging them down with overused phrases that mean nothing to your reader.
Writing is Hard but Worth it
Use these steps to start drawing lines through wasteful jargon, poor linking phrases, and useless adjectives. Put your reader in the property, talk more about the benefits, less about features, and create a place that people want to call home with your words.
Give your property descriptions purpose!
I know that writing is not everyone’s favourite thing. After everything that you have to do to get a property ready to hit the market for sale or rental, writing the property description is ALWAYS the last piece finished.
If you feel like writing property descriptions with purpose is one muscle that you don't want to flex as an estate agent, schedule a consultation time with me.
This is exactly what I do.
Proper Copy for your Properties.
Danika Ess Copywriting