By Peter Ricci
Any real estate agent will tell you how valuable the Internet is to any real estate business, but the Web’s value does come with one catch – if all agents are using it, how do you stand out? Though photography is certainly a big part of the answer (and we have written about that extensively), the words you use in your online listings, your real estate writing, if you will, can be just as valuable in setting you apart from the rest.
Real Estate Writing Tips – The 4 Essentials
We’ve boiled down the essentials of effective real estate writing on the web to four key tips:
- Know the Medium – Any writer will tell you that the first two rules of good writing are, 1) know your medium, and 2) know your audience. In the case of real estate writing on the MLS or a syndication platform, the listing site is your medium and fellow agents and prospective buyers are your audience; thus, you’ll want to compose your content with those two facts in mind.
- Be Descriptive…but not Henry James – You’ll want to be descriptive about your property. Use all the available options that the website provides to offer as complete a portrait as you can about your property (square footage, number of rooms, etc.) and write about the property’s other amenities in detail; however, show some restraint as well. Keep in mind that there are thousands of other properties on those sites that fellow agents can view, and a listing that rivals Portrait of a Lady in length will be more apt to scare potential readers than garner any views. So be detailed, but focused.
- Keep it Honest – As your write about your property, you’ll also want to describe it as accurately as possible. Though lively, energetic prose will go a long way to distinguishing your listing (because we’ve all read some dull listings in our time!), be extra careful that you’re not misleading any potential readers with how you’re describing the listing. Which brings us to our last point…
- Watch Your Adjectives! – Steer clear of those hyperbolic descriptions! Words such as “stunning,” “exquisite” and “gorgeous,” or phrases such as “turn-key ready” and “perfect starter home” certainly sound great, but as Bigger Pockets wryly demonstrated, agents can use over-the-top terms to compensate for a property’s inadequacies – and you definitely do not want that impression to come across!
As you can tell, effective real estate writing on the Internet is not that difficult! Be detailed, succinct and honest, and you’ll do fine.