Your property descriptions are boring!July 6th, 2012 4 Comments
As with all writing, the trick with property descriptions is to be creative. Not for art’s sake, but for your reader’s sake. And ultimately for the sake of your response rate.
It’s not the sort of advice you usually hear about writing property descriptions, I know. You’re normally told to write about benefits, write about lifestyle, create a sense of urgency, and so on. And all of that’s true; I’ve said the same things myself. But you can – and should – still do it with a splash of creativity!
It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of writing property descriptions the same way everyone else does: “Single level three bedroom home with slug and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” Oh dear!
Yes, home buyers expect it, but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t do it! Exactly why readers skim-read and focus on the bullet points. As soon as they see an ad’s exactly what they were expecting, they glaze over.
Is that what you want from your property descriptions? Is that why you labour over them for hours? Why you spend too many nights after dinner working, incurring the wrath of your better half? Wouldn’t you rather prospective buyers (and renters) actually read them? The whole way through? And remember them? Maybe even read them out to someone else? (Yes, it happens!)
THAT’S what a proper property description does. One that’s written to stand out, to grab the reader by the scruff of the neck and tickle their fancy. One that’s written real goodly, like… ;-)
“But what if people don’t like it?” Big deal! Try again next week. The real question, the question you SHOULD be asking is, what if they DO like it? What if you were able to create a 15% increase in enquiry rate? What would that do to your bottom line? Quite a bit, methinks. Especially if you do it every week…
“But won’t people think I’m unprofessional if I don’t write like a realtor?” Some will, guaranteed. But at least they noticed, and that means they probably noticed the property too. And more importantly, how many WON’T think you’re unprofessional? How many will notice their first property description in months, and think to themselves, “Hey this is refreshing!” or “This agent sounds different” or “Now THIS ad has personality!” And if they’re thinking that, how much will rub off onto the property itself? There are psychological theories about this stuff, and if I were smart, I’d tell you all about them. But I’m not. And you don’t need to know the theory to know it works. Ever seen a pretty girl in a car ad? Same principle…
So don’t say “it’s an opportunity not to be missed”, say “you’ll kick yourself” or “your wife will divorce you” or “even the dog knows it’s worth a look”.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you have to be outrageous. If it suits your audience, that’s fine, but it’s not the point. The point is that you should be memorable. And the best way to be memorable is to have a conversation with your reader. Speak in real language, not realtor-speak. Paint a picture with colourful language. Use short, high-impact sentences. Even use non-sentences. A bit. (Like that.) Ease the reader from one idea to the next (yes, dammit, start sentences with conjunctions!). Do all the stuff I’ve been rattling on about for years (here, here, here and here).
In other words, if you’re going to spend hours slaving over your property descriptions, or you’re going to spend big bucks outsourcing them to a copywriter (or even if you’re going to use PropertyBlurbs.com to generate your property descriptions instantly), at least make them worthwhile.
Please comment below with your thoughts. I'm not so old a dog that I can't learn a few new tricks!