The days of wine and roses, AKA prosperity, may be slowly wilting in the housing industry. Sales of new and existing homes are down (save the ultra-prime market), bidding wars are disappearing and the affordability crisis continues to worsen as interest rates spiral upward.

It’s definitely time to up your ante on ALL of you skills, including writing better listings on the homes you’ve been able to “win.”

Here are a few simple tips to help you write better listings:

  1. Lead with the best – The opening line or phrase of your listing needs to emphasize the very best thing about the property.
    1. Ask your seller to tell you the best thing about the property. They will.
    2. If the best thing about the property is its location, write “location, location, location.” If the best thing is the “natural light,” write it. If the best thing is “sleek lines” or “perfect lock and leave condo” or “old world charm” or whatever, write it…first.
    3. The most important thing, the best thing, about the property is what drives prospects and agents to come and see the property.
  2. Story tell the listing – people love reading stories so tell a story to help prospects see themselves in that home.
    1. Describe the location in a way that makes the prospect want to live there.
    2. Describe the house in a way that makes the prospect want to live there.
    3. Describe the amenities (outdoor living space, schools, hiking trails, etc.) in ways that make the prospect want to live there.
  3. Think about your ideal buyer and “tell” your listing story to them as if in a letter.
    1. Every property has an ideal buyer – a young family, a downsizing Boomer, a multi-generational family, an urban tech person, an urbanite dreaming of “escaping” to the country.
    2. Forget about appealing to everyone. Specifics work for specific people; generic writing to the masses does not work.
  4. Use action words and action language
    1. You want your prospects to act so use the active tense, not passive tense.
    2. Action words and action language engage the reader; passive words do not.
  5. Proof read your listing at least 10 times
    1. Read your listing out loud…you’ll hear what makes sense and what doesn’t; you’ll hear what’s fun to read/say; you’ll hear what’s boring, etc.
    2. Grammar, punctuation and math mistakes in a listing are the kiss of death.
  6. Remember to both ask your reader to ACT and GIVE your reader something for acting.
    1. Invite them to an open house and ask them to RSVP.
    2. Invite them to an individual tour and ask them to RSVP.
    3. Let your prospect know what you’d like him/her to do and IN RETURN, offer your prospect a market report or a list of happenings in the neighborhood or a list of local restaurants and shops. Remember that relationships are reciprocal…you give them something, they give you something.