3 Tips for Writing Compelling Property Listings

August 12, 2020

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Sam Fangman

Person writing in a notebook surrounded by books and a computer

According to Microsoft, the average human attention span lasts eight seconds. That’s roughly the amount of time it takes to pour a cup of coffee and add a dash of cream. As a property manager digitally marketing your vacancies in 2020, you have to make the absolute most of your eight coffee-pouring seconds. While carefully curated, authentic property photography is of the utmost importance when marketing your available listings, and the descriptions of your community also hold a lot of value for your prospects.

We compiled the following tips to help you draft property overviews in a concise, compelling way that capture prospective tenants’ attention in this era of perpetual scrolling

Emphasize Renovations and Amenities

If you’ve recently made a physical and monetary investment in refreshing your units, be sure to celebrate and emphasize those upgrades in your listings. Draw attention to those newly installed granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Mention freshly renovated bathrooms, ample parking, as well as your property’s communal spaces like gyms and pool areas. Now more than ever, renters are attracted to properties that offer amenities that enable them to conduct fitness and social activities from the comfort of their home.

For apartments and single-family homes, Millennial and Generation Z renters are looking for terms like spacious, open concept, and balcony access. If your properties are located in downtown, metropolis areas, call out your community’s walkability to bars and restaurants. On sites like Zillow, HotPads, and Trulia, you’re given around 250 words for your listing. Make them count.

Avoid Words that Bring up Negative Visuals or Connotations

Today’s renters can read between the lines. In a study conducted by Zillow, they found that words like potential, TLC, cosmetic, and opportunity often signal that major fixes still need to be made. The study also found that nice is far too broad and ambiguous. Rather than blanketing a listing as nice, describe what is so NICE about it.

Craft an Enticing Headline

Since you only have about 250 to words to work with in a property listing description, it’s important to draw in your online audience with a captivating headline. People want to feel inspired by their home, so it’s imperative to use words that evoke emotion. Your headline is your first impression and it helps the prospect create a visual of their life while living in your property.

For example, if you’re advertising a home for rent near Charleston, South Carolina’s historic district, emphasize that prime location.

Rather than a generic-sounding headline like, “Cozy 2 Bedroom Home on a Quiet Street,” try, Charming 2 Bedroom Home Nestled in the Heart of Charleston’s Historic District.

If you’re experiencing writers block and struggling with your word choice, take advantage of powerthesaurus.org or thesaurus.com to help liven up your lexicon.

Words most certainly have the power to influence—choose them thoughtfully. Concisely and accurately describe your properties in a way that makes them stand out, even among those eight, fleeting, coffee-pouring seconds.

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