5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Real Estate Listings
Assembling real estate listings is to real estate agents what preparing tax returns is for accountants.
A standard part of the job. Regular procedure. So customary, it could be done with eyes closed.
But when we get so accustomed to a certain task, we can get lazy. We rest on our laurels. We assume that just because we’re so used to doing something, we know how to do it best.
There’s almost always room to make improvements. Especially when it comes to something as important to your real estate business as listings.
Even the most seasoned real estate agents can fall prey to common listing blunders and oversights. Like the ones we’re discussing today.
These are the five mistakes real estate agents should avoid in their real estate listings.
Using Too Many, Too Few, or Disorganized Photos
A listing with a measly three photos is hugely frustrating for prospective buyers.
They don’t want to waste their time going to see homes that don’t fit their needs. Real estate listing photos are what help them figure out where to focus their energies.
For challenging listings, such as extreme fixer-uppers or homes that have long sat empty, real estate agents often default to using only one or two photos, in effort to hide or downplay the situation. But that only irritates buyers.
Too few photos isn’t the only common listing blunder when it comes to photography.
There’s also the issue of too many photos and photos that haven’t been properly organized.
When it comes to listing photos, your goal is to provide a clear, thorough portrait of what the property looks like. This means that nearly every room or space should be represented.
What it doesn’t mean is including closeups of every. single. detail. Flowers in a vase. The wainscotting. A light fixture.
While all those details can be beautiful, it quickly becomes tedious to click through dozens and dozens of photos during your home search. Remember that it’s a listing, not a magazine feature.
Lastly, pay attention to the order in which you present the listing photos. Don’t simply upload the files from your desktop and be done with it all.
Think about walking the client through the house. What rooms would they see first? How would the tour flow? Order the photos accordingly.
Big Chunks of Uninterrupted Text
When you expect to see a summary and instead are greeted by a 1,000 word block of text, what do you do?
You quickly scan, missing key details. Or you simply close the page and move on.
That’s what prospective buyers do when they click your listing and find a long-winded essay about the property.
You do have to provide a buyer with a clear sense of the property and what it offers. You don’t have to work in every single little detail (e.g. “the doors leading to the deck swing out, rather than in”). Feature the most important details and make sure they shine (e.g.”Three generous bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet and ensuite”).
Resist the temptation to write a novel about each of your listings. Instead, ask yourself: what do I need to communicate to get the buyer to stay on the page — and then eventually walk through the door?
Want more listing advice? We’ve got you covered with 15 real estate listing tips to help get you noticed (and your listings get sold).
Going Overboard on the Abbreviations and Acronyms
Brs. 2 LV. 1C. Kit. Lnd. Mar. MF.
That’s a string of commonly used real estate abbreviations and acronyms. But to most people, it looks like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. And that’s all that matters.
There’s no need to use an abbreviation for every possible term. It stands to confuse your reader, and it looks messy.
The lesson: steer clear of abbreviations and acronyms as much as possible. When you have the room, spell it out.
If you must use an abbreviation, make sure it’s one that’s commonly understood, such as “bdrm” for bedroom.
Writing Without Intention
For the most part, real estate listing descriptions are hard to distinguish from one to the next.
“Three-bedroom stunner in the heart of the Market district.”
“Newly renovated four bed, four bath detached home on a vibrant street. Don’t miss it.”
“1+1 condo with high-end finishes upgrades. Won’t last!”
The details are different, but the construction of the descriptions are far from unique.
Don’t rush the writing just because you can. When you do, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to make lasting impressions.
Instead, write with intention. Think about what story you want to tell to prospective buyers before you start writing. Use the right listing keywords to make an impact.
Be considerate of who is the most likely buyer — a young family, or a retiree, or a first-time buyer, and so on. Focus on helping them see themselves within a home, rather than just firing off the home’s basic features.
Not Copyediting Your Work
This seems like an obvious mistake … until you take a good look at what’s on the MLS these days.
Closely reviewing your work for spelling and grammar errors, misplaced words, confusing phrases and typos is essential to making a good impression.
You might be thinking “Who cares? My small mistakes aren’t a reflection of the property.” And you’re right, bad grammar doesn’t mean a bad house.
But it reflects poorly on you, and you’re representing the property.
A listing description that’s filled with mistakes looks sloppy, and sloppy puts a bad taste in buyers’ mouths. You lose your chance to make a good impression with prospective buyers — and potential future clients.
How long does it usually take you to write a listing description?