This is the third article in a trilogy. Click here to see Marketing on the MLS and Marketing the Images.
Let’s pick up where we left off last week. You’ve captured the attention of that elusive buyer—the one with the short attention span—with your incredible images produced by your celebrity photographer.
You had to do that first because NOBODY is going to read your words if they aren’t first attracted to the images. Great photography is step #1 in the multi-stage process of selling your listing.
Step #2 is enticing the potential buyer to view the property in person, with your words. Now, let’s be clear about a critical point before we go any further.
The purpose of the MLS description is to generate as many quality showings as possible—NOT to sell the property.
You don’t propose marriage on the first date, and contrary to popular opinion—you’re NOT supposed to try to SELL the home with your write-up! NOBODY is going to buy your listing without first physically viewing the property.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see in the painfully boring MLS write-ups I see every day:
1. The agent tries to describe every tiny detail of the property, but tiny details that make no difference to the reader’s decision on whether they will book a showing or not.
2. The agent fancies themself as a novelist, and tries to write flowery phrases in an attempt to “paint a picture” of “how it will feel” to live in this “fanciful abode.” Barf.
3. The agent uses so many clichés and standard phrases that the home sounds exactly like every other home.
Do you know what buyers (with short attention spans) want to know when they’re reading listing descriptions?
What are the best features of the property? Period. That’s it. That’s all.
If you can fit all the best features of the property into a single sentence, that should be the first sentence in your description! If you need to use two sentences to make it sound good, that’s fine.
The point is that the first sentence is the most important one; the second sentence is the second most important, etc. By the time you get to the last sentence in a long description, you should probably assume that nobody’s going to read it.
Less is more! A short, punchy description is FAR more powerful than a long, boring one.
The next time you write a listing description, as an exercise, try including all the best features in a single sentence. If it sounds good, use it! The rest of your description can reinforce the first sentence, while also including less essential features. But keep your description short and powerful! Leave out all the tiny details and avoid flowery words.
Remember, your purpose is to generate as many quality showings as possible. So, tell people what they need to know to decide whether they want to see the property or not.
When you explain how this works to your potential sellers, guess what? They get it! The following is copied from last week’s Memo because it’s so important to remember:
Describe the psychology behind why you do what you do! Talk about the buyer with the short attention span. When you speak to potential sellers in this way, you build trust and rapport. This goes for your entire presentation, by the way, not just the writing part.
Do you know how many REALTORS® even talk about this stuff in their listing presentation? Practically none. And yet, when you do talk about it, and you back up your words with actual examples from your listings, it can have a massive impact on potential sellers.
The words you use are an essential part of your image. Start using them better!