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7 Tips for Writing a Great Listing Description

By Justin Kerby Aug 30, 2021

Real estate professionals often have a contentious relationship with writing listing descriptions. Most of the strain comes from the repetitive nature and limited characters available for describing a property. With that said it’s important to always look at each listing individually, and put the same amount of attention into every description to ensure you drive traffic to your listings.

Look at the listing description as a sales opportunity, and as a place to refine your pitch for the listing you represent. Here’s how to write a great listing description.


1. Don’t bury the lede

We won’t bury the lede by putting this tip at the bottom of our list, just like you shouldn’t stuff the most important features in your listings into the middle of your description. Start your listing description by highlighting the most important information that buyers need to know about the property. Never miss a chance to cut to the chase.


2. Be accurate and succinct

A lack of accuracy is probably one of the biggest mistakes that agents make when writing a listing description. There’s a tendency in the industry to over-embellish and overstate things, leaving those who visit the property disappointed and underwhelmed. Don’t make this mistake. Aim to give buyers a true representation of your listing, with specific details that won’t misinform or leave people wanting more.

Try to find words that add value to your listing’s features without setting unrealistic expectations. To avoid confusion and disappointment, you should also double-check the accuracy of any numbers you include in your description.

Portals like REW always include key statistics like the number of bedrooms and square footage in the header of a listing page and in the property details section, so there’s no need to repeat these numbers in your listing description itself. Use the description instead to mention how potential buyers could use the space in the property, to list brand names for appliances, or to highlight unique features. More on those next.


3. Highlight unique features and think local

Your goal is to write a listing description that differentiates itself from the competition, so make a habit of reviewing similar listings in your area. Stand out from the competition by highlighting unique features, whether they be white shaker cabinets or a newly renovated bathroom with subway tile. Being specific about renovations can help you draw interest, so always save space for mentioning recent upgrades.

Thinking local is always a solid strategy, so get to know the area surrounding your listing and highlight the amenities nearby. Mentioning the distance to trails, parks, schools, restaurants, and breweries can help readers envision the community. If you only have space to mention a few amenities, try to tailor them to the potential buyer’s top interests.

Other things to consider mentioning including parking, views, renovations, passive income potential, and landscaping. Buyers are interested in all of these features, so get creative and include as many as possible.


4. Avoid words that could give the wrong impression

While there are many things to include in a listing description, there are also a few things you’ll want to consider leaving out. At the top of the list of words, you’ll want to avoid are references to the property needing “TLC”, or to a home being a “fixer-upper”. These terms often drive potential buyers away, as they imply that the home is not desirable aesthetically and structurally. Don’t thin out your potential buyers by using words like this, instead highlight the positive features and let buyers decide for themselves if renovations would benefit their living situation.

You’ll also want to avoid industry jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms whenever possible unless they reference something extremely well-known and you need to save on space. Phrases and words that agents are familiar with often don’t translate well with first-time home buyers, and abbreviations and acronyms can leave people confused. Instead, be clear and direct when you write your description.


5. Read through the competition and find inspiration from the best listings

Sometimes, to be the best you need to learn from the best. Flagging the top producing agents in your area and seeing how they go about their marketing is one of the best ways to learn and improve as an agent. At REW, our suite of agent tools allows you to keep an eye on the competition. REW.One gives agents access to a suite of analytics, including data on the most popular agent profiles and listings on REW. Watch for listings that perform well on REW and review their descriptions to see what’s working well for other agents. Reading through these regularly can help you draw inspiration and get ideas for your own listing descriptions in the future.


6. Proofread (and don’t be afraid to ask for a second set of eyes)

Before you finalize any listing description, you need to proofread multiple times. You want to make sure your copy is grammatically correct and without spelling mistakes. Read through your listing description carefully and then read it again out loud to yourself to see if it flows properly. It’s always a good idea to run your copy through a friend or co-worker who is a good writer, just to double-check for anything you may have missed.

If you’re looking for a digital tool to help with grammar and spelling, Grammarly is a fantastic application for writing copy online. They have both desktop software and browser extensions to help you catch any mistakes.


7. Include a call to action

The last thing you should do with all of your listing descriptions is include a call to action. Some real estate agents add their personal information at the end of a description, but with REW your profile information is already included on every listing page. This allows you to use the end of your description to highlight the next steps that home seekers can take to see your property. REW listing pages have buttons directly below the listing description where potential buyers can save open house dates and add live stream events to their calendar, so using your call to action to highlight these features is an excellent option.

Follow these seven tips to improve your property descriptions and help your listings stand out from the competition. To get more views on your listings, check out REW.One and see how you can start boosting your listings today.

Justin Kerby
Justin Kerby is the founder of Something Great, a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate branding and content creation. They help companies create social media strategies, newsletters, blog content plans, and advertising campaigns.
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