What Online Real Estate Listings Can Learn From Ecommerce

For homebuyers today — whether you’re looking to move within your neighborhood or across the country — most searches begin online. Before they stand in the front yard or inspect the basement, most buyers check the online listings, and a bad digital listing may be the end of their interest in a particular property.

Although ecommerce has been around for over two decades now, real estate is still just getting a handle on the changed marketing landscape. That’s why realtors who want to boost sales ought to take some cues from the arena of ecommerce.

Other industries mastered great product description years ago. Here are four ways realtors can bring ecommerce strategies to bear on the world of property sales.

Get The Highlights

In the writing of property descriptions, traditional listings have a structure modeled on the old newspaper approach, in which you were charged for each character. That’s why we still see “3BR 2BA” shorthand on the Web when there are more elegant ways to describe a home and the price-per-character charge no longer applies.

Today realtors need to start designing every property description by drawing up a full list of features — then trimming that down to the most meaningful and interesting details, the way other ecommerce merchants do. A few home dimension specs might be helpful, for example, but most people browsing the listings won’t get out a tape measure to compare dimensions.

What they mainly want to know is whether the house has two master bedrooms with bathrooms en suite. That’s much more informative and compelling copy.

Invest In Appropriate Platforms

Another reason that realtors post inadequate property listings online is because they aren’t using a great sales platform. Maybe you’re compelled to create a new page for every single property, or you have to call up your webmaster to edit the code whenever a new house comes to market.

Those are unnecessary barriers to good online listings. Instead, real estate firms ought to take a cue from their ecommerce peers and invest in platforms that are easy to populate with product information.

Homes are your product; the more easily you can fill out a comprehensive product profile or edit a profile to highlight a current trend, the more effective your listings will be.

Describe Sincerely

Part of what potential buyers want to see in real estate writing is evocative description … but they don’t want to feel they’ve been misled when they arrive at the actual site. That’s why it’s essential to be clear but realistic when you describe a property.

Superlatives are a hard sell in realty, for example. It’s easy to say a light bulb is the brightest on the market when you know what your competitors manufacture, but who’s to say that a home combines “the best” of two different architectural styles?

A better approach would be to describe the specific architectural features in the home than to offer unqualified (and likely unjustified) praise. “Masterpiece” is too vague as a description for a home or anything in it, but “inlayed onyx” is specific and meaningful.

Stay Current

The most exciting details in any listing — whether for a house, a blender, or a pair of trousers — are whatever details are popular in the marketplace right now. Big data has made it easier than ever to research breaking trends, which can empower realtors to reference in their listings the features everyone will be clamoring for a year or two down the road.

Future highlights, any major upgrades to the structure, brand-name kitchen appliances, or other trendy amenities should have pride of place in your listings. Yes, the countertops are new, but it’s more worth noting that they’re marble, because that’s a feature in high demand. Use such keywords tactically to boost the power of your listings.

The housing market has heated up again after years of foreclosures and stagnation. Now’s the time to improve your real-estate listing skills. You’re not having to pay by the character anymore, so use those five-star words to trumpet the properties you’re working with and they’ll start selling faster than you can list them.

Article source: http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/what-online-real-estate-listings-can-learn-from-ecommerce-63781.aspx

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