Great property writing has a way of adding that extra sizzle to the property steak, while igniting the reader with a passionate curiosity, if not desire, to inspect.
For those curious about writing property copy, have property they want to promote, or perhaps are a real estate agent wanting to sharpen their copy writing skills, my many years as an advertising copywriter, real estate agent and property development writer may be of help. However, before putting pen to pad, there are a few little curly things to consider.
First, be descriptive and enticing but not salesy – keep the cheese for the champagne sale’s victory. Write real. Speak to the reader in a realistic manner, keep your prose on subject and never waffle, then dive deep to find the property’s unique selling proposition (USP). Even if it is dog ugly on a busy highway with zero space, it may be enticingly priced, offer potential, or be a developer’s dream.
Several ways to skin your copy
Ok, rookie writer, there are two main areas to consider when knocking out great property copy: structure and style.
The first, structure, is all about providing a clear picture to the reader. The best way to do this is to describe the property as if the reader is making a personal inspection. Start with how it delivers a ‘striking streetscape presence’ from the outside, perhaps mention the landscaping if it is a plus, then take the reader through the front door with a brief property description: ‘Opening to sleek contemporary interiors, the residence is bathed in an abundance of natural light.’
Follow with a brief description of the property: ‘Boasting a superb array of three living spaces, this three-bedroom brick…’ Then try get to the kitchen asap – my experience is this is always top-of-mind with buyers, so spend some time here cooking up buyer desire. Something along the lines of: ‘Fine cuisine is delivered via a superb array of European appliances deftly integrated into polyurethane cabinetry, complemented with stone bench tops and chic glass splash backs.’ All the better if there’s some juicy stuff like Calacatta marble, butler’s/walk-in pantry or 900mm oven.
Then, in order, provide a brief description of the living spaces, master bedroom, bedrooms, study and any outdoor entertaining/swimming pool setting. Now it’s time to wrap things up with features. Highlights like ducted heating/AC, ducted vacuum, fireplaces, electric vergola, designer lighting, gas fittings and remote garage entry with internal entry; plus any extra exterior goodies such as integrated BBQ/pizza oven or basketball venue.
So that’s structure, now about words
I know a property writer that only uses one adjective per sentence. I find that hard to do, but I’m always mindful not to be too flowery.
When it comes to descriptive words, these days no property copy seems to appear without ‘chic’ and ‘sleek’ mentioned. Quickly followed by ‘outstanding, sensational and stunning’.
When slider or bi-fold doors open to a great outdoor entertaining venue, think about the ‘seamless indoor/outdoor interaction.’ Plus, there’s some punchy options like: ‘unchallenged, sublime, unparalleled, etc. You’ll be amazed how handy a thesaurus can be when you pop in these thought starters.
What not to write
What is it with the word: ‘replete’? I see some writers using this in such a pompous manner, along the lines of: ‘An outstanding presentation of Tudor architecture replete with feature cornices and elegant lighting.’ How would the average Joe/Julie property buyer relate to that word, unless, of course, they read it after eating their fish dinner replete with chips.
Also, be careful with the word ‘complement’, don’t confuse this with ‘compliment’, which has an entirely different meaning. Replace
simple words like: ‘big’ with ‘generous, oversize’ or ‘sizeable’
Once written, put it under your pillow for a night and read it fresh as a buyer would. Then edit it back as tight as possible. Also read premium ‘boutique’ agents’ listings – you’ll recognize the structure mentioned here, and maybe pick up a few extra property writing adjectives. As opposed to most franchise agents, boutique agencies usually exhibit superior marketing, with professional writers, and this is quite apparent with their copy.
Cap your creative content off with a strong or clever headline (never punny or corny as it devalues the product). Then get ready to enjoy that victory champagne, as you watch the steak you’ve been writing about get devoured.