How to Write the Perfect Property Listing: A Step-by-Step Guide

title image real estate property description examples

Wondering how to write the perfect, almost-sells-itself property listing? Looking for great real estate property description examples? Spoiler alert but the secret is this: Be different.

The world today (and especially the Internet) is swathed in serious buy-me! buy-me! energy. Consumers everywhere face a constant barrage of marketing and ads. Every inch of online real estate (haha) is oversaturated, even if you niche down in your market. We’re screaming louder than ever and yet, it has never been harder to be heard.

You have so much competition.

So, while you may be here because you think your biggest challenge will be how to write a great listing, the truth is that your biggest challenge will be to cut through the noise. You must stand out from the crowd. And the real estate industry is croooowded

The Anatomy of Marketing “Different” 

Anatomy of Marketing

There are two ways to write a listing:

1.    The way everyone else writes a listing; or

2.    The better way.

If you’ve read this far, we’ll assume you’re choosing door #2. And that’s a great thing for your future commissions. 

So, let’s get into the and real estate property description examples tips. First up, some hard work. Because it’s all about mindset: You don’t have to be a great writer but you do have to get into the mindset of great writers (and marketers)

That starts with branding. 

Step 1: Brand Your Property (At Least in Your Head)

Yes, you need to think about each home as a brand. What’s the home’s personality? What story does it tell? Let yourself be a little creative. Do a little acting. Put on a persona. For example, what kind of details would a gregarious, expert auctioneer rattle off to sell your listing? 

If you’re stuck, hunt around online. Don’t just look at real estate property description examples, either; search for great ads and ad campaigns and source your inspiration from the ones that inspire you.

Step 2: Work Your Pitch

From there, you need to think about your pitch. Write down a list of your home’s unique selling points – all those details that make it different from all those other homes (even the ones next door). 

From there, work up a short (think two or three sentences) elevator pitch on how you’d describe the home to someone who hadn’t seen a single photo

Try to work value and emotion into your pitch: Instead of listing simply “This home features large windows with ocean views,” turn it into “Here, you can check the surf conditions from almost every room, courtesy of the oversized picture windows that overlook the Pacific below!”

Step 3: Be Accurate.

This goes without saying, but don’t embellish the truth. That’s not to say you should lay out every wart and detail (you shouldn’t), but resist the temptation to call a 1,200 square-foot home “sprawling” or to misrepresent peekaboo views as “panoramas.”

This also goes for architectural and design terminology. If you aren’t familiar with the right words to use, then don’t wing it. Research. Learn. And always use the proper terms!

Step 4: Avoid Clichés

World, save us from real estate clichés! And not just because they’re boring, repetitive and, well, clichéd. Because they don’t work.

The truth is that consumers are savvy and they’re also blind to clichés. Think about it: When was the last time your brain really registered (let alone got excited by) a cliché in advertising? Has a vacuum cleaner ever been “revolutionary” or an offer “the most startling thing you’ve ever seen”?

The same goes for real estate clichés: People don’t see them and if they do, they look right past them. This goes for everything from “magnificent,” “gorgeous,” and “charming” to “rare,” “unique,” and “unparalleled.” (Very few things are rare, unique, or unparalleled anymore. If your property is one of the above, say it – but prove it!)

Step 5: Show, Don’t Tell

This one takes practice (see below), but work on how to show a property’s features and benefits, rather than simply listing them (that’s what bullet lists are for!). 

Skim through some real estate property description examples and you’ll see that they show benefits. For example, a balcony or pool terrace is a great feature. But luring potential buyers with the promise of sun-splashed afternoons with their pant cuffs rolled up, a cool drink in hand as they watch the blazing sunset fade to a starry night sky? That paints a picture of something they crave.

Step 6: Practice, Practice, Practice

Ask even the best copywriter, and they’ll tell you that effective sales and marketing writing requires lots of practice. No one is born good at this thing; you have to hone your skills, find your style, and do it over and over and over again. And then, do it some more.

Structure of a “Perfect” Real Estate Property Listing

Structure real estate property description

The truth of property listings is that there’s no one, single truth. You’ll have to carve out your own style and way of doing things. 

We can give you some loose guidelines, though. Here’s how to craft your can’t-be-beat, you-WANT-this-home listing: 

Don’t Worry About Being Perfect (That’s for Later)

We know, we know – this post is literally titled the “perfect property listing!” But perfection is for later. 

As you begin to write, do so fearlessly. Don’t worry about getting it just right. As you read and reread, you’ll naturally start to edit, perfect, and tighten things up. For now, just write. You can edit like a beast afterward.

Turn Out a GREAT Headline

Did you know that 80% of people will read your headline – but only 20%, on average, will read your listing copy?

Boost your personal average. Remember, don’t do what every else does. Think different. Add humor, if that’s your thing. Be witty. Or maybe go bold. Whatever works for you. For inspiration, think: 

  • Architecture buff? Design aficionado? Wine collector? Welcome home. (High-design home with a wine cellar)
  • Champagne-taste architecture. Beer-budget maintenance. (Tropical-design home built to withstand the elements.)
  • Nerdy Has Always Been Cool. Here, It’s Even Cooler. (Smart home.)

If you’re stuck, you can find some great real estate property description examples not on broker sites, but on vacation home listing sites: property managers and owner-managers have made an art out of tweaking their headlines! (Sort by most/highest ratings and you’ll see what we mean.)

Focus on Your Opening Statement

If only 20% of people read your listing, even fewer will read your entire listing copy

Think of it like this: Your headline has to be good enough that they want to read the first line. The first line has to be good enough that they’ll want to read the second. And so on and so on. 

Make your first line count. Obsess over it as much as you obsess over your headline. It should be powerful, attention-catching, and evocative. Emotion (a buyer’s emotions, that is) matter!

Be Precise. And Concise.

Do yourself a favor: Write a precise and complete description. Then cut all the fluff. Ideally, your listing will include just a few short but powerful paragraphs. Follow it up with a bulleted list of features

Tell Your Property’s Story. Don’t Forget Your USPs.

Remember the branding exercise you started with? Now’s the time to let your creativity shine!

Be sure that your precise, concise listing accurately portrays your property’s “brand.” Is it a sassy little pied-à-terre or a suave and sprawling Bond-worthy estate? Your few short paragraphs need to make this clear. 

Edit. Then Ask Your Fellow Agents to Edit Some More. 

Here’s where “perfection” comes into play. After you think you have everything ready, it’s time to ready your listing. And that starts with some merciless editing.

Use Grammarly or a similar tool to start with the easy stuff. Then, read your listing and edit yourself. If you have trouble editing yourself, use a tool (like TTSReader) to read your listing out loud (it can be easier to catch mistakes this way). 

Once you’ve done the first round of edits, hand off your listing to a trusted fellow real estate agent. Ask them to read with a critical eye. (Even better, if they’re familiar with the property, ask them if you’ve missed anything they’d consider essential!)

And once you’ve finished that round of edits, circle back and see if there’s anything else to trim (too many adjectives? repetition?), change, or strengthen.

Finish with a Call to Action

Your brokerage’s website should have plenty of calls-to-action listed throughout – from the sidebar to the site’s header and footer. That said, if you can, add a direct call-to-action at the bottom of your listing (unless there’s one right there already). 

Listing Overwhelm? We’re Here to Help!

Peak Marketing for real estate listings

This step-by-step guide may not be very long, but writing a great listing isn’t a simple matter. (If it were, everyone would do it!) 

After all, there’s an entire industry devoted to just this topic: Real estate copywriting is an art and a science and perhaps a bit of alchemical magic thrown in for good measure.  

If writing isn’t your passion or your interest or your wheelhouse, then every property listing and every piece of marketing content you produce can feel like a slog through endless and confusing lists of must-dos and don’t-forgets. If that’s your case, then we’re here to help. 

At Peak Integrated Marketing, we take our clients’ listing copy seriously. In fact, our team includes a dedicated copywriting expert whose entire job is to do everything above (and a lot more). Not just so you don’t have to, but so that your website and your brokerage get the search engine love they truly deserve. So please, get in touch and let’s talk. We look forward to it!