Warning: This next statement may disturb some readers.
Over the past month I have been tracking the performance of 20 properties on realestate.com.au. Those properties were viewed 19,726 times. From those views came 420 enquiries. That works out to just one enquiry for every 47 views.
Ok sure, some of them would have been the same people going back for a second look but for arguments sake it took 30 different people to click into the property for 1 enquiry. This means 29 out of 30 people read the descriptions and decided that the property wasn’t right. So, if they are clicking and reading the ad, why aren’t they making enquiries?
Avoid Repeating what they Already Know
Even before someone clicks onto the ad they see a small preview of the property which has all the basic information about the rental:
Type of Property
Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Car spaces
- Front Photo
You only have their attention for a couple of seconds so you need to make every word count. Don’t waste valuable words by saying ‘Large 4 bedroom home’. They already know its a 4 bedroom home.
Who do you Want?
When I write a description I find it helpful to imagine the sort of people I want living in my house. This way I can write directly to them and list the features that will appeal to them. For example, if your house is perfect for a professional couple, mention the open living area, the elegant kitchen with stainless steel appliances and the great entertaining area. Focus on the tenants you want and list the features which matter to them.
Property Description Heading
Seeing the title of your description should make the tenant want to read more. Your heading should be:
Under 6 Words
Catchy & Intriguing
Describe the greatest benefit to your ideal tenant
A catchy and memorable phrase that captures your property’s benefit in less than six words is ideal. Instead of saying “4 Bedroom House in Quiet Area” as it repeats what they already know and its nothing new. Replace it with “Whisper Quiet Location”.
Bullet Points vs Paragraph of Text
Tenants are shoppers. They want a list of features they can tick off when comparing properties.
This approach lends itself to writing bullet points of raw facts about the property. This is efficient but will not appeal to the tenants emotions. A good approach is to combine bullet points with a descriptive paragraph. Do not get carried away with the bullets. Six is plenty.
100 Words is Enough
Try to limit your total description to 100 words. This is not a hard and fast rule, and there are certainly feature packed, high end properties which may require longer descriptions. Keeping things short and sweet should intrigue tenants enough to pick up the phone.
Spelling and Grammar
Proper grammar and spelling is important because it makes your ad flow and read well. Spelling errors especially seem to stand out in a negative way.
That being said, I have seen some very effective property descriptions that would have driven an English teacher up the wall. Your description is talking directly to a real, specific person, let your language reflect that.
Using open ended words like ‘nice’ ‘close’ ‘large’ does not describe what it actually is. Your ‘close’ is different to someone elses ‘close’. Try saying ‘300 meters walk to the shops’ instead.
The abbreviations used in rental ads are a throwback to the days of newspaper ads. Even if the reader understands what BIR , S/S, SLUG, and DLUG mean, they do not belong in your ad.
How do Tenants Reach You?
One more thing NOT to put in your property description is your contact information. That information is available within the inspection details. Putting it in the body of your description opens the door to marketers and Spam-bots.
Call to Action
The tactics which work for used car sales or dating sites will turn off tenants. They are looking for a home, a place for peaceful rest. You need to get them to act without seeming forceful. Try this as your ending “This house has always leased in a few days so I recommend getting in now before its too late”.