Struggling to write real estate descriptions that sell? Chances are you’re using generic words that keep you from standing out. Take note of these common real estate description clichés and why they could be costing you valuable inquiries.
It’s not enough to write attractive property descriptions—you have to land the sale! That means you can’t afford to sound like every other real estate agent or broker. This post lists out the most common clichés and adjectives used in listings and why you should avoid them.
If you’re in the real estate industry, chances are you’ve read more than your fair share of real estate ads over the years. And like me, you’ve probably noticed that most don’t really draw you in. Why?
Property descriptions are written so capriciously that real estate listings tend to sound the same.
Hardly any listing stands out. And if we’re being brutally honest: without photos, you could probably swap one condo out for another and no one would know the difference.
They use empty buzzwords or phrases that don’t mean anything to the reader.
Even worse, they use words that cause the prospective buyer to subconsciously form an inaccurate opinion of the property—even if it’s not actually the reality!
Both could be seriously ruining your chances of attracting more views and more importantly, conversions!
So what are those real estate description clichés and why should you avoid them?
These common real estate description clichés (and generic adjectives) could be costing you inquiries!
Browse through real estate listings and you’re guaranteed to come across numerous ads that use the word “luxury” or “luxurious” in them. You’ll find it to describe everything from the property itself (luxury condo, luxury urban dwelling) to the features or amenities on offer (luxurious modern kitchen, luxurious bathroom fixtures).
Luxury is defined as “a state of great comfort and extravagant living” but the term is used so liberally that it has lost its original meaning—and prospective buyers know it!
Unless you can be specific and show that something is truly luxurious, prospective buyers will take this adjective with a pinch of salt.
Like the previous term, “rare” has ironically become so common that it doesn’t mean what it used to mean either.
Unless the property or some aspect of the property is actually a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity or feature – in other words it’s in low supply – then you probably want to find another adjective.
“Nestled in”, “private enclave”
Prospective buyers already know that this is code for far away or in an otherwise hard-to-access location for those without private vehicles. If you plan to use these descriptions in your real estate ads, just note that it can discourage prospects from the get-go unless relative seclusion is something they are truly after.
Other variants include “lush greenery” and “garden living” and it’s a lazy way of describing the actual state of greenery. If you’re going to write about the garden or natural green spaces, be specific. Are there mature or newly planted trees? What about existing flower beds? Does the plot have a low-cost maintenance grass like Bermuda? Is there a roof garden? You get the idea.
Describing the architect or developer as “highly-regarded” and “experienced” might sound good on paper but what does it actually mean? Readers will be skeptical unless you add more information to actually qualify that statement. For example: Designed by the architects behind the landmark so-and-so building in downtown Hong Kong.
Think “cozy” sounds better than cramped, tight or snug? Think again because potential buyers know that when you say cozy, you mean small. It might be wiser to just mention the actual floor area than describe a room or home as cozy.
“Fantastic”, “Charming”, “Wonderful”
These adjectives sound great but they don’t add much value to a description.
Are these terms useful to the reader? Do they convey helpful information? Do they help the potential buyer imagine his life in this property? Let’s be honest: not really. Should you use them? Probably not. There’s so much more you could be writing about. So skip the empty platitudes and focus on what really matters to your potential client.
To conclude, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these adjectives. The problem lies in the fact that everyone is using them—so much so that some have lost all meaning or taken on entirely new (negative) meanings.
So if you find yourself using these words in your property sales descriptions on a regular basis (like, in every listing), then chances are you’re being lazy—and complacent!
How do you write a good real estate description?
Avoiding real estate description clichés and writing a good real estate description isn’t enough. You want a real estate description that sells!
Aside from steering clear of copywriting clichés, how do you write an ad that attracts the right people? And more importantly, how do you inspire them enough to schedule a visit?
Know your target buyer
You need to define your ideal buyer in order to find the right words to impress first and convince them to take action second. That is, to read more and contact you.
What do they want in a property? What do they need? Are there any concerns you need to address? What might be on their wish list?
The more you understand your prospective buyer, the better the real estate copy you write.
Know your property
You can’t write engaging copy if you don’t have all the details relating to the property you’re trying to sell.
Aside from the facts and figures, what makes this house or condo special? How do the current owners describe living here? If it’s brand new and never been in lived in before, what are the future owners going to love?
Find the right balance
You don’t want a cookie-cutter description but you aren’t entering a creative writing competition either. Remember that there are particulars potential buyers need to know and then there are the details that bring a description to life!
When you get that right, you help the reader imagine living there. Your ad reflects the prospect’s aspirations. It makes a lasting impression and invites the reader to take action—now.
You might also be interested in: Do real estate brokers really need a website?