The purpose of real estate advertising is to attract a buyer. So why is it that many advertisements are full of stuff that annoys and frustrates them? Why is it that the experience for buyers is often so poor it causes them to miss, pass over, or simply ignore the property?
We put together a list of the 7 most annoying things we've seen on real estate advertising to act as a guide for what not to do with your home. Take a look at some of the worst habits:
1. Not being online
Let's get the most obvious one out of the way. 90% of buyers go onto the internet to find their next property, and in fact will have been searching for several weeks before they ever contact an agent or make an appearance at an open home. If you are not online you are not visible to buyers. makes you wonder about how best value is obtained for those properties that get offers before the advertising ever starts doesn’t it.
2. Poor photos
Photos are the most important feature of the marketing for your home to buyers. Great photos are a must. There are some shockers out there - rain on the lens, photos of a bed not the bedroom, clothes everywhere, and the ubiquitous toilet (with the seat up!). There are just so many examples of what not to do.
This is the area you need an expert - get a professional photographer involved with a wide angle lens and a sense of what is required for TradeMe and www.realestate.co.nz in particular. Remember as well your real estate agent is likely not a professional photographer!
3. No Price
The first question a buyer will ask about an auction, by negotiation, offers or some other form of non-priced advertised property is “what’s the price”. Buyers want to know your expectations - why hide them?
4. No address
You can't sell a secret. The golden rule of real estate, you know it - location, location, location. Tell the buyer where it is for goodness sake! You can’t hide the fact that you are selling from the neighbours - they’ll recognise the photos immediately. They, or someone they know could in fact be the buyer. Modern search techniques rely on an address. If your property doesn’t include an address it will not feature.
5. Fancy or incongruous titles
The title is there is grab attention. They are important and you should spend some time on it. Try not to get fancy, and please, please, please avoid the real estate cliches. “Genuine Seller”, “Realistic Vendor”, “Must Be Sold” - oh really? “Architecturally Designed”, “Original Features”, “Deceptively Spacious” - no kidding!
Make sure the title suits the property - describing a small 2 bedroom back unit as “Fit for King” is probably not accurate. While it's important to capture peoples' attention in titles, make sure it isn't misleading and that the description and the property can actually live up to what you promised in the title.
6. Not enough information
How many times do you see adverts with a total of 6 photos and 3 lines of description that repeat the icons (3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, double garage). Yep, that really adds value. It’s an old real estate agent trick - put the minimum possible information out there to force a buyer to call. Buyers hate it, “less is more” does not work. Give lots of great photos and a description that focuses on the benefits of living in the home. Get the buyer to feel like they want to move in!
7. Boring and/or misleading description
A buyer has made some effort by the time they get to the description. It is time to ramp up the interest level. The description that just repeats the basic features of the house (bedrooms, bathrooms etc) doesn’t do that. Oh, and forget the real estate speak and buzz words, overused phrases and frankly misleading commentaries. Sometimes it feels like the same three descriptions have been run through a thesaurus! There is an old marketing saying “sell the sizzle not the steak” - the description should describe what it is like to live there, focus on the benefits not the features - a big back yard is a feature, space for kids to run around safely under the watchful eye of parents is a benefit. Use regular words and describe the home in the way people actually speak!
What real estate advertising practices drive you mental? Share them in the comments.