Eight features buyers want on your property advert
We spend a lot of time on valuations and viewings listening to feedback and discussing what our clients want to see (and what they don’t want) in their property adverts or in the brochures of the homes they are looking to buy. From these conversations, we thought it might be useful to create a list of the features mentioned most often. If you want to tick all the boxes on your advertising, have a look at the checklist below and see what you think. Do let us know if we’ve missed anything out!
Realistic photos – the biggest gripe we hear from viewers at the moment is over use of wide angle lenses, making rooms look bigger than they really are. I love being told on a viewing that the house looks exactly like the pictures – it means I’ve done my job right and not overpromised. If you walk into a room expecting better than you find, that’s not a good start to a showing. It goes without saying that photos should be well lit, sharp and preferably taken on a nice day but steer clear of the fisheye lenses.
Clear floorplans – there seems to be a tendency for some agents to over clutter floorplans with icons (kitchen worktops, washing machines, sinks and the like) or, even worse, ruin a perfectly good floorplan by watermarking their company logo all over it. Depending on the website or the device used, floorplans can’t always be easily enlarged to view so they need to be clean, clear and preferably colour coded for maximum effect.
Garden measurements and orientation – so easy to include but so often missed out. Small, medium and large mean different things to different people so why not just state the facts. Which way the back garden faces is 2 seconds worth of work to find out but makes all the difference in the world if you’re a sun worshipper, BBQ devotee or keen gardener. Yes, you could rely on buyers checking Google maps but why not save them the time?
Use all the bullet points – most property portals put bullet points at the top of their adverts for agents to swiftly highlight the selling points of the property. There should be eight to ten slots to use and all of them should be utilised to help buyers make quick decisions. Some websites also prioritise the content of these bullet points in their keyword search function so its worth learning what keywords are most popular and tailoring advert features accordingly.
Material information – although you could argue this should have been standard practice anyway, by the end of April 2022 Trading Standards regulations will require agents to clearly state council tax band and tenure information for all sales properties advertised. There will be later phases of regulation to require disclosure on further material info like restrictive covenants or flood risk but, for now, its worth making sure your advert clearly shows the above info and more. If you have a flat, I’ve always thought it worthwhile to state lease length remaining and any management charges up front as well. Lastly, if the property is no onward chain, that has got to be seriously worthwhile mentioning right at the start with bells on.
Video walkthroughs – I’m not talking here about a slideshow of the same still photos you’ve already shown the viewer. That might not accomplish anything other than annoying them. How about a decent handheld walkthrough of the house? That will emphasise the flow of the accommodation, confirm which areas link with each other and generally mesh the photos and plans together for ease of understanding. Videos, especially when obviously done by the agent, also have the benefit of honesty. Its difficult to “stage” a video so viewers are getting a true reflection.
Location, location, location – yes, there is always a map attached to your web advert but should you rely on that or Google streetview to highlight the property surroundings? How about a combination of views from the house, your own street view and a summary of local points of interest?
Good copy – a lot of agents property copy can come across as bland or clinical, more along the lines of a list of features than a warm and aspirational description of a home. Even worse, some agents waste lines and lines of your text on telling viewers how excited they are to be instructed on the home when they should be extolling its virtues. We get a lot of compliments on the snippets of historical research or “owners experience” paragraphs we often include on our clients homes so that may be worth a try too.
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