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Listing Copy – What’s The Point?

30th June 2021

Copy has always of the most controversial property listing topics.

You’d struggle to find a decent agent who thinks they can get away with blurry, badly composed photos.

Many agents build their professional reputation on their skill as valuers, making sure their pricing is always on point.

But many agents still refuse to accept that property listing copy is worth worrying about.

Before opening my letting agency in 2007 I came from a direct marketing background. In this world copy is king.

The best copywriters can command 6 figures plus royalties for writing a single sales letter or landing page!

It should come as no surprise that I firmly believe a well-written property listing copy can make a BIG difference.

The Problem With Listing Copy

Unfortunately, few UK based agents know how to write good listing copy.

And they don’t see the benefit because all their competitors are doing it the same crappy way too. There’s nothing better to compare themselves against.

What’s even worse is that many agents are messages from their Buyers and Tenants that confirms this view!

What do I mean by that? Their Buyers or Tenants will say to them that all the listing copy is the same, full of jargon and that they don’t pay it much attention.

That’s because it DOES all look the same! Because it IS all full of jargon! Because it doesn’t demand their attention!

Buyers and Tenants get so used to wading through bland, cliché & jargon-ridden copy. It doesn’t tell them much and doesn’t connect with them. So they learn to switch off or skim over the copy.

This presents you with a GREAT opportunity to stand out.

The bar will be so low that even a small improvement will lift your listing way above your competitors.

In The Kingdom Of The Blind, The One-Eyed Man Is King…

Small Changes. Big Improvements.

It really doesn’t take much to make a big difference to your listing copy

The full description is important - but on sites like Rightmove where they show a couple of lines of copy on the search summary – just changing the first two sentences can make a huge impact.

That’s because the search summary copy is the best way to get inside the head of your prospective Buyer or Tenant. And get them to click.

Legendary adman HW Hepner put it far better than I could;

“Catching attention should lead to capturing the mind. Effective advertising means that the reader’s mind, as well as his eye, must be captured.”

And to capture the mind, you need a good copy.

Actually, I’d disagree with old HW a little here – because he overlooks the importance of emotion in the buying (and clicking) process.

People make decisions based on emotion and justify with logic and fact. That’s a fact.

So when writing the first two lines of your listing ditch the standard “Blah De Blah Estates Are Proud To Be Instructed And Bring To The Market This…” vanity nonsense.

Instead, make your ideal Buyer or Tenant sit up and notice your property is exactly what they are looking for. And get them sufficiently interested to click to find out more.

Listing Copy For New Business

But there are other benefits, besides engaging emotionally with your potential Buyers or Tenants.

Crafting your listing copy can help you to attract Landlords & Vendors too.

One of the soapbox issues that I'll rant about for hours is agents having little or no real point of difference.

This means Landlords and Vendors struggle to tell one agent from another. So they base their decisions on price.

I call it “Vanilla Sludge” marketing. Everyone is so similar and bland it hurts.

The frustrating thing is, there are plenty of ways to differentiate your agency.

One way is to become known locally for your well written, interesting listings.

OK...that alone may not win you an instruction – but it will make you stand out as different from the competition AND provide a unique angle to justify charging a decent fee.

Thanks for reading!

Neil Whitfield

#1 Bestselling Author Of ‘The Ultimate Property Listing’. Letting Agency Business Growth Specialist.

Neil provides one to one and group coaching for letting agents & estate agents who want to stand out in their local market, grow their business and make more money.

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