3 Ways to Improve Your Listing Copy

by Peter Thomas Ricci

With syndication sites and IDX feeds now a permanent fixture on the real estate landscape, well-written listing copy is a necessity.


Once upon a time, real estate listings were a closely-held secret, with the information and facets of all homes on the market nestled in the domains of locally owned and managed multiple listing services.

Now, however, the situation is a radically different one, with syndication sites and IDX feeds distributing listings to the greater Web-browsing public; with greater exposure, though, comes greater responsibility. With millions of properties now freely available to potential homebuyers, and with new research from NAR finding that 99 percent of online shoppers value informative copy, it’s imperative to differentiate your listings from the competition, and effective, creative writing to describe your listings is a great way to do just that.

How do you refine your listing copy, though, and improve upon it? We have three suggestions:

1. Read the Copy of Successful Agents – Make a list of the five or 10 agents that you respect the most in your local market. Then, go to their websites, Realtor.com profiles, etc. and read how they describe their listings. Chances are more than likely that they are good writers, and that their writing separates them from their competitors. How do they use adjectives? What features of the home do they highlight? Are there certain characteristics they mention on a consistent basis? One of the main ways to improve your writing is to read good writing (shocking, right?!), and seeing how the masters do it will be hugely beneficial for your listing copy.

2. Write. And Revise. And Revise Again – Trust us, we have some insight on this topic! In addition to reading, constant revisions are the other secret to good writing. Strong, attention-grabbing copy takes time to produce, so don’t fret if the first sentences you write are not of Hemingway quality. Go through a few revisions of your listing copy, and only publish it to your website and syndication profiles when you’re completely satisfied.

3. Consult Your Sellers – So, your awesome listing copy attracted a seller, and your contracts are all signed and put to bed; now that the process is complete, ask the sellers what they found appealing in your listing copy! Ask them what worked, what didn’t, and what qualities of real estate writing generally attract their attention. There’s nothing like advice directly from the consumer.

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