What’s in a Property Description (That Attracts Prospects)?

Tips to make a property description compelling enough to attract prospects and help turn them into residents.

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I grew up reading Aesop’s Fables. One of them comes to mind when thinking about the power of words—”The Tongues.” In this fable, Aesop served tongues as the best and worst foods at one of Xanthus’ sophisticated dinner parties. When asked how it is possible that one ingredient fills in for both requirements, he responded by formulating one of marketing’s principles—promotion. Tongues are the best of all foods as the tongue is the foundation of civilization, the organ of truth and reason, an instrument of praise and adoration; tongues are also the worst as the tongue is an instrument of strife and tension, the force behind lawsuits and slander, an organ of error, lies and all sorts of problems.

The ‘tongue’ and the words it produces can make, or break, a business, or in this case, the chance to attract prospects at a certain property and turn them into residents. So, what makes a good property description?

Use concise language

Especially these days, people’s attention span and patience are at all-time lows. So, don’t write novels, but rather keep the property description shorter and concise. Outline the key features of the property and refrain from using futile details or fluff text.

Words such as ‘exceptional’ and ‘stunning’ may sound good, but they don’t offer any real information about the property; more so, ‘cozy’ has long lost its comfortable meaning to ‘very small,’ and ‘vintage’ makes everyone think ‘old.’ Avoid so-called flowery language, as it can make the readers think you’re trying to hide behind adjectives.

Highlight those sought-after features

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Every property has its delightful characteristics, so put those into the spotlight! From common area amenities like fully equipped gyms, visitors’ parking, concierge or front desk staff, rooftop deck and co-working space, to unit amenities like garden, fireplace, or smart appliances.

Of great importance are local schools/universities, transport links, resident parking, package rooms and pet-friendly status. Don’t be shy to flaunt in your property description all the features your asset has to offer, or afraid of some enumerations here and there.

Know your renters

The property description should highlight those features that are of great importance to your targeted prospects. Students will look for a specific set of amenities, while young families and seniors will search for different features. Who you are renting to should also dictate the language style, as younger prospects will react differently to a more informal style than senior prospects.

Write correctly, don’t fear punctuation

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Grammar matters. Those who spot spelling and grammatical errors will be bothered by them. The same goes for punctuation. Follow a basic structure in your property description as it will help make the description clearer and guide the reader’s comprehension.

Add good photos

‘Description’ might come from Latin (meaning to ‘write down’), but we live in a burgeoning digital era when “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So, use that to your advantage. Think of the photos you use as a way of complementing your property description, the yin to your yang. Use high-quality photos and remember that it is as important that you keep them realistic, thus keeping editing at a minimum is highly advisable. Statistical tip: Use up to 15 photos and don’t use repetitive images.

Special promotions

If you have move-in incentives to offer, best to make it known from the get-go. Some examples include:

  • A limited-time first-month rent free
  • Reduced rent
  • Lower or no security deposit
  • Waived fees (background check and/or application fee)
  • Waived parking fee
  • Free moving service
  • Gift cards to local businesses
  • A subscription to a streaming service

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