One New Way to Miss the Real Estate Boat!
Many in the Baja real estate business, including agents, landlords, and developers, have the same challenge of getting their properties noticed online. Of course, to tackle this challenge, you need good property photos and an understanding as to whom you are really communicating. In today’s computer-based real estate market, you should be focusing your written property descriptions to not only the potential buyer or seller, but also to the machine, that is Google, and other search engines.
According to sources, an astonishing 90% of Baja real estate buyers start their property search online. A potential client may never find the property you are offering if a search engine such as Google, or a directory such as Yahoo, doesn’t deliver your property or website to the reader. This is especially true here in Baja, where there is no one-stop shopping online MLS.
Therefore today, you have to write for both the search engine and the searcher. You have to write naturally for the reader first, otherwise, search engines may not value your efforts. Then, you have to write to the search engine in a way that will get your property noticed. Here is a two-part approach that you will want to consider when advertising your property online.
The first part is to plan your writing for the search engine, the party largely responsible for determining who sees your online listing. You need to use words that buyers or sellers would use when searching for property online. For example, someone who wants to get out of the heat in Arizona, might type in a Google search box the keywords “Baja oceanfront.” If the person has visited Baja before, then they might even search the name of a place they are familiar with, such as “Calafia, Baja.”
Based on the location, features, and description of your property, you should choose about 3 to 10 keywords. Before you write the property text, check to see if your keywords are being typed into search engine boxes by potential clients, and then keep testing until you find good keywords. There are several free tools online to help you find out how often keywords are typed into search boxes so you can choose your keywords wisely.
According to experts, keywords should make up no more than 10% of your text. After you write the article and put it online, check the keyword density with a keyword density checker to confirm you are close to that 10%.
The second part is writing your property text for humans, those who will be buying your home. Here in Baja, when writing real estate listings, it is no longer enough to just write a short property description for an advertisement in the local newspaper or in one of the several online listing sites.
The real estate market has become so sophisticated that readers now expect to find solid property information without wordiness.
Here are suggestions to keep your reader's attention once the reader finds your property online. First, stay away from highly opinionated descriptions such as “magnificent,” “darling,” and “luxurious” that may be a question of personal taste. You should also avoid superlatives such as “biggest,” “best,” or “most” and words that are over-used in real estate writing such as “spacious” and “cozy.” You should assume that buyers are tired of these real estate cliches. These are all words of opinion, and your opinion may not concur with that of the savvy buyer.
Instead, create a credible property description, with quantitative text that includes user benefits. And remember to also address each of the four different personality types in your writing to ensure that you include something attention-getting for all of your potential customers.
Now, let’s put some of these concepts to work. Point2 is a popular real estate listing site here in Baja California. In Point2, an agent is only allowed 2000 characters of text to describe a property, and it is amazing how few agents actually fill it up! Following is one format you can use to write and organize text for your real estate listing that will help you reach out to Google as well as buyers and sellers.
First, start your writing with one or two keyword-rich sentences that describe the property with an exclamation point! This opening statement should impact the human reader as well as be keyword rich for search engines.
In the next paragraph, include the numbers. For example: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 car garage, condo with 2200 square feet, on the 3rd floor, north tower. If the property you are marketing is an investment property, then start a new paragraph here with the most relevant numbers.
In the next paragraphs, you should begin to describe the most important rooms or areas of your home. For example, describe the living room with its features and benefits. Then write about the kitchen, den, and bedrooms. You can end with the patio, garden, yard, and garage. Your goal is to walk the reader through the house in a logical order, satisfying both the buyer and the search engine.
After this description, add a paragraph that includes all the amenities of the community, such as the ocean, the neighbors, tennis courts, and walkways. You might also mention that it is only 5 minutes away from shopping and restaurants.
If you are still short on words, give directions to the property. Not all buyers will know how to get to the property. It may even help other real estate agents find the property if they don’t know where it is. Also, directions give you another opportunity to provide keyword rich text for the search engines.
Another tip when writing real estate descriptions is to use new paragraphs as much as possible. You want a lot of white space on the screen, making it easier for the reader to follow. You run the risk of losing a potential reader if there are too many words clustered together.
Starting new paragraphs often and leaving an empty line between paragraphs as I have done in this article, serves to highlight each important point and is very helpful to readers.
By Mario Restrepo