How to Write the Most Effective Real Estate Listings

How to Write the Most Effective Real Estate Listing

Selling a home involves many steps. One of the most important is listing the home for sale online. Real estate listings must accomplish many goals. Listings must be accurate, factual and entice buyers to see the property in person. When writing a home listing, keep certain things in mind. Effective listings generate leads, show the properly off to well and ultimately get it sold at the highest price quickly.

Avoid the Basics

Readers already know the house has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. They can scan the accompanying fact sheet that is up on every single listing. There’s no need to repeat information that is written elsewhere. Leave out details that the buyer already knows about. The space allotted for descriptions is typically quite short. Make every single word count.

Show Off the Home’s Best Features

Now is the time to brag. If the home has special features that other homes do not, mention them. Updated appliances, an extra large yard, brand new hardwood flooring, a jacuzzi and a three car garage — all these details should go in the listing. The same is true of any additions that have been added recently, such as a new deck or a brand new roof. Discuss the updated baths and the recently installed skylight in the master bedroom. Directly demonstrate what’s unique about this home compared to other homes for sale right now.

Use Highly Specific Language

Research has shown that certain words tend to appeal to buyers more than others. Use as many of these words as you can in the listing. Note that these words tend to be quite specific. For example, “luxurious” and “captivating” are better than a bland, unfocused word like “nice”. Nice means virtually nothing. Descriptive words like landscaped, spotless and upgraded all conjure up a precise and enticing image in buyer’s minds. Any listing should aim to draw a vivid picture of this home in the buyer’s mind the second they read it.

Let the Buyer See Themselves

The goal is to let the buyer imagine they live there already. Copy like, “stretch on this home’s painted wraparound front porch and watch the sun set over the city each evening,” immediately tells the reader what it’s like to own the home.

Writing a real estate listing is an art form, and all the best professionals have mastered this talent. Try some of these tips for your next listing and see the difference.

*Content was originally published at JasonCohenPittsburgh.org

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What’s the Big Deal with Tiny Homes?

What's the Big Deal with Tiny Homes_ by Jason Cohen Pittsburgh

It’s hard to escape the Tiny House phenomenon. There are HGTV shows, Instagram accounts, and a plethora of stories about buying a home under 400 square feet. They require downsizing your possessions, they’re crowded, and they lack a lot of the amenities of a full size home, so why go tiny? While it certainly isn’t for everyone, there are numerous benefits to living in a tiny home.

Minimalism is Key in a World of Hoarders

Oftentimes, people decide to go small because their life has become riddled with material possessions. Maybe they want to escape the clutter. Maybe they want to donate items and give back. Perhaps they are just tired of cleaning up the mess of a huge home. Regardless the reason, a small home will undoubtedly require purging, and it can certainly be good for the soul. However, the minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone. A lot of towns have outlawed the portable housing, which can make relocating difficult. There are towns that encourage tiny house living, however, to help boost their economy.

Cheaper than Mortgage, and Maybe Even Rent

According to the Washington Post, a lot of tiny house owners go tiny for freedom from a mortgage. In fact, cost is one of the first factors in deciding to go tiny. It often gives people the opportunity to be homeowners when they couldn’t normally afford it. It also makes traveling more flexible, as tiny homeowners can uproot their home to each city they travel to and avoid hotel costs and having to constantly eat out. It’s just important to know the laws of states you’re traveling to.

Green as the Cash You’re Saving

Tiny homes are often first purchased as a means of saving money for people looking to avoid paying property taxes, rent, or long-term temporary housing. However, they sometimes stay because a tiny house allows them a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Tiny houses can run on solar energy, can have composting toilets and are often in remote areas where you can garden and grow herbs and spices. Plus, they require much less electricity than traditional homes.

Looking for a minimalist lifestyle? An affordable mortgage? Wanting to help out the environment? Tiny house living may be just the right option for you. Just keep in mind that it can be difficult to find land to “park” your home. However, once you know where you’re going to set up your new digs, the possibilities are endless.

*Originally published at JasonCohenPittsburgh.net

Best Cities For Urban Farming

With the rising awareness around the negative environmental impacts of large-scale farming, there has been a recent trend towards urban farming.  According to a 2013 report from the US Department of Agriculture, around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas, and it seems like a trend that’s only continuing.  Urban farming can be everything from a tomato patch in a vacant lot by your apartment to growing herbs on your rooftop.  I recently came across an article by data scientists from Redfin, who combed through thousands of home listings for farm-friendly keywords to find the best cities for urban farming.  Here is what they found:

Eugene Oregon

People in Eugene love their gardens, and it isn’t uncommon to see vegetables or chickens in yards.  There are six community gardens in the city, with more than 300 plots in-between them.  The local store “The Eugene Backyard Farmer” sells a variety of urban farming supplies, making it easy for people to take up.  And since the city cheaper and has more space than Portland, Eugene is the ideal place for Oregonians who wants to live more sustainably.  The city’s allowed residents to keep more animals on their property, helping to further facilitate urban agriculture.

Burlington VTVermont’s “big” city has a reputation for being green, has nearly 400 community gardens to back that up.  From an extensive community gardening program to strong farm-to-school programs, the city offers plenty of benefits to urban farmers.  The city also has an innovative and progressive municipal policy that supports urban livestock and garden structures.

Jason Cohen Pittsburgh Santa Rosa According to the economic development and marketing coordinator of the city, Santa Rosa was built in part on merging “urban” and “farming”.  Urban farming is a central part of the city, providing food security and jobs while creating local entrepreneurs.  It’s in a very biodiverse region of the state, allowing residents to produce high-quality foods and artisan products, which are often sought out by many of the top chefs and restaurants in the Bay Area.

Greenville, SCMuch of the demand for farm-friendly housing in this upstate South Carolina city comes from health-conscious millennials who are interested in the city’s high quality of life, low living costs and tech job opportunities.  Such local organizations as Gardening For Good, Mill Village Farms, Reedy River Farms and the Greenville County Parks & Rec Department have all spearheaded the urban farming movement in the city.  

Orlando, FLApart from its role as a mecca of amusement parks, Orlando has been involved in community gardening initiatives.  While Orlando is behind other contenders on the list for food production, people have been pouring full energies into changing that, including several nonprofits.

San Francisco CAIt might be expensive here, but the city has made great strides to promote urban farming.  Urban Agriculture Program donated more than 11,000 plants to gardeners in the city last year, and organizations like the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance, Community Grows and Slide Ranch offer a community for those interested in urban agriculture.

Albuquerque NMCity zoning in New Mexico’s largest city permits homeowners to keep livestock on their property.  The sunshine, moderate high desert climate and local resources here all support sustainable farming.  The Old School is a hub of experts that offer all sorts of classes on urban farming, often for very cheap.

Columbia, SCWhile not many areas in the city of Columbia let you keep chickens, there is farmland north of the city and several schools teach farming and gardening practices.  The local organization City Roots grows 125 different types of fruits and vegetables, as well as keeps bees for honey and pollination and raises chickens for eggs.

Tampa FLThe growing popularity of healthy food and farm-to-table dining has led to an increase in urban farming in Tampa.  Gardening groups are getting larger and larger, and the urban farming trend here has been encouraging Tampans to eat and get healthier while leading more sustainable lifestyles.

Raleigh-Durham NCThere’s been a lot of transformation in Raleigh, with old factories being turned into restaurants and downtown becoming a more popular place to live.  One of the hip things in Raleigh right now is chickens, and downtown is filled with green spaces and community gardens throughout the city.

 

Business Trends For 2016

2015 has been a crazy year, filled with excitement and ups and downs.  It might be hard to believe, but the new year is almost upon us, and it seems that a lot of the business trends of the past year shall continue.  I recently came across an article that discussed some of the year’s highlights, and how you can leverage them in 2016.  Listed here is what this article had to say:

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Internationally expanding your business: Not being a part of global real estate means missed opportunities.  This doesn’t just mean plugging into a global agent or broker network, but translating marketing materials into multi-lingual websites and brochures, having multi-lingual agents and understanding how people in different parts of the world do business.

The sharing economy: Having just an office and a great website isn’t enough.  Global connections helps to make you part of the Sharing Economy, which promotes peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services through community-focused online technology platforms.  Uber and Airbnb are some of the companies leading the way in this field, and the concept is just starting to introduced into the real estate industry.

Keeping up with consumer expectations: While there has been more attention paid to this, it’s still a relatively new concept in the real estate industry.  Agents still rely too much on independent contractors to consistently deliver a great experience before, during and after a sale, although the sad fact is that it doesn’t always happen.

Promote your performance at the hyperlocal level: Positioning yourself as an expert in local markets is a great way to stand out against the competition, both local and national.  Instead of talking about how great your company is, talk about the information about the market that you have.  This is one of the foundations of delivering a great consumer experience.

Responsive design can’t be ignored: While responsive design has been around for years, in 2015 it appears to have really established itself.  Mobile usage has skyrocketed and now directly affects how the real estate industry communicates and collaborates.  If your site isn’t built on responsive, mobile-friendly design, then your clients won’t have a good experience and could look elsewhere.  Google’s algorithms will recognize if you aren’t responsive, which in turn will damage your site’s rankings.  If you can be an early adopter of responsive design, your site will look great and give you that edge over your competitors.

Digital marketing is cheaper, faster and better: Although this one seems obvious, brokers aren’t always quick to pick up on it.  Using digital marketing means tracking analytics, trends and other important factors to help you save money, run your business better and make the right choices.