We’re going to be direct about this. Nobody knows your property as well as you do.
Even if you’re the world’s worst salesperson I bet you could probably come up with a list of reasons why someone would want to buy your property. (If you’re struggling, think back to your own “buyer’s journey“– where you came from, why you decided on Nicaragua, and why you chose the property that you did.)
If you’ve got a pen handy, start jotting down some bullets: Maybe you bought the property because it’s close to a surf break …. or there’s a great little restaurant a stone’s throw away where you can get a seafood dinner and a glass of wine for $15 … or you enjoy the way the patio captures the morning light … or you fell in love with the views the first time you saw the sunset …
You see where we are going with this? We’re developing your marketing story; the compelling reasons why someone will want to own your property.
And you’re starting to develop a property listing designed to turn prospects into buyers.
Fortunately writing a good quality property listing is not that complicated to do. In fact there are really only 5 essential components. And by ensuring that your property listing has all 5 you can give yourself an edge over other properties on the market.
Here they are:
1. A compelling listing headline
Your listing headline has only one purpose: To get the buyer to read the first sentence of your property description.
You won’t be able to do this with a watered down headline that appeals to the masses. Clumsy real estate copy like “Hurry, this won’t last long”, ”Serious offers only” , ”Very special” , or “Negotiable” don’t work.
You have to be more targeted than this. Think about who is going to buy your property. A family of four looking for a vacation home? A single retiree looking to downsize and embrace a new culture? Fix them in your mind and use the listing headline to write them – and only them – a compelling promise.
Look back at the bullets you brainstormed earlier. You’ll find that the “promise of ownership” comes down to an outcome that your buyer is motivated by (e.g. becoming a better surfer, escaping from the daily grind, fulfilling a dream of an ocean view property) or an investment goal (e.g. investing for profit and a lower cost of living).
2. Remarkable benefits
Naturally, buyers want to know what’s in it for them. So a good listing will tell them how owing the property will make their life better.
In practice it sounds simple, but finding true benefits is not always easy. Start by getting your features down cold. Write them all down in a long list.
Then, for every feature, attach a benefit. The idea here is that you don’t want to force your reader to finish your thought, and never assume your reader knows what you mean.
So don’t think “500sq foot deck” says it all… finish the thought for the reader: “… which means you can enjoy a sunset cocktail impressing everyone you want to impress…” or “which means you can always find a quiet space to retreat with a book…”
The key to doing this is to focus on what buyers are really interested in. They’re not buying walls, a patio, concrete or a roof. What they’re buying is a lifestyle, a dream, a sense of community, a way to impress their friends, a means to make money…. These are the benefits your property will deliver.
Let them taste their future, and tell a story in such a way that they can immerse themselves in the feeling of being there. When you do this part right, you’ve mentally transported them to another place and helped them vividly see how your property can move them toward their desired outcome.
Don’t get me wrong, features have their place in your property description too. They are most effectively used to support the claims of your benefits.
Bonus tip: Find your “remarkable benefit” by explaining why your property is different from the competition. This helps explain your property’s unique selling point (or USP) because it identifies something that it provides that other properties on the market do not.
3. Scannable content
Most readers skim. They’ll glance through your listing to pick out the highlights first before deciding if they want to go deeper. And if they can’t pick out the most important information about your property at a glance, they’ll click away.
Serving up a wall of text for your buyers is the easiest way to kill their attention. (If you don’t know what a wall of text looks like, look at this)
So make your content scannable, emphasize key concepts and break up your content visually.
- Be concise and make it snappy
- Use short sentences
- Break up your text into short paragraphs
- Capture one idea per paragraph. Keep paragraphs under 3 sentences
- Use bulleted lists so the scanner can quickly pick out key points
- Inject a series of mini-headlines and sub-heads – each should express a clear benefit
- Add emphasis by bolding important information
- Make use of tabs so that your readers don’t have to scroll
According to The Nielsen Norman Group, the first 10 seconds of the page visit are critical for a users decision to stay or leave. But if your listing survives this first 10-second judgment, there’s a good chance your prospective buyer will hang around much longer.
4. Photos that provoke
You’ll find guidance on real estate photography telling you to display as many photos as you can.
Marketing “gurus” will tell you that photos sell a property better than words. Quality photos produce qualified buyers, resulting in more inquiries and a more efficient sales process.
But let’s step back for a second: Should your photos do the job of documenting all the features of your property or should they be focused on advertising your property’s best features? Should the goal be to catalog every nook and cranny or should it be about provoking an emotional response from the buyer?
The best advice on real estate photography is more nuanced than the “more is better” mantra.
For each photo ask yourself; “Will it resonate with the buyer?” “Will it arouse an emotion?” “Will it motivate them to ask for more information, to set up a viewing?” “Is the photo advertising the property or merely documenting it?”
Don’t use every photo you have just for the sake of it. You may do more harm than good.
(Great photos are so important to your property listing that we’ve written a post with essential photography tips to woo prospects and win buyers. Look out for that in your inbox in a few days)
5. A price that entices
Not too high, not too low but just right. How do you get your asking price just right?
Well it’s all about comparables (“comps”) and you’ll need to find the price of similar properties, in similar condition, in similar locations, in similar communities. Yes, we know there is no zillow.com in Nicaragua, or MLS database to interrogate, but with a bit of digging around, you should be able to find the information you need.
Start on the Internet and check the asking prices of other properties for sale in your area. If you can’t find any comparable properties for sale in your neighborhood of San Juan del Sur, cast the geographical net a bit wider.
While it may prove difficult to determine how long properties have been on the market, and it’s practically impossible to get actual sales prices, you’ll find that asking prices are a good starting point to help you assess your competition.
The point is to let the data drive your pricing strategy. That way buyers will take you seriously.
It’s a good idea to choose a price just below a $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 price point break used in online searches, as this will help you get your property in front of more buyers.
Remember, everyone wants a deal, so if you want your property to sell quickly, either price it lower than the competition, make sure it is decked out with features that buyers care about or get creative in your deal-making (more on this to come).
Think hard about incentives that you can offer buyers such as absorbing some of the closing costs or offering seller financing. And don’t forget to add this in your listing description.
You property listing is an important part of marketing your property. Get it right and you’ll create a “conversion conveyor belt” that turns prospects into customers.
PS: If you have questions about selling your property in Nicaragua, we have answers. Just click through to our contact form and fire away.