‘The Ultimate Property Listing’ is short, clear and loaded with advice. There’s only one problem: Can Neil convince agents that they need to improve their real estate listings to get started?
It is undoubtedly the case that many agents entrust certain aspects of their work to “experts” – their PropTech may be selected, or at least strongly recommended, by a portal or a supplier; their books are kept by an accountant; their anti-money laundering activities are subject to a compliance expert; and their recruitment left in the safe hands of a specialized agency.
Yet when it comes to ads – describing a property in 250 characters for a short entry on a portal, for example – I would venture to suggest that almost all agents consider themselves experts. It’s the same with photographs: after all, if the photo of the new kitten in the family looks great on Instagram, how difficult can it be to take a photo of a house with an iPhone?
Well, Whitfield’s book does NOT suggest outsourcing your property writing to an expert (although it does make a pitch for your business towards the end), but it does offer some practical, easy-to-understand advice on how to write your property. way to make a property list sing and dance, rather than limp on the page.
If you already think that you have already learned this skill in the fine arts because you have already performed well in the current bull market, then think again.
Whitfield has a compelling statistic towards the end of the book. He says Rightmove suggests there is only a 40 percent chance that the first agent in charge will sell a property. Which means, of course, that 60 percent of the agent’s work is likely to produce no sales and therefore no returns – the work will have been, indeed, free.
But if improved listings helped the average agent sell 60 or 70 percent of the initially listed properties, instead of 40, then their income would increase dramatically without any additional work.
And through improved listings, Whitfield means more dynamic content, better and more appropriate photography, and insider tips like digitally dressing an empty room to improve its appearance on a portal.
Much of the book is common sense, at least for those in the industry, and no doubt many agents would be sympathetic to his expert advice: for just a few books, the book seems like a wise investment even if you don’t. learn just a handful of tips on improving editorial content or the quality of photography.
Of course, there’s a sale going on here: Whitfield ends up encouraging you to purchase his company’s editorial services. But you can, if you wish, ignore his ad and before you access it, you’ll find plenty of insider ideas to improve your real estate listings.
That is, unless you really think your ads are already perfect …
* The Ultimate Real Estate Listing: Create Powerful Real Estate & Rental Listings to Boost Your Profits, by Neil Whitfield, Amazon Â£ 3.99 (Kindle) or Â£ 7.99 (Paperback)
* Editor of Estate Agent Today, Letting Agent Today and Landlord Today, Graham can be found tweeting about all things property related to @PropertyJourn