Friday, July 16, 2010

Listing of the Day - Advertising Critique - Providence RI

In an effort to improve the impact of the marketing of listings, I randomly choose current listings around the country in a variety of price ranges and comment on their effectiveness. No current clients of mine are used, nor do I know any sellers or buyers or have any additional information about the property.

177 Morris Ave., Providence R I - 5 + 2 1/2 $599,000

This listing advertisement was randomly selected (as these all are) yet makes for a very interesting study. The photo spread is among the very best I have ever seen, while the description copy leaves a lot to be desired.

Although the primary photo is the only one of the exterior, it is taken from an excellent angle which makes the home show very well. However, it also clearly shows trees with no leaves. Not exactly a reflection of the July day on which I found this ad. (The largest newspaper in town's online site, on which this ad still appears as of press time, also shows that this home has been for sale 113 days as of this writing.)

On a separate note, I understand that the realty agents have little to no control over advertising sources which continue to show the number of days or period of time a property has been for sale. However, I don't understand why they, as advertisers, do not take a stand to have that information removed. Showing how many days creates a negative impression of "this house hasn't sold yet so there must be a problem with it" to a potential buyer.

Those who are impressed with the primary photo and click on the "additional photos" link get a wonderful full page with a 12 photo spread, including most of them being interior shots. Every photo in the spread features a different area of the interior. Even if some of the current colors may look a bit loud for some tastes, these photos display a wonderful feel for this home and do not duplicate. It is clearly the quality of the photos as much of the quantity. (Having 12 photos doesn't mean much if 4 of them are the same room from different angles - not the case here.)

However, after the wonderful buildup with impressive photos, the description copy quickly kills the momentum the listing agent had built up.

A family seeking a 5-bedroom home is not likely to be as concerned with the age of the home nearly as much as the features and appearance. In this instance, starting the copy with "Elegant 1927 Tudor with charming period details" is insane. Frankly, it might as well have read "This is really an old house so be aware" instead.

While the remainder of the description copy is somewhat more focused, it also ends on a lesser note than what it could be. I don't know for sure what an "Integral garage" is, and the closing "great opportunity" is what I call Realtor fluff since it tells me nothing. This copy might fit if it were a $150,000 home in a middle income area, but not for a half million dollar plus property.

What a difference it would make to update the primary photo to include the greenery and to create a realistic description copy befitting this home.


Note: This commentary is uncompensated and for marketing purposes only and is no reflection on the featured property. Its accuracy is not guaranteed. Neither Dave Kohl nor First In Promotions shall be held responsible for any representations.

At this time, I have openings for more realty agent/office clients to critique current and brand new listings on an hourly basis. No current or past client listings are featured on this blog.Random listings are chosen around the country.

Your comments are most welcome!

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