October 11, 2011

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Nestoria’s Tips for Great Listings

In this guest post, Nestoria Australia’s Kat Parr Mackintosh shares her tips on what it takes to make a listing rise above the rest.

When you feel responsible for a property, it must be hard to get away from the idea that each person who sees it is a potential buyer, so more is more, right? But if you step around to the other side of the property hunting experience and see it from the point of view of buyers or renters, then you’ll be reminded of the bombardment of choices - in the form of hundreds of listings - that have to be sifted though in order to coax out the ones you’re likely to buy or rent. In this case, more equals more wasted time and more frustration.

At Nestoria, because we’re a vertical property search engine, our priorities are our partners and the house hunters using the site. So we’re able to see the advantage to potential buyers in helping them find exactly what they want as quickly as possible, which at the same time means that each property is put in front of the people most likely to be genuinely interested in it, saving everyone time. In order to give house hunters the best results, we have to know what differentiates a great listing from a more pedestrian listing.

So what do we know about how to create better listings?

Over the past four years, Nestoria has built up an audience of around two million visitors a month, and from monitoring and analysing how these people have used our site we’ve learned a huge amount about what makes a listing more enticing. We’ve tested multiple ways of presenting listings and there are a few key, common sense principles that dramatically improve the quality of a listing.

1. Tell it straight.

Most people have some idea of what kind of property they’re looking for, and the more detail you can provide about it, presented in simple terms, the better. Vagaries about how many bedrooms or bathrooms a property has, for example, often results in a disappointing surprise for the house hunter and a dead end for the agent, which is a waste of time all round. So keep it simple and provide as much basic detail as you have if you want every lead to count.

2. People love photos.

If you’re considering a place where you and your family will live, you’re going to want to know what it looks like - the more pictures of it the better. If you can take a photo on your phone and upload it to the Internet in seconds to sell something on eBay, then it doesn’t make sense that anyone would try and sell a home without supplying pictures!

(At Nestoria we make sure we let people know which listings have more than one photo by including a number in the corner of the picture.)

3. Provide all the information.

Opinions on whether or not to include the price and address in a listing differ. Not having an exact price isn’t ideal, but if the sellers are just testing the market then having an approximate price or a “between” price is better than not including a price at all.

People’s main concern about including their address is security, but having your address listed online isn’t that different to having a big FOR SALE sign strapped to your letterbox, and people don’t seem to object to those. So it’s worth weighing up the owner’s concerns against the value of providing more information - information that will help people work out where the property is located compared to schools, transport links and other local facilities.

4. Embrace technology.

There are all sorts of new ways to bring properties you’re responsible for to the attention of buyers, and embracing those new technologies to improve listings is another way to allow house hunters to fine tune their options before going out to view properties. Sellers will also appreciate the fact that you’re taking advantage of all the technology available to get their property listed in the best possible way, and in front of the right buyers.

At Nestoria our aim is to present people with the right property on the first page of their search results, so we rate the most complete listings the most highly, because those are the properties we’re most confident will tick the house hunter’s boxes. Beyond that, we use a mathematical algorithm we call Nestoria Rank to decide how to arrange listings on the page. This algorithm takes into account a few more of a listing’s metrics, adding relevancy, freshness and usability to quality and comprehensiveness. This is just one of the technology-based tools at the fingertips of agents and portals: augmented reality apps, 360 degree video and Sobox, the social media tool for estate agents, are some of the others.


Related posts:

  1. Back to Basics: The Top Five Factors of Great Listings
  2. Top 10 Tips for Great Listing Copy
  3. Top 10 Tips for Making Your Listings Stand Out
  4. What Makes a Good Property Ad
  5. Strategies for Great Video Listings
  6. Top 10 Tips for Turning Listings Into Open Houses
  7. First Week Crucial for Listings
  8. Give Your Listings Web Appeal
  9. New Premium Ads and Listing Tips at trulia.com
  10. Three Ways to Make Video Listings Work Harder


  1. Useful article i would embrace using really good images too, since we upgraded our camera the response has been alot better.

  2. House Hunter says:

    Coming from someone looking for a property now I can say that less is definitely more when it comes to flowery property descriptions!
    Great advice for sellers and agents here - hope they listen!

  3. james says:

    The quality of photos can really sell a house - you might have an expansive kitchen but if you take a photo that makes it look small and dingy many people won’t even come to look for themselves.

    I think some home sellers are afraid to say to an estate agent - ‘that picture just doens’t do my house justice, please can you come and take another?’

  4. This is a great article. High quality, well thought out photo’s are a must for selling.. first impressions are hugely important after all. Clear and to the point descriptions are good too, from a buying perspective.

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