October 11, 2011

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Listing Titles: How to Get People Clicking

How do you title your listings? Do you try to squeeze in as much detail as possible, or do you aim to appeal to home hunters with more expressive language?

Giving some though to the title of your listing is worthwhile, particularly if you’re using free-to-list websites that don’t allow for photos to draw your audience in. To get an idea of what works - and what doesn’t - when it comes to listing titles, we thought we’d take a look at the real estate section on one of the the top free-to-list classifieds websites in the US: Craigslist.

Loading up the “real estate for sale” section on chicago.craigslist.org, the first listing reads: “$280000 / 4br - Pristine home at discount price!!”

A little further down the list, we have the following: “$410000 6 Year old house.” Under that we have a much longer title: “$186000 / 2br - ONLY 2 BLCKS TO LAKE/BEACHES, 5 MIN TO EVANSTON/NORTHWESTERN 07331012.”

So, how would you have written these titles? What would you add or take away?

The first listing sounds appealing, but like many of the titles on Craigslist, doesn’t include as much detail as it could. There’s still plenty of room to mention the number of bathrooms, what the local area is like, or any other features that might make the property stand out.

The second listing title will clearly be too short on detail for some home hunters. However, there may be a few who are intrigued enough to click through to the listing itself. Still, it seems a shame not to mention that this is actually a five bedroom, three bathroom home with granite kitchen countertops.

Our final example has taken the opposite approach and is arguably better for it, letting home hunters know plenty about the apartment’s location. Using all capitals can come off as shouting, but it does stand out against the mostly lower-case titles around it.

There were plenty of other titles from Craigslist we could pick on - examples that don’t mention location, are full of spelling mistakes, or are simply in the wrong section of the website. But these are rookie errors.

The key with listing titles is to watch what other agents are doing, then do it better - or do something completely different. The final step is to track whether enquiries increase or decrease when you change your title strategy, until you find the formula that works best for you.


Related posts:

  1. Listing Checklist: Don’t Leave These Out
  2. Top 10 Tips for Great Listing Copy
  3. Listing Tips from funda.nl
  4. zillow.com: What Makes A Good Listing?
  5. Back to Basics: The Top Five Factors of Great Listings
  6. Real Estate Marketing on $0

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