Some real estate professionals are finding that in order to sell a luxury home, it is necessary to master writing prose. According to a new analysis of listing language conducted by realtor.com®, a higher home price is often linked to more flowery language used in the property description.
For instance, a 222-word real estate listing for a $10.9 million beach home in Sarasota, Fla., begins: “Majestically poised along the shimmering Gulf of Mexico” and later references the “unique harmony” of this “haven of serenity” suitable for “undisturbed reflection.” Mel Goldsmith, a real estate professional with Michael Saunders Co., told The Wall Street Journal that he had an in-house marketing team write the listing ad.
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Realtor.com® analyzed a random sample of more than 1,000 listings nationwide in November with about half of the homes listed for $10 million or more and the remaining listed for $750,000 or less. The research team factored in sentence length, word usage, and number of syllables.
Homes listed for $10 million—plus tended to score at a median 11th-grade reading level on a 12-grade scale while homes listed for $750,000 or less scored at a median seventh-grade level. What’s more, homes listed for $10 million-plus used 40 percent more words per sentence on average than homes less than $750,000 (18 words per sentence on average as compared to 13 words per sentence).
The luxury homes used “adverbs and adjectives galore,” says Javier Vivas, an economic-research analyst with the site. He says the agents’ prose suggest that they are trying to be more persuasive whereas other agents tend to just highlight the facts.
“Anybody who is going to spend over $10 million, they’ve got the money,” Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, told The Wall Street Journal. “Now they need to be romanced.”
Source: “Real Estate Pros Pen Purple Prose,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 10, 2015)