Listing language and an 'emotional connection' can help sell a place — here's proof

This broker went beyond virtual staging to attract potential buyers.

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Earlier this week, we were doing our usual daily (hourly?) real estate listing perusing when one for a two-bedroom, two-bath co-op on East 74th Street (asking price: $1.595 million) caught our attention. 

The photos were fine, but it was the unique wording of the listing that got us (see below, click for a larger view).

Talk about building a narrative: "Whenever I write web copy my thinking is always to connect to my target audience," says Michael Shapot of Keller Williams, who was trying to evoke an emotional connection with would-be buyers, or at least intrigue them. 

Shapot realized that the apartment itself was a little dated (according to appraiser Jonathan Miller, an apartment that's in "estate condition" tends to fetch anywhere from 10 to 25 percent less than one that's move-in ready), so to make it seem more appealing, he had to show its "good karma." In this case, it was the fact that the seller had lived a lovely life in the home, raised children there, and was moving to be with a romantic partner.

Shapot suggests anyone selling an apartment follow suit. "Identify the target audience—who's likely to like it and to pay the most money for it—and appeal to them in a way that's beyond the surface," he says. "Use language that's rich and emotive, and maybe even say something that's shocking. If you don't stand out, you're part of the crowd, and that doesn't work." (Editor's note: Or at least not in a market that's somewhat cooling.)

And it may very well pay off. Shapot says he's already gotten dozens of inquiries on the property since bringing it to market (and that's in notoriously slow August!), and has had several people comment on how much they like it.

"When there's good karma associated with a property, I think people want to know that," he adds.




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