The difference between a listing and a great listing:

When you submit listings to a portal should you go for quality or quantity? It’s easy to see why agents might think that the more people who see their property listings returned to a search query the better. And in some respects by providing less specific details for your listings you could be said to be ensuring that they appear in a greater number of home hunter searches.

But if you think about it from the perspective of the person sitting in front of their screen searching for their dream home then the old chestnut ‘less is more’ holds true – it’s far better to turn up fewer listings but ones that are more perfectly suited to their search.

We, at Nestoria, have an interesting perspective on this because we’re a vertical property search so we integrate listings from agents via the portals. We have a responsibility to both our partners and our users to make it as quick and easy as possible to find the right property using our search tools. It saves everyone time and our partners money. For the agents who list with our portal partners it means that we match their properties up with the most likely buyers or tenants. So everyone’s a winner.

Over the last four years we’ve built up an audience of around two million visitors a month and from monitoring and analysing how people use Nestoria we’ve learned a huge amount about what makes a listing more enticing. But we, and our users, can only work with the information that we’re provided with, which is why I wanted to say something to this audience about what, in our experience, makes the best listings.

Straight Talking. Vagaries about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms a property has are time wasters for property hunters – most people know what they need or want when it comes to the basic facts, so it’s best to supply as many of them as possible so that every lead counts.

As much information as possible. This point follows on from the first, but extends to providing details about a property’s other key features (parking, access ,square meters) and plenty of up to date images – photos make a property easier to fall in love with online.

Price and address are two details sellers don’t always want to provide. These are the reasons they should be: The main concern about showing your address online is security, but it’s not much different to having a big FOR SALE sign strapped to your letter box, and the more information you can provide about where the property is located the easier for buyers to work out if it’s appropriately located for transport or schools or other amenities they deem essential. If there’s no exact price on a property then that’s a good reason not to include one, but a between price is a lot better than POA because it will ensure your listing attracts buyers who can potentially afford to do more than just dream about it. Time is precious for all players in this industry.

Embrace technology. Business2 has plenty of good suggestions for ways to do that, be it embracing the tablet and social media Sobox is a good example or creating video walk arounds, and both sellers and buyers appreciate the fact that you’re on top of the latest ways to help them move.

Search is one of the web’s most powerful tools, and we’ve spent a lot of time working on a mathematic algorithm, that we call Nestoria Rank, which helps us decide the best way to order our listings for each different user. If they’re already used the site even before they enter a search query we’ve tailored the way the listings appear to their tastes; and even if they’ve no history with us we use a listings freshness, relevancy, usability, comprehensiveness and quality to determine where it deserves to appear on the list. So if you’re interested in your listings appearing at the top of that list then these are some of ways you can improve your chances.

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6 Comments

  • Brett Clements
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm 0Likes

    An interesting, and refreshingly honest approach to presentation. I’m not an Agent. I’m a communicator. Dispense with the adjectives, and I’d have to agree. Good post.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm 0Likes

    PS: Not the adjectives in your post. I’m talking about adjectives in general, used in property marketing. Its a long story.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:48 am 0Likes

    Great to see you post on here Kat, look forward to more interesting posts.

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 7:36 am 0Likes

    There’s nowhere on this site to contact anyone unless you provide a photo so I’ll put this here and you can delete it later –

    Why not discuss this, how can a mans home be sold fraudulently and the new owner gets to keep it ???.

    The real owner didnt sign anything surely the buyer has no rights against the real owner to keep the property.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/21/3018035.htm

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 8:28 am 0Likes

    Glenn, thanks for the link. Nick had a post scheduled to be launched this morning about that.

    In future you should try the ‘Contact” page http://www.business2.com.au/contact-us/

  • Steve Basin
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm 0Likes

    Great post Kat.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your post. A great listing embodies as much detail as possible, to trigger the buyer or renter to pick up the phone or attend an open inspection.
    The notion of limiting pertainent information, like price, location or condition of the property for later, will not only waste buyers and renters time, but will annoy the heck out of them considerably.
    How many opens have I attended that made me “stressed” out of my mind, if only they mentioned this or that…
    Give facts where facts are obvious, buyers and renters will find out sooner or later anyway.
    The notion of “conditioning them” at inspection is generally a fallacy, purchasers are buying property worth in mid $500,000 not a vaccuum cleaner, or a car. Most inevitably will do their own due diligence anyway.
    If after reading the description and viwing the photos and/or videos, they still decide to physically inspect the property, you know you have a hot prospective buyer.
    Being upfront always wins…

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