A study conducted by the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia (USA) shows how potential buyers and renters behave when viewing property ads. Nowadays, most people research properties online, which means their first contact with a property is often a real estate listing. As with all interactions, the first few seconds are crucial. Following are some key points for improving the effectiveness of your property ad.
A high-quality first photo
The study shows that more than 95% of users look at the advert’s first photo for an average of 20 seconds. During this brief period, either the person’s interest in the property is piqued or they move on to another advert. So the photo is a crucial aspect of your ad. Furthermore, the likelihood that users will click on your advert is ten times higher if it includes a photo.
If customers like the photo, 90% of the acquisition work is already done. So it is essential to take good pictures of your property. Become a top-notch photographer yourself or take advantage of the services of a professional! A nice photo will attract the reader’s interest and make them want to learn more about the property.
A complete description of the property
Description. According to the study, 76% of readers focus their attention on the description of the property in addition to the photo. In doing so, they look for detailed and specific information that meets their needs. The more complete your description is, the greater your chances of receiving an inquiry.
Another interesting finding is that text elements which draw the reader’s attention (such as upper-case letters, bolded text etc.) should not be used excessively when composing the content of an advert. As a result of internet advertising, users have learned to ignore this type of ad.
We therefore recommend that you provide users with information that is as complete and precise as possible to ensure that you receive qualified inquiries. The term “qualified” is very important here.
A photo will enable you to attract potential renters or buyers. The description will allow you to confirm this person’s interest. The more specific the information you provide, the more you will avoid unnecessary inquiries, allowing you to make better use of your time.
How do I find a qualified real estate buyer?
Professor Seiler, the study’s lead author, summarises the answer to this question as follows: “Overall, when viewing an online real estate listing, home buyers spend about 60% of their time on photos, 20% on the property description and 20% on the real estate agent’s remarks.”
The real estate agent’s remarks provide additional information about a property: information about the neighbourhood, schools, public transport etc. Such information is very important for people who are actively looking for a property.
The study involved 45 participants whose eye movements were tracked as they viewed at least six properties each. The researchers found that readers view the ads in a “Z” pattern: they begin reading in the upper left-hand corner before moving to the upper right-hand corner, then glancing down diagonally to the lower left-hand corner and finishing in the lower right-hand corner, all without scrolling the page.