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Marketing homes for sale: Looking at the language competing estate agencies use in their listings

House listings are often judged on pictures. Afterall, it’s the first thing that a prospective home buyer will see. However, the choice of words and marketing language that estate agencies use to describe homes for sale is usually what gets prospective buyers through the front door.

Text can help potential buyers visualise how much they could enjoy living in a property. If words leave a lasting impression, they can have a big impact on whether or not a property sells.

Businesses are using Relative Insight as a sophisticated means of brand comparison and competitor analysis, in order to discover stylistic differences in the way competitors use words to appeal to their ideal demographic.

Using Relative Insight’s text analysis platform, we compared property listings from three competing estate agencies situated in London – Marsh & Parsons, Savills and Foxtons. Relative Insight pinpoints the statistically significant words, phrases, topics and grammar that are more likely to appear in one text over another. This form of text analysis enables us to understand the subtle differences in how competitive estate agencies position their properties for sale.

Savills

In comparison with competitors, estate agents need to grab attention and invoke a positive feeling in the potential buyer. In our comparison, we found that Savills do this by using words that suggest exclusivity. There is a statistically higher use of the words highly and the phrase highly sought after, which gives off the impression that properties in a particular area are in high demand, and that prospective buyers need to move quickly if they want to see the property.

Insight card - In demand properties

Another key insight that our analysis revealed was that Savills are infinitely more likely to refer to community throughout their property listings. Buyers looking to move into an entirely new area may not be too familiar with the surrounding neighbourhoods, but by using the word community, Savills instantly create a friendly and inclusive feel which could settle any pre-move anxieties that homebuyers may have.

Insight card - marketing homes for sale as been part of a community

Foxtons

Foxtons are marketing their homes for sale by using aesthetic invoking adjectives that depict a stylish interior design of their properties. For instance, words like chic, sleek, lush and gorgeous are 14.7x more likely to appear, describing different elements of the house, emphasising key details and keeping the house listings interesting. Foxtons entice potential buyers by using visual words that ultimately leave the reader wanting to see more.

Insight card - fashionable interiors

An insight that was unique to Foxtons was their use of local knowledge throughout their house listings in comparison with competitors. In fact, Foxtons are 60.3x more likely to talk about local life and local’s favourites than their competitors. By citing locals and giving recommendations for nearby shops, restaurants and things to do, Foxtons add a personal touch to their listings which sets them apart from their competitors.

Insight card - marketing homes for sale by sharing local knowledge

Marsh & Parsons

Our analysis revealed that Marsh & Parsons use the idea of local proximity throughout their house listings. Throughout their marketing of properties for sale, they are 7.9x more likely to use words such as walking or walk, highlighting that the home location is only a short distance from key amenities. A unique selling point of buying a house in London is the fact people don’t require a car to get around, and by highlighting that public transport and other services are within walking distance, Marsh & Parsons resonate with an urban audience.

Insight card - proximity

In comparison with competitors, Marsh & Parsons are 7.1x more likely to sell nature and outdoor spaces in their house listings. In pointing out the green open spaces that are close by, the estate agency is able to make up for properties that potentially don’t have a garden. Similarly, depicting the natural light throughout the property enables potential buyers to visualise the space and be assured that the house they’re investing in bright rather than dull.  

Insight card - selling nature

When advertising homes and properties, using the right words can set you apart from competing listings and ensure a house gets sold. Analysing the language of competitor estate agencies enables you to understand where you stack up in the competitive landscape, helping you to understand your own brand identity and find the right tone of voice to speak in that will resonate with potential house buyers.

Discover the power of words