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    How to Write a Creative Real Estate Listing That Sells (Hint: Combine Images & Text)

    Real Estate Listing Writing Guide

    Real estate listings is like app store copy, only 5% to 10% of the sales work is done through the copy.

    10% of the work is done by the copy.

    90% of the work is done by the images.

    Just remember:

    If someone thinks a house is terrible, there's almost no amount of copy that will change their minds.

    So what's a copywriter to do in this situation? I mean, the images do all the heavy lifting right?


    What if we combine the copy and the images, kind of like a slideshow presentation? 


    A good friend David Shapiro let us use one of his live real estate listings for this experiment:

    David Shapiro real estate

    Look at that handsome fella!

    Here's the house we're going to try and sell:

    house pic

    David's Listing: [Link]

    Zillow Listing: [Link]

    Redfin Listing: [Link]

    It's a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom, 2,022 sqft townhouse built in 2017 going for $337,900.

    We chose this listing because it's a pretty standard house....nothing extremely crazy or lavish about it....which makes it perfect for showing off the power of combining text + images.

    But before we slap a bunch of text on the images of the house, we've got to know the rules of the platforms we post them on:



    Rules of Real Estate Listing Platforms (No Personal Promotion Allowed):

    No personal promotion on real estate platforms

    Keep in mind every single real estate platform has rules on what images you can upload, and they are pretty much all the same: Text is allowed on photos, but ZERO advertising, branding, or contact information can be included. We checked on the big three platforms and they are all the same:


    MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

    Photos:   |  Text on Photos:   |  Branding:   |  Contact Info:

    "Digital images and photo description text shall not contain legible contact information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses or web site addresses, including the use of embedded, overlayed, or digitally stamped information." [Source]



    Photos:   |  Text on Photos:   |  Branding:   |  Contact Info:

    "No advertisements (this includes rental adds or For Sale by Owner listings). No photos that only include people. No large group photos." [Source]



    Photos:   |  Text on Photos:   |  Branding:   |  Contact Info:

    "Zillow Group restricts the inclusion of self-promoting information on listings. This includes, but is not limited to, an agent's name, company, logo, phone number, email address or branded watermarks." [Source]


    Your own website:

    Photos:   |  Text on Photos:   |  Branding:   |  Contact Info:

    On your own website you can do whatever you want!



    Let's Tell A  "Story" In Our Pictures:

    Telling a story in our real estate listing about a family

    So many real estate listing photos simply "jump around" with out of order photos. You might see a picture of a kitchen, then a random basement picture, then a picture of a backyard. It doesn't have any flow, and it sure as hell doesn't communicate a story.

    Most good real estate agents know there is a certain "flow" and "story" when showing a home in person. They size up the buyers and try to first identify WHY they are buying the house:

    Are they trying to make this their family "forever home"?

    They will customize their story to why this home is great for a growing family, has plenty of space for kids, great schools, and a family oriented community.

    Are they trying to fix up and flip this house for a profit?

    They will customize their story to how this home is a bargain price because of certain issues, and how those issues can be repaired quickly, and how "hot" this neighborhood is for sellers.

    Are they trying to make this house into a rental property?

    They will customize their story to how lucrative other rental properties are in this area, and how the neighborhood is a bit iffy right now, but there is a new Whole Foods popping up down the block, and there's a rapid influx of money into the area making this a fantastic longterm opportunity for renting.



    We're Going to Use Google Presentations to Make These Image/Text Slides:

    [See the Full Doc Here]

    All we did to improve this real estate listing was correctly order the pictures, and add "captions" to each one so it tells a linear story.

    Since we did the whole thing in Google Presentations, we can easily change around images, and even download each slide as a JPG for easy posting on other platforms.

    You can see the entire presentation laid out here:

    As you can see, a person browsing this listing is taken on more of a "Journey" through the house than simply viewing random photos.

    At the end we even show some neighborhood rental stats that show the value of this zip code going up significantly, which should appeal to many buyers rational side. Even if they are not buying this home as a rental property, it's always helpful to know your property value has the potential to go up.


    Now let's modify the listing text:

    Now that we've made the presentation and told the "story" and "flow" of this house, we can re-iterate that inside the actual listing description.

    Since the Images + Text we made already do 90% of the convincing (as that's what most people view), we don't even have to spend that much time on the listing.

    Previous Listing Text:

    That's a pretty standard listing description, however with our newly captioned photos we can literally steal the text from them and add the, onto this listing. Here's how it turned out:


    UPDATED Listing Text:

    As you can see by this new listing description, it was taken from the same structure we used in our Presentation Doc to make the images.

    All of this was done with no special tech, and it transforms the entire listing!



    Neville Signature

    P.S. Checkout my collection of favorite real estate flyers.

    P.P.S. Do you have any other ways you'd improve this listing? Or have you seen any really effective strategies realtors in your area use?? Leave a comment below:

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Kevin, actually in the course we're putting that together (recently got a spate of people asking for that). It doesn't warrant it's own separate course so we're just including it for Kopywriting Kourse members.

    All of the images made in this post for the slideshow were made in Google Presentations. The other images were all Photoshop and hand drawing on an iPad.

    By the way, you can see on Fiverr I've made tons of images for ~$5, and ANYONE can do that!

    Link to comment


    Can you let me know when the course is ready. I would be very interested in purchasing. Its exactly what I have been looking for, and the bonus would be the help with copywriting skills...


    Link to comment
    So did Your real estate bud, David, see any faster or higher quality activity on this listing?
    Link to comment


    Have you put the image drawing into your course yet? I will buy into the subscription once I know it is up there.


    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Not yet Kevin, still migrating people to new platform, so busy with that for the next week. It will come out in February though!
    Link to comment
    Guest Jonathan Franklin


    Hi Neville,

    I would love to see how copywriting could help in creative industries, such as film. For example copy in writing treatments, outlines or pitches for commercials, music videos, films etc. Also how to write a compelling "about" page to really sell your creative services to potential clients. Thanks, really enjoying the blog!

    Link to comment
    Guest Glenn


    Excellent example. I market video ads to realtors for their property listings and it's amazing how many of their listings have no flow, have poor images (snow photos when it's June). Many of them just slap them up and hope another realtor brings around a buyer so they at least make their 3.5% minus brokerage fees.

    Over 80% of videos are watched w/out any sound so the captions really stand out. And video is much easier to view on a smart phone than reading text is, per studies. Also, for a realtor with a listing that has been on their books for way too long, I'll suggest a nice one-off one-page optimized website for $650 +/- (depending on property value)highlighting that property with 234MapleStreet[dot]com as the domain name being many buyers interested in a particular property will enter in the address in the search. I can snag the images right from the realtors own website to upload into a video platform assuming the realtor took decent photos cause I sure as hell won't run out to a property to take my own photos if theirs suck for less than $150 for my time, which most are reluctant to want to pay for. And the 80/20 rule applies, 20% of the realtors do 80% of the business so you don't want to waste your time dealing with agents who are in that 80% and don't spend any money on marketing.

    Here's another tidbit to back my 80/20 statement: there's over 1.2 million licensed agents in the U.S. and in 2018 just over 43,000 of them sold 25 or more homes.

    A great example here Neville and well done.

    I'll be waiting to see the results as well of your improvement for your friend David's listing. He just might hire you to take care of all his listings like that if your stats blow up & he sells that property much quicker than anticipated.


    Link to comment
    Guest Marks Edward


    I think it's a good and unique strategy to tell the story through images.
    Link to comment
    Guest How to Write a Clincher Sentence That’ll Blow Your Readers Mind


    […] this post about writing real estate listings, Neville uses a powerful Reminder clincher by simply turning it into a […]
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    Guest Åsmund Ryningen


    So, I'm a up and coming copywriter who's passionate about real estate, but I cannot seem to find any clients. Would you guys simply just have cold pitched real estate agents via email, or what would you suggest?



    Link to comment
    Guest Esther



    I am an aspiring real estate copywriter. I'd like to know the standard rate to charge per listing, photos and text for a client? Client is requesting 150+ words.

    Link to comment
    Guest Okuyucularınızı Etkileyecek Bir Katlayıcı Cümle Nasıl Yazılır - Kitap Özeti


    […] bu yayında emlak listeleri yazmaNeville, basitçe bir formüle dönüştürerek güçlü bir Hatırlatma katili […]
    Link to comment

    Hey Neville, what's the quickest way to get the slides cropped and remaining in a high quality that won't take hours?

    I've been saving the slides as PNG one by one, and then cropping them in paint, but it's a slow process and i'm losing quality of image in the process.



    Link to comment
    Guest 4 Tips For Selling A House Faster - Stumble Forward


    […] creating a listing for your home, it’s vital that you know what the selling points are. Describe in detail what […]
    Link to comment
    Guest John Willson


    Hi Neville, Now i have really read this one late.


    That is an amazing Blog and ya Thanks for sharing the secret on where you do your Presentations for the Properties.  I am Right on my way to get into my google account and start working on my presentations.


    Thanks a Lot!

    Link to comment
    Guest John Stuart


    Wow! Great techniques. It will definitely help many people out there! Thank you !
    Link to comment
    Guest Rick Mitman Real Estate


    A great read! Gonna help many agents! Thank you!
    Link to comment

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