Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Roost Study Suggests: 'Word Up'

Words are power when it comes to searching for a home, according to a recent study from a browsing-for-housing Web site that tracked the most common words consumers used when searching for homes. They aren't the same words real estate agents most often use when crafting listing descriptions, according to the same Web site.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Unauthorized use of this story is a copyright violation -- a federal crime

Deadline Newsroom - You may not understand the true power of words until you've tried to sell a home.

All those flowery terms, catch phrases and over-blown adjectives used in listings become, well, just words when Internet browsing-for-housing buyers want to really hone in on the house of their dreams.

Real estate agents? Take note.

When the Roost.com home search engine for homes took a peck at what words their 100,000 Web visitors-per month used in June 2008 to narrow down broader searches for homes, it came up with a Top-20 list that might surprise real estate agents crafting listing ads.

Here's the Top 10.

1. Pool
2. Garage
3. Hardwood
4. Waterfront
5. View
6. Basement
7. Tile
8. Deck
9. Condo
10. Shop

"I wouldn't bet the house will sell when you use these words, but it can't hurt," says Roost chief marketing officer, Drew Izzo.

However, it is somewhat of a revelation that none of those words show up on a previous Roost analysis of the most popular words real estate brokers use to describe homes for sale.

Here's that Top 10.

1. New
2. Large
3. Great
4. Beautiful
5. Open
6. Huge
7. Finished
8. Spacious
9. Custom
10. Newer

On the Roost Web site, after housing browsers select the city and drill down by housing type, price, bedrooms, baths, square feet, year built, recently addeds, and other variables, they also get neighborhood and school filters.

Then, a new feature, the "Keyword Search Terms" filter, lets them zero in further for specific sought-after features. There are clickable listed terms browsers can add to their filtering effort -- pool, hardwood, yard, basement, private, fireplace, remodeled, vaulted (ceiling), renovated, parking, golf, tile, tennis, granite, reduced and motivated. Browsers can also type in one self-determined feature, say, "townhome," "loft," or "gated."

Roosters say their studies reveal even experienced real estate agents could use a little boning up on key words considering those consumers use to hunt for properties. Most would agree, the more marketing tools the merrier in today's tough real estate market.

"Business is down, so real estate agents need to be more effective in how they spend money. And that's why we are trying to be more helpful in terms of driving more qualified leads to their sites," said Izzo.

Izzo says Roost's deep search features allow for a more engaged housing browser and real estate agents should take note of what engages home shoppers.

The extra filter, which apparently serves consumers' desire for very customized home searches, gives consumers an edge in terms of weeding out properties they don't want.

"That's how we got the data. This is the stuff consumers are looking for. If I was a seller, these items (where available) would be something I would highlight in a listing," said Izzo.

© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group -- DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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Drew said...

Thanks for the article Broderick! Nice chatting with you.
Drew Izzo

Debbie Cook said...

Love your articles! Your articles are the ones I most look forward to reading on Realty Times! They are always the most interesting, understandable and well-written