With the ever increasing number of property adverts online, it is important to take steps to ensure your adverts stand out of the crowd and get you those calls or emails that will hopefully end up in a signed contract. The way you go about putting up your advert can be the difference between yet another advert on the internet and a call or email from a potential customer.

Before we jump into how to post an effective advert, let’s take a step back and ask the question “why are we putting up an advert in the first place?” The primary (if not only) purpose of putting up an advert of property for rent or sale is to attract people to the advert and then compel the reader to contact you.

If that is the case, then it’s important to understand what people have in mind while searching for property online. If you place yourself in the shoes of the property hunter you will find that they are particular about the:

  1. Type of Property - For building, this will consist of features like the number and size of rooms, no. of toilets and bathrooms, nature of the surrounding area, and so on.
  2. Location of the Property - The majority of people have knowledge of where they would like to rent or buy property and this forms part of their decision during their search

To make an advert effective online, you need to keep these factors in mind. Now to the tips!

Get the Title Right

The title of your advert is the first point of contact. It is probably the most importance part of your advert and thus should contain enough information to make the reader want to find out more. The title should be as short as possible, contain the key features and a bit on the location of the property. Again, I will emphasize “a bit of the location”. If you put the full address of the property the title becomes too long and loses its punch. The locality and state should do the magic. It’s good practice to specify if the property is for rent, lease, sale, etc. Never include information that is not important in your title as it will reduce the effect of the importance information.

Examples of Good Titles

  • Luxury 3 Bedroom Flat for Rent in Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos
  • 5 Plots of Land with C of O for Sale in Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos

Examples of Poor Titles

  • Land for Sale, Lagos (no mention of the size of land and too little information on the location)
  • Semi Detached 4 Bedroom Houses With Modern Amenities (no mention of location or if it’s for rent or sale)

Make Your Property Description Count

The description is your opportunity to sell your property further. In the description of the property, you should basically be telling the viewer why they should rent or buy your listed property. As such it should contain information that will interest the viewer; essentially the core features of the property. The description should also include contact information if not contained in any other place. Below is a list of some things a good property description should contain.

  1. All features of the property (e.g. number and size of rooms, no. of toilets and bathrooms, parking space, etc.)
  2. The nature of the surrounding area within and external to the property compound
  3. A summary of contract terms, mortgage facilities and fees, if possible
  4. Full address
  5. Property availability (e.g. immediate, in 2 months, etc.)

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

The effect of pictures in property adverts cannot be over emphasized. Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. If you saw the two properties in the image below, which would you click on first?

Property List Sample

Including pictures in your advert forms a mid-place between telling someone about your property and taking the person for viewing. If done well it can serve as a virtual tour of your property. Pictures both compel viewers to make that call (if they like what they see) and makes them know what to expect should they want to view the property in person. On the other hand, it prevents you from wasting time arranging property viewings for people who will probably not like the property right from the gate!

It’s important to take the right pictures in order to get the best results. Pictures of key areas of the property should be taken. For example, pictures of a house should include pictures of:

  1. The building from a little distance
  2. The entrance to the house
  3. The living room
  4. The bedrooms
  5. As many toilets as possible
  6. The kitchen
  7. The garden if any

Property Pictures Sample

Here is a quote from a topic on Nairaland titled "A Renewed Call For Property Sellers To Post Pictures".

I completely agree. Seriously considering making a purchase in Lagos but looks like I might have to travel down for a physical inspection before I can even begin to shortlist properties. Photos help to narrow down the search significantly and are a time saver. I've heard a lot about the re-modeled 1004 flats but no photos anywhere to support the claims of "luxury flats." Sellers need to do more to tap into the market available in this section.

Here's an article with evidence of the importance of including pictures in your property listing online.

Use a Property Management Portal

I’m sure you will be asking the question “How do I manage my property if I need to provide all this information?”. The answer is, use a Property Management Portal (property website). These portals are designed specifically to allow estate agents post adverts for property online. In most cases you have a form to fill in details of your property while the systems does the rest in optimizing the way your property advert is displayed to maximize your reach. Some key features of these portals include:

  1. Easy forms for creating property adverts
  2. Ability to upload multiple pictures of your property
  3. Ability to flag property as rented or sold (this feature is particularly useful for property manager who rent out a particular property say every year. They can simply flag it as rented when rented and then to available when they need to rent it again instead of creating the advert all over again)
  4. Optimized advert pages to compel viewers also including maps
  5. Advanced search functionality to allow viewers easily find adverts
  6. Optimized for search engines like Google and Yahoo so your adverts show up close to the top of search results

Use as Many Channels as Possible

Now you’ve put your advert on a property management portal, do you stop there? The answer is No. After creating you advert in detail on one of the portals you need to copy the link to your adverts and put them in forums, blogs and as many other channels you find out there. What this does is prevents you from having to create your advert on every forum, blog, etc. Furthermore, even if you decided to create your advert in all the forums and blogs it will not be as structured as it would be on a property management portal.

A Word on Contact Information

The objective of your advert is to get contacted. The easier you make it for people to contact you, the more contacts you’ll properly get. Include your email address and as many phone numbers as you have in your advert. Some people prefer to call landlines, while others prefer mobile numbers. In Nigeria today, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) is increasingly becoming a major channel of communication. Having a work Blackberry phone and including your BB PIN in your advert might also be a good way of making it easier for people to contact you.

I will like to hear your thoughts on this. Drop a comment below.

Find out how to advertise your property on Nigeria Property Centre.