When you're renting or selling a home, you want to create an online listing with attractive pictures and a well-written description that will capture the eyes of many would-be tenants and buyers. If you do it well, you might even see your listing get shared on social media. But if you do it exceptionally well, you might even get your listing to go viral.
What makes a viral listing?
What makes a listing so juicy that it gets shared thousands of times across the internet? Let's take a look at three types of property listings that have a good chance of becoming a viral sensation.
The R-rated listing
Sometimes, a photo that causes viewers to metaphorically clutch their pearls can make a home listing famous -- or rather infamous. That's exactly what happened for a house listing in Oak Park, Detroit. In a picture of the kitchen, there were what appeared to be lines of a white, powdery substance on the counter.
Concerned that something illicit was going on, the police investigated. It turned out to be nothing -- it was just a joke by the homeowner who wanted to see if it caught people's attention. It did. In a single day, the listing received 29,000 views and 100 phone calls. No charges were pressed, but the real "punishment" was the owner having to field all those calls -- it was a FSBO listing, after all.
The spine-tingling listing
It doesn't need to be the Halloween season for people to get a good fright from creepy decor. One house that got the attention of Mashable featured creepy dolls and mannequins in just about every room of the house.
The beautiful five-bedroom home in Richmond, Texas, didn't have any mention of its curious decor in the listing, but the pictures are full of mannequins in various poses (including suspended from the ceiling by their feet). There's also more than a few porcelain dolls giving homebuyers the once over. If you can get past the unusual decor choices of the current owners, you'll discover a home that's veritably move-in ready -- as long as the dolls don't stick around.
The not-ready-for-a-closeup listing
Listings are often shared because the home is drop-dead gorgeous. Others are shared because they are drop-dead disgusting. Take this one house in the Fresh Meadows area of Queens, New York.
If you were in the market for a home in this tony area of the borough, you might have glanced at the exterior of this home and thought, "Hmm. Needs some work." But then there's the line in the listing: "**Home Is Not In Liveable Condition."
This is one house that actually lives up to its listing -- and not in a good way. In the photos, you can see that the interior is literally cracking and falling apart -- then there's a plant vine that has taken up residency on a kitchen wall.
This home went viral, garnered articles in the New York Post, and, strangely enough, House Beautiful. People shared because it was just too dilapidated to be believed. But someone found it to be promising -- originally listed at $828,888, the house eventually sold for $720,000.
How to create a viral listing
Ask any social media strategist and they'll tell you that try as you might, it's really all up to the viewer and how much they share it for a listing to actually become viral. But what if you aren't aiming to be the next TikTok star? If you just want some more love for your listing, here are some things to think about including in your property listings.
Use specific keywords
There are a lot of listings out there. If you want homebuyers to find yours, you'll have to make it easier for them. Use words that describe the features homebuyers are looking for -- granite, walk-in closets, orfinished basement, for example. It's worth the time and money -- you might have to hire a digital marketer in order to find out what homebuyers in your area are searching for. If they're searching for homes with a master bedroom suite, for example, and one of your homes fits the bill, you need to have those words in your listing.
Include great photos
With virtual staging companies and apps making it super easy to stage a home without using a stitch of actual furniture, there's virtually no excuse anymore to have poorly staged photos. While your smartphone might take awesome photos of your dog or kids, it's not the best camera to use for listings you want to sell. Buy a good digital camera or invest in virtual staging. Make a home look warm and inviting and you're going to get interest from buyers.
If you're still not on social media, then your stubbornness is getting the better of your business. It's OK if you're not into snapping photos of your lunch for Instagram. Focus your channel on your listings instead, or hire a social media pro to do it for you. Social media content is highly shareable, and the more followers you get, the more eyes you'll have on your properties.
The bottom line
A viral listing will garner lots of eyes on your property, but you want them all to be gawking for the right reasons. If you prime your listing to be a hit with the right audience, you'll be getting lots of shares -- which will hopefully turn into calls from interested buyers.