Finally, a Good Example

And now for something lighter, from the Department of Why Wasn’t This Thought of Before: a superbly-done real estate listing. Yes, you heard that right.

Everything is done with the reader in mind: clean layout with lots of white space, big, compelling photographs, easy scrolling so you don’t have to figure out a navigation if you’re not in the mood (and I’m mostly not, ever); elegant, sans serif typeface; and better–way better–than usual copywriting.

The text is all about you (“You’ve passed through and thought …”; “Maybe you’ve dreamed …”; “You’ve yearned for …”). There are lots of positive, seductive images with good action verbs (I know you’re wondering where I’m going with that sentence): “people lingering outside at sidewalk cafes …” There’s none of that fishy language that makes you wonder what they’re hiding, e.g., “unique” or “one-of-a-kind,” those telling terms that signal “precious to the owner but peculiar to you.”

The best part: the video. A house tour led by a corgi. In this case the superhero of Instagram and giver of hilarious hashtags: Chompers. I’m usually grouchy about videos, too–if they’re dull and pompous in the first few seconds, I’m done.

In this case the editing is crisp and the tiny details are fun (did you notice the dog is wearing a shower-cap when he shows you the bathroom?). The whole experience is beguiling and draws you in. And even if you’re not shopping for San Francisco real estate, a corgi video is bound to be shared online, therefore promoting the ad even further.

The page also has downloadable floor plans, maps so you can calculate your commute,  and an uncluttered (meaning easy and quick to read) list of times for open houses. There were only two things I would have changed: the automatic music (though the mute button is easy to find, being gold against black), and the “submit” button in the “contact” section. “Submit” always makes me think of the wicked witch of the west: “Submit, Dorothy!”

In any case, enjoy this. It raises the bar for real estate marketing, and that’s a good thing for everyone.