For a listing agent, one job is paramount. Eyeballs on their listing. With exposure, offers usually follow.
Earlier this year, we witnessed an agent resort to brutal honesty with a listing description for a run-down residence in Florida. It worked—the decrepit dwelling sold, despite its condition.
Fully aware of that successful strategy, another agent, Eric Cooper, decided to deploy his secret weapon, deadpan humor, to craft the marketing for a nondescript $135,000 home in Uniontown, OH. Cooper’s prose went viral and extended the reach of a basic three-bedroom, one-bathroom house to tens of thousands of views.
Cooper begins his description with a not-so-stunning detail.
‘This is a house, numerous people have lived in this house since 1979.’
“I’ve been doing this for a while, writing these kind of remarks, but not on all listings. I use it as a creative writing outlet,” Cooper says. “If I can get attention on a listing, it doesn’t matter how I do it. It’s free to write remarks that people will pay attention to.”
In the town he lives in, he says, people are now eager to wait for his listings to drop.
In this case. the attention paid off. An offer came in so quickly that Cooper didn’t even have time to take photos of the home, so he chose one he had used when he listed the same home several years ago.
“Now that it has gone viral like it has, I’m kicking myself, because I could have done better as far as that goes,” he adds.
As for the home’s location? Instead of touting the local highlights or a corner lot, Cooper went in a different direction.
‘The house sits on the corner of Myersville and Killian, at a four-way stop. You must come to a complete stop or you’ll get a ticket for a rolling stop. Nobody likes a ticket, but you’ll be tempted to roll right through in order to be the first one to view this house.’
“What’s funny about that is it’s not even a four-way stop, and I thought it was at the time,” Cooper admits. “I go through it all the time, and for some reason, in my head, I thought it was a four-way stop. And shortly after I wrote it, I realized it wasn’t, but it was already starting to spread.”
Cooper says his tongue-in-cheek approach sets him apart from other listing agents, who seem to appreciate his approach, even if they aren’t daring enough to try it themselves.
“They call and they say, ‘This is a breath of fresh air to read something like this,’” he says.
As for other perks of the property, the agent then lapsed into a stream-of-consciousness patter about pooches.
‘Some folks who have lived here had a dog or maybe even dogs, I can’t say whether anyone has ever been bit by these dogs, heck, I don’t even know the names of the dogs … or the potential bite victims, assuming there were victims.’
Sometimes, Cooper says his humorous descriptions include lots of details about the house, but others, like this one, simply don’t.
“It was designed to be exactly what it is—which is goofy—and I knew it would grab attention. Writing remarks to get people’s attention is free marketing. It doesn’t matter what it says, if it gets their attention, it gets their attention.”
Much of that attention was paid to a bit of oversharing about the state of his marriage, embedded an in aside about the garage.
‘There is a garage, it has one of those big doors that open upwards and you can park cars inside or just use to toss all of your junk in. My wife once made me live in our garage. She’s a nice lady, but I can be difficult to live with.’
“Everyone seems to have a different favorite line from the post,” Cooper says, adding that the line about his wife was his favorite, because he knows he can be difficult to live with.
‘Anyway, I’m glad we talked, I’m sure I’ve made you all fall in love with the home, that’s just what I do, I’m a professional Realtor.’
And a creative one, to boot.