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The art of storytelling is still an advantage when selling a home.

It was not that long ago since the internet was nothing but text. There were not many photos or images streaming through that dial-up connection. If there were you could wait all afternoon to see one. Times have obviously changed, the internet is much faster allowing photos and video to be easily viewed in mere seconds. As it relates to the real estate kingdom, being able to view great home photos is truly an asset to both the home buyer and seller.

The question I pose has to do with the fine art of writing and storytelling. While photos help the discerning buyer choose which homes to preview what happens when they look farther. In most cases the remarks are directly under the home photos. Unfortunately many a Realtor® has forgotten, or never knew, how to write a story about the home they are representing.

What is the history surrounding the home? What architectural enhancements adorn the halls of the residence? Tell me about the quarter sawn wood floors, the quatrefoil patterns on the ceiling and walls, the cornices above the doorways and the hip roofs reminiscent of a Georgian or early colonial classical revival style homes.

Writing or storytelling, like fine photography, takes practice. Unfortunately, some real estate agents employ others to do much of the heavy lifting. They hire a photographer to take the photos (not a bad idea when you get a look at some of the property photos on the MLS), have someone enter all the home information online, hire an appraiser to assess the home’s value, bring in a stager or designer to advise on décor and a slew of other tasks that used to be done by the seller’s Realtor®. It is no wonder these agents do not know how to write a story about the residence that is both descriptive and eloquent. They are not familiar with the home enough to do so.

I spend between 2 to 6 hours, depending on the home, just taking professional photos. Afterwards I measure the whole home by hand. Then I take time to list all the features and amenities of the property. It is after all this that I research the history, origin and architectural characteristics of the home. Once all the information is compiled, I then edit the home photos, craft a story about the home and build the website and other media market bases.

Prior to any of this work I complete a market analysis of the home, with the seller, at my office. I feel it is necessary to have the seller to be part of the home value discovery process. It creates a greater understanding of the real estate market their home is part of.

Once all my tasks are completed I know the home and the home knows me. This is a benefit to me, the seller and eventually the home buyer.

Writing a story about a home for marketing purposes is more difficult today than it used to be. Now I have to consider not only the story itself but the content. The content is important because it makes the home easier to find on the internet. You see, buyers not only search using beds, baths and price but now use keywords and hashtags (#). This means that I have to use words in the story that I feel will attract buyers looking for that special, one of a kind, home. The home with a #mancave or #swimmingpool or maybe even a #mountainview. You get the picture.

While the origins of the internet and home marketing have succumbed to the graphic age I still believe there is a place for storytelling. History and storytelling are part of the fiber of our lives. And what better to tell a story about than a home. It is a place where many of our fondest dreams are realized.

Knowledge is power!

Jeffrey C. Hogue