What are those powerful words that can make a home-for-sale description more appealing in Canada? Our study indicates that much like their US fellow professionals, Canadian real estate agents place a lot of importance on “hardwood floors,” but location seems to be a factor of more importance than in the US.
A while back we published a study in which we revealed the most popular keywords US agents use to list homes. So when our Canadian readers asked us if we could expand the study to cover the Canadian real estate marketplace, we started to mine Point2Homes’ homes for sale in Canada and put together some lists, which were exclusively featured in The National Post.
Now it’s time to show you here, on our blog, what the most frequently used words for advertising homes for sale in Canada are.
Mapping the most popular listing keywords in Canada
After scanning approximately 40,000 listings which were active between January and June 2012, we found that the top 3 words were “hardwood floors” “beautiful,” and “stainless steel appliances.” Except for the difference in ranking, this perfectly matches to the top-3 words used in the US! “Private” and “spacious” are two other common words found in the top-10 lists for both countries.
Nevertheless, location seems to be one factor that ranks higher in the Canadian agents’ list of preferred words. The key phrase “close to schools” is number 6 on the Canadian list, while the most popular location-related key phrase on the US list is “great location,” ranked at number 19.
Here are the top-20 listing terms most frequently used by Canadian agents nationwide:
A breakdown by province reveals a finding that came up in the study done for the US market, too — although agents nationwide use many of the same terms to market a home, certain phrases are used more often in one province than in others. This could be done with the intention of making listing descriptions better answer local buyers’ needs.
For example, if real estate agents’ choice of words truly reflect buyers’ demands, then buyers in Ontario are more concerned about covered front-porches (we’re assuming this is an indicator of the number of cottages in the area as well), “ground pools” and a “wall of windows,” while those in British Columbia are interested in views (“lake views” and “ocean views”).
A home is more appealing if it has a good “wood burning stove” or investment potential (“partially finished”) in Manitoba, a “developed basement” and “parking stall” in Saskatchewan, while in Alberta the must-haves are an “open kitchen” and, again, a “parking stall” (to make winter days pass faster). Folks in Quebec are lured by accessibility (“minutes to downtown”) and warm temperatures (“wood burning stove”). The rest of us can definitely picture those needs!
Check out the map to see what some of the most relevant words for each region are (the bigger the word, the more popular it is). The top-right corner shows you the top-5 words for Canada nationwide.
The right words for the right price
Judging from our findings, it seems that real estate agents like to keep listing descriptions in line with the asking prices.
Homes priced below C$1 million are commonly listed (besides having those top-3 characteristics mentioned above) as “spacious,” “private,” “close to schools,” homes you can “enjoy,” and as being “bright,” “perfect,” and “quiet.”
Moving to the high-end of the market (homes with price tags over C$1 million), the language definitely changes in places. They are “private,” must have a “pool,” offer “luxury,” and are “huge” and “stunning.”
Here are the top-20 most frequently used listing terms for these 2 price categories: