Poetic licence with real estate lingo

Real estate agents come from a completely different school when it comes to copywriting. While it is the copywriter’s right to flourish and use emotive and evocative language, property agents take this to a new realm.

Take for example a recent property for sale on the fringe of Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid. The agent wrote it’s in the “Heart of the CBD’s East End” with “unrivalled east end location surrounded by world class amenity”.

That’s quite a glowing description for Little Lonsdale Street.

Tautology is another oft-used tool in the agent’s carry-bag. One would think this unnecessary repetition would be avoided, given the limited word count the selling agent has to work with. But it’s hard to come across an auction board or sales flyer that isn’t full of it.

“A truly unique opportunity” that is “unlike anything else in the Melbourne CBD” is in a “prime CBD location”. And really, why do they bother with the “potential for future redevelopment (STCA)” when you cannot pull a tree out in Melbourne (let alone develop a heritage building) without council approval. That’s just a waste of words.

I’m also curious about the agent’s reference to the property at 102 Little Lonsdale being “freestanding” when it is clearly joined to other buildings on each side. If he means it has a front door and a back door, then he’s being misleading, or is seriously confused.

A neighbouring property in the next street was pitched to property buyers last year as not only having a “lucky number in a premium address” (I don’t know which part of 1611/618 is lucky) it was also “perfect for a city dweller”. Well imagine that! Someone who buys the city apartment will find it perfect for living in the city.

This property was still being completed during the sales campaign. But the soon-to-be-“stunning apartment” was apparently already “boasting a sophisticated city lifestyle”. The little devil.

I’ve noticed that agents also bend the truth when they want to latch on to geographical locations and iconic buildings. “Just around the corner from…” or “close to…” can be stretched to mean a couple of kilometres away – or more.

Then there’s the superlatives that are the agent-copywriter’s go-to jargon. The “gourmet kitchen” and “first class facilities” – not to mention “breathtaking views” and “unrivalled location”. It all ends up sounding a bit blah, blah, blah.

When I’m next in the market for a “spectacular gem” I will only be looking at properties with my key selection criteria. The rest of the real estate agent spiel is just confection that I don’t have a taste for.