Examples of property window cards

Property Schedules: Dos and dont’s

16th March 2016

Design, it can be a subjective thing in many regards. But good design should like good service, always be apparent. The design of good property schedules doesn’t stop with the placement of logos and the choice of colours – it also relates to the content and how it fits with the design. A little guidance is always useful, so I’ll frame this with advice from someone who has always helped me.

“Always pass on what you have learned.”

I have, for my sins, been doing this for some time now, so what have I learned? Well, people like pictures, they like to know what they’re (potentially) going to view. If the property is in great repair and has stunning rooms, then show them off. The buyer wants to be enticed, they want to see the beauty of a property and imagine living there – imaginations are stirred less by mundane descriptions.

Floorplans are becoming a must for all but the most basic of properties, because, again, people want to know what they’re looking at. They don ‘t need to show all the fittings, but they’re a massive boon to the buyer – I’ve seen people disregarding a property out of hand if it has no plan. It can be a boon to you too –  putting dimensions and orientation on them, removes the need to put them in the text, for example.

Historically, schedules were all about the text and photos were a secondary concern. Perhaps you’ve always done them that way, but, if I may turn to my mentor once more:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Photography has changed a lot in the past decade. Photography used to be difficult and expensive, and reproducing photographs in print was also difficult and time-consuming. But the advent of digital photography changed all that. While that isn’t to say that anyone can take a good photo (experience tells me otherwise) the digital workflow means the quality of the reproduction is now light years ahead of where it used to be, and the time taken to get it is also significantly reduced (I can empathise with anyone who has spent time sat scanning photos for hours on end).

But if a picture tells a thousand words, then maybe with more pictures you can look at cutting down the text. For example, a list of bullet points is a great way to express the salient information about the property – people are looking for specific things in a property – how many bedrooms for example – so tell them up front. Does it have gas central heating and double glazing? Great. Do you need a whole a paragraph to tell them that? Brevity is good for catching the attention – pictures are good for holding it.

Maybe you’re not convinced? Well, nothing is absolute (apart from that last statement). After all:

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”

One size doesn’t fit all, so I’m not implying that we should abandon the written word altogether. Where there is valuable information to be imparted, then by all means impart it, for there are great many things a photo or bullet point won’t express. But take the point of view of your intended audience – what will they really be interested in?

“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future”

We might not be able to predict the future, but we know that it’s good to keep things up-to-date and to keep evaluating the needs of your business and your customers. If you need a little guidance, give us a call.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Master Yoda for his sage advice.

This article was written by Michael Knowles, ESPC Design team leader.

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