In our industry, we often hear the term “desirable location” but what does it really mean? After all, it’s a very subjective phrase as it depends on what each person needs and wants at a given time.
As lettings agents, we are often asked if a property is in a “nice”, desirable” or “popular location” by prospective tenants moving into the area from a distance away but how do we quantify what is and what isn’t a “nice” area etc? So, we have started to ask potential tenants what they consider to be “nice”, “desirable” etc and the responses have been quite surprising, yet informative and helpful.
Take “nice”, as an example. One person said that when they said a “nice area” they meant it had to be children friendly, good amenities, and with a reliable bus service. Another person defined “nice” as surrounded by similar properties to what they were looking for and, finally, one lady said she considered “nice” to mean “nice” and suggested we look it up in a dictionary, which we did! Nice = friendly, of good quality, good place to live.
As for “desirable”, this opened the proverbial can of worms, yet it lead us to conclude that when someone says “desirable location”, what they actually mean is “nice”. But here are some of the replies we received when we queried what they meant by “desirable”.
- GOOD SCHOOLS
- LOCAL SHOPS
- FAST FOOD OUTLETS (which did surprise us)
- LOCAL PARK NEARBY
- GOOD ARTERIAL ROAD LINKS
- RAIL LINKS
- SIMILAR PROPERTIES, OF SIMILAR STANDARD
- SEA VIEWS
- COUNTRYSIDE VIEWS
- NOT TOO MUCH ON ROAD PARKING
It was funny that not one person mentioned or suggested that wanted to know what the neighbours were like.
“Popular” almost garnered the same responses as “desirable” with one or two notable exceptions.
- SIMILAR DEMOGRAPHIC TO US
- NO-THROUGH OR CUL-DE-SAC ROADS
- NOT POPULAR FOR THE WRONG REASONS (whatever they might be)
We concluded that when people use these adjectives, they’re doing so without having given much thought as to what they really need or want but that also, they have been driven to use these words by us, the estate agents because, let’s face it, the vast majority of property descriptions feature at least one, if not more, of these words because, as an industry we lack imagination. Saying “it’s in a popular location” because it’s “close to a good school” does not necessarily mean it’s true. There are countless good schools in areas that some people would find not to their liking.
Therefore, when we are describing a property, emphasising its accommodation, its location and anything else that might be relevant, do you think it would be a good idea to use new words/adjectives that better describe what your selling or letting. We’re certainly going to give it a go. The English language is a wonderful thing, so let’s start using it.
And next time you get someone asking for a property in a “desirable location”, ask them what they mean by that phrase. You will be surprised.