Did you know that the main ingredient to attracting buyers to purchase a European villa-for-sale is not always about the property itself? Sound strange? It’s not!

The secret key to unlock real estate success is often about selling something much more emotive; selling the villa lifestyle.

Buying a dream villa in the Med is an emotional decision that goes way beyond a mere real estate deal for most buyers. After all, many purchasers have thought about a home in the sun for a long time, and such an investment can be a significant step both financially and mentally.

Of course, the price tag has to match the market value as a given, but, by promoting more than the property itself, owners can often exceed their expectations. Some villas, on the other hand, seemingly tick all the on-paper boxes but fail to spark interest even amongst the many villa-hungry purchasers.

Any property market is not an exact science. However, the difference between a fast-track sale and a villa that gets stuck way back in the slow lane of sales success is often less about the villa itself and much more about the sales marketing.

Related: Successful Property Marketing in Europe

Villa buyers may be looking for a new home, whether relocating from the same country or moving in as expats. They may be seeking a holiday home or a great holiday-villa-to-let business. In any case, what a villa that is on the market represents is a dream; a property and a lifestyle to fulfill their desire. Once that aspirational factor is identified and promoted, the rest will follow. The questions then are, how to conjure up and sell a dream.

Spark imagination through words

A villa property is more than the sum of its parts. The details of how many rooms, layout, and size will, of course, filter out and catch the attention of a certain amount of potential purchasers. The next level is to get creative.

Marketing descriptions need to highlight how the gorgeous garden is south facing or sees amazing sunsets. Describe the beautiful décor and how the rooms are light and airy or how the terrace is perfect for alfresco dining. Can owners stroll to a magnificent beach or step outside to a glorious natural setting? Is there a pool to take a dip, a shaded courtyard or a rain shower to refresh after a day soaking up the Mediterranean rays?

Think beyond the villa grounds

Purchasers are often drawn to areas before they look for a property. Perhaps they visited once on holiday and fell in love with the place. Are you nestled in a rural location in an idyllic spot? Or are you tucked away yet close to charming bistros and quaint local shops? What is there to do nearby, where can would-be owners go, and what can they see? Paint a picture of the villa lifestyle potential with marketing words.

Show the lifestyle don’t just talk about it

Photographs are all-important in marketing and the adage that a picture paints a thousand words is never so true. With a family-style villa it might be a good idea to show kids’ toys and bicycles outside or sports equipment to depict an outdoorsy lifestyle. It might be worth photographing an incredible terrace at night as well as during the day to show it looking pretty and lit up, ready for an evening of dining or get-togethers with friends. Even soft, luxury towels and spa-type products can lift a bathroom shot to portray a luxury bathing experience.

A fluffy blanket draped on the sofa says cozy and homely; a colorful vase of flowers says happy and content, and daybeds outside say chilled-out relaxation.

Villa owners can sometimes have an emotional connection to their property too, and this can help with bringing out its best lifestyle qualities. However, if that attachment overshadows the dreams of purchasers, this can leave little or no space for a buyer’s dream to gather momentum and turn it into a real estate reality.

Speak directly to purchasers

For any sale to resonate with a property buyer, it is vital to know who those buyers are. Think about their age, what they are looking for, and where they come from. Are they a young family or a retired couple? Are they looking for a quiet oasis or a funky villa with a glamorous edge? Keeping target buyers in mind guides the language you use, the photographs you are about to take, and ultimately the villa lifestyle you are selling.