One advantage real estate agents have when it comes to marketing is their smartphones. Mobile technology makes it possible to take high-quality photos and videos of the properties you’re trying to sell.
But, pictures tell only part of the story.
A strong headline, a nuanced description, telling a story, and making a strong call-to-action can pique the interest of a potential buyer. Good copy provides context for photos and videos. A few well-chosen words can convey a sense of place. They can transport the reader, allowing them to imagine themselves in that particular home.
Here are some tips to enhance your marketing copy.
1. Know your audience. Is your audience buying or selling? What demographic are you hoping to reach? The copy you write for a first time homebuyer is not the same copy you’d use to sell a vacation home. Before you put words on the page, think about who you’re trying to reach. What is appeals to millennials may not speak to a retiree looking to downsize.
2. Write for the right channel. As you consider your audience, also take into account the channel you’re using to communicate with those potential clients. Different channels require different approaches. If you’re putting together a brochure, you have more room to provide a detailed description. If you’re writing for social media, you need your copy to be direct and to the point. Many house hunters rely on their mobile devices while conducting their searches, so your copy should be crisp, compact, and tweet-able.
3. Write headlines that turn heads. With so much content available, capturing the reader’s attention has never been harder. One way to create strong headlines is by putting the reader right into the property you’re promoting. Find a unique feature of the home to highlight. For example: “Imagine the Summer Parties You’ll Have if You Lived Here”
4. Make it scannable. Making your text easy to scan is crucial with so much content and so little time to read. State the most relevant details upfront. Begin each paragraph with a sentence that summarizes the gist of what you’re trying to convey. When possible, use bullets to emphasize key selling points.
5. Write with conviction. The tone of your writing should be direct and clear. Keep sentences short and to the point. Convey your enthusiasm for the property your marketing. Be positive and personal. One way to find your voice it to think of your writing as a critical part of your brand.
6. Tell a story. Every home is different and every property has a story. Was there something the present owners told you about the history of their home? Help the potential buyer see themselves by the pool, in the book-lined library, or enjoying Sunday breakfast on the three-season porch.
7. Highlight benefits. In addition to features found in the home are the benefits of living in a particular community. Highlight local amenities, available public transportation, convenient access to a nearby town or city, the local music scene, or other benefits that will make the property more attractive.
8. It isn’t about you. Remember it’s all about the client and their needs. Unless you’re writing a biography, you should always put yourself in the place of the client. Write like you’re talking directly to a single person.
9. Call-to-action. Every piece of writing you do should have a clear call-to-action. What do you want the client to do? Call, press submit, enter an email address, contact you directly? Always offer more information, a newsletter, or white paper when asking for contact information.
10. Edit — then edit again. Write a first draft. Get the ideas down that you wish to convey and then begin the editing process. Shorten sentences and eliminate extraneous or redundant words and phrases. Tip: Keep a copy of Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” nearby. If you’re not good editor, ask a colleague or family member to read through.
11. Make it easy to share. When publishing, always include your contact information and buttons to all major social media sites.
12. Read. One of the best ways to become a better writer is by reading good writing. Make time to read how other successful marketers position their products, accentuate benefits, and make clear calls to action.
The bottom line
Good writers improve when they write on a regular basis. Consider a course in marketing with an emphasis on writing copy. Editing is also a skill that can be learned. If you’re uncertain about the quality of a particular campaign, do some A/B testing to find the copy that works best and write on.