real estate marketing: Content marketing isn't new
- 04/23/17 04:04 PM
Today everyone seems to be talking about content marketing as if it were a brand new concept, just discovered as the way to reach new customers and build brand recognition.
That simply isn’t so.
At least two companies were already using content marketing in the late 1800’s.
Dr. Oetker: In 1891, Dr. August Oetker, working at his pharmacy in Bielefeld, Germany, developed Backin baking powder.
To communicate the superiority of this new innovation, he began using content marketing. The company published recipe booklets, printed recipes on packages, and ran newspaper advertisements with recipes – all designed to show housewives that with Backin, they’d get
real estate marketing: Learn through writing – by hand
- 04/22/17 01:21 PM
Writing by hand isn’t very popular these days – and that just might be the reason why our students seem to know less and less. (Do you ever watch Jessie Watters when he interviews college students? Ouch!)
Some time ago I wrote about one of the exercises I did when I first began to study copywriting. The assignment was to hand-copy each direct marketing promotion in a very fat book. These were promotions that have done well, bringing in millions of dollars in sales over the years. They were among the best examples of how to attract consumers and move them to
real estate marketing: Work-Around for Adding Photos to ActiveRain
- 04/15/17 11:11 AM
Debe Maxwell wrote this post to explain how members can add graphics even when the Active Rain "upload" function isn't working.
I didn't get in on the upload problem a few days ago, but I do get annoyed when I want to use something I uploaded a year or two ago. It may be my computer and it may be AR, but I cannot view ALL of the photos I've uploaded.
When I "do over" the system reminds me that I already have that title uploaded and the new upload will over-write it.
Perhaps even more important: Deb reminds us that using the alternate
real estate marketing: Protect your credibility - tell the truth
- 03/02/17 11:24 AM
Several months ago I wrote about a real estate team that sent my son a 9 1/2” X 12” 4-page, full color glossy brochure advertising their services. It was a beautiful looking brochure, but…
Almost every paragraph began with the word “We” our “Our,” and nowhere on the entire brochure did it give their location. They said they were North Idaho specialists. That could mean anywhere in 3 counties – and our counties are both large and diverse in terms of real estate values. We finally figured out from the phone prefixes that they are in Coeur d’Alene – which is about
real estate marketing: What I love about being a real estate copywriter
- 02/28/17 01:18 PM
Where to start? First of all, I love writing and I’m fascinated by the psychology of marketing. I also love playing with words, fitting them together this way and that until they come together in a clear message that flows well.
One of my favorite tasks is writing agent bios, or profiles. I’ve loved working puzzles since I was a small child, and writing a bio is like working a puzzle. I take the parts and pieces that agents send me and try to weave them together into a message that makes it clear why this agent is the best choice in
real estate marketing: Write to a person, not to a crowd
- 02/04/17 04:16 PM
How many times have you gotten a letter (or email) from a real estate agent (or any other marketer) that was addressed to “Dear Homeowner?”
If you get many letters, you’ve probably seen several like that.
Then, to make matters worse, the letter will go on to use phrases such as “people like you” or “all of you who…” or even “you guys who…”
All of those phrases clearly show that the person who wrote doesn’t know you – and wasn’t writing to you specifically. He or she was writing to a crowd.
But there’s no crowd opening your mail. There’s only you, even though you
real estate marketing: If they won’t read it, why write it?
- 01/29/17 11:57 AM
When you take the time to write – whether it’s a blog post, a prospecting letter, or even a property description – you want people to read it. After that you want them to understand it and be motivated to act.
But the first task is getting them started on the first sentence.
You already know about Rule #1 – Never begin with “I” or “We.” So let’s go on to what I’ll call Rule #2 – Make it look inviting.
That means using a reasonable font size and breaking your paragraphs into small bites. Small print and long paragraphs look like encyclopedia
real estate marketing: Are You Embarrassed to Admit that you Need a Copywriter?
- 01/15/17 03:18 PM
If so, you aren’t alone.
My own best friend is a prime example. Every time she calls me for help with a letter she's writing, she apologizes for needing help. She, like many others, seems to think that since she’s an intelligent person, she should be able to write great copy.
Why? She’s brilliant at accounting, and I’m not at all embarrassed to admit I need her help figuring out debits and credits. I’m also not embarrassed to hire a mechanic to repair my car or a professional to solve my computer glitches. I didn’t study those things and have no talent for
real estate marketing: Should you post to an article sharing site?
- 12/02/16 03:26 PM
Should you post to an article sharing site?
Back when I first started copywriting, I used EzineArticles.com a lot. At the time, I could usually count on getting at least one inquiry every time I posted a new article.
I DID get really frustrated because while those articles are free for anyone to take and post on their own websites, some people put them through “spinners” before posting them. I wouldn’t have cared, but part of the requirement is that the person leave the author’s resource box on the post, and I sure didn’t like my name associated with some of the
real estate marketing: I don't believe this...
- 11/15/16 05:47 AM
Tony Robbins, that famous motivational speaker, said: “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results.”
Perhaps, to some extent and in some careers, that can work. However, in real estate, only parts of it work for everyone.
After all, you're an individual. You bring a different attitude, different experiences, different feelings, and a different personality to your work.
You're one of a kind - not someone else's clone.
In my opinion, every agent needs to:
Have an informative personal website that captures leads Prospect by postal
real estate marketing: Still asking... Where are you?
- 11/10/16 07:58 AM
Here I am, back on my soapbox, harping about letting your prospective clients know where the heck you are.
An ad in today's monthly Co-op news magazine brought on this latest rant.
A month or so ago a real estate sign with an agency name I'd never seen before went up on a neighbor's property. I've noticed the sign every time I've gone by, but haven't ever stopped and gotten out to read what it said and learn their location. So when I saw an ad for that agency in the publication, I was interested.
But guess what? I didn't find it. Since this publication
real estate marketing: Could your favorite adjective be limiting your success?
- 11/08/16 07:06 AM
Today’s email brought an ad from PriorService.com. This is a company that sells items of interest to veterans who are proud of their military service. I found them when searching for a cap for our 88 year-old neighbor last Christmas.
Since I’m not looking for anything like that right now, I generally just delete their ads, but today’s subject line caught my attention.
After I looked, I just shook my head and wondered “what were they thinking?”
The subject line said “Amazing new coyote brown military ball caps!” Of course I thought “What can be
amazing about a ball cap?” The answer was, of course,
real estate marketing: If you have only one page for your message…
- 10/28/16 09:42 AM
Sometimes your space is limited.
It may be because you’ve signed on with a web company that gives you a set number of words or spaces in each section of your website. It may be because you’re writing a cover letter to send with a holiday gift or as an introduction to your listing presentation. It may be because you’re doing a print ad and increasing the space would be cost-prohibitive. Whatever the reason, the temptation is always there to try to “stuff in” as much information as possible.
Don’t do it!
Stuffing leads to congested copy – and that’s the kind
real estate marketing: That won't work...
- 10/26/16 06:58 AM
"That won't work in my market."
How many times have you heard someone say that?
Usually, it’s when they’ve been complaining about lack of business and someone is throwing out suggestions for improvement. In most cases, the person doing the suggesting is someone who has gotten results with whatever marketing tactic they’re suggesting.
I realize there ARE some ideas that really won’t work in some markets. For instance, when I was in real estate, open houses didn’t work. People here just aren’t in the habit of attending open houses, so they don’t. Agents who try it had better take along a good book or
real estate marketing: It’s Wonderful that you have a real estate agent website – but ...
- 10/16/16 08:42 AM
Having your own website is a good first step, but it's not enough...
A bio on the company site is helpful, but unless there are only 2 or 3 agents in the company, it’s not going to get you much business. Its best function would be to give you a link to your own site.
You need your own site in order to gather your own personal leads. On your company site, you’re one of many. But on your own site you can use your home page, your buyer and seller pages, and your agent bio to show your visitors why YOU are
real estate marketing: Are you confusing your prospects with abbreviations?
- 10/07/16 07:37 AM
Whether you’re sending a text message or an actual letter, stop and think before you use a set of initials in place of words.
Even the common ones used in real estate, such as NAR and MLS, might not mean anything to a recent immigrant or to someone who has never paid much attention to real estate in the past. Then when you get into individual states, it can get worse. Will someone from Minnesota automatically know that CAR stands for the California Association of REALTORS®?
If you’re writing to another member of your profession, abbreviations and jargon are fine because you both
real estate marketing: First drafts - a thought to ponder
- 10/04/16 09:31 AM
This quote showed up in my in-box the other day...
"The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." --Terry Pratchett
It got me thinking about the function of the first draft, and how valuable it is to just write without censoring yourself. When you try to edit as you go, something gets lost - and it could be something you should have included in the final draft.
So think about that. Next time you begin to write, just tell yourself the story. You can edit and polish next time around.
real estate marketing: Self-promotional real estate copy – remember the basics…
- 09/20/16 06:44 AM
One of the basic rules in writing self-promotional marketing copy is this: Remember that it’s not about you.
A few months ago I wrote about an agent who started sending postcards to my son after his listing expireds. Now we've gotten ten of them, and every one violates the basic rule...
Every card begins with "I," and every paragraph is about the agent. Ugh. But he's definitely not alone in this practice.
When you want to promote your services, it’s easy to mistakenly think that your message should be about you.
But effective self-promotion is never about you. It’s always about your prospect and the benefits he
real estate marketing: Please Disregard This Marketing Advice!
- 09/12/16 09:44 AM
Have you ever read marketing advice from someone whose opinion you usually respect – but this time thought “Oh no. Why did she say THAT?”
That happened to me when I read these words: “If you wrote a bad email message they’ll delete you and won’t remember you.”
The topic in question was “How often should you write your prospects?” The author was recommending that you go ahead and contact people every 3 or 4 days, which I generally agree with. Her thought was that it's better to be "out there" with a bad message than to let them forget about you. (Which, by
real estate marketing: What’s the most impressive thing you can put in a mailbox?
- 08/26/16 04:35 AM
Do you know the one thing you can put in the mail that will absolutely make you stand out from your competitors?
It’s not your market reports. It’s not a well-written prospecting letter. It’s not even the request for feedback that you’re hopefully sending after a transaction closes.
It’s something much simpler: A Hand-written Thank You Note.
You can send them for any reason – any time someone does something nice or gives you exceptional service.
You can even thank your local grocery store manager for hiring such pleasant box-boys or check-out personnel. Notes like that can expand your sphere of influence by bringing