It's "Great" that Everything is so "Large" and "Beautiful," but...

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Have you ever read a whole page of real estate ads in the newspaper or in a real estate book?

My view may be a little "off" because I only read the ads that are published locally, and the ones I see when I'm on vacation somewhere, but what I see says that real estate agents seem stuck on a few boring words.

Maybe it's because they're limited for space and if I'd go look up their listings on line I'd see something better. Oh but wait a minute... I've done that.

I see great decks, large yards, beautiful kitchens, spacious living rooms, cute nurserys, great garages, large fireplaces, beautiful trees, and on and on.

And you know what - those words don't tell me a darned thing.

They do make me remember an incident that happened in an office where I worked. The agent and his client were sitting at his desk (2 feet away from mine) and he said "This property has beautiful trees." The woman looked at him, glared, and said "The only beautiful tree is a dead one."

I wondered what she was doing looking for property in tree country - she should have been on the plains or in the desert. But she did buy a home on ten acres... mostly pasture. Then she hired someone to cut down every tree on the property.

Obviously, her idea of "beautiful" and ours were something entirely different.

But back to my rant.

How about, instead of "great deck" they had said "300 s.f. redwood deck?"Wouldn't that create a better picture?

Instead of "large yard," "1/2 Acre yard for lawn and garden."

Instead of "beautiful kitchen" "20 l.f. of cherrywood cabinets with granite counter-tops."

Instead of spacious rooms, how about including the size? Or even saying "Room for a grand piano" to paint a word picture.

I know, those newspaper and book ads don't leave much room for details, but when you get to the internet, you generally have all the space you need to paint word pictures.

My first broker didn't teach me much about marketing or about selling real estate, but she did say one thing that has stuck with me all these years: "When you write an ad, put the reader in the house."

Great, beautiful, cute, spacious, large, etc. just don't do it. Those words don't mean anything to most people - and can mean the wrong thing to some. Instead, write a description that lets reader actually visualize it. They they'll be "in the house."

This flower photo has nothing to do with real estate - but I think it's "beautiful" so had to share.

However, when I told a friend about it a few days ago, I didn't tell her it was beautiful. I told her that I had a yellow dahlia that looked as if it's petals had been brushed over with orange water color.


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Rebecca Gaujot, the Go To Realtor®
RE/MAX Vision Quest - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Marte, great post and suggested. I couldn't agree with you more about ads for real estate...and now I will change the way I write my ads.  Beautiful  photo  yellow dahlia!

Sep 21, 2010 11:07 PM #1
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Thanks Rebecca - I'm glad you enjoyed my rant. That dahlia fascinated me - wish the camera could have shown how much it looked like it had been painted.

Sep 22, 2010 03:16 AM #2
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Marte I have to be honest with you; you may have just described me when I forget to enlisted the aid of  Trust me I'm not offended, but you are cerrtainly right.  I've got to do better.

Sep 22, 2010 04:41 PM #3
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Charita - I'm glad you're not offended. I do worry about offending someone when I write about subjects like this one.

Sep 22, 2010 05:03 PM #4
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA

If I had the room I would, but our MLS limits us to so many words :(

Sep 23, 2010 01:40 AM #5
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

MLS shouldn't do that - but don't you have your listings on your own website as well?

If not, you can have virtual tours at Mouse House Tours that allow as many photos and as much description as you care to write. I forget the annual fee, but it's very low and it allows you to post all your listings for one flat rate. It's very cool... each listing has it's own website and you as an agent get one as well.

Sep 23, 2010 02:31 AM #6
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