For those of you who know that I'm a playwright in the making - this technique works for all kinds of writing an it's in plain language and organized steps. Good information.
When you need to write a real estate marketing message and can't get started...
You have an idea for a real estate marketing letter or perhaps a new web page for your site. It rumbles around in your head; you visualize plenty of good lines and important points you want to make.
So you sit down to write and… you can't get started.
Here's what to do:
1. Just start writing
Start anywhere and write down all those random thoughts in any kind of order. It doesn't matter - just get them out of your head and onto the paper.
Use your program's cut and paste function to put those thoughts in some kind of order. Like thoughts with like thoughts.
Go through all of them and see if they all support the main idea you're hoping to convey.
3. Discard, but save…
Open a new page. Cut out all the thoughts that don't "fit" this piece and put them on that new page to use later. Remember, one "big idea" should dominate. Don't confuse your readers by heading down some side path.
Save those extra thoughts for your next letter or page, then go back to what you have left.
IMPORTANT: Before you go on to the next step, take a little time to think about the people who you hope will read your words and take action.
What really matters to them?
Visualize someone in this group. Then as you begin to write, pretend that you are writing to just that one person.
4. Now it's time to find your opening statement.
Read everything you've got and decide what is the biggest benefit you're bringing to your reader. What is the primary idea that you want to convey? Pull that to the top of the page and think how you can state it in a "You-centered" statement.
That opening sentence could be a question. For instance:
"Are you wondering why your house didn't sell?"
"Are you confused about all the paperwork required to request permission for a short sale?"
"Are you fed up with agents who don't return your calls?"
"Would you like to know what your home is really worth in today's market?"
It could also be a statement they can agree with. For instance:
"The housing crisis has put thousands of former homeowners out of their homes and into the rental market – causing rents to rise."
"Simply walking away and letting the bank foreclose may seem like the easiest thing to do."
"Waiting days for your listing agent to return your call is beyond maddening."
5. Put the rest of your ideas in logical order to support your opening.
Then "smooth out" the statements, paring them down to get rid of "fluff" and rambling thoughts.
6. Let it rest.
Once you've finished writing, set your work aside and let it rest for at least a few hours. A day is even better. You'll come back with fresh eyes.
7. Edit, revise, proof read.
If you can get a friend to proof read for you, all the better. Be on the lookout for small words that should have been removed when you combined sentences. Watch for improper use of common words such as "there" and "their," or "to" and "too." See if the thoughts are flowing smoothly.
Repeat the edit, revise, and proof read tasks until you're happy with the finished result.
8. If you get frustrated, unbearably stuck, or sick of the project, hire a copywriter to take your ideas and turn them into the message you want to send. (We copywriters actually enjoy working this kind of puzzle.)