Why do Realtors use wimpy copy?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Have you ever noticed? Most real estate copy doesn't say much. Compared to other kinds of products, you'll see no big promise, no appeal to the prospect's emotional hot buttons - mostly no nothing!

My suspicion is that Realtors are afraid of the one big promise they believe they need to make: "I'll sell your home for full price or more within 2 weeks."  Of course they're afraid to say that - only a fool or an insane person would say that. Unless, of course, they had something devious going on, but we won't go there.

So... as a result of this fear, most Realtors pay good money for marketing materials that say little more than "I'm here." Some of their web sites don't even say that. In my travels through the internet searching for good real estate sites, I've found more than a few that kept the agent's name almost hidden.

One of those agents wrote me to ask how she could improve her site - and I had to write back and ask if this was her site, or a company site.  

What a Realtor web site should include is a topic for another day, but if you want to see what I provide to my real estate clients, and why, visit www.copybymarte.com.

Today, let's think about the promises you CAN make. For instances, promises about your service. You can promise:

  • Complete and detailed listings on your site and in MLS - with emotion-evoking copy that showcases the benefits of each of the house's best features.
  • Beautiful photographs for web site and flyers
  • Flyer boxes kept full - with flyers that entice readers to ask to see more
  • Speedy response to all buyer inquiries, and to all calls from your clients
  • Regular communication from you, letting your sellers know about buyer feedback, changes in the market, and anything else that affects their listing
  • Assistance with staging
  • Immediate notification to your personal buyer list
  • Timely broker open
  • Your reputation with other agents - making you someone whose listings they want to show because you are easy to deal with

If you stop and think about what you really do for your clients, I'm sure you can double that list.

Then, since so many transactions fall apart in that period of time between agreement and closing, you can promise to stay on top of it - keeping in touch with the buyer (or the buyer's agent), the lender, the closing agent, the inspectors, and anyone else who might throw a monkey wrench in the works.

Those are just the promises you can make to a seller. There's an entirely different list for buyers - one of the most important being a promise to let them know about new listings.

When my son was house hunting, we found one agent out of about 12 or 14 who took the 5 or 10 minutes to enter his wish list into the MLS system so he'd get regular notification of new listings. They all had the same opportunity to do that, but only one bothered.

Of course it paid off. He began calling her instead of the listing agents when he saw an interesting ad, and after a few months he bought a house through her. In addition, I have referred 2 or 3 people to her, so those 5 or 10 minutes were a wise marketing investment.

If fear of the big promise has kept you trapped in a cycle of wimpy marketing copy, stop and give some thought to the promises you can make and keep. 

You may believe that all agents do what I've listed above, and you will sound silly for mention those things. Since you care enough about your career to read posts like this, I can understand why you think so, but it isn't so. There are potential clients out there who would love to find someone who would do those things.

I already mentioned the trouble my son had getting an agent to let him know about new listings. I also have friends who tried to sell homes. The indifference and incompetence in the majority of agents is baffling, to say the least.  

I might venture to guess that less than 10% of all agents do even one thing on that list.

How does it feel to already be in the top 10%? Since you care, you're there!

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
240,332
Patti Ann Kasper
EXIT REALTY NEXUS - Blaine, MN
Blaine & North Metro Minneapolis St Paul Real Esta

Just a quick note...

I focus primarily on buyers and I have 5 guarantees that I put in writing up front.  Of course, there are some conditions, but for the most part, these 5 guarantees are things that all agents can all do with very little risk to our pocketbooks - we just have to decide what they are and do them consistently.  Then make up a flyer or brochure stating what it is that you promise to do.

Jan 06, 2008 05:24 PM #1
Rainer
28,491
Jen Hudson
Windermere Real Estate/M2, LLC - Stanwood, WA
Stanwood, Camano & Arlington, WA
That is true.  Some agents don't ever mention the basics, and that can make a huge difference to a client who is interviewing a dozen people.
Jan 06, 2008 05:49 PM #2
Rainer
129,397
Gary Bland R (S) E-Pro, ABR
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Wailea, HI
I had seen some prettty toilets out there.  I try not to shoot dirty houses or clients in the pictures total turn off. 
Jan 06, 2008 06:54 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I forget which of the early great copywriters it was - Eugene Schwartz or Claude Hopkins - who turned around the Schlitz Beer company by advertising the procedure they used to make beer. It was the same procedure every brewing company used, but he was the first to tell the story to the beer drinking public.

Anyone who came later saying "We do that too" sounded like a copycat.  

I believe the same is true for real estate. The average person doesn't realize all the things a Realtor does for them.  So telling them all the steps you take to promote their listing is impressive.

AND... sellers who have gotten poor service do realize that not all Realtors stay in touch regularly, post accurate information on MLS and their web sites, etc.

If you can make a promise and stand behind it, I say you should make sure all your prospects know about it. 

Yours for success,

Marte
writer@marte-cliff.com

 

Jan 07, 2008 11:49 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Marte:  Thanks for sharing such an excellent post with us.  May I make a suggestion ?  After you have written your post, you are allowed to select up to five groups to have your blog post listed in... beside simply being listed on the general overall blog roll that you see when you click on "blogs." at the top of your profile page.

That way, your individual posts are seen by many more people, and your chances of having it read, and being able to establish relationships with more people is enhanced.  You can find these groups by one of two ways.  Either click on the word "groups" at the top of your profile page, and then scan the groups till you find one that interests you, then click on it, look it over, and if you so choose, click on "join group."

Once you do that, then whenever you finish writing a blog post, and are about to click on the submit button, you can choose five groups from the list of those you have joined... to display your post in.

A second way of choosing groups is to find a blog writer on Active Rain whose posts you seem to like, and then click on their profile page, and look at the left column at all the groups they have joined.  If you seem to like their writing, it is more likely that you will also like some of they groups they have joined.  For an example of what I mean, click on my name at the bottom of this comment, and then look at all the groups I have listed.  Lots of groups covering all manner of subjects... to pick from depending on the subject of your newly written posts.  Take care... and please email me with any questions.  I was a newbie only five months ago, and pretty much stumbled around on my own to learn this stuff.

Jan 07, 2008 04:52 PM #5
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hey, Marte — I left a surprise for you in my blog post this morning. What? You thought I was going to tell you exactly what and where? Ha! But this comment is a clue.

Happy Day!

Sep 17, 2011 01:08 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,109,405
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Marte, morning...saw this old post per Russels Golden Oldies above...I hope you have a wonderful weekend

Sep 17, 2011 03:33 AM #7
Ambassador
853,919
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Hi Marte-Marketing one's self is really important and you are right, sometimes we shy away from boasting about ourselves too much.  Wimpy copy is such a great titie :)!  You give some terriic tips on what a Realtor® can say about themselves to market better.

Great post and Russel sent me :)!

Sep 17, 2011 07:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Russell - This IS a surprise! Thanks for including me in your golden oldies. My email is acting very wierd lately so it was Kristen's comment that made it through and alerted me to what you'd done.

Kristen - thanks for the heads up! I wish you a wonderful week-end as well.

Brenda - Thanks. I had forgotten all about this old post, but it's all still true.

Sep 17, 2011 07:57 AM #9
Rainmaker
570,170
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Thanks to Russel for mentioning this one. I never saw it as it was written before I joined AR!
Sep 17, 2011 03:56 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Christine - Yes, Russel alerted me to some posts that were written before I joined as well. I still have to go finish reading the rest of them. Don't know where today went!

Sep 17, 2011 04:06 PM #11
Rainmaker
2,394,939
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Marte, those are great ideas and a great blog post. I bought a series of marketing letters from a copywriter here in the rain about  the first time home buyer program a couple of years ago.

They were great! And I have never heard from them promoting anything else they offer to REALTOR's.  I don't even remember who the copywriter was!

Sep 17, 2011 05:07 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Evelyn - I hope that copywriter wasn't me! I try to make sure I keep in contact with all my past customers, but things do happen.

Just in case, I invite you to visit www.copybymarte.com/pro/freeHRLetter.html and get a free copy of the letter I wrote to send to HR directors. Then you'll be on my ezine list and hear about new letter sets.

 

Sep 17, 2011 05:24 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,278,827
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Hi Marte~ There ARE promises we can make and easily keep.  They make the transaction smoother for all parties.

Jul 08, 2012 07:03 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Donna - And today, prospective clients have read enough to be aware that some of those promises really are important.

Jul 08, 2012 07:42 AM #15
Ambassador
566,489
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

Hard lesson: never promise something just to get the job and then can't make good the promise.  It will haunt you!

Jul 10, 2012 05:47 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Rosemary - Sometimes I think agents get so hung up on what they can't promise that they fail to see what they can promise. And then of course there are the ones who promise the impossible. That's just silly - and as you said, will come back to bite.

Jul 11, 2012 01:48 AM #17
Ambassador
2,841,468
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Wow Marte Cliff this is an awesome first post PACKED full of great information which is relevant to this day - all those years later!

Apr 19, 2015 05:03 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,531,832
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Anna Banana Kruchten - Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate! Things don't change much, but I do think a whole lot of agents are doing a better job now because of blogging. 

Looking back at this post was fun - those who commented back in 2008 are long gone from the Rain - or at least I haven't seen them. Sadly, Karen Ann is one of them. 

When I talk with agents new to AR, I often refer them back to her comments on this post. She was SO much help for me getting started. 

Apr 19, 2015 05:11 AM #19
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