For months I've been harping at my ezine readers about getting away from the "I'm here, hire me" kind of ads and to start stressing the benefits of your service. I've said to stop thinking about what you can't promise a seller and think about what you can promise.
When I started in real estate no one really promoted individual agents - or even agencies. The entire focus was on getting those listings into the newspaper - and doing so in the fewest possible words because each word cost money. The company paid for the ads, and our broker had no intention of spending more than necessary.
So (remember this was 1985) we could say "3 BR, 1 BA, garage, walk to school." Or something equally boring. Then the ADA and Fair Housing laws came along and the "walk to school" part was cut by all but the most daring.
I think this era in real estate is what set the stage for today's boring advertising, but it's time to move forward.
Newspaper advertising still costs too much to properly describe a home, but we have the internet! You can not only describe homes in words that make buyers eager and anxious to get there quickly before someone grabs their dream - you can promote your own service.
But... someone forgot to teach the basic rules of copywriting in real estate class. (I don't know why - they really should.)
The first rule is that advertising is never about you - it's always about your prospect. And that's where most real estate self-promotion falls down. It talks about the agent, the agent's experience and designations and number of homes sold. And your prospects don't care. The majority don't even know what the designations mean, and they aren't interested in what you've done - they want to know what you will do for them.
Next time you sit down to work on a letter or update your web site, think about this. Turn an about-face from words that essentially say "I need to earn a living, and here's how you can help me - hire me." Instead, focus on words that say "You need an expert to help you accomplish what you want. Here's how I will help you."
Oh - that reminds me. Before you send anything for printing or publication, count how many times you used the words" I" or "me." Then count how many times you use "You" or "Your." If the "me" words outweigh the "you" words, go back and re-write until you have at least twice as many "yous."
Here's to effective marketing!