In real estate marketing, use Good Manners and Good Grammar

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

OK, I know I'm being picky again... Sorry, but I do think these details matter to at least some real estate clients, and that they might cross an agent off their list for breaking simple rules of etiquette and grammar.

Every now and then, in a real estate blog post, I see a "manners and grammar" mistake that sets my teeth on edge.

It goes like this: "Me and my family," or "Me and my clients" used as the subject of a sentence. It reminds me of high school when I used to hear "Me and John went to the movies Friday night." It was usually spoken quickly, so it came out as "Mean John went to the movies." People would look at me strangely when I'd ask "What makes John so mean?"

So... first the manners.

Aren't we taught from pre-school years to always state the other person's name first? Yes - it's just good manners. So in these examples it would be correct - and polite - to say "My family and... " or "My clients and..."

But then... the word "Me."

"Me" is an object word - never a subject word. Use it after words like for, with, to, before, or after. readhing for a cookie

When you are the subject of the sentence, the word to use is "I."

"My family and I went to the beach." "My clients and I arrived early and found ..."

Would you say "Me went to the movies?" (Yes, I know - small children say "Me want a cookie," but with time and parental correction, they outgrow that.)

Use the "leave them out" trick...

If you aren't sure whether to use "me" or "I," simply omit the other person. Then read it and listen to how it sounds. Just as you wouldn't say "My client referred a friend to I," you wouldn't say "Me toured a beautiful home on Sunday."

At least I hope not.

In the meantime... just remember: Never begin a sentence with the word "me" unless you're talking about the word itself. For instance: "Me is an object word."

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Rainmaker
2,676,856
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

O, it drives me crazy when people do this - it's 2 mistakes in one and definitely makes the writer look stupid.

May 12, 2013 08:18 PM #24
Rainer
44,806
Jenn Morson
Metro Referrals - Crofton, MD
Licensed Referral Agent and ASP - Team Woda

Thank you for this - I realize that grammar errors bother me more than the average bear, but I think people would do far better in life if they asked someone to proof their work. That extra step speaks volumes.

May 12, 2013 09:20 PM #25
Ambassador
1,207,259
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Me toured a beautiful home on Sunday.  Ha!  That made I laugh!!  

Every time I read your blog I question myself.  It's like I'm in English class in high school again.  Thanks for sharing!                  

May 12, 2013 09:54 PM #26
Rainmaker
452,180
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Grammar, spelling, Misuse...they're, their, there. We're, where, were. The list is endless. When I get letters or email from these folks they all make me think the person sending them just might be a dope. Thanks

May 12, 2013 10:47 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,378,817
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Marte, with technology and texting, it seems grammar is becoming a thing of the past. Spelling is another discussion. Good lesson.

May 12, 2013 10:53 PM #28
Ambassador
1,583,961
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Marte - Manners and grammar--I'm ready for both to make a comeback!

May 12, 2013 11:02 PM #29
Ambassador
1,987,624
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Thank you Marge. .

Another lesson learned and hopefully, me not making a mistake in this sentence. .

lol

May 12, 2013 11:39 PM #30
Rainmaker
2,463,774
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

In the song DO RE MI...."Me is a name I call myself" and in another example it is often used to find the right note to launch a song..mi mi mi etc...Other than that, it should be checked and as far as manners go....bring back manners in droves..good post and host

May 12, 2013 11:41 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,948,762
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Companies pay big dollars to bring in consultants.... to improve customer relations skills, productivity. Good manners, being considerate of the other person and working hard to be of service, helpful is what parents, previous employers, coaches, teachers, the rest of the village that helps raise you build into you. Or not. It is not about me me me, but others. Always has been.

May 12, 2013 11:46 PM #32
Rainer
28,127
Elisha Grace
Opportunity Mortgage - Bozeman, MT
Bozeman Montana Loan Officer

Thank you for the reminder.  I agree that poor grammar is a turn off.  It grates on my nerves when people don't take the time to proofread something that they took the time to write.  Another thing that really bothers me is when I look over something that I wrote (usually on my IPhone) and find a mistake.  Eek!  Have a great day!

May 13, 2013 01:09 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Wallace - In school it was just a grade. In life it's a reputation - and your income!

Ron - Yes, especially if the business involves writing in any way - such as writing agreements, property descriptions, etc. When my husband was building homes we used a siding contractor whose wife sent out a newsletter filled with horible grammar errors and it made me feel embarrased for them, but we still used them because they were good at installing siding.

Debbie - Yes, or uninformed and proud of it.

Jenn - I always think that they don't even know they don't know. But you'd think that some friend would like them well enough to tell them they're making those mistakes.

Jared - Oh no! I don't want to make you feel like you're back in high school!

Bradley - Yes, the list is endless. We have a complex language and I have nothing but admiration for people who master it as a second language. Can you imagine having to deciper those different meanings and spellings if you hadn't been being taught almost from birth?

Michael - The other day I saw a post comment that was full of texting abbreviations. Hopefully that won't become the norm.

Norma - I am too!

Fernando  - This one is easy to remember - "Me first" is always incorrect in both manners and grammar.

Richie - Good manners do make life more pleasant.

Andrew - Yes, it's good practice in life and essential in marketing.

 

May 13, 2013 01:23 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Elisha - The only people who don't make any mistakes are the people who don't do anything. I remind myself of that every time I find a mistake in my own writing.

May 13, 2013 01:26 AM #35
Ambassador
3,112,611
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Marte, I blame most of it on my spell checker. It makes me feel and look like a total idiot. Thus I proof read!

May 13, 2013 01:41 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Paul - My spell checker alerts me to typos - but if I listened to my grammar checker I'd write gibberish. I keep wondering who programmed the stupid thing.

May 13, 2013 02:21 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,234,213
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Marte:  Many write as they think and talk ... "me" first, then others.  I'm thinking that it doesn't go much beyond that?

Gene

May 13, 2013 03:17 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Gene - You just might have something there. Thinking about the blogs that are written that way... it IS the prevailing attitude.

May 13, 2013 03:27 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,086,245
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

My children are grown, and I still use the "leave the other person out of it" to get them to say it right!  Thank you, thank you , and keep writing these posts!

May 13, 2013 03:58 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Margaret - Thanks. It really is true that some things just don't "stick" for some of us. My son who can look at a power line problem and know what needs to be done to fix it - and then go do it - simply can't get there and their straight. Fortunately, his work doesn't call for written communication.

May 13, 2013 04:14 AM #41
Rainmaker
4,103,912
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Marte, you always remind us of the need to give the public a professional view with our words.

May 17, 2013 12:51 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,543,496
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Joan - I don't think agents can expect the public to treat them as professionals unless they speak like professionals. And then, of course, dress and act like professionals - but that's another story.

May 17, 2013 02:03 AM #43
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