Real Estate Marketing Grammar – Parallel Language

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Have you ever read a list and felt slightly confused? It was all there, but it just wasn't "quite right."

That's probably because the writer failed to use parallel language.

OK – what the heck is that?

Simply put, using parallel language means making a list in which each item is given in the same form of speech. All nouns, all verbs, all adjectives, etc.

Here's an example in which the writer used non-parallel language:

"As your listing agent, my service includes tips for giving your home more appeal, taking professional photographs, and available 24 hours a day."

It's there, but it's lumpy and disjointed.

He should have said "My service includes providing you with tips for giving your home more appeal, taking professional photographs, and being available to you 24 hours a day."

How about a list of home features: "This home offers panoramic views, recently painted, and your cook will love the kitchen."

Again, the information is there, but it's lumpy. Sort of like driving on a bumpy road.

Change that to "This home offers panoramic views, fresh paint, and a kitchen that your cook will love."

Our goal as writers should be to get our message into the minds of our readers without them having to think about the words we used.

So – avoid lumps and bumps. Check your lists to make sure all the words and phrases are parallel.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Ambassador
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Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, Marte, that is one of those writing rules I do remember: a list of 3 in the same form of be.

Oct 13, 2013 06:30 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michelle, I don't remember that rule, but I sure do notice it when someone posts a lumpy list! 

Oct 13, 2013 06:45 AM #2
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Marte- another "don't forget" post.  I've done just what you wrote about whenever I'm distracted.  It's always best to go back and reread your work. 

Oct 13, 2013 11:26 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,451,849
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kathy - Proofreading is essential. Sometimes I read my work 3 or 4 times and don't find the goofy mistake until the last read-through. I agree that this is an easy mistake to make if you get in a hurry.

Oct 13, 2013 04:19 PM #4
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Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Thank you, Marte.   Aside from being "grammatically correct", it is much easier to read.

Oct 14, 2013 09:58 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Fred - Yes, and in marketing, "easy to read" makes all the difference. 

Oct 14, 2013 12:29 PM #6
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Marte - there is an old army joke (from the Soviet Union). The Sergeant lined the soldiers, gave them shovels and told them they need to dig a long trench.

- How long?

- From this fence and until lunch

Oct 14, 2013 02:27 PM #7
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

OK, Marte, did you go to Catholic schools?  The one thing the nuns did extremely well was teaching the rules of English grammar, and you have it down.

If only they'd taught me a bit about critical thinking!

Oct 15, 2013 12:41 PM #8
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