What does really good real estate marketing copy look like?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting


No, I don’t mean it isn’t there at all. I mean that the words disappear behind the message. No one "sees" the individual words or sentences. Instead, readers absorb the message the words were written to convey. 

When you can make the words disappear, it's as if your thoughts were being transferred from your brain straight through to your reader's brains.data transfer

That’s why it’s so important to proofread for typos, misused words, and misspellings.

As soon as a reader gets stopped by a word that’s somehow “wrong,” they see the words instead of the message. You might as well put in a sign saying “Stop reading here.” 

It's not much different from transferring data from one computer to another - if something happens to interrupt the transmission, it's gone. 

Industry jargon and “$40 dollar words” are also like stop signs for many readers. That’s why copywriters try to keep the language at about a 7th grade reading level. We don’t want even one reader to have to stop and think “What does THAT word mean?” 

Once the reader has to stop and consider the actual words, the magic of the message is lost. 

This is also why it's also important to make the copy physically easy to read. Short paragraphs, sub-headings, and bullet points all serve to break up the copy and allow readers to absorb the message in small bites. 

The wall of words formed by an over-long paragraph simply looks difficult to read. And on line – it is. Human eyes have trouble following along with long paragraphs on the screen. The "rule" is no more than 7 lines per paragraph – I personally prefer to keep them even shorter.

Reasonable font sizes are also important, as they let even "senior eyes" read without having to enlarge. Do remember not to go overboard - too large is annoying because it looks like you're shouting. 

Think of your real estate marketing copy like the picture window through which you canPriest Lake at dusk gaze on a breathtaking view… you don’t “see” the window unless it’s cracked or dirty. If it’s clean and doing its job, all you’re aware of is that view. 

Make your marketing copy look the same – clean and easy to "see through" so that all your readers are aware of is the message behind the words. 

What ELSE does good real estate marketing copy look like? Find out here. 

Data transfer Image courtesy of rajcreationzs@freedigitalphotos.net


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Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Writing copy for listings is one of my favorite things to do..I try to make it memorable without using the same old cliched phrases.

Jun 23, 2016 11:45 AM #13
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

On my WordPress blog, I use the Yoast SEO plugin to analyze my blog post content for good SEO practices for higher search ranking.  In their latest release, Yoast SEO now includes content analysis for ease of reading.  It provides recommendations for improving content to make it easier for the reader to understand.

Jun 23, 2016 03:25 PM #14
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post. What type font and size do you recommend in your marketing for emails and letters or flyers? I use Arial 10 font for emails and Arial 12 font for letters or flyers. Many use Times Roman, should I? Thank you.

Jun 24, 2016 02:02 AM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                    Thanks Marte Cliff for my ah-ha moment. 

Jun 25, 2016 11:25 AM #16
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Thank you Kathy Streib - I appreciate your support! 

Jun 25, 2016 12:48 PM #17
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I see a wall of words and I move on. 

Excellent advice!

Jun 25, 2016 09:13 PM #18
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Marte, Thank you for sharing the great tips. I will keep these in mind.

Jun 25, 2016 09:13 PM #19
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I am so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post - I love her Sunday picks! 

Jun 25, 2016 09:13 PM #20
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff ,

So glad I read your post that was featured in Kathy Streib's post this morning of her "ah-ha" moments for the week! Thank you for your great tips!!

Jun 25, 2016 09:42 PM #21
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Brilliant Marte Cliff As soon as a reader gets stopped by a word that’s somehow “wrong,” they see the words instead of the message. You might as well put in a sign saying “Stop reading here.” 

Right on target - and - Re-Blog!

Jun 25, 2016 09:53 PM #22
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Marte. Do not know how I missed this? Thankfully Kathy reminds me of the good ones I missed every Sunday morning! Enjoy your day!

Jun 25, 2016 10:30 PM #23
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  I can see why Kathy chose to highlight it this week!

Jun 26, 2016 12:55 AM #24
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Marte, back in the day, I worked at the old Civil Aeronautics Board when Alfred Kahn (the father of readable writing in government) was the Chairman.  He introduced me to the concept of writing the consumer information we put out at the 7th grade level.  And I think there is an app in Microsoft Office that helps you to do it.

Jun 26, 2016 01:19 AM #25
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Great points, easy to follow steps in successful blogging & writing. I do understand and support (professionally) your point: “We don’t want even one reader to have to stop and think “What does THAT word mean?” " But personally, I really like it when an author makes me use the dictionary; that's how we grow our own vocabulary.

Jun 26, 2016 01:45 AM #26
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

KISS was devised by US NAVY to keep in simple stupid!

I personally dislike narrative written on the real estate flyers which often is the source for law suit if the buyer is not getting their money worth. 

Jun 26, 2016 04:07 AM #27
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

A top agent goes extreme. On her pink flyer it says 3 br, 2 bath, 1xxx sf, 50 yrs

and list in bold academic test scores of each schools and direction the home faces.


When asked. She says:" Isn't what these technocrats are looking for?  Which direction is the house facing and how great is the academic standing"

I replied why not buy a trailer put it in the top school parking lot. She says that will sell too quick with a chuckle. 

Jun 26, 2016 04:12 AM #28
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Totally agree ... everyone is busy and too many words means TIME which turns off many readers.  Even blogs when too long I get tired too quick.

Jun 27, 2016 06:04 AM #29
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Easy on the eyes. Easy on the brain.  Seems like that would be an easy recipe for success. Thanks!

Jun 27, 2016 07:13 AM #30
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC Yes, easy on the eyes and easy on the brain - so the message can come through with no roadblocks.

What amazes me is that anyone who reads must experience the same frustration, especially with the wall of words, so why do they write letters, posts, and pages that turn others away? 

Do they not read? 

Jun 27, 2016 12:35 PM #31
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Front Gate Realty ~ 601-991-2900 Office

True! If I catch a misspelled word or trip over a grammatical error, the message is lost. Same thing with run-on sentences or long paragraphs. Thanks for reminding us!

Jul 01, 2016 09:09 AM #32
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