The #1 rule in writing real estate marketing copy

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Do you remember Rule #1 in writing real estate marketing copy?

I seem to harp about it every now and then. But – since it still appears to be the #1 most frequently broken rule, it seems like a good time for a reminder.

Maybe there's another rule that tops the list – like keeping the copy tight or using better verbs instead of relying on adverbs, but I really believe that this rule is the most important one in real estate self-promotional marketing.

What is it?

Never, ever, ever begin a marketing message with:boastful man

  • I
  • We
  • My
  • Our

Why not?

Because focusing on yourself with the first word almost guarantees that your letter will be headed to the waste basket before the reader gets past the first line. If you've sent an email, it almost guarantees a fast finger on the delete button.

 If you stop and think about your own reaction to the letters and email you receive, it shouldn't be too hard to understand this cold, hard truth:

Your prospects don’t care about you. They care only about what you might do for them.

So begin your letter with a "you" centered statement or question. Then continue with more about them and their concerns.

Look at the difference between these two introductory sentences to an expired listing letter:

  •         "I see that your house just expired off the market unsold." (Yeah, so. What's it to you?)
  •         "Are you wondering why your house didn't sell?" (Yes, I do wonder.)

    Later on in the message you'll need to mention how your service will benefit them.  But even then, keep those "I" words to a minimum. Try very hard to use a form of “you” 3 times more often than any form of “I.”

If you aren’t sure of your ratios, go to your "find" feature and count. Then if need be, go back and re-work the offending sentences to turn the focus back to your reader.

Always remember this: It isn’t about you. Ever. It is always about your prospect and the benefit he or she will gain from reading your letter and acting upon it.  

disappointed real estate agentIf your marketing copy isn’t getting the results you want, check to see if it’s about you. If so, that’s probably the reason. Of course, that’s not the only reason why some copy is ineffective.

Here’s another reason why your copy might not be getting the results you want: You aren't addressing your prospects' concernsAnd one more: You aren't spending enough time.

And of course, if you want help with that copywriting, get in touch. Helping agents succeed through the written word is what I do.

 

 Boastful man Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Depressed agent Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Shawn Kriewaldt And if you focus on their needs, it'll be easier for them to see themselves working with you.

Sep 20, 2018 11:34 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,220,045
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

So many times I find I need a Marte Cliff common sense reminder.  Add this reminder to my long and growing list ...

Thanks, Marte ...

Gene 

Sep 20, 2018 02:35 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

We all need reminders now and then, Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - writing these posts helps me remind myself!

Sep 20, 2018 04:43 PM #39
Rainmaker
96,081
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Wow! Will be watching hard for that one in the future. Am pretty sure I make the "i" mistake way too often. Good post.

Sep 20, 2018 07:54 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,654,733
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Congratulations on the Feature - I am going to read my emails and messages differently from now on! 

Sep 20, 2018 08:23 PM #41
Rainmaker
698,735
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Thank you for the advice Marte. Duly noted. It's about the property, features and benefits. Thank you for posting.

Sep 21, 2018 06:59 AM #42
Rainmaker
303,133
Kate McQueen
CB&A Realtors - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Years ago (at least 20) I joined a writing group at the invitation of a friend that had written two books and wanted to put his manuscripts through the discernment of other writers before self-publishing.  Members were required to write and bring 10 pages to meetings each week. that were  read with the group.  One of the FIRST things I learned was that I was using "just a whole lot" (ha-ha) of adverbs!  Little, very, just, often, , etc.  When it was called to my attention, I was aghast!  It changed the way I write.  

I thought you all would enjoy this Dead Poet's Society meme.  He explains that language is intended for one purpose, "to woo women."  In our case our purpose is to woo new clients!

Overuse of adverbs

Sep 21, 2018 08:09 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Eileen Begley It's easy to slip into that habit when you're trying to promote yourself.

Lise Howe - Thank you!

Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR - Yes, except for when it's about what your clients want and need from an agent.

Sep 21, 2018 10:53 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kate McQueen It can be fun to find more descriptive verbs - and nouns, for that matter. However, I STILL have to edit my work to get rid of all my "justs."

Sep 21, 2018 10:55 AM #46
Rainmaker
303,133
Kate McQueen
CB&A Realtors - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Marte Cliff I agree that it can be fun, I enjoy "wordsmithing."  When I find a new and better way of wording something I feel so accomplished!

Sep 21, 2018 11:04 AM #47
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kate McQueen - What drives me crazy is knowing (or believing) there's a better word somewhere and being unable to find it. I've been known to spend an hour searching through my Thesaurus in search of just the right one.

Sep 21, 2018 11:23 AM #48
Rainmaker
786,079
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

It is quite interesting how those subtle changes in language can move the needle in the right direction.  

Sep 21, 2018 11:57 AM #49
Rainmaker
178,772
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

It takes conscious effort to leave ourselves out of our marketing, but your points are spot-on.

Sep 21, 2018 12:25 PM #50
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Words are powerful, Kevin Mackessy. Along with a dictionary definition, they convey emotions that we may not think about, but feel on some level. That's one of the reasons the trend toward texting is so troublesome. I fear that real communication will fall by the wayside.

Melissa Spittel - Yes, it does take conscious effort. The "me, me, me" approach is so much easier.

Sep 21, 2018 01:49 PM #51
Rainmaker
664,875
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. Appreciate the thoughtfulness placed in how to market and how to gain more clients with words. 

Sep 21, 2018 03:09 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,535,619
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Marte, thank you for always providing such helpful content for us. It really is helpful and greatly appreciated. 

Sep 21, 2018 03:52 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Laura Filip - Until you're face to face, words are all you have. You have to make them count.

 

Sep 22, 2018 10:53 AM #54
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Mike Cooper - I appreciate your kind words.

Sep 22, 2018 10:55 AM #55
Ambassador
2,959,019
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Ho Marte Cliff  Love this post and it really hit home. I am actually blogging different because of you. Just left you a message. You are such an asset to AR!!

Sep 25, 2018 07:06 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,520,699
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank you Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - I appreciate your kind comments, here and in your phone message. It was fun speaking with you as well.

Sep 25, 2018 10:12 AM #57
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