Does marketing have to be a do-it-yourself project?
Some say yes.
Their reasoning is that unless you write it yourself, it’s not authentic. It’s also not your voice, so if someone chooses you based on that copy, then meets you in person, they’ll be disappointed.
Others believe you must write your own copy – for real estate or any other business – because you know more about it than anyone else, and thus can do the best job.
Of course, as a real estate copywriter, I say no.
Can you imagine the owner or CEO of any large company writing all of the company’s marketing material? No. In fact they may not even be the ones who approve the copy before it is used.
Their writers create “authentic” copy by learning all they can about the company, the products, and how they operate before they begin to write.
Real estate copywriters do the same when writing about an agent or a brokerage. We ask enough questions to be truly annoying.
The “It’s not your voice” argument might well apply to an opinion piece or a review of a local restaurant or community event, but it hardly applies to web pages. It could also apply to your bio, which is why good copywriters are willing to re-write and revise based on feedback from their clients.
Even an opinion piece written by a copywriter who knows you well will come out “sounding like you” if you’ve given your input.
Never mind “Must you?” There is no rule anywhere that says you must.
So let’s consider “Should you?”
No, not unless you can answer yes to these four questions:
- Do you write well?
- Do you enjoy writing?
- Do you understand the psychology of marketing?
- Do you have time to write?
Oh – and one more: Do you WANT to write your own marketing?
If you’re a real estate agent, #4 might be the crucial factor.
When you’re busy answering calls and running to appointments, where do you find a sufficient block of time in which to write?
Good copy doesn’t happen in ten and fifteen minute chunks. It requires focus, plus the time to let it sit before you come back to edit and proofread. One short web page, blog post, postcard, or promotional letter can take hours to write and polish. And now that experts say pages and posts should be 2 or 3 thousand words, good ones take even longer.
When I was an agent, I did my writing at night, after my husband and children were sleeping. It was the only time I could think and write without interruptions.
Even if you said yes to all 4 questions…
There could still be one bit of copy that you can’t write. That’s your real estate agent bio.
I’ve lost count of the agents who have contacted me, apologizing for needing help with a bio. They’re agents who love to write and are good writers, but when it comes to writing about themselves, they get stuck.
This probably stems from parents and grandparents telling us not to brag. They were trying to teach us good manners, but they sure did make it difficult to effectively self-promote ourselves.
Must you write your own real estate marketing copy?
No – and if you can’t answer yes to the 5 questions above, you shouldn’t.
Instead, you should enlist the aid of a real estate copywriter – like me.
Do you want some help?
Call me at 208-448-1479 or write email@example.com.
Graphics courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotosnet