The words you use in a blog post, on a web page, or in an email are often the first impression your prospect has of you. As such, they’re important.
Among other things, they tell that prospect whether you’re a professional; whether you’re a likeable person; whether you might be someone they can trust; and whether or not you pay attention to details.
If that first impression is poor, it often becomes the last impression.
So let’s look at some ways that a real estate agent (or anyone else) can ruin their chances for success by making a poor impression.
Making assumptions: Either rude or outright silly.
Some sales trainers actually advise agents to assumptions. For instance, they recommend beginning a letter with “I know you’re thinking of selling your home.”
To me, that breaks rule #1 in writing a business letter (Never, ever begin with “I”) while being downright rude. If that came in my mail my first thought would be “You don’t know me and you don’t know what I think. Get lost.”
And then there’s silly. Here’s an example that came to my in-box early last year:
“Mark Your Calendar!“
“In March, we sent out a newsletter with some information about our new web design, which we have been waiting for with excitement. Now it's finally time to launch it and we hope you're as excited as we are!”
“The last pieces are expected to be in place during the week and you can mark April 14, 2018, in your calendar as the release day of the new web design!”
First, note that I have no idea who these people are or what they offer. I didn’t recognize the name in the “from” space. But even if I did know them or do business with them, why on earth would a customer be so excited about someone else’s web design that they would mark their calendar? Why would they be excited at all?
Had they explained why that new design would benefit their customers, that would be a different matter. Or, if they waited until the new site was up, then told customers to come and test the wonderful new whatever, then their actual customers might be interested. I’m still not sure they’d be excited, but…
Failure to proofread – carefully. Failure to proofread ranks right at the top of ways to make a really poor first impression.
I know I harp about this a lot, and I’ll keep on harping. It’s that important.
Everyone has a typo now and then. I’ve even found them in hard-bound books published by major publishing houses. They’re not good, but anyone who uses a keyboard will understand that it happens now and then.
That doesn’t excuse us from trying to find them, however, because some of them can turn a sentence into nonsense. Here’s an example I read just this morning: “Stay in touch with your sphere. They may not be ready to buy or sell, but they may now someone who is.”
Grammar errors are also not good. I cringe and shudder every time I see someone write “Please call I” or “Please call myself.” Those who are unsure of grammar should either hire a proofreader/editor or get a trusted friend to help them. If you’re unsure and think you could use a “Grammar tune-up,” check out this long list of articles here on Active Rain.
Misused words are a serious stumbling block. They throw the whole meaning of the sentence off track, confuse readers, and make the writer look sloppy, at best.
One of the most common mis-uses in real estate is the confusion between advice and advise. This one makes me cringe as much as “call myself.” Advice is a noun. Advise is a verb, but is often used as a noun, as in “Thanks for the advise.” If you’re unsure on this one, read this post.
Thanks to technology, seeing a strange word in the middle of a sentence is becoming more and more common.
Why is technology to blame? Because so many are now using voice recognition software, then failing to proofread.
Here are some examples from sentences I’ve read on line and in print:
- “a full bread mini schnauzer”
- "aloud the dog to run loose"
- “a blue healer”
- "sunlight coming threw the window"
- "with home we can identify"
- "fireless advertiser"
- “two late”
- “iron sidewalk greats”
- “there new home”
- “support are team”
- "strong negation and exception communication skills" (I think not!)
In addition, grammar correction software is partially to blame.
Several times in the past I’ve had it “correct” something I’ve written. Sometimes I think “thank you” and other times I think “No, that was correct.” Since I don’t pretend to be the ultimate authority, I’ve taken time to go to Grammar Girl and check usage before going on. And sure enough, the software was wrong.
Other goofy mistakes that make a poor impression:
- Subject lines that read: Insert subject line. Oops!
- Letters that read “Dear ”
- “Click here” links with no link.
The bottom line: We all need to treat our words with care. We all make mistakes, but careful proofreading can save us from looking foolish.
Remember – I’m here when you need me. I can’t be there to write your day-to-day emails, but I can provide you with prospecting letters – either custom or from my collection of pre-written letters. I can also write your agent bio, your buyer and seller pages, your community pages, your personal brochures, and even your property descriptions.
“Impression” and Grammar book courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedgitalphotos.net
This article first appeared at https://copybymarte.com/when-the-words-they-read-are-a-prospects-first-impression-of-you/
Priest River, Idaho
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