5 Copy Mistakes Killing Your Real Estate Sales

Services for Real Estate Pros with Best Real Estate Writer, a Layton Media brand

As a real estate professional, you are constantly investing your hard-earned money into marketing materials like your real estate website, newsletter, and digital ads.


If you are anything like most in this business, you are probably disappointed at least a few times a year with the results of these materials.


Let's take your real estate website for instance…


One of the largest marketing materials that you will invest in during your career is also the one that should be producing one of the biggest, if not main, source of income. However, even if the design, features, and SEO are all done perfectly, your website could still fail to convert for you simply because the copy is killing your sales.

Believe me, this is one of the most common things that I see with the marketing materials used by real estate professionals today.


Obviously, I know that you don't have the time to go out and learn how to become a professional copywriter so I'm going to share with you the five most common copy mistakes which are the dirty little culprits killing your sales.

1. Boring, Overly Formal Copy

First up on the list is formal copy. I know that in school you were taught to always use perfect punctuation and grammar and never to write in a way that sounds how you would speak.


Guess what?


All of that is completely wrong when it comes to sales copy!


When you are trying to snag someone's attention, captivate them, and convince them that you are the solution to their problem, the last thing you can afford to do is bore them with overly formal copy that sounds like it was written for a thesis or professional report. Instead, what you need to do is infuse your personality and brand into every word in a way that will keep them reading.


You need to make your sales copy conversational and catchy if you want to convert.


I have said it a thousand times but I am happy to say it again; people buy from people, not companies. If you want people to buy from you then you need to talk to them as though they are a real person and you are one that cares about them.

2. Making It All About You

When you are writing about your company, product, or service, it is only natural to feel inclined to talk about it. Sure, to some extent you will need to. However, spending too much time talking about you and what you have to offer will sooner alienate your potential customer that it will convert them.


Instead what you need to do is tap into the problem that they have, use emotional appeals, and show them how you, you are products, or your service, are the stepping stone to where they are trying to go.


One of the most common places I see this mistake is also one of the most understandable; your professional bio. Every day I come across bios or About Me” pages with copy that talks all about who the person is, what their professional accomplishments are, and how great they are. Not only is that BORING AS HELL, it does nothing to show the reader that you understand them, where they are coming from, and that you are the answer to all of their prayers.


The more you make it all about them, the more they will be inclined to buy from you.


PSSST...You can learn the right way to create a bio that converts here.

3. Assuming Too Much About Your Audience

This one ties back into number one because it has a lot to do with how formal people try to be in their copy.


I understand that most of you are trying to appeal to a relatively sophisticated audience. However, it is copywriting 101 to understand that you should always be writing to a 7th-grade reading level. The more that you are imagining yourself speaking to a middle schooler, the better you will be able to keep the copy simple.


By making things overly complex you are likely to skip over key elements and wind up confusing your audience or leaving out the pieces that are most likely to convert for you. Remember, your English teacher will not be grading this.


The point of any marketing material is to seduce and sell, not show off how smart you are.


We are talking about the age-old adage of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) here people. Announce their problem, tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do, and only give them one obvious offering.

4. Believing They Read Every Word

The way that our eyes are trained to read copy has dramatically shifted in the last twenty years.


Although it is important when we are talking about websites to make your copy as long as possible, it is equally important to understand that most people won’t read most of it.


These days, we are all professional skimmers and you need to keep that in mind when writing your sales copy.


Take these two samples for example:


As you can see above, it is crucial that you have a skimmer’s mindset when designing the layout and verbiage. Anytime that you are looking to write sales copy, you need to be able to tap into the most important points or Cliff’s Notes of the message you need to get across.


This is all about getting their attention, making them read, and triggering the right response. You only have seconds in most cases to make sure that they understand if you want them to respond.

5. Failing To Start Strong

Some studies point to the fact that 80% of the people that encounter your real estate website or marketing materials will never make it past the first line!


How’s that for a bitch slap in the face (and wallet)?


In most cases, this is because you failed to deliver a powerful enough message to make them want to read beyond that point.


There are many ways that you can “start strong” but one of my favorite methods to capture their attention and keep them engaged is to lead with a question. Not just any question of course, but one that emotionally goes straight through the heart of a primary pain point.


Remember, people usually make purchase decisions based off of emotion over logic. I always like to include a lot of emotion in the sales copy that I provide for my clients and I find it is especially effective if you do that right from the start.

Need Help With Your Real Estate Sales Copy?

I have tons of resources available on my blog, podcast, and YouTube channel to help you yield better results from all of your real estate marketing efforts.


However, if you’re tired of trying to learn how to do everything yourself and spending a fortune along the way, I am happy to take care of this often painful item on your to-do list!


No matter what you need to be written from blog posts and web copy to bios or to listing descriptions and (everything in between) I can do that for you.


But first I’d like to chat with you so I can better understand you and your goals, then share the most efficient solutions.


I know you’re busy so, please click here to book a quick consultation call with me at a time that is most convenient for you. I can’t wait to meet you!


In the meantime, check out some other cool stuff…




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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Sarah,
Copy should NEVER be about us.  It should always be about the target audience and that may involve different copy for different market segments.  Writing at the 7th grade reading level is a difficult concept for many to grasp. 

Apr 03, 2019 05:23 AM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

While they are all important, I think #2 speaks loudest to me and something to watch carefully in my writing, social media and marketing. Thanks for some wise advice.


Apr 04, 2019 06:24 PM #2
Ronda Densford
Magnolia Properties - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville and Northeast Florida

Thank you for taking the time to share this information! So much good stuff to get to work on.

Apr 04, 2019 07:41 PM #3
Lindsay Reagan, Realtor
Bowen Realty - Wellington, FL

Thanks for all the tips

Apr 04, 2019 08:18 PM #4
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

I have to agree the KISS principle really is the way to go if we are trying to connect with prospective buyers and sellers. Great Post.

Apr 04, 2019 09:19 PM #5
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

This is a blog to save! It's so easy to get wrapped up in wanting to say all the many, many magical words that will urge a prospect to call you. Great reminders. Thanks!

Apr 05, 2019 03:55 AM #6
Chuck Tanner
Keller Williams Realty - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker "Let's Get You Moving"

Hemingway App is a good program to help guide you. It shows you what level you are writing on. It also highlights sentences to show difficult sentences to read, whether your sentence is over 20 words long and whether you are writing in passive voice among other things. One thing is for sure I need all the help I can get!

Apr 05, 2019 05:39 AM #7
Clay Greathouse
Tombstone Real Estate - Tombstone, AZ
Off-Grid, Alternative,Rural, Solar,Cochise Arizona

Lucky for me, I think on a 7th Grade level ;-) I have also been told I write in a conversational sort of way, and it really wasn't a complement at the time!

Apr 05, 2019 10:36 AM #8
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

THANKS for providing lots of good sensible copy for us to grasp easily!  Your AR blog rocks and I need to explore more of your offerings.

Apr 05, 2019 05:00 PM #9
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Sarah, thanks for the great tips. The what you write and what they read was so true and a great warning for those of us who have way too much to say at any given time.

Apr 06, 2019 11:27 AM #10
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Copy is so important!  It is the immediate first impression.  I feel it's best to write up something, wait, go over it again and then show it to a pro for editing and suggestions.

Apr 06, 2019 01:03 PM #11
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Great ideas and TRUTH.  I like this the best: The point of any marketing material is to seduce and sell, not show off how smart you are.

Apr 07, 2019 01:07 PM #12
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Great advice -average reader is on the 7th grade level -- smart lady  So glad Carol Williams  featured this in SCS 

Apr 07, 2019 01:28 PM #13
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

#5 stands out to me.  Lesson learned...now to practice!  Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Dec 07, 2019 02:50 PM #14
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Sarah Layton | Copywriter & Inman Star Contributor

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