Seen while reading real estate ads

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

The local freebie ad paper came out a few days ago with the usual pages of real estate ads.

Some of the agent promo ads with photos caught my eye.

The first was a glamour shot of a young woman dressed for perhaps a night out on theDressed for real estate? town. From the low-cut nature of the top, I wondered what she was selling. The first line added to that thought: “Relationships are important.”

The ad went on to tell of “Sam’s” many accomplishments, volume sold, etc. Then at the end, was the call to action: "If you want first rate service, call me."

Wait – we‘ve been reading about Sam. Who is this “me” you want us to call?

The next ad had a photo that was far different. Admittedly, the lady was a bit older, but… darn. She still could have combed her hair and put on a smile. She simply looked worn out.

Her ad assured the reader that she had plenty of years in the business and “can take care of all your real estate needs.”

Ugh. “All of your (whatever) needs” is one of my least favorite phrases in any kind of ad.

First of all, "needs" is a catch-all to use when you don’t want to bother to make a specific offering. And in the case of a real estate agent, "all of your needs" cannot be true.

Some agents have multiple niches and have expertise in those niches. But when it comes to ALL types of property and the expertise needed to deal with each, I simply don’t believe any one agent can know it all.

Even within the residential and commercial sectors there are vast differences, then add equestrian properties, waterfront, farm and ranch, timber land, development land, and more.

And that isn’t even counting geography or licensing requirements.

That's my "What not to do" rant for the day...

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend...




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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - Hmm - what was she thinking?  

May 30, 2020 05:30 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Marte- I am speechless!  Well, not exactly. There have been photos I've seen of agents that made me want to take them aside, comb their hair, put on some makeup (just a little) and retake their photo. I guess I wasn't that speechless. 

May 30, 2020 07:10 PM #2
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Marte,  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  First impressions mean so much to so many people.  I know of people that after seeing something like this would be looking for a different Realtor.

May 30, 2020 07:23 PM #3
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michael Jacobs That's a very good quesion. She was probably thinking she was "lookin' good" in that photo, but... wrong place! It would have been appropriate on something like a dating site.

Kathy Streib Those two women were the extremes - one at each end.


May 30, 2020 08:10 PM #4
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Bob Crane Yes, and there there are the ones she would attract. There was once an agent at Priest Lake that sold a LOT - but only to men who enjoyed the view. She was prone to wearing low-cut tank tops to show off her considerable assets.

May 30, 2020 08:12 PM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Marte Cliff that photo is funny..... the female of the home would never let her in..... what are people thinking!!!! 

May 31, 2020 03:44 AM #6
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 Marte,
It baffles me that a "professional" agent would think that ad sends the right message for (real estate) services.  Where are the designated brokers in all of this?

May 31, 2020 06:44 AM #7
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Marte,  I always wonder about some agents and they give other agents a bad rap.

May 31, 2020 08:21 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Haha, this makes me laugh. What is she selling? Good points as usual, Marte Cliff  - now if she advertised, like the older gal, taking care of all "needs," then many things come to mind. 

May 31, 2020 08:47 AM #9
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

And an excellent rant it is, Marte! I thought those glamour shots went away after the 1980's... I guess I was wrong. I couldn't help but laugh at Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD comment!

May 31, 2020 09:22 AM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I have seen a bunch of these types of portraits...and like Nina Hollander I am laughing Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD comment.  The astronauts are out!  Yeah!

May 31, 2020 09:59 AM #11
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Barbara Todaro That one is a stock photo, but it's darned close! And you're right - not too many females would want Miss "Come Hither" in their homes.

Carol Williams Who knows? Obviously not paying attention. Both photos were wrong, but for different reasons.


Jun 01, 2020 09:53 AM #12
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Will Hamm There will always be agents who give the industry a bad rep for one reason or another - but the same is true for SO many other industries.

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Yep, she does seem to be saying she could take care of a few "needs."


Jun 01, 2020 09:55 AM #13
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Nina Hollander Well, our part of the country is usually 10 or 20 years behind the curve, but usually not 30 or 40. I guess she just likes the look.

Ron and Alexandra Seigel Yes, I got a chuckle out of Debb's comment too. I guess it takes all kinds, even in real estate. Or maybe especially in real estate?

Jun 01, 2020 09:59 AM #14
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Well what is she selling!  What would be an equivalent of what a guy would like like in a photo such as this one?  That would be interesting!!  But again what are they selling?!!!  I've seen a lot of this type of photo over the years and I just shake my head and move on - unless it was one of our agents!

Jun 01, 2020 10:10 AM #15
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