Is your elevator speech effective?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

You do have an elevator speech, don’t you?

If not, now is the time to write it and say it so many times that it doesn’t sound at all rehearsed.protecting your real estate reputation is a best practice

In case you haven’t heard that term before – your elevator speech is something you can say in the time it takes to go between floors in an elevator. In other words, it’s short. Perhaps 30 seconds or less. You say it in answer to “What do you do?”

You might be tempted to say “I sell real estate.” Or, if you’re an investor, you might say “I buy houses.” Neither one is a good answer. It really doesn’t tell much, and isn’t likely to result in a follow-up question.

Some people answer with a sales pitch. That’s not so good either. If you start in with a sales pitch you’ll just make people wish they hadn’t asked.

What do I mean by an “effective” elevator speech?

That’s one that conveys what you do in a manner that causes people who may need what you offer, or are simply interested, to ask more questions. They might ask for your card – or your contact information for their phone.

How can you make your elevator speech effective?

You can make your elevator speech effective by revealing things like what, where, and why. For instance: “I help estate executors sell homes in probate in the greater Mytown area.” Or perhaps “I help first time buyers in South Mytown find homes that suit both their lifestyles and their budgets.”

Then add something about the why. That might include the satisfaction you get from helping them or the pleasure you find in meeting new people. It could be whatever motivates you to serve these specific clients.

Whatever you say, frame it to show the benefit you bring to your clients plus your enthusiasm for doing so.

What if you don’t have a niche?

Then show the value of your position as a generalist.

For example: “I’m a real estate agent (Or Realtor, as the case may be) working in Mytown. I help homeowners sell for the highest dollar in the least amount of time. I love the creative challenge of marketing to make people eager to view my listings, so we get more and better offers.” And/Or… “I help home buyers in Mytown find a house they’ll love that fits within their budgets. I love the challenge of helping people find that just right house, and I get to meet a lot of interesting people.”

Mention some part of the work you really love, so you’ll stand out as more than “just another real estate sales person.”

If you don’t clarify what you do, some people will misunderstand.

When I first started copywriting I had just “retired” from 19 years as first a real estate agent, and then broker/owner of my own company. When I ran into people in the grocery store they’d ask what I was doing now. The first few times I said “Copywriting” no one understood. Some wanted me to help them copyright a song or a book!

Now I say “I write marketing copy for real estate agents all over the country to help them gain more clients and make more money.” Some look at me in wonder, saying “You mean people PAY you to write?” They’ve never heard of such craziness. Well – that doesn’t happen here. Agents in this small town don’t send prospecting letters and don’t have their own websites. They let the staff in the newspaper office write their ads.

So – if you just say you sell real estate, they’ll label you with whatever image of a real estate sales person is in their own heads.

Keep your elevator speech short!

Depending upon which Internet site you visit, you’ll learn that people speak between 70 and 85 words in 30 seconds. What I say is only 23 words, which takes about 10 seconds. You may want to say a bit more, but I wouldn’t advise going over 30 seconds.

If you begin to get long-winded, people will tune you out.

Step 2 in making your elevator speech effective…

Instead of trying to keep the focus on you and what you do – ask the other person what they do. Listen to the answer. Ask questions. If you might be able to refer someone to them, or if you’re interested yourself, ask for a card.

The most effective way to make people think you’re interesting and a brilliant conversationalist is to let them do most of the talking.

Best practice courtesy of Stuart Miles @

This post first appeared at

Comments (8)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte I do not do elevator speaches nothing is rehersed outside of my prequalification questions, that is because I do not want to waste my valueble time or the non serious buyers who are just lookers time.... that is 26 years of selling vacant land in Los Angeles speaking, Endre

Jun 04, 2021 11:01 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

My elevator speech is very short and sweet... about 11 words. But it gets people asking me what I mean.

Jun 05, 2021 02:29 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have never developed one but even with instruction, I am not sure I could come up with a good one on my own, haha.  I think I would have to have someone write one for me and then I would memorize it.

Jun 05, 2021 05:55 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Good advice. Ours is generally something along of the lines of "homes that connect people to nature." But it varies, depending upon the person and situation. Agree with your short and sweet warning too. Never want to see their eyes start to glaze over. Haha. 

Jun 05, 2021 11:56 AM
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

A good short elevator speech can get a conversation going for sure.  And, I totally agree about the best conversationalists being the one who does most of the listening.

Jun 06, 2021 08:25 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. A short "elevator speech" that can be altered depending upon the situation is essential. The development of one never ceases. Enjoy your day.

Jun 12, 2021 05:17 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Marte Cliff - When I had a branding coach, this was one of the first exercises we put together.  I have many variations tying in my tagline of  "Your Solutions Realtor".  This is so important. 

Jun 12, 2021 08:48 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Marte - how's this for a civil engineer? "I help city planners solve their traffic problems."  The nice thing about is that it begs the next question, "How do you do that?"

Jun 12, 2021 09:41 AM