Five Rules for Writing Real Estate Headlines to Beat Your Goals

Services for Real Estate Pros with R. Michael Brown LLC Digital Marketing & Public Relations

When so many are trying to make viral posts or become Web or YouTube stars with content marketing, the fundamentals of headline writing have been lost in the rush to be (in)famous. Here are five essentials that will help you create better headlines:

1. First and foremost, try to get self-interest into every headline you write. Not YOUR self-interest, the audience’s. Make your headline suggest to the readers that here is something they want. This rule is so fundamental that it would seem obvious. Yet the rule is violated every day by scores of writers.

2. If you have news, such as a new product, or a new use for an old product, be sure to get that news into your headline in a big way.

3. Avoid headlines that merely provoke curiosity. Curiosity combined with news or self-interest is an excellent aid to the pulling power of your headline, but curiosity by itself is seldom enough. It becomes clickbait. This fundamental rule is violated more often than any other. Almost every content marketing website contains headlines that attempt to sell the reader through curiosity alone.

4. Avoid, when possible, headlines that paint the gloomy or negative side of the picture. Take the cheerful, positive angle. That’s rare in today’s gloom and doom Internet.

5. Try to suggest in your headline that here is a quick and easy way for the readers to get something they want.

In using this last suggestion be sure to make your headline believable.

See More Including Examples [R. Michael Brown Consulting Feature Story]

Comments (9)

Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

This type of blog is critical in challenging markets such as today!!

Dec 07, 2022 08:37 PM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Paddy! Appreciate the comment. Why do you think it's critical? 

Dec 08, 2022 06:10 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Mike - The "study" of headlines is sure to open all sorts of thinking.  Below the fold, on the next page and in all kinds of other places.  You have provided a lot of food for thought.  

Dec 08, 2022 06:13 AM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Michael! 

Dec 08, 2022 07:34 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Top of the morning Michael.  All 5 rules are excellent and seem to give some railroad tracks that one must focus on in order to stay within them.  mdm

Dec 08, 2022 07:56 AM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Mark!

Dec 11, 2022 12:07 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Thanks for sharing these 5 RULES!  It's all about the HEADLINE!

Dec 08, 2022 02:38 PM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Diana!

Dec 11, 2022 12:07 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Headlines do make someone click (or not) so we have to take time to come up with an appropriate one.

Dec 10, 2022 04:59 AM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Kat!

Dec 11, 2022 12:08 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

I could not agree more.  I hate the headlines where there is a click but still no information.

Dec 10, 2022 05:35 AM
R. Michael Brown

Me too Grant. Thanks

Dec 11, 2022 12:08 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

To measure the emotional value of your headline, check out this website  I have used these site for many years and have incorporated those highly scored emotional words into my every day speech.

Dec 10, 2022 06:44 AM
R. Michael Brown

OK I couldn't resist. So here are the results for my headline on this article, based on your suggestion Leanne, to analyze the emotional value according to the Advanced Marketing Institute at 


This score indicates that your headline has a total of 36.36% Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Words. To put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words. For comparison, most professional copywriters' headlines will typically have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines.

While the overall EMV score for your headline is 36.36%, your headline also has a predominant emotion classification.


We've determined that your headline appeals equally to people's spiritual and intellectual spheres.

Intellectual impact words are best used to attune copy and sales messages aimed at people and businesses involved in the fields of education, law, medicine, research, politics, and similar fields. While not restricted to these groups, by giving presentations which are weighted with Intellectual impact words, your clients and customers will be more positively influenced and you are more likely to attain a more favorable response.

Words with Spiritual impact are best used with people and businesses desiring to make an appeal to some aspect of spirituality. This does not mean religion specifically, but any product or service that resonates with "spirituality" oriented markets are appropriate. The clergy, new age, health food and related markets all respond favorably to sales copy heavy with Spiritual impact content. Women and children also respond strongly to words in the Spiritual sphere. Marketing documents with strong Spiritual impact content can make for the most powerful presentations in the marketplace but must be used with considerable skill.

I guess I passed LOL. Since I'm a professional copywriter, that's good - whew! 😉

Dec 11, 2022 03:27 PM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Leanne. I’ll check it out

Dec 11, 2022 12:09 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning R. Michael Brown ,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured your post in her Second Chance Saturday Series! I totally agree and thank you for the 5 tips tips on creating headlines! So crucial!

Dec 10, 2022 07:48 AM
R. Michael Brown

Thanks Dorie and appreciate the heads up about the feature from Carol Williams. Will go look for it.

Dec 11, 2022 12:11 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for the tips. Everyone these days is bombarded with marketing online, and quickly move past click opportunities that are not of value or interest. I think #1 is particularly important.


Dec 11, 2022 02:23 PM
R. Michael Brown

Yes Jeff. The "beat them into submission" strategy for marketing is alive and well. Thanks for your point-of-view.

Dec 11, 2022 03:35 PM