Marketing

5 tips to help prevent terrible real estate copy

Agents write all the time and need to hone their craft

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Realtors today are constantly writing. In fact, I would argue that every single person on social media is both a writer and a publisher. From Instagram posts, hashtags, ad copy for new listings, invitations to events such as open houses, blog posts, market updates and email campaigns — Realtors are essentially writing all day long.

The obvious truth, though, is that despite the quantity of our body of work, Realtors are not trained writers. The grammar horrors in the MLS are evidence.

Writing is fundamental in real estate, yet most agents suck at it. Commit to the craft or hire someone — it’s that important.

Ann Handley, the mother of copywriting, says, “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.”

So, how can we as agents follow this advice, curating content that is clear and inspiring for customers?  Here are a few tips for improving your real estate copywriting.

1. Read.

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When I meet writers who don’t read, I am dumbfounded. It is like meeting a musician who doesn’t listen to music. My top picks for reads this summer to inspire your writing:

2. Practice.

Write anything, anytime. Wrestle with the words and the thoughts you are trying to convey. Great writing is hard work, and it’s lonely and time consuming. The more you practice gathering your thoughts on Post-it notes, a Google Drive document or a notepad, the more likely that you will fall into a rhythm with your voice and style.

3. Collaborate.

If you can write with a partner or have a great editor, it will significantly enhance the quality of your writing. In our office, we share ad copy in Google Drive with a few team members to make sure the property description has mass appeal.

4. Be intentional.

Take the time to think through your posts, especially on social media. Be sure to research and use a clever hashtag or make sure that humblebrag turns out to be humble.

5. Hire someone.

There is no need to try to be an expert in everything. If you are a weak writer, get help. Ghostwriters are an excellent choice if you struggle to put your thoughts on paper. In the past, we’ve hired freelance writers to do interviews with our team and turn them into blog posts. It was a hack to get more content on our blog faster.

Words have power, and the research shows that the words we choose can matter for sales, growth — everything.

What are your tips for quieting the world around you and crafting a well-written piece? Please share in the comments section below.

Stephanie Lanier is the founder and CEO​ of Lanier Property Group, a boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Email Stephanie Lanier.