Sorting out Good Copy from GREAT Copy!
A real estate copywriter is the person who writes the advertising material to market a property – if it’s for sale or lease, residential or commercial. Real estate agents turn to professional copywriters to write promotional descriptions to draw in the crowds and to help them achieve the best possible result for their buyers.
Many people will come up to me and say ‘I thought the real estate agent wrote the copy?’
Well yes, some still do. But, most agents who do write their own copy struggle with putting a great ad together. They spend hours sometimes struggling with the blank page of where to start, what to say and writing something that makes sense. Then they need different sizes for different media, and it all gets too much. Most real estate agents aren’t wordsmiths, they are sales people who can literally ‘sell ice to eskimos’, and will use clichés like that if you left it in their capable hands, but when it comes to writing great real estate copy that brings passion to a property and conveys the right message to the right buyers, it isn’t as easy as agents think.
Some agents who use my service, actually use my copy for their product knowledge. Some agents couldn’t tell you the difference between a Victorian home and an Edwardian home, or something built in the 60s to something built in the 80s. They couldn’t tell you the difference between marble or granite, Spotted Gum floors or Jarrah floors, and which eras they were popular. A great, experienced real estate copywriter will have an extensive knowledge of architecture, local history, council building regulations, interior design, the latest trends, landscape design, an understanding of the locality and what’s popular within the community, but most importantly, they can target which buyers would be interested in a particular property. And a lot of that comes from experience.
Here is some copy an agent wrote himself:
“In a boutique block of quality apartments, just minutes to vibrant Sandringham Village, beach, station and Southland is this light filled North facing second-floor apartment. This exceptional apartment contains a host of generous attractions including a flexible design with the open plan living opening out to a broad balcony, study or second bedroom, stone kitchen with Smeg appliances and designer bathroom. With the climate controlled by reverse-cycle air-conditioning, there’s security entry via intercom, lift access, and easy-entry street-level garaging and storage. Enjoy the convenience of this Sandringham address with just a short walk to the bus to station and shops or a wise investment in this quality block.”
What’s missing? It takes me to the fourth line to discover it possibly is a 2 bedroom apartment, but doesn’t mention that there is a main bedroom, or if there is any built in robes to either of the bedrooms. It takes me till the sixth line to tell me that it’s a security apartment, which is what single women, young students, elderly people, etc would want to know. The ideas are a little confusing… what makes it a flexible design? That the study could fit a bed in it to make a bedroom, or is it proper bedroom size? Where is the laundry, as many apartment buildings have a communal laundry, or a Euro laundry in the bathroom or kitchen. And it doesn’t even mention that the bathroom is actually a semi ensuite to the main bedroom. Why have we mentioned the location at the start and the end of the ad? Is that all the property has going for it? Buyers don’t want to decipher their ads, time is too precious for that. They want to have all the right information in the right order, so that they can make an informed decision.
However in saying that, quality advertising copy doesn’t reveal all… it gives buyers a snippet of what the property is all about, enticing the buyers to go and inspect a property. It tells them exactly what they want to hear – how many bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces, car spaces, how the property works for their needs and why it’s a great location. The ad can go into, what I call, ‘added value information’, like high tech gadgetry, security systems, eco-friendly info, climate control, etc, but it won’t go into what type of insulation, brand names of air conditioners, or the safe that’s bolted down in the walk in robe. Some owners want it all in there, and it’s just not possible. Great copy is written like a newspaper article, giving the most important information first, so that buyers don’t need to read the whole copy if their main criteria isn’t met. Once the buyers are convinced that a property suits their needs, they will then inspect the property, and the copywriter’s work is done.
An experience real estate copywriter will add value to your property and get buyers interested in it without confusing them. They won’t make the words flowery with over-zealous adjectives. They paint a picture of positivity and create intrigue, and create what some agents would call ‘a call to action.’ That’s the sign of a great copywriter.
If you would like to talk to an experienced copywriter, with over 22 years in real estate advertising, call us now!