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Real Estate Ad Reads "Nice Home, Nice Yard, Nice Layout...(Gag)..Can I Have Some Water Here?

    

People come in all shapes, sizes, colors, temperaments. Real estate is the same way.

So when Joe or maine lake scene,drews lake linneus maineJosephine Broker take pen in hand or sit down to the keyboard to create a real estate advertising piece, it is not one size fits all. If the ads in the Sunday paper seem to be all the same vanilla plain jane and even interchangeable, that newsprint and space is being wasted. If the ad is written in the hurry it shows. If the person writing the ad has never been to the property, to be safe, it is bland. Or they are grasping at something to post that is different, remarkable, worth mentioning. This copy is lacking the highlights, the sizzle of the steak. Maybe all the writer had was the hard to read hen stratchings on the comment notes when the listing was hurriedly created, thrown on a desk and not posted by the lister, the guy who has walked thru the place, taken the pictures and video.

     When you create an ad, do you describe the property and assume the standard position on same ole same ole blurb? Why? If you were looking for real estate, wouldn't it be great if the ad spoke to you about the property. If it asked a question like "How does this yard grab you?"? And instead of a front straight on shot with four cars in the yard at sunset with bright sun obscuring the view as it floods the camera, shutting down the exposure for a dark image, you show the spectacular rear yard, or sweeping staircase as the lead photo? Or the big backyard with a home inset from an attractive angle? Isn't that creating eye candy, the copy making your ad stand out, expecting an answer or opinion of the reader, viewer? Asking questions is the best way to learn about someone, something and to elicit an opinion, indicating you care what the maine lake sunset,aroostook county lake waterfrontother person thinks or you need a reaction, a comment. And if you also put yourself in the moccasins of the reader, viewer and hit a chord with the ad that is so timely, so tailored to their life need at the time.

     For example, three day Memorial weekend just happened. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a place on water in say Maine to run away to for burgers, friends and family around a camp fire with loons crying, the moon out and dancing small diamonds off the smooth as a bottle lake you get excited about from your lawn chair? Do your ads hit a need, relate to the special niche audience you are after or are they always one size fits all copy, images, video or blog posts?

The ad headline for this property could be "What Do You Want To Be Doing Next Memorial Day Weekend? or "You Work Way Way Too Hard, Have A Lawn Chair, Take A Load maine real estate for sale,mooers realty realtorOff Your Feet". Both are not charging into the "Nice Place On A Lake With Nice Lot" standard procedure. Brokers are not robots and their ads should reflect the excitement, passion about what the property has to "speak" to others about. Do your local real estate ads talk or are they sleepy, boring, pretty much interchangeable and look like most of the others on the weekend edition herd in your newspaper or on line in a marketplace collection?  Do you show the benefits to owning the property, the activities the buyer is going to enjoy, the area it is in in your videos, the copy write up and image array? Why not? Isn't that what would hook your interest, not just seeing a tired not even rewritten lack luster ad copy week after week with the same mls photo never rotated or revisited when the snow is off the ground?

Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers - Take it Easy, Live A Little In Maine, The Way Life Should Be.

    

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Comment balloon 41 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • May 26 2009 04:50PM

Comments

I think I am lucky to not only have an English background but also creative writing. I dont think its easy for people to do this with no training.

Posted by Shane OnullGorman, Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell (Eau Claire Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Andrew- Great post!  Really!  I actually put up fliers that say...."like this view?"  It could be YOUR view!!!   Things like that!  Anyway, i enjoyed this alot more than most...as it is spurning creative thinking ! way to go!  Also, funny thing...EVERY time I see your picture...I think you have a little hat on..or a "halo" glow!  ...I am thinking that you are the BROKERING PRIEST!!!   Thanks again!!!  great job!

D

Posted by Darin Osenberg (Funky Quail Vintage) about 11 years ago

Gorgeous pics! Great post!  Thanks for sharing both with us.

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors) about 11 years ago

Shane, it helps with an english background but anyone excite about the property and that can relate to the reader, viewer can hit the target.

That does look like a donut or I think of a compass..like Andy has a headache when I see it. I could resize and orient the photo different but really like my logo not my image in these things. Too many cheesy grins in these parts.

Coleen, thank you. Drews Lake is a pretty place and am lucky to have a lake home there.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

Excellent post!    You made me think of a lot of things...am back to the drawing board, too, re a lot of my "blurbs".    Thank you.

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

Thank you. I certainly helps if you are "feeling" the property yourself. For instance, it was really easy to write my last waterfront ad that says something to the effect of "After a day of floating and fishing, it's time to enjoy marshmellows over your fire as you listen to the fish jump". I thought it was good at least, but hey...I still haven't sold it, so maybe it needs work! Thanks for the post!

Posted by Tammi Nuttall, ABR, SRES, CDPE, QSC (Re/Max Select Associates) about 11 years ago

Hello Andy! And for the record, when I see your picture it looks more like a yarmulke to me. I thought my, what a religious guy this Andy Mooers is. OK, so what is it? A skull cap? A ghostly haunting? Fess up!

Moving on... great post and congrats on that little gold star by the way. I am listing a home on the lake that has the most awesome views from every room in the back of the house. You better believe I am using the lake view for the lead photo, and my copy will reflect the same. Working on a headline now actually. So for me, you post was very timely.

Thanks!

Another Andie

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 11 years ago

Andrew, I wish every agent thought like you (and some of us as well)  The boring tag lines and non descriptive information is so bland.  I think if you are excited about real estate it should show in everything, even your listing information.  Great post.

Posted by Todd Pierceall (Prestige Properties) about 11 years ago

Excellent food for thought here. I often feel like I am saying the same ole thing over and over again. Your descriptions are so much more heart felt and enticing. You have me thinking...

Posted by Wendy Montoya, REALTOR® Broker Associate, 254-315-4906 (Towne Adams REALTORS) about 11 years ago

This post is very timely, as I am helping my brother sell his lake front home in Tennessee on Boone Lake. Thanks,

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 11 years ago

Something different! Thanks for the advice. It just might work. How well has that sort of "outside the box" thinking worked for you? Just curious...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) about 11 years ago

Great Post. Its so easy to get in a rut when it comes to writing ads.  This is a good reminder to take our time and hopefully it will get the attention we need to get it sold.

Posted by Connie Lou Barnett, GRI,CRS,CRB,SRMM,ARA,PRS,SFR,QSC (Real Living/Home Realty) about 11 years ago

Andrew what a great perspective. Thank you for giving us the thoughts to have brighter, smarter, more creative ideas for our listings.

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 11 years ago

Excellent information.  It is important to spend time writing an ad that will capture the potential purchaser's imagination.  It takes time to write high quality copy.

Posted by FN LN about 11 years ago

Great Post Andrew - After the title I'm not about to use the word "Nice" LOL

You make some very valid points for all of us to remember. I must confess that I have been guilty of a few of these things in the past.

Posted by Greg Miller, Florida Home Loans - Conventional,FHA,USDA,VA (Ruoff Home Mortgage ) about 11 years ago

I don't think our newspaper will last much longer.  So I think ads like that will be mute.   Though those tips will work in blogs too.  In fact I am going to do a blog on that right now!  I hope you don't mind if I steal your headline!

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) about 11 years ago

Andrew - I see ads in the newspaper that look like they come right from the MLS with abbreviations, limited information and no benefits to the person reading them.  Ads should be written from a buyer's eye and speak to their needs and wants instead of all the fluff and smoke and mirrors that are so prevalent in so many ads today.

Posted by Julie Dumaine-Russell (RE/MAX Alliance) about 11 years ago

Andrew,

With the many similar properties, I am not sure you can make each property be described differently.

I understand that the notion of having something unique is ideal, in reality it is not easily achievable

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) about 11 years ago

How about?  Do  you need a little peace and quiet on the lake?  

For an intown ad,  I have said,  "enjoy a cup of morning coffee on the patio."  and "Listen to the birds sing in your own backyard."        

Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) about 11 years ago

Andrew - nice post, nice photos, OK, just kidding.  I know what you mean first hand, though! 

I recently listed a "nice" little 3 bedroom home in a not-so-nice neighborhood.  There were several homes listed, priced about the same, having been on the market for awhile.  I wanted mine to STAND OUT.  So I took some great photos at interesting angles, made sure we had a sunset golden glow in the photos, and in the narrative encouraged visitors to take their shoes off and experience the barefoot luxury of the new frieze carpet.  Of the couples I showed the home to, MOST of the women did exactly that, proving to me that it takes both outstanding photos AND NARRATIVES to market and sell homes!  (By the way, my listing sold and closed in about 60 days, about 1/3rd the market average in that community!)

Posted by Teresa Cooper, SC Lowcountry - Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley (Home Solution Real Estate Services) about 11 years ago

Great post! Thank you for reminding me the importance of wording in my ads.

You have to do something different to set yourself aside all the other agents in town!

Think outside the box!!

Posted by Amanda Audsley (Century 21 Goldteam Realtors) about 11 years ago

Hi Andrew -- Great points.  Benefits, not features, should be talked about, as that is what draws people in, when well done.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 11 years ago

I think the idea of a little more creativity is a great idea and will look at it for a few of my listings.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

I don't think you need an English degree to get creative. Some great ideas here.  I always gag when the description says "Too many great features to mention" . Couldn't they just print a few? LOL  Your photos and script make me want to come spend the weekend in Maine!

Posted by Paula Christo about 11 years ago

LOL @ Andrea.  I have wondered the same thing but I think that is just an angelic halo on Andrew's head.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 11 years ago

I think some of us have the gift and some don't.

Patricia Aulson/Portsmouth NH Real Estate

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

Patricia is right that some of us have it and other don't. But, for crying out loud, if you DON'T have the gift - HIRE SOMEONE WHO DOES! "Nice this and Nice that" don't cut it for the amount of money sellers are paying. Imaginative and persuading ads can go a long way without being cheesy. Great post! Hope your Memorial Day was a great one!

Posted by Kim Dean, Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner (www.GoSimplyTexas.com) about 11 years ago

I think it is not always the agent/broker in a huge mega office..I think it is the person the listing gets thrown the listing and to fend for themselves. If the agent that took the listing, snapped the images, shot the video did the input, nothing should be lost in translation. Watching the video if narrated and not a slide show with ivories tinking but loaded with property information in the narrative, the person writing the ad could do a better job having had some Monarch or Cliff's Note to prepare for the property exam!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

SOLD!  How much did I pay for that great place?  Priceless!  When can I move it?  Our kids will love it.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 11 years ago

My theme this week is exceptionalism.  And copy is one of those things that we need to examine in order to be exceptional.  The standard blather is pretty tired...  Of course, HUD isn't making it any easier since they tell us we can't talk about the buyer, but only about the property. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) about 11 years ago
I have the same issue with pictures. I don't get why agents take a million outdoor shots, and one interior. Or the agents that take interior shots of filthy kitchens, unmade beds, mounds of stuff...we are all adept at reading and scanning the same old descriptives, but pictures truly speak a 1000 words.
Posted by paula Samuel about 11 years ago

We're always selling a lifestyle in addition to a property . . . I would think that using all the senses to describe the feeling could provide material even in the midst of writer's block . . . :)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 11 years ago

English major here - and I totally agree with you about the bland descriptions in many ads. We added AdWriter to our repertoire last year. We don't use it verbatim but it helps with descriptions when we have writer's block - helpful in grabbing title ideas as well.

Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 11 years ago

Study other brokers in other markets, watch media and see how you can apply to your special property. Have fun with it the key. Dare to be different.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

I purchased a booklet a few years ago Words That Sell by George A Paukert. This has been helpful in creating interesting adds. I too wonder why agents advertise a view home with no photos of the view. Worse yet take a home with a marginal view and take a view shot three blocks away. The same boring stuff happens at MLS meetings.reading the boring planos to me  that I have already read. Tell me something interesting about the place and why I should show it!

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) about 11 years ago

Nice is a mediocre word. It lacks enthusiasm and hype.

I used to hate putting pictures in ads, but it is a necessity in todays internet home search. There is only so long you can go against the grain. It is gratifying when people get in touch and compliment the pictures and tell you that was one of the reasons they got in touch.

Posted by Diane Plant, Broker, TorontoHomeSearch: Forest Hill Real Estate (Forest Hill Real Estate Inc, Brokerage) about 11 years ago

There is alot to being a professional top knotch broker. And we all have strengths, weaknesses. A weakness to writing ads, taking pictures are a serious handicap but the agent could be great with people, aggressive to get the details done, follow up, with lots of hussle to do other aspects. That's where a personal assistant comes in to pick up the slack. An agent, broker that is pretty talented in all the departments and hands on from start to finish for the details will do well in any market.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

The problem is that people don't use proper marketingtechniques.  It is way to easy to say "nice yard".  The proper thing to do is to think about the property and who would really want this house.  Is it in a kid-friendly area or does it have quick access to the expressway?  You have to know your audience, hit their hotbuttons, and take a chance.  Some would say that this limits your potential market, but it will hit the highest probability group really hard.

Posted by Ray Lane (OpenHouseHD) about 11 years ago

You want to hit a large audience. You want to hit that audience many times, not just once. Fine tuning to a certain niche means your copy has to be fine tuned and beamed in that direction to make it fit, get it seen and remembered.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

 Andrew.....OK you are hired ..when can you start...LOL..You are so right on ..It takes time and a little bit of effort..  and if the sellers do not notice somtweet tweete of the agents don't take pride in their ads ..Thank you

HelpfulHannah your friend in Philadelphia

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 11 years ago

If you are excited about the place, it shows. If your ad talks to the reader one on one, not at them or stilted like stale recycled copy of just dry as dust words, it will sell.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

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