A Simple Formula to Drafting Property Advertisements

Some if not most commercial real estate adverts are very dull and boring.  They could have been written by a ‘robot’.   This comes about because some real estate agents are not good with words or simply not committed to the marketing process.

Generic advertising wastes a lot of time and effort.  Enquiry rates from such advertising are poor; that makes the conversions to inspections quite low.  If you track and measure your advertising you will know what I mean and have seen evidence of the process.  Craft your marketing campaigns carefully.

Hard Work

After winning the listing and the client over to using your professional services, the hard work has not stopped; it has just started.  It stands to reason that if you craft a great advert with high quality copy, you will create more enquiries for the listing and potentially more inspections.  The formula is really simple.  All of your campaigns should be structured around it.

Now there is one ‘proviso’ here.  If you have an ‘open’ listing versus and ‘exclusive’ listing, the advertising should be handled very differently.  The client with the ‘exclusive’ listing should get all of your marketing focus.  Your ‘open’ listings can and should only be specially marketed if you believe there is better than ‘half a chance’ of getting somewhere (and the client has given you marketing funds).

Let’s face the facts here; ‘open’ listings are generally those that have been overpriced, generically marketed by many agents, and become stale on the market.  They could have been a ‘FSBO’ or something similar.  The clients that only give you an ‘open’ listing (without marketing funds), deserve a small and limited amount of your time; that is a special rule to be remembered.   So now let’s get back into the quality ‘exclusive’ listings.

Valuable Marketing Rules

Here are some simple and valuable rules to apply to your advertising processes and copyrighting.

  1. White space should dominate the layout of the advert.  That means fewer words in the advert.  You must capture the attention of the reader and lots of words don’t do that; most adult readers will scan something and then move on if nothing captures their interest.  Plenty of ‘white space’ is required (that’s why ‘Google’ is such an effective search engine; people want facts and not have advertising pushed across their search requirements)
  2. Photos should feature at the top of the layout.  It is preferable to get quality professional photographs taken of any exclusive listing.
  3. Simplicity should feature in the layout.  That will be in fewer sentences and the use of more dot points.
  4. Keywords can be sprinkled around the advert copy.  Those keywords can be researched from a keyword search tool relative to your location and the property type.  Don’t use too many of those words but use the right ones that suit the property and the location.
  5. Dot points are powerful ‘eye catchers’ so use about 5 or 6 of them.
  6. Some agents and brokers have a professional marketing person to oversee the final advert copy.  It’s a good idea as they will add some extra value in strategically placing the words and phrases that sell more effectively.
  7. Target marketing is very relevant today.  Craft the advert to the target market that you identified in the listing phase.
  8. Two or three different formats and photographs will be helpful.  You can then place the different formats on different websites and portals.
  9. Add a theme to the property message; readers love stories.  Some of the local listings will have a property history that can be used as a story in the marketing campaign.
  10. Editorials should be written for every exclusive listing.  Newspapers love editorial given that they are struggling so much now for readership against the internet and website portals.
  11. Load your editorials to a property blog that you run for the local area and town or city.
  12. Have a solid call to action.  Make it easy for people to find you and ask questions about the property.  Yes, that does mean that you will be taking calls on weekends.

Given all of these facts, understand what the competing properties are doing from a marketing perspective.  You can then frame your listing marketing to be more direct, relevant, and potentially drive more enquiries and inspections for you and your client.  Everyone ‘wins’ when you spend a little bit more time on the marketing and advertising campaign.

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