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When you decided to pursue a career in real estate, you probably did not realize how much copywriting would be involved as your business grew.
You are comfortable with standard email correspondence, posting on social media, and creating listing descriptions. And, you discuss real estate topics regularly, so it shouldn’t be too hard to pull together email copy for a drip series or newsletter, right?
If writing paralysis sets in when you attempt to write email copy, you are not alone!
During face-to-face conversations, you communicate with a combination of words, tone of voice, and body language. With written communication, you rely on your ability to relay a message using only words, and you are limited to message format, spelling, grammar, and word choice.
No wonder copywriting can be challenging!
You may not be able to hire a professional copywriter (too expensive or requires a large contract), but some writing tips can build your confidence as you craft new messages for your business.
Typically, if you struggle with spelling, you know you struggle with spelling.
Studies prove that spelling ability has nothing to do with intelligence, but readers often associate spelling errors with laziness or incompetence.
The reality is that poor spelling is a combination of how your brain processes language, your long-term memory, and mistakes left uncorrected long enough to become habits.
Does spelling really matter in real estate?
A study by Redfin and Grammarly found that 43% of respondents were less likely to tour a home if there were spelling errors on the listing.
So yes, it matters.
If spelling is not your strength, take the time to:
- use spell check
- refer to a dictionary app, like dictionary.com
- ask someone to proofread your copy
These extra steps will add time to the copywriting process, but when creating email templates or marketing materials, it’s worth the time to make necessary corrections.
It is more accurate to say that poor grammar makes a negative impression than proper grammar makes a positive impression.
Proper grammar typically goes unnoticed, but improper grammar may cause someone to question your expertise or professionalism.
Consider the difference between the two sentences:
I’m sorry I want to help you.
I’m sorry; I want to help you.
The first message is an insult, and the second is an apology.
While an incorrect message may be understood, your messages should not have to be re-read to be deciphered.
Your clients expect the messages you send them and the copy you use to market their property to be clear and correct.
Some common writing mistakes:
- two negatives in a sentence
- run-on sentences
- sentence fragments
- incorrect punctuation (comma, apostrophe)
If proper grammar isn’t your strength, consider using a free service, like Grammarly, to assist you.
How your message is formatted impacts how it is read and received. Formatting isn’t a concern if a message is brief, but when you share complex or detailed information, make an effort to present it in a digestible format.
A lengthy message with prolonged paragraphs is difficult for any reader to finish, and may even prevent some readers from starting. Format your message so that, even if skimmed, there will be value for the reader:
- create sections with headings
- keep your paragraphs short
- use bold text or italicized text to stand out
- make bulleted lists
- use one font style and color
Delivering a message that is easy to read will save time later – there will be fewer questions to answer, and fewer points to clarify.
Your goal should be to deliver a clear, concise message. When you can communicate the same message with fewer words, use fewer words.
Your written words should sound like you, meaning your written words should mirror how you speak and only use the language you would feel comfortable using in a conversation.
Here is a list of commonly mixed-up words to understand how to use them. Understanding common errors will help you slow down and use the correct word.
Some additional copywriting tips
- skip abbreviations that aren’t widely understood
- don’t assume your reader understands industry-specific terms
- simplify overly-complex language
Avoid using words with a negative connotation, and be mindful that even words that aren’t necessarily negative may sound harsh in written communication.
Look for opportunities to soften your message by changing the words used, such as
- price reduction –> price adjustment
- failure –> not a success
Use minimizers, such as a few, a bit, or minor to ensure your message does not create unnecessary concern.
One last thought….
Consider how your message will make the reader feel.
If the message will aggravate, disappoint, or anger the reader, written communication may not be the best approach. A phone or in-person conversation allows the person to immediately ask questions, get answers, and provide the opportunity to vent. (If your client needs to vent, wouldn’t you prefer they vent to you instead of about you to someone else?)
Your written communication may not be perfect, and that is okay. You don’t have to be perfect, but proofreading will help you appear more polished and professional.
If written communication is a challenge, sGrow will help. Our users have immediate access to nearly 200 emails designed to educate and engage your database. See more now.
Are you confident with your writing skills, but aren’t sure what messages you should share with your database? Download a copy of The Art of Staying Top of Mind for ideas and strategies.