Wordsmith in Your Pocket

By Christina Hoffmann Spira, REALTOR® Magazine

This little spiral-bound gem, Word Marketing: How to Empower Real Estate Advertising Through the Proper Choice of Words(Grafton, Wis.: Blue Rose Studio Books, 1997, $24.95), is both a quick read and handy, portable reference when you’re writing a listing ad. And that’s a winning combination for a busy real estate marketer.

For starters, photocopy the “Ad Empowering Checklist” to take with you on every listing appointment. By checking off architectural (towers or turrets) and interior (beams or built-in bookcases) features, among others, you’ll return to your office with the prompts you need to compose a call-generating classified. And with the before and after sample ads, you’ll see where you might be losing prospects. For instance, “priced right,” a common ad phrase, begs the question, “Priced right for whom?” author Therese F. Kasemodel notes. See her rewrite on page 83.

The book is divided into exterior, interior, and architectural sections in which you’ll find a variety of descriptive phrases (“A stand of trees guard the front entrance”) that you can plop into an ad. For instance, if you list a condo, choose from such titles as “Homedominium” and “Cape Cod Condominium,” or capture the building’s atmosphere with “elegant appointments,” “swim, party, play . . . luxury condo,” or “your own private garden.”

Although you may be tempted to incorporate every facet of a listing into an ad, don’t. Kasemodel suggests that you emphasize cosmetic and architectural features over mechanical ones, such as appliances. Overemphasizing mechanicals may give “readers the impression that the house has no redeeming qualities,” she notes.

In fact, study up on architecture. Complimenting sellers on the features and styles of their homes and pointing out those features to buyers will go along way to building your credibility. We can help. REALTOR® Magazine Online offers a list of architectural styles and features.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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