In theory, real estate copywriting is easy: Good copy convinces your reader to do something you want them to do.
Whether you want them to download your e-book, click on your Facebook ad, or RSVP to your open house, the goal of copywriting never changes. Good copy inspires action.
Although real estate agents are excellent salespeople, not every agent can be a good copywriter.
That’s why today, I am giving you my ten real estate copywriting secrets that professional writers don't want you to know.
I can tell you from experience that these secrets are a game-changer for writing persuasive copy.
Actually BE Your Own Customer
The best converting copy is THE ONE THAT RESONATES, where the prospects says "AHA! That's me!"
And the absolute best way to resonate and get into your customer's head is TO BE ONE.
This means if you want your customer to buy something, then spend the money and experience buying that thing.
There is no shortcut around this. You cannot pretend or do thought experiments by playing scenarios out in your head.
So you can't fake this.
You have to take this rule at face value.
If you want them to buy a house, you must buy a house too and go through the entire home buying process from start to finish.
If you want them to book an appointment, you must click the form, fill it up and actually book an appointment as a real prospect.
This fundamental secret is the hardest to follow, yet its the best way that I know of to actually be a customer.
Only when you wear your customer's shoes can you truly understand, appreciate and communicate all of the issues they go through.
The remaining 9 copywriting secrets below flow from this one rule; nail this, and you will zoom through everything else.
Transform Features Into Compelling Benefits
The easiest way to get someone to act is to appeal to their emotional needs or desires.
📌 Pro Tip: Studies show that most people use emotional arguments to persuade others without even realizing it.
And when it comes to persuasion, one good emotional argument is worth a thousand facts.
The only problem is that your listings don’t come with ready-made emotional arguments to persuade a buyer to attend your open house.
Instead, you get a list of features. Your job as a real estate copywriter is to turn those features into benefits that will appeal to your readers on an emotional level.
Here’s how to do it:
First, list all the features of your subject matter. It could be a listing, an email newsletter, or even your brokerage or personal brand.
Next, determine a benefit of each feature—one that appeals to emotional needs or desires. For example, let’s say one feature of your newest listing is that it’s close to major highways.
Here are a few ways we can break that down into benefits that appeal to emotion:
Benefits with emotional appeal
Close to highways/expressways
Spend less time commuting
Never be late to work again
Enjoy more time with family
Have easy access to amenities like supermarkets, gyms, & restaurants
Now, go through your list of benefits and pick the one that you think will have the biggest emotional impact for your reader.
Do this for all the best features of your listing, and you’ll have a good rough outline for your copy.
Start With a Pain Point, Then Offer Your Solution
If you’ve ever tried to convince a friend or loved one of something, you know that stating your side of the story isn’t enough.
If you want to have a chance of persuading them, they need to know that you understand their side of the story, too.
- define a pain point,
- then acknowledge it explicitly and
- present their solution last.
Good copy should get your reader to nod along as they read and say to themselves, “Wow! This person gets me!”
Once you’ve built that bond, then you come in with your pitch.
For example, let’s say you’re writing copy for a landing page to get people to sign up for your email newsletter about off-market listings.
Here’s how your copy might sound if you focus on your solution without acknowledging your readers’ pain point first:
"Subscribe to my newsletter today to get a free list of the best listings in Singapore before they hit PropertyGuru. If you sign up now, you’ll get…"
Now here’s how your copy sounds when you start by acknowledging their pain point first:
"Nowadays the Singapore market is moving so fast that 24.57% of homes have an average of 5.52 offers even before they hit PropertyGuru. If you want to get a head-start on the best homes for sale, you need to act faster than them. Beat out other buyers to HOT new listings before they become public knowledge. If you sign up now, you’ll get…"
Notice the difference?
Write Everything by Hand First, then Type it All Out
There is no computer that can come close to even 1/10th to the computing power of the best processor in the world; the Human Mind.
Did you know that there are more neurons in each of our individual brains than the number of stars in the entire universe?
Yet none of us approach the true potential of our Conscious Minds.
Let me give you an example:
Remember the time when you were a student writing your exam paper by hand?
Notice how when you wrote something, you paused, scratched it out and rewrote your answer all over again?
That's the unconscious mind giving you feedback that it 'doesn't feel right'.
When you read the most recent revision, it somehow 'felt right'.
📌 Pro Tip: Writing by hand on paper is the best way to write copy that you're 100% aligned with.
That's your Conscious Mind at work.
It is telling you to write, rewrite and re-edit until it all feels right.
Use your Conscious Mind. Then type out the final version on your computer.
Write Fearlessly, Edit Mercilessly
Every good Realtor knows that the money is in the follow-up. How you got your lead into your customer relationship manager (CRM) doesn’t matter at the closing table.
The same is true for copywriting. How you start is way less important than where you finish. This is why all good copywriters write without fear and edit without mercy.
Here’s how to do it:
Take your list of benefits and start writing.
- No judgment.
- No editing.
Once you have something down on paper, start editing. For now, don’t worry about grammar or spelling—you can fix that later.
Focus on your goal.
- Does your copy appeal to your reader’s emotions?
- Does it address a pain point and offer a solution?
If it doesn’t, edit until it does.
If you’re lacking emotional punch, grab a thesaurus and try to find more evocative words to get your point across. Is that garden “nice” or is it a “lush oasis”?
If you want a cheat sheet of descriptive real estate words that appeal to emotion, check out my guide to descriptive real estate words here:
1,000 Real Estate Power Words Top Listing Agents Use to Sell More Homes (+PDF)
Write at Least 3 Different Versions of Your Headline
The headline is the ad for the ad.
You should always write at least three different versions of your title if you're writing:
- ad copy,
landing page copy,
website copy, or
any copy with a title
Then pick the best of them.
If your title doesn’t draw them in, they will never read the rest of your copy.
📌 Pro Tip: 3 times as many people read the headline than the copy.
Only a persuasive headline will entice people to continue reading to the copy!
If you have a hard time coming up with three different versions of your headline, try some of these common headline formulas:
FOMO Headlines (Fear of Missing Out)
XX Homes Sold for $XXXXX Over Asking Price in [your farm area]!
Here Are XX Market Indicators That Show Home Prices Will Explode in [your farm areas]
This Home Owner Says to Sell Yesterday!
Scary Question Headlines
Are We Heading for a Recession Right Now?
Are You Ready to Sell Before Interest Rates Rise?
When Will the Housing Bubble Pop in [your farm area]?
Expert Advice Headlines
When XX Economists Think Interest Rates are Going WAY Up
X Home Stagers Reveal the 10 Best Affordable Couches
Top Lawyer Answers Your Most Common Real Estate Questions
7 Experts Agree Painting Your Home This Colour Will Help It Sell Faster & for More $$$
Zillow/PropertyGuru Research Says This Month Is the Best Time to Sell
The XX Home Renovations That Have the Best ROI
Writing great titles can drain your creative energy. You might find it helpful to write and edit your copy first, and only then tackle your title.
📌 Pro Tip: Write & edit your copy first, and then work on your title last.
As an added benefit, if your copy changes direction as you write it, you won’t be stuck with a headline that no longer fits.
Write for a Ten-Year-Old
If you cannot explain what you're writing about to a 10 year old, then you don't understand it enough to define it briefly.
If you want people to read what you have to say, your copy needs to go down like ice cream.
That means simple words, short sentences, and getting to the point soon as possible.
Anyone can make a great fact-based argument in 20 pages, but great copywriters can do it in 20 words.
The best writers I know of can do it in six words.
Want to learn to get right to the point without sacrificing emotion?
Try discussing complex issues or writing one-liner thoughts for your Twitter audience.
If you already have followers you’ll get instant feedback on your writing.
📌 Pro Tip: Discuss complex issues or write one-liners on Twitter. Your followers will give you instant feedback.
If you don't want to go this route, try the free application Hemingway.
I rewrote this blog post using this word editor, and you can see how it reads like a 10-year-old could understand this.
(I was given a Grade 5, Good rating.)
Still stuck? Might be time to call in the experts.
You can hire an experienced and talented real estate copywriter in Fiverr starting at five bucks.
Read and Hear Your Copy Out Loud
After you edit your copy, the next step is to edit for style.
This is where even great writers stumble.
Editing for style is hard.
You can spend hours editing your copy and end up with something that’s worse than what you started with.
Luckily, there is a trick that professional copywriters use to make editing for style easier:
Read your copy out loud.
Is it very easy to read out loud?
Did you stumble with some words or sentences?
Did it sound weird saying it out loud?
If it’s hard for you to read out loud, chances are that it’s even harder for your reader to hear in their head as they read it.
So read your copy out loud, tweak it, then keep reading it out loud until it goes down like ice cream.
Always A/B Test Every Single Copy You Write
Today, we have access to more tools than ever before.
One of the most useful is being able to test different versions of your copy on a real, live audience to see how they actually respond.
In the digital marketing world, this is known as A/B testing and it’s as close to a scientific study as you can get about how good your copy is in the real world.
Remember the three different headlines I had you write in tip six above? Now’s your chance to see which one actually makes your reader take action.
If you want to A/B test your emails or email subject lines, use a CRM or email marketing platform that allows you to A/B test. Mailchimp and AgentLEADS both have easy-to-use A/B testing features for email campaigns.
If you want to A/B test copy for your landing pages, then use a platform like Real Geeks or UnBounce to test many versions.
Compare the Click Through Rates (CTR) to pick up the winning one.
Place the Winning Copy Everywhere
Once you've done A/B testing, now is the time for you to choose it and post it across every medium (of course, after personalizing it for each medium).
But here's something I learnt. Some copy suits some media, while not every copy that works on one medium may work on another.
📌 Pro Tip: Copy/pasting won't work. Change the winning copy for each medium you want to use.
Here's what I mean:
One of my early copywriting offers worked on a landing page. When I modified it and ran it as a direct mail piece, it performed even better!
Another time, I thought a different direct mail piece underperformed, but when I modified the copy into a simple 2-sided postcard, it boomed!
So, always test and personalise the winning copy for each medium.
Over to You
Want a professional critique of a real estate copywriting project you’re struggling with? Sign up for my email list and I will critique your copy for you. All you need to do is sign up and forward the copy you want critique to me at email@example.com, and I’ll help you with your copy for free.
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Author, Coach & Trainer
Yasser Khan earned less than $1,000 in his first year as a full time property agent. With no money for the $2 train fare to his Broker's office, he was forced to walk 25 kilometers on foot. Worse, he got evicted at midnight with his wife and baby son by the roadside. Desperate, he bought a $16 Sales book and took massive action. That single investment in himself gave him an OBSCENE ROI of $160,000 in just 11 months. Today, Yasser is on a mission to make the real estate great career again and helps ambitious agents quadruple their commission income within 90 days.
Yasser Khan is a real estate coach at YasserKhan.SG, trainer at PropertyAgentUniversity.com and the author of Property Agent Secrets Book who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S. plaguing the industry today.
Yasser Khan’s approach to coaching is highly personalised, holistic, no B.S., and for “PROS ONLY… amateurs not allowed.” He believes that true success means winning in every single area of your life (like Financial, Family, Social, Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Fun).
When Yasser isn’t coaching, he loves playing GOTY PC Games with top-of-the-line Razer products and being a kid again with his 3 naughty children (actually, boss babies...), traveling to and across scenic Pakistan, enjoying hot & spicy food, taking pictures of the Milky Way with his favourite Canon DSLR and reading up all about Dinosaurs (especially T. Rex)
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