When business is challenging, real estate professionals get creative, especially when they write ads.
Al Johnson, a Seattle-area real estate practitioner who has taught classes on listing language, wrote in a column for the Windermere Weekly, offering advice to practitioners and sellers on making classified ads pay off.
“Nobody ever went to look at a house just because it had ‘3 bdrm/2 ba,’ ” he wrote.
Instead, he suggested using active verbs, “commanding attention”; starting with a question, “looking for privacy, charm and views?”; creating urgency, “don’t miss!”; alliteration, “exuberant elegance”; and making the best of shortcomings, “scratch and dent sale”.
Johnson’s all-time favorite example: “Stinky little fixer, but it smells like money.”
Here are other classic examples of ad words that emphasize the positive:
- Very quiet interior: You can barely hear the freeway with the windows shut.
- Convenient to shopping: Next to a strip mall.
- Convenient to freeway: Next to the on-ramp.
- Seller has left you to your own imagination: Hasn’t been updated since 1940.
- Great bones: You’ll need to tear it down to the studs.
- Charming: Small.
- Cozy: Tiny.
- Cute: Small and fussy.
- Dollhouse, adorable: Nauseatingly cute.
- Unique: Remodeled by someone on acid.
- Handyman special: Bring boots.
- Motivated seller: They need to sell before they default on their mortgage.
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aubrey Cohen (11/21/07)