How to Write a Real Estate Ad

Write It Like You Mean It–

The following six tips come from copy writers who have helped me in the past– (shout out to Cynthia Long), a sales trainer and speaker named Matthew Ferrara, and a writing class or two I’ve taken over the years. While I don’t get it perfect every time, I like to think my own copy reflects these ideas.

1. Show don’t tell. I don’t need a recitation of the bedroom/bath count, square footage, and whether there’s a washer/dryer. All that information is already covered in the MLS or your bullet points. What I’d rather learn is what it’s like to live there.  Do I get to drive into the garage and go straight to the elevator? Will I hear fog horns at night? What’s outside my kitchen or bedroom window? 

2. A picture says a thousand words. We all know buyers look at the pictures before they read the description, so you don’t need to waste your valuable word count describing the subway tile, hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances. 

3. Turn a negative into a positive. Easy street parking in lieu of a garage means your guests won’t have to drive around in circles when they visit. A trek uphill after dinner on 24th Street can turn into an opportunity to walk off a meal. 

4. Get Specific. Saying there’s a flowering garden is good, but telling me the flower types is better (and a nice poetic turn if you have things like Birds of Paradise and Cats Paw). I also like throwing in sexy architectural details that might be missed or overlooked in the photos, like “stacked moldings” or “shouldered arches.” 

5. The internet is your friend. When I get stuck on how to describe something important but basic, I turn to an online thesaurus. “Good natural light,” for instance can be recrafted to use words like “sunbeam” “sunlit” and “shimmering.”   I also get inspired by online lists of emotionally positive words like “bliss”, “vibrant” and “balanced.” BrainyQuote.com can also kickstart the process. For example, Da Vinci’s “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” can perfectly describe tiny homes. 

6. Ask your seller. No one can wax more beautifully about a property than its owner. A few open-ended questions can deliver great details, like the smell of fresh bread from the bakery down the block, the mockingbird in the back yard or the neighbors who can cat-sit in a pinch. The conversation will also show the Seller you care and value their input.