Communicating with real estate prospects is important, whether you do it via letters or cards in the mail, email messages, or even blogging and posting on social media. The words in your agent bio and on your personal real estate website are also part of your communication.
Your purpose in all of the above is to instantly capture your prospect’s attention. Then to persuade them to stick with it, absorb your message, believe what you’re telling them, and take whatever action you’ve asked for.
In order to achieve all that, it’s necessary to “make the words disappear,” so your readers are left thinking only of the message. Following are 5 mistakes that turn the readers attention to your words and away from your message.
The top 5 mistakes agents make in communicating with real estate prospects
- Beginning your correspondence with “I” or “We.”
- Writing a “Wall of words.”
- Using jargon they don’t understand
- Failing to proofread – so your sentences are filled with typos, misspellings, misused words, and misplaced modifiers.
Beginning your communication with “I” or “We” is an instant turn-off for some prospects.
Once they see that, your message is very likely headed straight for the trash. It’s even worse if you begin with “I want.” The truth is, they don’t care what you want or even who you are. They care about what you have to offer them.
Remember the old saying: People are tuned to “Station WIFM.” That’s What’s in it for me?
With that in mind, begin your message with a “you” statement, a statement they will automatically agree with, or a question. But please, don’t be arrogant – saying “You know you want to sell your house” will make more enemies than friends.
Writing a “Wall of words” will also kill your message before it gets started.
When you’re communicating with real estate prospects and clients, think “Make it easy.” That means writing a message that looks – and is – easy to read. Use short paragraphs (no more than 7 lines) and leave a white space between paragraphs.
Think about your own reactions. If you click on a blog post and see an entire page with no breaks, do you read it? I sure don’t. I came across one like that just this morning on Active Rain and didn’t even bother with the first sentence. For one thing, it’s too difficult for our eyes to “keep our places” when the text just goes on and on and on.
So break it up, and if it’s a blog post or a web page, add a graphic here and there. Make that message look interesting and appealing – and easy to read.
Rambling while communicating with real estate prospects will bore them into tuning out…
Don’t “Walk all the way around the block to go next door.” Say what you have to say in the most concise and interesting way possible. Then stop. When you ramble – in person or in print – people will get away as fast as they can.
The whole point of communicating with real estate prospects is to draw them to you – not to chase them away.
Ramble all you want on the first draft.
That will get your thoughts down where you can see them and sort them. Once that’s done, start combining ideas, refining sentences, and removing the extraneous words. Even if you’ve come up with a catchy phrase, if it doesn’t fit well, get rid of it. Save it to use somewhere else.
Writing this reminded me of trimming a tomato plant yesterday. I had planted it and then had done nothing but add water. Yesterday I decided to trim back the excess greenery so more energy could go toward tomato production. Much to my delight, I found a tomato growing in the middle, where it was hidden behind the excess leaves.
Trim away your excess words so your message can be seen and absorbed.
Communicating with real estate prospects using jargon they don’t understand can turn them away from you.
When people don’t understand what you wrote, it not only throws a stop sign into your message, it creates feelings of resentment.
- They might feel that you’re trying to show your superiority over them.
- They might feel “ignorant” for not knowing.
Either way, they’ll feel resentment toward you for causing them to feel that way. So re-read your copy and make sure that all of the words you use can be readily understood by people who are not real estate professionals. Don’t ever leave them thinking “What the heck does that mean?”
Proofread. Proofread again. And if you aren’t sure of yourself, get help.
Typos, misspellings, misused words, and misplaced modifiers are like stop signs in your text.
Your prospect might be reading along, absorbing your meaning and agreeing with what you’ve written – and then there’s a stop sign. The word doesn’t make sense, so the reader stops and re-reads the sentence. By the time he or she has figured out what you meant, the momentum is gone. The spell is broken and your message is lost.
Everyone has a typo now and then, and some are so small that most readers won’t even notice. But do your best to eliminate all of them, so you don’t lose even one reader. It always helps to get a second pair of eyes on your writing, simply because we don’t always see our own mistakes. We know what we meant and intended to write, so that’s what we see when we read it. Some people recommend reading it aloud or reading backwards, because that forces us to really look at each word.
If you’re not good at grammar, spelling, etc. then enlist help from someone who is – and tell them not to be shy about making corrections.
When you need help with letters, flyers, and web pages, get in touch.
I can’t be at your side to help respond to an email, but I can help you with prospecting letters (both custom and pre-written) and with copy that will reside on your website for years to come.
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