Using the wrong word in your real estate marketing materials hurts you in two ways.
First, it detracts from your message. Your readers can be going merrily along, absorbing your marketing message and even agreeing with you. Then all of a sudden, there’s a word that doesn’t belong.
It doesn’t fit. It doesn’t make sense with the rest of the sentence. It’s like a big stop sign in the middle of the message.
All the momentum you’d gained is lost. Now they’re not absorbing your message, they’re stopping to figure out what you meant.
Worse – they’re wondering about you and your professionalism. Perhaps you just can’t spell. Maybe that won’t matter to them – or maybe it will. Or perhaps you don’t pay attention to details – that WILL probably matter to them, since choosing you would mean you’re going to be helping them with one of the largest transactions in their lives.
Here are a few word pairs that are routinely misused in real estate blog posts and letters:
Recently I read a headline that said “Is success alluding you?” OUCH
- allude means to refer to something indirectly
elude means to evade or avoid
I’ve also seen agent say things like “When you choose to except an offer…” or “When your offer is excepted.”
- except means exclude
- accept means to consent to
And how about “It makes good since to…”
- since means because – or it could refer to a time period, as in “since she turned 21 …”
- sense (in this context) means sound judgment
One of the most common offenders is “Thanks for the good advise.”
- Advise is a verb – it’s something you do, not something you can give.
- Advice is a noun; it’s what you give.
Another one I’ve seen a lot just lately is “I most defiantly agree that…” This one may just be a common spelling error, because the definition of “defiant” is “boldly resistant or challenging.” I’m not sure you can defiantly agree, unless perhaps you’re taking sides in a heated argument.
The definition of definite is “clearly defined or determined; not vague or general; fixed; precise;exact; positive; certain; sure.” I’m pretty sure that agents mean to say they “definitely agree” when they accidentally say “defiantly.”
All of these words choices (and many others) put stop signs in the middle of sentences.
So if you’re ever unsure of a word – look it up. And if your vocabulary is such that you’ll use the wrong words routinely, ask someone you trust to proofread and edit your work before you send it out.