Real estate grammar matters for two very important reasons.
- Your image as a professional
- Your ability to communicate clearly
The two reasons are closely related, as they both contribute to your overall effectiveness and reliability as a real estate professional.
When you are well-spoken, you garner respect.
But when your grammar is poor people form a different opinion. They might think you were simply under-educated. They might also think you aren’t too intelligent, or you just don’t care.
By well-spoken I mean that you communicate clearly, using words that most people will comprehend, and you demonstrate that you did learn 6th grade grammar. In other words, you do not say things like “Me and him ain’t interested.”
That’s an extreme example, and hopefully one you’ll never hear from a real estate agent. However, agents DO say things like: “If you have questions, please call myself or Jerry.” The reader will know what you meant, but your intelligence, education, and professionalism might be questioned.
When you use good grammar in writing, you will communicate clearly.
This is SO important in real estate, where misunderstandings can easily lead to lawsuits.
A poorly written sentence can lead two different people to comprehend a sentence in two different ways. The problem might lie in a misplaced or missing comma, or it might stem from an improperly spelled word (that now has a different meaning).
Naturally this is most important in purchase and sale documents, counter-offers, etc. However, misunderstandings in communications as a transaction progresses can be just as damaging.
The ultimate goal when writing marketing copy is to make the words “disappear.”
Ideally, your reader won’t notice or think about the words you used, but will instead absorb the message.
When your words flow smoothly, it can be almost like sending your thoughts and ideas straight from your brain to theirs.
Grammar goofs, misspelled words, and typos stop the flow.
They behave like stop signs, causing your reader to look twice at what you wrote, and possibly to re-read a few times in order to understand what you meant.
A few years ago I wrote about a blog post I had seen that day that was filled to the brim with those stop signs. The writer said:
- “She past away two months ago..”
- “…try to decide what’s getting pack and what is getting pitched.”
- “Within 24 hours they interview a few investors, and chose…”
- “They are on there way back home to…”
This example wasn’t from a marketing message, but I’m sure that when this agent wrote emails or letters to clients, her grammar wouldn’t suddenly get better.
Remember that your written words are often a prospect’s first impression of you.
If the words are poorly written, they could also be the LAST impression.
If you aren’t good at grammar, work on getting better.
There are adult education classes you can take, or you can simply get a copy of my Grammar Guide for Real Estate Agents. Then read and study it until you’ve overcome all the most common grammar goofs made by real estate agents. A $39 investment could well mean the difference between getting that next listing and seeing it go to someone else.
And in the meantime – get help with proofreading. Enlist the aid of a friend or family member – or hire someone. It truly is that important.
You can’t do it yesterday, so start today…