The reason why you write – whether it’s a blog post, a property description, a prospecting letter, or an email – is to communicate. You want your reader to clearly understand the information you’ve tried to convey. And that’s why spelling and grammar matter.
Spelling and grammar matter in blog posts
This week I came across a post on Active Rain that I think would have been interesting and informative. In fact, when I first saw the headline, I thought it was one I should link to from last week’s post.
However, the sentences were so garbled that it was difficult to understand the writer’s intent. It was filled with run-on sentences, lack of punctuation, wrong punctuation, misspelled words, misplaced modifiers, and incomplete sentences.
I wanted to read the information, but I gave up. Spelling and grammar matter if you want people to read and comprehend what you write.
Everyone has a typo or an error now and then, in spite of proofreading. But they should be occasional, not consistent.
Your blog posts may be the first impression that a potential client has of you. If they make you appear sloppy and/or disorganized, they may also be the last impression.
Spelling and grammar matter in property descriptions
Last week one of my clients sent me a MLS description she found. She shared it because it was so awful. As you know, a property description should paint a word picture in the reader’s mind, causing them to want to view that house. Or, if the reader is an agent, causing them to contact potential buyers and suggest a tour.
A jumble of features thrown together in no apparent order, and with little (or incorrect) punctuation just won’t do the trick. This description stated that the “upgraded appliances connects to the family room.” Spelling was a second issue.
Along with doing nothing to entice a buyer, descriptions like this paint a poor picture of the agent. Would potential sellers reading that choose this agent to represent them?
If you’d like tips for writing better property descriptions, just click here.
Spelling and grammar matter in prospecting letters
Prospecting letters are advertisements of YOU. In addition to giving homeowners encouragement to sell and non-homeowners encouragement to buy, they urge people to choose you as their agent.
Again, remember that your letters may be their first impression of you. These letters require time, thought, and careful proofreading. In fact, the time requirement is one of the reasons why so many busy agents choose to use my prospecting letters.
Spelling and grammar matter in emails and text messages.
When you’re emailing clients, you need to communicate clearly. This is especially important if you’re giving advice, working on negotiations, etc.
Spelling and grammar matter because misspellings, misinterpreted abbreviations, misused words, and even misplaced punctuation can lead to misunderstandings. And… misunderstandings can lead to unpleasant things like lawsuits.
If grammar is your weak point…
If spelling is your weak point…
Do turn on spell check , and do use it. However, be careful. If spell check tells you you’re wrong, don’t just take their word for it. Unless you can instantly see that yes, you made a mistake, take the time to find out.
The fact is, sometimes spell check doesn’t know what you meant to say. Therefore, it can tell you to change from a correct word to a wrong one. For instance: reign to rein or hear to here.
So go on line, type in the word, and read the definition. Then you’ll know which to use.
The same is true for grammar check. Sometimes it’s wrong. So if there’s a question, go on line and type in something like “Should I write _____ or _____?” My favorite site to answer that question is Grammar Girl, but there are a few others.
And, no matter what you’re writing, when you’re finished, proofread. This step cannot be over stressed.
It’s far better to take an extra 5 or 10 minutes to get it right than to have a potential customer disregard you because you got it wrong. I sometimes find my own errors on the 2nd or 3rd read-through. At the very least, I sometimes see a better way to state something. Take the time to get it right.
Remember – if you need real estate words and can’t/don’t want to write them, I’m here for you.
I can’t be there to help you immediately respond to emails, but I can help you with custom prospecting letters, your bio, other miscellaneous web pages, and even property descriptions.
Just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.