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Improve Your Real Estate Writing in 7 Easy Steps

January 26 2015

p2 ImproveWriting 01 21 blogYou didn't get into real estate to be a writer, did you? But now it turns out that writing is a huge part of your job.

From listing descriptions to blog posts to tweets, you have a lot of opportunities to write sentences. And there are a lot of clients and colleagues out there who just might read them! No pressure, right?

Today we have some tips that will help you improve your real estate writing. You'll be able to create copy that is easy to read and more likely to encourage your audience to take action.

1. Know Your Capitalization

There are a lot of different capitalization styles and many of them are just that... stylistic choices. Here is a quick run-through that will help you identify and stick with a capitalization style that you like.

  • Title Caps: I'm Happy to Be Your Agent
  • Initial Caps: I'm Happy To Be Your Agent
  • Sentence Case: I'm happy to be your agent
  • All Caps: I'M HAPPY TO BE YOUR AGENT

Title caps are great for titles (what a surprise!), but it can be tricky deciding which words to capitalize. Initial caps, where the first letter of every word is capitalized, are a handy way to get around that. Sentence case looks more modern but might not always have the impact you want in a headline. AND ALL CAPS MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'RE YELLING!

Also, it is important to remember that only proper nouns are capitalized within a sentence. Proper nouns include specific names or titles for people, places and things.

  • Correct: Let me be your guide to real estate in Toronto.
  • Incorrect: Let me be your Guide to Real Estate in Toronto.

2. Choose a Comma Scheme

Consistency is key, whether capitalizing words or spreading commas around. There are two correct ways to use commas in a list. Both are good choices for different reasons. The trick is to pick what you like and run with it.

  • The Serial or Oxford Comma: I like houses, condos, and apartments.
  • AP Style: I like houses, condos and apartments.

While we're on the topic of choosing one thing or the other, let's talk about 'and.' It is fine to use 'and' and it is usually ok to use '&,' but avoid using both versions in the same sentence or paragraph.

3. Budget Your Exclamation Points

Not unlike ALL CAPS, exclamation points are frequently overused. Use an exclamation point or two to highlight only the most exciting things. If you use an exclamation point at the end of every line, then every line is the same and nothing will stand out as being extra special or important.

The exception to this rule is on social media, where studies have shown that adding multiple exclamation points can boost engagement. (Test it out at your own risk.)

4. Be Sensitive to Length

In this age of ever-shorter attention spans, it is very important to pay attention to length. No one wants to read a wall of text when they are just trying to decide if they want to call your office or look at new listing.

When possible, keep sentences short – let's say 30 words or less – and headlines shorter. If you find yourself using a lot of semicolons or compound sentences (two sentences joined by and/or/but), it's time to focus on making each sentence an independent thought.

5. Make Your Call to Action Clear

In most situations, you are writing because you want the reader to do something. You want them to come to your open house or schedule an appointment or tell their friends that you're the best agent in the whole world.

Don't leave your readers guessing what you want them to do. Be sure to let them know with a powerful and obvious call to action. Here are some tips that will help you write an awesome call to actionwrite an awesome call to action for any occasion.

6. Consider Your Audience

Who are you writing for? Other agents? First time buyers? Every audience is different, and you can tailor your language accordingly. One reader might know what the "right of first refusal" is while another does not.

To find the right words when explaining tricky real estate concepts, refer to our real estate glossary and guide to real estate jargonguide to real estate jargon.

7. Remember that Formatting Is Your Friend

Using formatting wisely is the easiest way to make sure your written thoughts look organized, even if they're not all the way there yet. Break up paragraphs into easily digestible groups of 5 sentences or less. Use bullet points. Add some bold titles or headers to let people know what you're writing about.

These writing tips may seem like common sense, but taken together they will help your copy immensely. Many agents find themselves suffering from writer's block when they are working on their real estate agent websites. Start by saying who you are, what's great about where you live and how you can help the reader.

For extra guidance, check out some of our top writing posts:

What is your top tip when it comes to writing for real estate? If you have any writing questions, we'll be happy to tackle them below.

To view the original article, visit the Point2 Agent blogPoint2 Agent blog.