What Every Real Estate Agent Should Know about Writing Headlines

Whether you are writing a sales letter, postcard or blog–you need to know how to make it stand out. This is critical to real estate marketing.

No bones about it: Writing is important. Everyone must do it.

Yet, you are competing in a ruthless and combative environment. You need every trick of the trade you can find so that you are not lost in the storm surge of advertisement.

That’s why it’s so important to test everything you do in real estate marketing. You need to experiment. Be bold. Rock your readers. Jilt them out of their slumber. Make them sit up and pay attention to you.

How do you do that? I thought you’d never ask. Here are a few headline writing techniques you may find helpful:

1. Ask a Question

Better yet, make sure it’s a question to which the reader wants to know the answer.

Before: “Do You Know What My Realty Company Accomplished Last Year?”

After: “What Do Successful Real Estate Agents Have That Failing Real Estate Agents Sometimes Lack?”

2. Use the Word “Why”

Adding  the word “why” in front of a factual statement increases the reader’s curiosity.

Before: “95% of For Sale By Owners Fail.”

After: “Why 95% of For Sale By Owners Fail.”

3. Employ the Rule of 3

I’m not sure why this works, but it just does. Seems to do with our attraction to things that are bundled in 3. Father, mother and child. Judicial, legislative and executive branches of government. Body, soul and spirit.

How do you use it in a headline? Simply list three benefits.

Before: “Learn How to Work with More Clients and Make More Money.”

After: “Learn How to Work with More Clients, Sell More Homes and Make More Money.”

4. Write “Ignore It at Your Peril”

This works well when dealing with fear. Write “Ignore It at Your Peril” in a headline to emphasize its important.

Before: “The One Thing You Must Do to Avoid Foreclosure.

After: “The One Thing You Must Do to Avoid Foreclosure. Ignore It at Your Peril.”

5. Add a Question Mark to Your Headline

Making a statement that’s hard to believe? All you have to do to make it easier to swallow is question the claim yourself by adding a question mark to the end of the headline.

Before: 500% Profits from Selling Your Home

After:  500% Profits from Selling Your Home?

6. Mention Current Events and News

A news angle is especially effective when writing about the real estate market.

Why? Topics discussed on a daily basis typically affect the larger population. And people tend to be more in tune to these current events. So they’re receptive.

For example, say you’re searching for pre-foreclosures: “Stay One Step Ahead of Foreclosure Just Like Ed McMahon – But Without the Humiliation.”

7. Use the Words “New,” “Introducing,” or “Announcing”

Why does this work so well? It works because people are interested in what is new.

Example: “Introducing a Painless Way to Sell Your Home in a Weak Economy.”

8. Tell the Reader to Do Something

Example: “Call This Number to See How I Could Sell Your Home Fast.”

This is one of the ways we recommend clients use the 800 response hotline number.

When the reader follows the instructions in the headline–and called the number–they heard an audio tour of their very home.

Result? An instant on-the-spot demonstration proving the product works.

9. Promise the Reader Useful Information

Prospects are more likely to read your ad if they feel they can learn something useful by doing so.

Dale Carnegie sold more books when he said he could teach people “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Eugene Schwartz sold more course when he promised parents “How to Turn Your Child into a Classroom Wizard.”

10. Ask a “Who Else Wants…?” Question

This is a classic social proof strategy. It implies that a lot of people out there are already on board.

  • Who Else Wants a Bigger, Safer Home?”
  • Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress in a Home?

11. Suggest a Fast and Easy Solution

People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem.

  • Here’s a Quick Way to Get Out of Debt
  • Here’s a Fast and Easy Way to Avoid Foreclosure

12. Challenge the Reader Through Curiosity

Big curiosity draw with this type of headline, and it acts almost as a challenge to the reader to go ahead and see if they are missing something.

  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable Rate Mortgages
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About the Housing Market

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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