On paper, at least, real estate copywriting is easy: Good copy convinces your readers to do what you want them to do. Copywriting is any copy that inspires a reader to take action. Whether that’s to download your e-book, click on your Facebook ad, or RSVP to your open house, good copy inspires action.

All real estate professionals think they’re natural-born salespeople, but the cold, hard truth is that most real estate pros struggle with copywriting. That’s why I am giving you 12 real estate copywriting rules that professional writers swear by today. As a professional writer, I can tell you from experience that these rules are a game-changer for writing persuasive copy.

As a bonus, I include a free PDF of descriptive words for selling homes.

Download 723 Descriptive Real Estate Words

1. Transform Features Into Benefits

The easiest way to get someone to act is to appeal to their emotional needs or desires. Studies show that most people use emotional arguments to persuade others without realizing it. 

The only problem is that your listings don’t come with ready-made emotional arguments to persuade a buyer to attend your open house. Instead, you get a list of features. Your job as a real estate copywriter is to turn those features into benefits that will appeal to your readers on an emotional level. Here’s how to do it:

Determine each feature’s benefits that appeal to emotional needs or desires. For example, let’s say one feature of your newest listing is that it’s close to major highways. Here are a few benefits that appeal to emotion:

  • Spend less time commuting
  • Never be late to work or school again
  • Enjoy more time with family and friends
  • Easy access to amenities like supermarkets, gyms, and restaurants

Now, go through your list of benefits and pick the one you think will have the biggest emotional impact on your reader. Do this for all the best features of your listing, and you’ll have a good rough outline for your listing description. You can follow this same template to help readers see the benefits of your brand, sign up for your email newsletter, or any other call to action you might feature in your real estate copywriting.

Related Article
How to Write Creative Real Estate Listing Descriptions (+ Examples)

2. Start With a Pain Point, Then Offer Your Solution

If you’ve ever tried to convince a friend or loved one of something, you know that just stating your side of the story isn’t enough. If you want to persuade them, they must know that you understand their side of the story too. 

This is why most good copywriters start by acknowledging a pain point for their readers before presenting their solution. Good copy should get your readers to nod along as they read. Once you’ve built that bond, you come in with your pitch. 

For example, let’s say you’re writing copy for a landing page to get people to sign up for your email newsletter about off-market listings. Here’s how your real estate copy might sound if you focus on your solution without acknowledging your readers’ pain point first:

Subscribe to my off-market listing newsletter today to get a free list of the best listings in Springfield before they hit Zillow. If you sign up now, you’ll get…

Here’s how your copy sounds when you first acknowledge their pain point.

These days, the Springfield market is moving so fast that some homes have multiple offers before they even hit Zillow. If you want to get a jump-start on the best homes for sale, you need to act quickly. My off-market listings newsletter offers buyers access to the best Springfield listings before they hit Zillow. If you sign up now, you’ll get…

Notice the difference?

Related Article
7 Stunning Real Estate Landing Pages + 6 Hacks to Make Yours Better

3. Use Conversational Language

The secret to getting your reader to take action is to build trust with your message. The fastest way to do that is to write in a conversational style. That means writing in first person, using “I” and “you” in your copy. 

Conversational style is like having a chat over a cup of coffee. After all, you wouldn’t use a lot of big, flowery words if you were talking to a friend about a product you love. You would simply say—in common everyday words—how much you love it, what it does for you, and that your friend should get it. 

When you use common language in a conversational style, your readers will feel more like you’re talking directly to them. And that makes them feel like they know you. People buy from and do business with those they know, like, and trust.

4. Tell a Good Story

I spent a lot of time in bookstores picking up books with eye-catching titles and covers, reading the first paragraph, and putting them back on the table. If I got through the first paragraph and were interested, I would continue reading the next paragraph. If the book’s first page kept me reading, that was a sign to buy the book. The same is true for your copy. 

See what I did there? I just told you a short story to keep you reading and engaged. When you start your copy with a story that draws in the reader, you’re more likely to keep their attention throughout the rest of your message. It doesn’t have to be a novel—just a few sentences are enough to share a quick story that gives your message additional impact.

5. Write Without Fear, Edit Without Mercy

How you start is way less important than where you finish. This is why all good copywriters write without fear and edit without mercy. Here’s how to do it: 

Take your list of benefits from my first tip, and just start writing. No judgment, no editing. Just write. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling—you can fix that later. Just focus on your goal. Once you have something down on paper, start editing. Does your copy appeal to your reader’s emotions? Does it address a pain point and offer a solution? If it doesn’t, edit until it does. 

If you lack emotional punch, grab a thesaurus and find more evocative words to get your point across. Is that garden “nice” or a “lush oasis”? If you want a cheat sheet of descriptive real estate words that appeal to emotion, check out my guide to descriptive real estate words here:

Related Article
723 Descriptive Real Estate Words Top Listing Agents Use to Sell Homes

6. Write at Least 3 Versions of Your Headline or Subject Line

If you’re writing with a title, you should always write at least three versions and pick the best of the bunch. Here’s why: If your title doesn’t draw them in, they will never read the rest of your copy. 

If you have a hard time coming up with three different versions of your headline, try some of these common headline formulas:

FOMO Headlines (Fear of Missing Out)

  • {#} Homes Just Sold for ${#} Over Ask in {your farm area}!
  • Here Are {#} Market Indicators That Show Prices Will Explode in {your farm area}
  • Owner Says to Sell Yesterday!

Ask a Scary Question Headlines

  • Are We Heading for a Recession? 
  • Are You Ready to Sell Before Interest Rates Rise? 
  • When Will the Housing Bubble Pop in {your farm area}?

Expert Advice Headlines

  • When {#} Economists Think Interest Rates are Going WAY Up
  • {#} Home Stagers Reveal the Best Affordable Couches 
  • A Lawyer Answers Your Most Common Real Estate Questions

Curiosity-building Headlines

  • Experts Say Painting Your Home This Color Will Help It Sell Faster & for More $$$
  • Zillow Research Says This Month Is the Best Time to Sell
  • The {#} Home Renovations With the Best ROI

📌   Pro Tip

Write and edit your copy first, and then work on your title. Writing great titles can quickly drain your creative energy. As an added benefit, if your copy changes direction as you write it, you won’t be stuck with a headline that no longer fits.

7. ‘Stick’ With One Simple Idea

This one can be tricky for a lot of agents. You must focus on one simple idea to create a message that sticks with your readers. The way to do this is to figure out who your audience is and what they are most interested in knowing. Craft a special message for them and provide one solution for their big problem. Your audience won’t remember if you try to share five ideas in one message. But focusing on one thing will stick with your readers long after they’ve finished reading your copy.

Let’s say your target audience is first-time homebuyers. When looking at the features and benefits for your listing mentioned in tip one above, which would make the biggest impact for your target audience? Would they be more likely to have young children and be interested in nearby schools? Would they like nightlife and access to gyms, restaurants, and bars? Figure out which will most likely apply to most of your readers and focus on that message. 

Zeroing in on one message instead of trying to be everything to everyone will make your promise “sticky,” which means your people will remember you over the noisy competition.

8. Turn Complex Ideas Into Analogies

We often assume our readers know more than they do. As real estate agents, we’re in the thick of a lot of complexity and use jargon when chatting with other agents in our sphere. But our prospects and clients most likely don’t hear the language of our industry very often. 

The best professionals can take a complex situation and break it down into a one-sentence metaphor. For example: Shopping for houses before you get pre-approval from your lender is like getting married before your first date. 

When you can simplify terms in a way your clients can visualize and understand, it will put you in a position to reach your audience in a way others can’t.

9. Write in Simple Language With No Fluff

If you want people to read what you have to say, your copy needs to go down like ice cream. That means simple words, short sentences, and getting to the point as quickly as possible. Anyone can make a great fact-based argument in 20 pages, but great copywriters can do it in 20 words. The best writers can do it in six.

📌   Pro Tip

Want to learn to get right to the point without sacrificing emotion? Try turning complex issues into one-liners for your Instagram audience. You’ll get instant feedback on your writing if you already have followers.

10. Read Your Copy Out Loud

After you edit your copy, the next step is to edit for style. This is where even great writers stumble. Editing for style is hard. Like, really hard. You can spend hours editing your copy and end up with something worse than what you started. 

Luckily, there is a trick that professional copywriters use to make editing for style easier: Read your copy out loud. Is it easy to read, or did you stumble with some words or sentences? If it’s hard for you to read out loud, chances are it’s even harder for your reader to hear in their head as they read. So read your copy aloud and tweak it until it goes down like ice cream.

11. Use Testimonials as Social Proof 

Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon. Did you check the customer reviews before clicking the “Buy Now” button? We all like the reassurance that we’re making a smart decision, whether buying a new pair of shoes, selecting a good restaurant for dinner, or choosing the right real estate agent to work with. Social proof is how it’s done.

If you’ve spent time collecting testimonials and reviews from your past clients, use them in your real estate copywriting to help your future clients get over the hump. The more social proof they have, the easier it will be to decide to choose you as their agent. 

If you’re creating an email to potential sellers, include firsthand accounts of how great a job you did from your past listings. If you’re writing up a social media campaign to attract homebuyers, share some emotional testimonials from the buyers you walked through to the closing table for the first time. These personal stories from your past clients will make you look like a miracle worker, and you won’t even have to humble brag about yourself.

12. A/B Test Whenever You Can

One of the coolest things about writing copy in 2024 is that you have access to tools that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars 15 years ago. One of the most useful is testing different versions of your copy on a real live audience to see how they respond. 

In the digital marketing world, this is called A/B testing, and it’s the closest you can get to a scientific study of how good your copy is. Remember the three headlines or subject lines I had you write in tip four? Now’s your chance to see which one actually makes your reader take action. 

If you want to A/B test your emails or email subject lines, use a customer relationship manager (CRM) or email marketing platform that offers this feature, like Mailchimp or Wise Agent. If you want to A/B test copy for your landing pages, use a platform like Real Geeks or Unbounce.

Over to You

Copywriting for real estate is a skill that anyone can learn, but it takes practice. Take these tips and implement them in your marketing as a starting point. And continue to educate yourself on these techniques in copywriting for real estate. 

Have you used these tips and noticed a change in your marketing return on investment (ROI)? Did I miss any real estate copywriting strategies in this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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