Here are five tips to write killer real estate ads that sell homes fast!
Before getting into the actual specifics, I actually have a bit of a bonus for you, as you know the brain works great with templates and formulas – so wouldn’t it be great to know what a good ad LOOKS like?
Sure it would, because…
From now on you can use it as a fill-in-the-blank way to quickly write ads that get you replies, compliance and money.
In another post I wrote about the 2 BILLION “story” which was really a letter that the Wall Street Journal used to get new subscribers and it was so successful that it ran and has been copied for decades and decades.
Think of a letter as basically a long ad, in fact from the very first headline to the last character every work is used to sell the next. The headline is an ad for the ad, or in that case the ad for the letter. Every sub headline and paragraph that followed was to entice the reader into more.
My point is that you should remember this:
A single headline (let alone a full ad) can build you a multi million dollar bidness… all by itself.
So understanding the structure of an ad is a good idea…
1. Include Your Motivation in the Headline
First of all make sure that you do in fact use a headline, not just with your ad but with nearly all communication that you ever have because it will make you a better leader, influencer and gainer of compliance. On top of that when you are using your headline to sell a house or get leads, make sure you include the motivation for selling.
Don’t just say “House for sale” with an arrow, instead it is better to say something like “MUST Sell”. If you want to make this more personal you can add something like “Lost my job, must sell!” You can get flooded with calls and leads with this “Kick me, I’m down” approach. For years we’ve tested putting keywords on signs like ‘Divorcing’, ‘Husband left me” or a student who was going through divorce after his wife cheated on him once started his headline/motivation with (this was one of the best pulling signs ever) “My wife is a whore”.
It is not necessary to go all out like that, but use at least ONE keyword like “relocating”, “retiring”, “empty nest”, etc. The second tip will help even more.
2. Make it Personal by Using the Words “I”, “Me” and “You”
In the video version of this post you’ll hear how adding just one sentence with the word “I” to an email was able to make an extra $2,400 a day. You should check it out because I think you’ll like it. For right now just know that the main point here is to make it seem like a human being actually wrote this, from one person to another.
So with the above words like “Retiring”, “MUST sell” or “Job Loss” – it has tested better to personalize it by adding “I lost my job”, “I’m retiring”, “I MUST SELL!”.
Do NOT just put your number…
When you put your number (or whatever CTA and response mechanism) including something like “That’s my cell/email” or “If I don’t answer please leave a message and I’ll call you back” can help with response rates. When I used to write direct mail phrases like “24 hour recorded message” could improve response – and profits – by large amounts. Most in the business mistakenly believed – and still believe – this was because people don’t want to talk to another person, but the truth is people don’t want to talk to another SALESMAN – always take steps to avoid getting put in that box.
Actually you never want to be “another… (fill in the blank)”, remember to Create the Standard and do the stuff we train people to do because you’ll be able to build a real business and not just another statistic waiting to happen.
3. Describe Something (Unique) You LOVE.
If you want to master the secret of gaining compliance – getting people to do what you want them to do, for their OWN reasons and benefit – then there is one skill above ALL others that is most important, and that is the skill of…
At the end of the day, all we are ever doing is controlling, creating and transferring emotion. The greatest leaders in the history of the planet all had many differences among them, but at the top of the list of things that they had in common was that they excelled in controlling emotion.
For the purpose of your ad writing this means do NOT talk about endless enveloping gardens, magnificent chandeliers imported from Ireland on unicorns (unless they really were) or vaulted ceilings that tower over your family as protectors as you feast as a family each night –
NO NO NO – none of that.
… Just check the average Zillow listing to see what I mean, expect to see the words “attention to detail throughout” at every click. After awhile it becomes meaningless.
One good test that often helps to see if you are really saying anything or just wasting time, is to ask yourself if the opposite is something to be mentioned. For example instead of talking about the “attention to detail” would you really say “a group of mindless undocumented workers were half drunk and rushed through building this shithole… let’s cross our fingers and hope it passes code…”? Probably not.
So here’s how to say something:
Talk about something you LOVE about the house, and lead with that, say it exactly as you would to a friend.
A few, real life examples below.
“I love coming waking up every morning and watching the sunrise from our set of five floor to ceiling windows in the master bedroom, they face just the right direction for a perfect view so I get a daily sunshine bath first thing when I wake up. It gets me going so well that I was able to quit coffee.”
“My favorite part of this house is the backyard, it’s the biggest in the neighborhood and we have nobody behind us so it’s just trees and we spent hours watching the dogs play back there.”
“The thing I’m going to miss most about this house is the big beautiful, double country kitchen, it was THE hang out for our family. It’s where I told my husband I was pregnant for each of our six kids, where we would watch movies too scary for the much darker family room and where I cried when I found out I was going to be a grandmother.”
Each of these is less about the house and more about the emotion of the house. Even if you just add PART of this to the beginning of the description area, it can make a big difference.
But Azam, I never lived in this house myself, should I just lie?
Naw dawg… instead…
A better idea though is to add quotes that you get from talking to the owner. This is where dialog is so important so start asking questions like this:
What will miss most about the house?
What is your favorite part about your home?
Where did you spend most of your time in the house?
What are some of the best memories you’ve had in the home?
What will your kids/spouse/pets/parents/friends miss most about the house?
Now if you hear something like:
“My favorite part of the house and my best memories come from the whipping room where Master would punish me for disobeying!”
Should you put that in your ad?
Come on guys, what kind of question is that…
OF COURSE YOU SHOULD.
The real power here is that you are not just crafting and harnessing emotion from buyers and people calling about the ads but I’m also making you better at talking to and WITH sellers – because again you are channeling emotion.
Try this experiment with the next stranger you talk to – as early in the conversation as possible, get them to talk about something that they love and then come back and tell me how much better your conversations go.
If they don’t go better then you did it wrong… or it doesn’t work and I lied… or maybe I need to take you to the whipping room…
Don’t make it just unique, make it BETTER
This gives you a chance not only to describe something unique about the house but also to explain that is so cool about it and why you or somebody else loved it so much.
“There have been four homes for sale in this neighborhood, and every one of those owners told me how much easier their house would be to sell if it had my backyard, I LOVE being able to mow the lawn shirtless with my man boobs out because there are no neighbors behind us!”
Even something as simple as that doesn’t just say “Hey I have no neighbors behind me” you are making it clear that everybody else DOES and you put in image in there to convey emotion.
My point is that when you use emotion it works like crack.
Your compliance will get better, and you’ll realize how important it is to frame the things that you say. If I show you a bowl of maggots and then a bowl of rice, most people will look at the rice (and me) differently, if I show you a picture of a birthday party and then a picture of a boy most people see a boy excited or smiling.
Show that same picture of the boy shown after a picture of a father taking his belt off, and most people see a boy scared. Many experiments have been done on this and I have a whole class where I talk about framing and it’s importance (let me know if you don’t have it) but for now just now that you want to tap into emotion and specifically GOOD and positive ones. You can start by just getting your targets to THINK of something that they love.
It will dramatically improve your dialog and conversations…
… or it won’t… but it will… so don’t fu** it up. : )
That’s what you’re doing with your ads, FRAMING them, even if you just used one sentence (even as a quote) that’s a good start. Or you can use their real name and it makes it clear that you are describing the owner or somebody they knew and cared about:
“Billy Ray loved the privacy and being able to live his dream of finally having a meth lab in our 2,400 sq ft basement…”
You get the idea.
4. Always Have a Deadline… With a CTA
Almost all ads that you see suck – they really suck – and one of the biggest reasons that they suck is that they have no Call to Action or CTA. They don’t actually ask, demand or let their target do something. You watch a commercial, listen to an ad or even talk to a salesperson and more often than not they don’t get – or even ASK – you to do something.
That is why they have no way of tracking what is working and what isn’t. Not an enviable position – you ALWAYS want to know the math of what is working. You do this by having a action that you tracking, something that you want people to do – EVERY ad will have a corresponding action (call, email, click, etc.) that will help you track what is working best in terms of volume and quality of replies.
The other part is the deadline.
“Do you know why the deadline is the greatest invention ever?” I once paid a small fortune to the greatest copywriter alive at the time to train me, and he asked me that question.
“Why?” I didn’t even try to give an answer, ambitious.
“Because without it there would be no other inventions.”
You really need to use the power of deadlines.
“House for sale, won’t last long… only five left!” Not exactly what I mean, there are other ways to do it.
Ultimately a good deadline answers this question in your readers’ mind:
You need to have a WAY for them to react and a REASON that they need to do it right now.
There are a few good ways to do this like using a third party (like a bank) as a bad guy, leveraging competition like other buyers, including a pivotal date like an auction, etc.
Here are a few real life examples:
“If I hear from you and we have an offer from you before Friday, I can include furniture.”
“I’ll be doing an auction this Sunday, the highest bidder wins Sunday night but you need to RSVP by Friday, so please make sure that you call me before Friday night.”
“My employer will help cover costs so I can help with the down payment and maybe make this a zero down purchase for you, but to qualify your offer must be made by Thursday night.”
“My husband says we have to list with a realtor if we haven’t sold by it by this Sunday, so this will be your last chance to get it at this price.”
“The lawn work here is outstanding so people gawk at our yard year round lol, our landscape guy is a national award winning “Grounds Keeping Artist” who hasn’t accepted new clients in four years. I can only afford him because I was grandfathered at special pricing from the previous seller. Our contract is almost up so if you want to keep the yard as perfect as it is you need to get with him by next weekend…”
“But Azam, I don’t have a looming deadline like that?”
Yes, you do.
You’re just too busy whining to think about it…
Look at that last one – the novel of text about the yard – that was all true BUT the owners never even thought of it until we asked them and got them thinking. Every home is in the similar situation. Think of it this way, NOTHING lasts forever so just add a date to it and include the reason.
The more you put it off onto a third party (“Hey it’s not ME…”) the better. Remember this rule:
If you haven’t introduced a bad guy, it’s you.
That’s one reason why we use Dialog Algorithms (formulas) so that anybody can get going and get massive compliance from the very start, just by following the right steps. So even if you’re brand new to real estate investing and have never bought or sold a home before it’s okay because you can follow a basic algo like this:
“In order to get (benefit) please call me by (date).”
The better you can fill in those two blanks, the better you will be at getting leads.
So as you talk to people, no matter what they do, always be thinking about that sentence.
If you don’t see an obvious deadline, you can create them at will very easily when you know how…
Three basic ways to create a special/deadline:
You pay for something
You split the cost of something
You get somebody else to pay/split the cost of something
Easy enough, right?
Here are a few examples:
A restaurant gives free date night dinners for six months
A realtor offers a discount on their commission.
A contractor will offers to fix an issue for free.
A mortgage broker has a special deal.
A painter will do one room for free.
I think you get the point…
In none of those quick examples do you have to pay anything and I am going a little outside the focus of this post because I’m touching on something else entirely that’s pretty cool and that is working with local businesses – FOCUS back to this…
Okay so at the end of that you MUST include a CTA – something specific you want them to do so that you can track how well the ad is doing and how much more money you make because you listened to me. The CTA is a whole other discussion and I will talk about this a lot more because it is not as simple as just call/email me later when you build your team and start buying companies because you want to to know EVERY little detail so that it can be reported to you about what is working best.
A single change in a headline or a SINGLE WORD in an ad can make a 100x difference in the amount of money you make, I’ve seen it make several times that too. For now you know enough to be dangerous, let’s move on…
5. My Favorite: Offer to TRADE
This is the one that blows everything else out of the water…
But Azam should I trade for?
Depends… what do they have?
I’ve had students and people on our team get trained on this and go out and get cars, planes, baby elephants, high end computers, firearms, armored vehicles, bodyguard protection, strip clubs, lifetime golf memberships, comedian gigs, trips to the White House, airPORTs (yes you read that right), 20-foot stuffed animals, limousines, dump trucks, $15,000+ super computers, Secret Service protection, apartment buildings, helicopters, talk show time, dental surgery, jewelry, massages… etc.
They were able to do all that simply by mentioning that they were open to trade. Actually it takes a bit more than that so…
Do NOT EVER make the mistake of saying this:
Or “Open to trade”…
“Will consider trade…”
(slow motion) NOOOOOOO…
Don’t EVER leave it open like that…
Because although SOME people will ask “What will you trade for?” the fact is that most people will assume they don’t have what you want and they won’t call. You want those calls.
Start saying these three things:
1.) “I will trade my house for your (BLANK).”
In the past I’ve had people say “I’ll trade my house for your Mercedes” for example, it could be a boat, plane, jet, jewelry, etc. You should do this when you want something specific like a type of car or something.
2.) “I love to trade, you can trade for this house, maybe a boat, a car, your business, who the heck knows so if you think you have ANYTHING of value give me a call and let’s talk, we can figure something or if nothing else you and I make a new friend – call me homey…”
So this is broader and it makes it clear that you want to trade, that you don’t bite and that if your target has pretty much ANY desire to trade then they should get with you. You should see a higher response from adding this and NOT leaving it as simply “will consider trade” – go a bit further. You’ll thank me.
3.) “I’ll trade my house for your (area/type) house!”
There are different versions of this, you can just keep it simple and not include the area/type or you can include the neighborhood, area, 3bd 2ba, etc. Or “Let’s trade houses!” has worked as well but is usually better to include some specifics with it.
You’ll get better with time.
Stay with it.
In Conclusion to Summarize:
As a real estate investor your income relies on your ability to generate leads and convert them into transactions. So running ads is important and just a single ad can change your life and build a company and income that pays you for the rest of your life. I’ve had many students who’ve done just that.
So when running ads remember these five tips:
1.) Use Motivations in Headline – Focus on the WHY
2.) Make it Personal – Use words like “I” and “me” and “you”
3.) Use Emotion – Talk about something unique you (or they) love
4.) Use Deadlines with a CTA – Make sure there is a reason to call you NOW.
5.) Make sure to TRADE – You are always open to trade, be a constant deal maker
There is a LOT more I could go over…
In fact, here’s another big juicy secret:
You can build a business just give stuff away.
Let’s say you work with a restaurant and they need to get more customers… who doesn’t right? You want to work with them to find out how much each new customer is worth, when somebody walks in the door for the first time how much has the restaurant spent getting them there and how much will they make from that immediately from that customer?
Now what about over the first 30 days? 90 days? Six months? One year? Almost nobody in business knows this vital information, but it is readily available in their credit card processor records. You want to get at least SOME idea of how much it is worth to them.
How much does it cost to get a new client?
The number ONE reason that a business fails is because they don’t know how much they should be paying for a new client.
Don’t get fooled into thinking it is some other reason, or the “economy” or some other nonsense – NO – it is just because they don’t have an answer to this one question. Which means that YOU should always have that answer with your businesses.
Start finding this out with every business that you ever work with, visit or come across. Even if you just guesstimate it that’s a good start. Once you have this number, once you know how much you could, should and will pay for a new client then your life will change.
You can use this to make money today…
Let’s say with this restaurant they spend $150 on their current marketing to get a new customer in the door and they will make on average $300 over the first 90 days with that customer. That means the customer revisits about once a month and spends about $100 in their first three months.
If you or the restaurant never improve that relationship then it still means that if the restaurant pays you $150 to give away free dinners they SHOULD double their money every 90 days.
Get your mind working and you’ll realize…
You can make over $10,000 give sh** away…
It isn’t just restaurants but you can start running ads for house or open houses and in the ad give away a free private test drive with a Tesla, free movie tickets, free romantic dinner, free trip to Vegas, a month of free lawn care, free math tutoring, free basketball lessons, free home delivered meals, etc.
The list goes on –
Every time somebody claims free stuff, you get paid.
We’ve been quietly doing this for years and we have students and people on our team that have been making piles of money with this simple idea. I can talk more about this and go over it in more detail later, for now just know that I love you so much that I included this gem as a little bonus.
I love this stuff.
Be Brilliant – make great things happen…
Thanks for everything – you are beautiful.
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