Agents run on deadlines, especially agents who still advertise in the newspaper. The pressure they’re under has led to a crop of ads that are dull, colourless and boring.
After a while property ads have become a collection of clichés and overused adjectives. Take a bunch of common real estate related nouns, add some adjectives – magnificent, spectacular, stunning to name a few – and you have most property ads. They’re formulaic. Like a football coach explaining another loss they come across with sameness and familiarity that turn their subject into bland and stilted.
So what’s an agent to do? What’s the answer to creating an ad that’s exciting and comes alive with vivid imagery and emotion?
I propose a two part solution. First, make more use of quality property photography. The web is an intensely visual media. Unlike newspaper ads there’s no extra cost for more photos. Take advantage of that.
Second, use the text of the ad to fill in the rest of the story, to tell the parts the photo can’t. Most agents fail at this. They describe features but they never tell the story the feature brings.
Here’s an example.
This 1920’s character home has wide, sweeping verandahs, high ceilings…Get the drift? All features, no story.
Here’s the same features described through story.
Every Sunday, in the mid-afternoon, when the sun was still high and the lunch time dishes were washed and put away, the family would gather on the big front verandah. It was still new and the blood-red jarrah floor boards, laid proudly by Dad and the two boys, served as a quiet reminder of how much they’d achieved. Mum served tea. Often the neighours called by and together they’d savour Mum’s date scones topped as they were with homemade jam and fresh cream. They chatted about the general store that had just opened at the end of the street and how the sweet corn down the back was growing so tall…
Does that paint a more vivid picture of the same home, one that’s loaded with taste and colour and life? I think so. Does it take a little extra work? Sure. But I believe the industry needs advertising like this, something that stands out, that makes an impression, not in some garish bunting-all-over-the-front-lawn kind of way, but in a way that sells with dignity and style.
What say you? Have I gone too far? Or is there a chance I’m onto something?