As an estate agent or property developer, your time costs a lot more than mine. The chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re not much of a writer. You’ve sat down with a sheet of paper in front of you and some text to knock out, and you’ve struggled and stared and cursed and sighed. Eventually, after a few hours, you’ll settle on something that, being nice, will do. A mild sense of dissatisfaction hangs over your work and you’re glad to get back to what you do best. Perhaps – if you remember – you might have a go at writing something else in a few weeks time. Maybe.
In those two or three hours, how many people could you have spoken to? How many viewings arranged? How many new listings won? How much income could you have generated?
You know that argument about cutting out estate agents and selling/letting privately? The internet has made them defunct and all anyone needs to do is stick a photo and some text on the web and wait for the response. Because that’s all estate agents do, right? And then you go into stasis while waiting for a phone call or email. There’s simply nothing else that goes into it and the fees you charge pay for nothing more than glitzy offices and a few branded cars. So really, why does anyone need you? It’s not rocket science, it’s not regulated and it’s not a real profession, so it must be populated by chancers, with the occasional accidental pro.
We all know that’s not true. There’s a shedload of work that goes into getting property shifted. Sometimes you get lucky and it’s an overnight success, but in the main there’s weeks or months of work in negotiating, nudging, cajoling and whatever to get deals through. Yes, anyone could do it, but the reality is that most people don’t know the half of it, and when they see for themselves just what the work involves, they shut up pretty soon. And the cash they might have saved by doing everything for themselves, is far outweighed by the time and effort and support they receive from someone who’s looking out for them and knows what they’re doing.
How neatly that brings me back to whether you can afford a copywriter!
It has been said that the only thing more expensive than hiring a professional, is hiring an amateur. If your business is something you’re proud of and want to be seen as something special amongst the competition, if you want people to read your website or company brochure or flyers and think: “Wow, that’s really well written and they sound really great”, get a professional.
If you don’t really give a toss and are quite happy to sound like everybody else, then I say do it yourself. Save a couple of hundred quid, have a nice dinner and carry on as normal.