In short, property copywriting and estate agent marketing . I don’t just write descriptions, but I spend all my time coming up with property marketing ideas for estate agents and developers.
Imaginative postcards; estate agent flyers; property press releases; engaging text for your website or app – anything related to estate agent marketing. Regular email newsletters can offer a fresh angle on your available property, while your own online or printed magazine could stand you head and shoulders above the competition.
None of it needs to cost the earth, but any of it can make a world of difference.
With the greatest admiration for their ability as sales people, I think we’d all agree that estate agents and property developers simply aren’t great writers. Well, guess what? You don’t have to be.
During 25 years as an estate agent I saw countless tortured colleagues staring for hours at a blank page, the poor souls. What a waste of their time and talents. If that’s you, give up the lonely struggle: let ME write what YOU want to say.
When writing a property brochure for developers, the challenge is always the same: how to make a long-established and basically identical format fresh, engaging and exciting.
You know what you’re going to cover: the development, the design, the interiors, the neighbourhood, the transport, the shops. It’s been done 1000s of times, everyone’s heard all the sales spiel before, the superlatives are wearing thin and you’ve got £millions of property to sell.
So what is there to do?
Facts are usually more engaging than fiction, and nouns are way more interesting than adjectives. The constant assumption that buyers desperately need a change of lifestyle and will only achieve it through buying an apartment from a brochure featuring huge vases of citrus fruit is, frankly, unimaginative, untrue and a bit insulting. If the best bit about a new development really is a jar of limes, I’d get a new interior designer!
I prefer to get deep down and gritty with the details. I love talking to architects about their vision and concept of the building, before writing property development brochures, because what they have to say is generally very different from the developer. So as well as the creative speak, which is obviously very useful, you get the technical stuff too, which is often just as sexy.
Familiarity with the neighbourhood is also essential. If I don’t already know it, I’ll go and spend some time there to pinpoint the places your target audience will identify with: from practical stuff like grocery shopping, through hanging out with friends, staying healthy, enjoying nature and grabbing some culture. This can, at times, be challenging for newly developing inner city areas, but there are always, always hidden gems. And tying a series of neighbourhoods together can often deliver a fairly packed scene. If it’s there, I’ll find it.
A property brochure of one-size-fits-all generalisations cheapens everything you do. Let’s be bigger than that.