When it comes to real estate ads, one size does not always fit all.
A property ad written by a professional writer, or even better, made with Blerb, could be anywhere between 130-200 words. That's perfect for TradeMe and your own website, but for print media, online ads, or social media posts, you may be limited to a specific word count or caption size.
With the right approach, condensing an ad can be done in 10-15 minutes, even if you’re not a professional writer. It's just a case of being smart enough to know which points are essential, which ones aren’t, and how to fit all of those into a specific word count.
Rather than rewriting the ad from scratch, here are a few quick tips for condensing your ad without getting bogged down by the detail.
1) Embrace the constraint
Writing to a constraint is not always a bad thing, it can help you write with more clarity, capture more attention, and create something that is more shareable for your audience. Twitter was basically built on this premise alone!
Ask yourself this question: What is the essential information?
Make sure you include:
A nod to the target audience. Are they first home buyers, retirees, or investors?
A market-appropriate tone of voice. Whether it’s entry level or luxury, make sure the language still reflects the offering.
Benefits of the location, include things like school zones, local parks, or nearby shopping precincts.
2) Axe the adjectives
While some descriptors are necessary, you can always trim a few here and there without losing the point altogether.
Fully-fenced, the section is a safe haven for kids and pets alike. Decks at both the front and the rear of the home mean you’ll always be able to bask in the sun, while manicured lawns and established gardens create an undeniable sense of tranquility. There’s also a single lock-up garage (with workbench) and off-street parking for two more vehicles.
Of course, the location is every bit as attractive as the property itself. The Half Moon Bay Marina is just a short stroll away, providing easy access to ferry services and a host of handy amenities. Zoning for the highly-regarded Pakuranga College is an added bonus, while the proximity to key public transport routes means anything else you could ever need is within easy reach.
Dual decks enhance your outdoor living opportunities, while the proximity to the Half Moon Bay Marina and zoning for sought-after Pakuranga College adds strength to any investment.
3) Reduce your detail and focus on the heavy hitters
Show, don't tell. Leave a little to the imagination! A shortened ad should pique buyer’s interest and encourage them to get in touch or seek out more information. You can spare details like appliances and kitchen configuration and, instead, focus on the overall result.
A paragraph like this:
No corners were cut and no details overlooked in the recent renovation of this 120m2 home, which features three good-sized bedrooms and two superbly-appointed bathrooms. The designer kitchen – complete with quality appliances and premium fixtures and fittings – is a real highlight, as are the fabulous ocean views which can be enjoyed from the master bedroom, situated on the second floor.
Inside, three good-sized bedrooms and two superbly-appointed bathrooms are complemented by a fabulous designer kitchen.
4) Never cut the call to action
Now that I’ve read your ad, what should I do next? When trying to shorten an ad, make sure you don’t leave your contact details on the cutting room floor.
Put it all together and you’ll get something like the following; a condensed ad for a print publication to fit within a mere 85 words.
Not too big. Not too small. Just right!
First home buyers, young families, professional couples and down-sizers will all be drawn to this lovely, low-maintenance home, renovated throughout to a high standard. Inside, three good-sized bedrooms and two superbly-appointed bathrooms are complemented by a fabulous designer kitchen. Dual decks enhance your outdoor living opportunities, while the proximity to the Half Moon Bay Marina and zoning for sought-after Pakuranga College adds strength to any investment. Interest will be high - contact Tim today on 0800 WINNER for more information.
In the examples above, I retained essentially the same tone as the original ad, but I did have to do a little bit more than just deleting a few lines lines.
I reduced my introduction, and blended the interior and exterior sections together, while keeping the tone and target market in mind.
Until next time,