Tips for writing a KILLER Rental Advert

Posted on 22. Sep, 2011 by in General

Rental adverts : we all write them, but do we write them well?  Most of the time, the answer is no. How many adverts do you skim past that all read the same. It can be hard to stand out from the crowd but you need to differentiate from the competion to make yours a success.

Before writing the copy, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the advert aimed at?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is the goal of the advert?
  • Has your advert managed to create desire by providing enough motivation

Your ad needs to get you noticed immediately – and more importantly bring (filtered) prospects to your door – here are some tips for writing a killer one.

1.   Make it a compelling, attention grabbing headline

The headline is the first thing a prospective customer will see, so it’s vital that your ad stands out from the crowd. You can do this by creating a detailed headline that sparks interest and catches the imagination of your target customers.  Once you’ve got their attention, you need to hold their attention. This can be achieved by creating an image for the reader, a first impression that shows why your property is different from the others. Don’t state the obvious “Nice 2 bed … ” or “Apartment for Rent”. Millions of ads start with these headlines – don’t use them! (Also avoid Available Now/Clean/Great Location!!)

“On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that, unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” – David Oglivy

2.   Features or Benefits?

Focus more on the benefits of your property and answer the question “What’s In It For Me?” Find out what matters most to your customers and make a list of the features of the property and another list of benefits.  Write the body of the advert using benefits.  For example, a dishwasher is a feature. Never having to handwash the dishes is a benefit. 

Trigger an emotional appeal – people love stories. Paint a picture of what the experience of living in your property will be like. Desire is a great emotional response. Instead of “great location” use “one block from lively nightlife/great restaurants” or “10 steps to public transport” . You get the idea.

3.   Keep ads simple.

Keeping your focus on your prospective customer, use short words, short, punchy sentences and short paragraphs,  Keep it simple and easy to understand. A good tip is to write as if you are talking to a co-worker – social, conversational yet professional.  Use bold to emphasise words you want to stand out. Use large, easy to read print and avoid all CAPS.   Avoid abbreviations and jargon. You want your prospect to get it right away .

4.   Include Pictures.

Humans are highly visual and a picture conveys a thousand words. Use high quality internal and external photographs and clear all clutter before taking them. You might want to check out Magnetic Real Estate Photography by Carla Johnson. Her awesome book is full of incredible tips to show you how to take better real estate shots.  Highly recommended if your photo-taking skills need improving.

5.  Action

Close your rental advert with a strong call to action.  Make it very clear to the reader what action they need to take and give a reason why. If you have an incentive, use it. If your rental is vacant, why not offer “first two weeks on us”. Again, it’s something a bit different – helping your advert stand out from your competition.

6. Create Your Advert

Create your advert and go over it time and again to refine it. The advert is never finished.  The body of the advert is very important but a great headline is crucial to get noticed.  Test the advert and adjust it accordingly.

Hope this helps. I would love to hear how you write your rental adverts – and if there are any other tips you can pass on.

To Your Investing (and ad-writing) Success!




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