Saturday
December 20, 2014

Humanizing Your Ads

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Humanizing Your Ads

Adding names to advertising copy can bring a human element to marketing a home for sale, inviting potential buyers to imagine themselves living in that space.

We’ve talked about matching powerful advertising photos to headlines and including current home owners in photos to show what it’s really like to live in a home. Now it’s time to bring up another powerful element you can use in your marketing to humanize and personalize properties for sale: people’s names.

When you use the sellers’ names—with their permission, of course—it immediately implants the idea that real people actually live in and love the home. Isn’t that what buying a home, then living in the home, is all about?

“The O’Neales are Moving!”

This headline is from a successful ad campaign by a real estate practitioner I coached from New Zealand where the main photo showed the sellers—the O’Neales—in front of the home with their suitcases packed. The ad copy then told the story of how much they enjoyed living in the home and everything the surrounding area had to offer. The inference being, of course, that the buyer of the home can look forward to the same enjoyment.

“Tony and Gai Will Miss the Garden.”

This New Zealand property had been on the market for five months, but was sold in two weeks with a new advertising campaign, which included the headline above and a photo (yes, you guessed it) showing the owners sitting in their garden. Accompanying copy described about how much they enjoyed the garden and the home. This allowed the potential buyer to visualize themselves relaxing in exactly the same way, once they purchased the property and began living there.

“Ron and Janet Recall the Many Family Barbecues and Get-Togethers Enjoyed on This Patio.”

Do you remember Ron and Janet’s home that I mentioned in my previous article? It was sold by John McKenna, a REALTOR® from Pennsylvania, for $30,000 more than the previous asking price. Well, here’s the photo (with faces obscured for privacy) and headline, which is another perfect illustration of the humanizing concept we’ve been discussing.

Using Your Own Name

When you use your name in an ad, make sure it is in full and is preceded with a personal pronoun (e.g. “Phone me, John Smith, at...”). The minute you add a personal pronoun, it changes the communication. “Phone John Smith at...” is a direction, not an invitation. “Phone me, John Smith, at...” is an invitation that says, “I have viewed the property, I have written the ad, I am talking directly to you, and I am inviting you to phone me.”

Following the HOODOO concept, you probably realize by now that powerful advertising is a direct personal communication with readers. Potential buyers should feel as if though you’re speaking directly to them when they read your ad. Most real estate advertising is impersonal, merely talking about the property for sale. Powerful advertising first establishes who the best possible prospect is and who will see the most value in the property for them, and, therefore, pay the highest price. Thus, powerful advertising talks directly to that audience, showing them and telling them what they will be able to do as a direct result of their purchase—live there!

This article is part 5 in a 10-part series on writing great real estate ads. Read more here: 

Part 1: Effective Advertising: It’s All About ‘HOODOO’
Part 2: Write Ads That Sell
Part 3: Match Powerful Photos With Powerful Headlines to Get Ads Noticed
Part 4: Show What It's Like to Live in a Home
Part 5: Humanizing Your Ads
Part 6: Different Ads for Different Markets
Part 7: Media Match: Make all Your Ad Media Work Together
Part 8: Keep the Same (Good) Ad Running
Part 9: Pricing: Take Your Sellers for a Ride

Part 10: Getting Your Sellers to Pay for Advertising
Bonus Tip 11: Research Your Advertising to Guarantee its Effectiveness

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