The body of the ad, called ad copy, is the descriptive part of the ad. When preparing copy remember these essential points:
Obviously in newspaper ads, where you’re paying by the word or inch, you need to limit your words. Still you can pick one powerful feature to describe in terms that evoke a compelling owner experience.
You can describe the exclusive nature of a property and convey that this type of one-of-kind home comes onto the market rarely and moves quickly, so call today for an appointment.
You can use low inventory levels, or rising interest rates, to urge quick action and phone calls.
Even a simple closing line that reads, “Don’t delay, call right away” will spur more action than an ad that ends without a similar instruction.
When marketing properties, agents can run aground by using terms or descriptive language that runs counter to Federal Fair Housing Laws that govern the sale or rental of properties to individuals. These laws fall under the jurisdiction of HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is very serious about the ethical and honest treatment of all people.
Federal Fair Housing Law basics
It’s illegal to discriminate in housing because of race or color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or handicap. It’s illegal for real estate agents, as service providers, to discriminate just as it’s illegal for real estate clients, as sellers, to discriminate. If you think that a seller is discriminating, run, don’t walk, away. There are penalties and fines for discrimination.
Advice to follow
The fair housing anti-discrimination stance applies to all public communications, especially advertising. All text on your Web site, in newspaper and magazine ads, on flyers, or in other printed materials must adhere to HUD guidelines.
Here are a few words used in every-day conversations and normal real estate jargon that can’t be used in print advertising: Able-bodied, adult community, adult living, bachelor pad, churches nearby, couple, couples only, empty nesters, any ethnic references, families no, newlyweds, traditional neighborhood. The moment these terms appear in printed marketing materials the ad is in violation of federal law.
Real Estate Marketing Tip:
Ask your broker or your newspaper-advertising representative for a list of the prohibited words. When in doubt, the safest advice is to restrict ad copy to a description of the property for sale while steering far clear of any descriptions of the type of person or people that you or the sellers think would be good buyers or occupants.