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Thought Leadership
June 20, 2024

Write your best real estate headlines

Real estate headlines have serious lifting to do.

They have to break through a lot of noise online and in print. But it’s not about using all caps or exclamation marks. Real estate headlines need to grab readers by “the feels,” as they say.

And this story attributed to French poet Jacques Prévert demonstrates the power a headline can have.

Prévert saw a beggar who had a sign that said “Blind Man Without a Pension.” Prévert asked him how it was going. The beggar replied, “Oh, very badly. People pass by and drop nothing in my hat, the swine.”

Prévert took the sign from him and altered it.

A few days later, he went up to the beggar and again asked him how things were going. The beggar said, “Fantastic! My hat fills up three times a day.”

Prévert had written the following on the beggar’s sign:

“Spring is coming, but I won’t see it.”

The lesson? What you say isn’t nearly as as important as how you say it. But at its heart, this story demonstrates the power of a headline. Let’s look at it as a headline test.

Headline A: Blind Man Without a Pension
B: Spring is coming, but I won’t see it

Headline A is the actual fact while Headline B is the story. In old-school marketing parlance, A is the steak and B is the sizzle.

So how can you apply this to real estate headlines? Here are some tips for adding some old-school sizzle to your headlines for homes and for yourself!

Try telling a short story with your headline

Headline A: Oceanfront home. 4 bedrooms. 3 baths.
Headline B: Soak in the sunset with this stunning family-sized get-away!

Headline A: Gourmet kitchen. Wood floors. Architect-designed.
Headline B: You’ll be excited by the exterior, but captivated by the kitchen!

Buying a home is a practical action, but it is fraught with emotion. So inject positive emotion into your language. Use active words, exciting adjectives and short phrases to capture attention.

It’s not all about you! (Or is it?)

There is a difference between a title and a headline. And when writing about yourself as a real estate agent, it’s easy to use one when you should be using the other.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb:

Title: What do you do
Headline: What is in it for your client?

Your headline isn’t a title. It’s a hook. It’s a tool meant to grab a visitor whose intention was something other than learning about you. The tagline is the punctuation.

Traditional agent headlines:

Full service agent for buyers and sellers
Experienced real estate services for the {city} area
Buying or selling a home? Call {Agent Name}

Now who are these headlines about? What do they tell you about the agent? If you write a headline about yourself but could easily make it about five other agents in your area, then it’s time to revise.

Intriguing agent headlines:

Building dreams in Chicago one home at a time
Put my 21 point plan to work to sell your house!
I love real estate more than I love dogs (almost!)

Storytelling is an ancient art form and one we  rediscover everyday. And the headline is a unique form of it. When writing your best headlines for real estate, you are putting a bit of yourself into the message, but talking directly to your client.

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