Writing Your Ads
There's no magic formula for writing ads about your properties. Successful advertising is sometimes a matter of trial and error as you determine what works best in your market. There are many tips that will help you get started, but tweak the techniques as needed to get the best results with your target audience.
Classified ads usually produce excellent results for home-sellers. Read as many ads as possible to see which ones stand out the most. Are certain features mentioned repeatedly, such as views, quiet street, a specific school district, or one-level living? If agents repeatedly talk up a feature, you know it's something buyers are looking for. If your property falls into a popular category, make use of it.
Don't give away too much information. Tease buyers a little, giving them enough details to ask for a showing, but not so many that they feel they already know everything about the property. Short, targeted statements are more likely to be read than a long description, and short and sweet is especially true with Internet advertising, where readers always seem to be in a hurry.
Use bold text at the beginning of your ad or buy a classified display ad and start it with a white text header on a black background. Don't forget to include your contact information.
When you get ready to write your ads, remember the fair housing laws discussed in Chapter 16. The golden rule is to talk about the property, not about the people you envision living there.
Include Interior and Exterior Photos
Photograph the property inside and out. Photos used in flyers or online must capture a buyer's attention from the first glance, so choose the best time of day to record the property from different angles. For example, don't photograph the front of the house if the sun is behind it and glaring into your lens unless you can manipulate the settings to compensate for backlighting. A digital camera with both a wide-angle lens and zoom lens is a good choice for many photographic tasks. A wide angle helps you include the entire structure, and a zoom lets you move in for close-ups.
Interior shots can be difficult. They must be well lit but with a minimum of the glare that can be caused by incandescent bulbs and light streaming through windows. Use a powerful flash unit if possible, and experiment to find the best lighting combinations.