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How to Grab Attention of Generation Y

According to a recent report from Redfin, 92 percent of “Generation Y” (those born between 1981 and the early 2000s; also known as “Millennials”) say they’re eagerly awaiting the day they can buy a home of their own. So if you have an affordable city listing that might appeal to a first-time buyer, tap into this group’s desires with marketing they can’t resist.

To make your property listing as appealing as possible to this pool of 100 million young men and women, consider using statements like

“Affordable living in the heart of the city”

Generation Y enjoys renting in urban areas. And that’s where they want to own, as well. They’ll even settle for a home that doesn’t completely satisfy their basic needs if its location puts them where they really want to be – which is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and other support services.

“Located in a cell phone sweet spot”

Believe it or not, nearly a third of Millennials say that the quality of the cell phone coverage is a “deciding factor” in their home-purchase decision. If the home you’re listing is well served by cell phone towers, be sure to promote that fact.

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Your Teachers Were Wrong: Why It’s Okay to Use Incomplete Sentences and Sentence Fragments

Peppering your writing with incomplete sentences will keep readers of your marketing materials more engaged. In other words, they’ll pay more attention to what you have to say. Seriously. (That last statement was an incomplete sentence.)

Good writing needs drama

Too many marketing materials are downright boring, because the writer doesn’t want to embarrass himself by making any grammatical mistakes. If you want people to read what you have to say, you have to challenge the norms and keep your readers on their toes. And that calls for mixing long and short sentences together in the same paragraph. Even incomplete short sentences. (That was another one.)

Yes, your teachers always taught you that was a no-no – and you have the papers with red marks to prove it. But if you’d taken creative writing classes in college, your professor would have most likely encouraged the practice. If you worked in an advertising agency, they would demand it.

It’s like music or painting. First, you’re taught the rules. Then, you’re taught how to take things to the next level by breaking some of those rules.

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Five Reasons Why That Reporter Isn’t Calling You Back

You’ve sent press releases and made follow-up phone calls, but your ideas for featuring your company in news articles aren’t getting any attention. Sound familiar? Included below are the most likely reasons:

You’re targeting the wrong reporter

Reporters typically work “beats” – which means each of them covers a specific type of news issue. If you’re targeting the wrong reporter, chances are very slim that person will forward your idea to the right reporter. Sending your story idea to an editor or the general “news tips” email account means it will have to clear a number of gatekeepers before reaching the right reporter.

You could call the front office and ask which reporter covers your issue. Or, sometimes the information is listed on the news outlet’s website. But, even then, the details can be vague.

By far your best option is to monitor the publication/broadcast and see for yourself which reporter tends to cover issues/businesses like yours.

 

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How to Become a Faster, Better Writer

Even if you don’t think you have much writing talent, you can always become a better writer. And even the best writers can always learn to write faster. Included below is a process that will improve anyone’s writing skills.

Give the subject some thought

Many people think a good writer can simply sit down and start typing out scintillating sentences. Not true. And if you try to do the same, you’ll most likely end up with a nasty case of writer’s block (nothing to say).

Instead, let the subject matter knock around in your head a bit. A day or two is good. Consider different ways to present the content. Focus your thoughts. Think about real-life examples. Read what others have written about the same subject.

Consider your audience

Think carefully about who’s going to be reading what you write. How much do they already know about the subject? Do they have some preconceived notions that you need to address head-on? What’s the one learning you really want them to take away? Are they naturally interested in the subject, or will you have to draw the reader in with a hook in the first sentence? How much time will they be willing to spend reading what you write?

Try to picture someone you know who personifies the reader you really want to influence. Then write with that person in mind. It’s okay if some readers aren’t going to relate to what you write. If the writing is going to be good, you need to single out those you want to really engage.

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Use a Single Space between Sentences (and Other Grammar Tips)

There are plenty of high-achievers and successful professionals who have poor grammar. It’s not for a lack of smarts.

However, prospective clients often don’t see it that way. When they find a grammar goof in your marketing materials, sometimes that’s all the reason they need to go someplace else for their real estate services

When it comes to marketing materials, your first goal should always be to engage your target audience, put them at ease and write in a way that makes them want to keep reading. Marketing materials that are too formal and grammar-restrictive are just plain boring. But you don’t want to do anything that will embarrass you or your business.

The biggest stumbling block for non-professional writers (and even professionals) is that there are a number of different interpretations of the grammar rules. The so-called “laws of grammar” would never hold up in court. More conventions than rigid rules, they change with the times, are different in academic and professional environments, are always being updated, and are much debated among individual writers. The truth is, much of the English language is open to interpretation (“style” it’s called). Yet, every stylebook differs somewhat. Even more confounding: Most large companies have their own proprietary stylebooks.

The best strategy is to choose a style (based on a respected style guide) and use it uniformly and consistently. Consistency is the key. Most professional marketing writers use the same style guide that newspapers use (the Associated Press Stylebook), combined with a personal style guide they’ve compiled on their own.

Included below are suggestions you can use to resolve some of the more common grammar goofs.

Use single spaces between sentences

The practice of putting two spaces between sentences is a carryover from the days of typewriters and their monospaced typefaces. Including two spaces made it easier to see where one sentence ended and the next began. Computers – as well as modern-day typewriters – use proportionally spaced fonts, so only one space is required today.

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The One Question You Should Always Ask Yourself: ‘Who cares?”

Too often, real estate agents and other professional-services providers write things in their marketing materials that very few people beyond their office walls would honestly care about.

For example, it’s not uncommon to see marketing statements that read something like, “Over the last three years, business at our brokerage has been growing by leaps and bounds. In 2013 alone, we managed more than 1,100 real estate transactions for our clients.”

The One Question You Should Always Ask Yourself: "Who Cares?"

If that sounds like a statement you might like to include in your next marketing brochure, keep reading (because it’s a bad idea).

You could argue that boasting about the number of sales completed shows you’re running a successful brokerage. But to many potential clients, a statement like the one above will come across as unimportant. It doesn’t resonate for the reader. They won’t care enough to keep reading.

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Revealed: The Secrets to Picking the Most Successful Keywords

In our previous blog post, “Keyword Stuffing: Learn What It Is, and How It Can Make Your Website a Winner” we taught you the basics about “keyword stuffing.” Now, let’s talk about the keywords themselves.

Obviously, the key to keyword-stuffing success is choosing the words prospective customers are most likely to type into a search engine (like Google). Stuff your website with the wrong terms, and it will never be found by all those people who want to do business with a business like yours.

Open the phone book

Remember the phone book (that fat yellow book we used to all use before the Internet)? Well, get it out, blow off the dust, and note the terms used to describe businesses like yours. What category title is your business listed under? What are the terms advertisers use in the display ads?

While the phone book may be outdated, the terminology is still in vogue – which makes it a great place to start your keyword research.
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Keyword Stuffing: Learn What It Is, and How It Can Make Your Website a Winner

Google your business by name, and a link to your website will probably appear on the first page of the “search results.” No surprise there.

But now for the real test: What happens when you pretend you’re a prospective customer with no previous knowledge of your business, and you search for it using some common industry terms (e.g. “San Francisco real estate agent” or “best Seattle moving service.”)

Go ahead, give it a try.

Research continues to show that more than 75 percent of people searching the Internet for a business only look at the first two pages of Google results. If your website isn’t listed within the first three pages, you may as well be using invisible ink.

To make your website appear in prime territory, you need to start stuffing it with keywords.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words people are most likely to type into a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) to find a particular type of website/business.

Most keywords are nouns: industry names (“real estate”), types of service providers (“agent”), types of products (“home for sale”), etc.

What are long-tail keywords?
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Keep Your Real Estate Blog from Getting Boring: 20 Ideas for New Posts

Having a professional blog is a great way to make a name for your business and demonstrate your industry knowledge. But once you surpass your 30th post, you can almost feel the writer’s block set in each time you sit down at your keyboard to try and share another learning or observation with your loyal readers.

But we don’t need to tell you; if you’re a blogger, you know. You don’t want empathy; you’re desperate for new ideas. So without further delay, here are 20 creative ideas you can use for future blog posts (if you’re in the business of blogging about real estate):
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‘Free’ Isn’t the Only Word That Gets Results: Learn 6 Others

As tacky as it sounds to use the word “free” in your marketing materials, research continues to show it’s one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of prospective customers, reel them in and pump up sales.

But “free” isn’t the only word capable of creating that kind of marketing magic. Six other top performers are included below:

Easy
It would be rude to say most people are lazy, but, well, when it comes to responding to marketing offers, most people are pretty lazy. So describing your product, service or process as “easy” is an easy way to quickly win converts and new customers.
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