Use people’s names in your ads

Another powerful element you can use in your ads to “humanise” and personalise the ads and the properties for sale, says Ian Grace, is people’s names.

When you use the sellers’ first or last names (with their permission, of course), it immediately creates a picture, that real people actually live in and love in the property – and isn’t that what buying a home, then living in it, is all about?

“The O’Neales are moving” – was the headline from another successful ad campaign, with the main photo showing the O’Neales with their suitcases packed, then leading into the story about how much they have enjoyed living in the home, the neighbourhood and the surrounding area and everything it had to offer. The inference being of course that the buyer of the home can look forward to the same enjoyment.

Another property that had been on the market for five months, was sold in two weeks with a new advertising campaign – the headline: “Tony and Gai will miss the garden” – with the photo (yes, you guessed it) showing them sitting relaxed in their garden, with the wording talking about how much they have enjoyed it. The potential buyer can visualise themselves relaxing there in exactly the same way, once they have purchased the property and are living there.

And you remember “Ron and Janet’s” home that was sold for $30,000 more than the previous Realtor’s asking price, from my previous article  well, here’s the photo and headline combining what we’ve been discussing so far (faces obscured for privacy):


 Ron and Janet recall the many family barbecues and get-togethers enjoyed on this patio

Your name – when you use your name in the ad, make sure it is in full and put one powerful little word ahead of it – that word is “me” e.g. Phone me, John Smith, at……..

The minute you do that 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 realise by now that powerful advertising is a direct personal communication and the readers feel as if you’re talking directly to them, when they read the ad.

Most real estate advertising is impersonal, merely talking about the thing for sale — in this case, the property. Powerful advertising first establishes WHO is the best possible prospect, who will see the most value in the property for them and therefore pay the highest price. Powerful advertising then talks directly to that audience, showing them and telling them what they will be able to DO as a direct result of their purchase — living there!

I don’t wish to make this post too long, so don’t miss my next post, where we will talk about something that is vitally important — putting a media mix advertising CAMPAIGN together and understanding the synergistic effect of getting all your media to work with and complement each other, rather than viewing them in isolation – powerful stuff!

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Ian Grace

Known internationally as “Mr Real Estate Advertising”, Australian born Ian Grace is acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on real estate advertising and customer service. For more information visit iangrace.com