Professional Property Copy

Natalie Atkinson

ChatGPT and Copywriting – Why Human Copywriters are Still Better Than AI

We’re copywriters.

So, we’re a little bit biased when it comes to ChatGPT. Yes, we strongly believe we can provide more value than AI. 

This belief doesn’t come from sticking our heads in the sand. We strive to stay at the forefront of our industry, testing ChatGPT as well as a range of other AI writing tools, assessing for ourselves how they work and the quality of copy they output.

As a result, we’ve experienced first-hand the benefits and the downsides of copywriting with ChatGPT.

Our position? ChatGPT and other AI copywriting tools can be good writing assistants. But AI isn’t ready to replace copywriters just yet. 

Who knows what the future will bring? 

Below we share our top five reasons why you shouldn’t just rely on ChatGPT to write your copy, some of the ways AI can help you write, and the skills you need to learn to get the most out of the AI writing tools.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Cautious About ChatGPT Writing Your Copy

1, Factual Errors

If you’ve been keeping up with the news on ChatGPT, then you’ll know it tends to state totally incorrect facts confidently.

Famously, a lawyer found himself in hot water after relying on fake cases in legal proceedings. Then there’s the scary example where ChatGPT made up false harassment claims against a person, citing completely fake news stories as evidence. And an Australian Mayor might file the first defamation case against ChatGPT because of misinformation it has claimed about him.

The other point is that the data that the free version of ChatGPT was trained on only goes up to September 2021, so depending on what you’re writing about, the information it provides can be outdated.

The takeaway: your reputation could be on the line if you rely on AI to do your copywriting without fact-checking and doing your due diligence. At worst, you could find yourself in hot water for giving people false information.

2, Passable, But Not Great Writing

ChatGPT and other AI tools can write passable, grammatically correct writing. Out of the box, it sounds ok but pretty robotic.

AI writing tends to be:

  • Verbose
  • Repetitive
  • Reliant on cliches
  • Lacking in specificity

To get the best out of ChatGPT, you must heavily edit and fact-check the output. Copy editing takes time, but it’s worth it. 

Your copy is one way people judge your reputation, so you want it to stand out for all the right reasons.

3, Lack of Empathy

At the very heart of copywriting is empathy.

One person understanding the passions and pain points of another person to relate to them on an intimate level. 

Humans can incorporate personal anecdotes, genuine feelings, and real-world experiences into their writing. AI can’t answer the question, ‘How do I want my reader to feel?’ It can’t write from the heart. 

4. Privacy Concerns

One way to improve ChatGPT’s responses is to feed it specific data to work with. 

But in a world of increasing privacy concerns and data leaks, we have to be very careful about what data we’re giving ChatGPT (and, therefore, everyone else who is using ChatGPT).

Italy has gone so far as to ban ChatGPT because of privacy concerns. 

We all need to be cautious about handling sensitive data in our prompts and putting it into the public domain. Here’s just one example from an excellent article by The University of Sydney:

“For instance, an attorney may prompt the tool to review a draft divorce agreement, or a programmer may ask it to check a piece of code. The agreement and code, in addition to the outputted essays, are now part of ChatGPT’s database. This means they can be used to further train the tool, and be included in responses to other people’s prompts.”

When writing ChatGPT prompts, it’s important to think very carefully (or get qualified advice) about the information you provide in your prompts. 

You don’t want to compromise your company’s private information (and undermine its competitive advantage) or give away a client’s confidential information, potentially resulting in legal action.

5. Learning Curve

It’s not all doom and gloom – there are benefits to using AI as a writing assistant. 

To get the most out of the tools, you need to know and use good ChatGPT copywriting prompts. And that’s a new skill to learn.

If you like learning new skills and have the time, that’s great. But as a busy real estate agent, learning prompt engineering is just another thing on top of a long list of tasks already keeping you busy.

As copywriters, it’s our job to learn prompt engineering, on top of being experts in copywriting, fact-checking, and copy editing (skills that predate AI).

How AI Copywriting Tools Can Help Write Copy

So, after all those warnings, how can AI be used to help with copywriting?

AI is helpful for generating headings. They will need to be edited and tweaked, but if you’re stuck for catchy heading ideas, ChatGPT can help.

AI can help you with alternate ways to say something. Do you have a clunky sentence that doesn’t sound right? Have you written a paragraph that sounds boring, but you’re unsure how to fix it? ChatGPT is like a swipe file on steroids – it’s good at helping you generate ideas, rewriting paragraphs, finding synonyms, and finding different ways to say what’s on your mind.

Again, those paragraphs will need editing, but it’s more efficient than staring at a blank screen or scrolling through your swipe file.

4 Vital Things You Need to Do When Using AI Writing Tools

1. Fact Check

This can’t be over-emphasised: you need to fact-check everything that ChatGPT or other AI writing tools write. 

As noted above, ChatGPT is notorious for making up facts. If you ask it to provide sources, it has been known to make up fake sources. Therefore, it’s vital to fact-check all writing independently of AI tools.

2. Always Consider Your Target Audience

AI can provide generalised copy based on averages. But it can’t consider your unique target audience and write directly for them. 

When copywriting, you want to write for your audience and consider your unique voice and tone, as well as the unique features of your property. In a world where writing will be increasingly robot-written, stand out by letting your humanity shine through. 

3. Edit Your Copy

This brings us to the next point. If you use AI to help you write, it’s important to edit it well.

When editing your copy, you want to edit for the following:

  • Clarity
  • Conciseness 
  • Tone and Voice
  • Rhythm
  • Spelling and grammar

AI is pretty good at spelling and grammar but not so good at understanding the rhetorical devices used in good copywriting. 

Again, those paragraphs will need editing, but it’s more efficient than staring at a blank screen or scrolling through your swipe file.

4. Learn Prompt Engineering

To get the best results from ChatGPT, you need the right prompts.

Prompt engineering has quickly gone from being ‘not a thing’ to an in-demand career. There’s an art and a science to writing prompts to get the best results out of AI. Popular YouTubers may claim that you just need to ask ChatGPT to write your copy for you, and BOOM, you have a perfectly polished piece of prose in under 30 seconds, but it doesn’t work like that.

Decent AI copy requires multiple targeted prompts. You’ll need to learn what prompts work, what data to feed ChatGPT, and the order of prompts to get usable copy. All of which takes time to learn.

Time is money when you’re a real estate agent. 

Even if you use AI to help you write copy, you will still need to do extensive prompting, copy editing, and fact-checking. Time spent copywriting, with AI or not, could be time spent prospecting and generating a much larger income than the cost of outsourcing your copywriting. 

We’re here to help you maintain your professional reputation by producing professional copy that generates interest in your properties and impresses your clients. With over a decade in the business, we can help you get your listings up efficiently by writing polished copy that stands out from the crowd. 

Interested? Call or email for more information.

Why outsource real estate copy

5 Reasons Why the Most Successful Agents Outsource Real Estate Copy

Every one of your real estate listings builds your reputation as an agent.

The question is, are you building a good reputation or a bad one?

When it comes to marketing a property, you know great photos are vital these days. You know home staging can work wonders.

But did you know that nearly 63% of online viewers are frustrated by the lack of detail in real estate listings, and 59% of people don’t trust that companies who make spelling and grammar mistakes can provide a quality service?

People judge what you write in your listings, so professional real estate writing is more important than ever in the online market.

Crafting compelling copy takes time. You outsource your photography and staging to professionals, here are five good reasons why it pays to outsource real estate copy as well.

1. Outsourcing Saves You Time and The Headache of Writing

So much of your time is invested in prospecting, winning appraisals, organising marketing, photography, video, and conducting open homes.

And then you need to write the property description. Often at home, at night, after a long day at work.

Maybe you’re an agent who enjoys the creative process of crafting compelling copy that sells the benefits of the property. If that’s you, great. Many agents also have finely tuned copywriting skills!

But copywriting is usually the least popular job for agents. If you find yourself staring at the blank screen or hitting the backspace key more than writing, that’s when outsourcing can save you the headache.

By outsourcing, you get your property to market faster, while freeing up your time to do what you do best – sell properties!

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what one of our clients said about outsourcing:

“I have often thought about outsourcing the marketing copy, as I find it frustrating and time-consuming, and I don’t always get the best feedback from my vendors.  I just didn’t know where to start or who to entrust with it, as it is quite a specialised task, and time is always of the essence. I gave PPC a go after receiving some correspondence with them, and the quality was first-class. I cannot believe the writer caught the essence of the property so effectively without an onsite visit. Very impressive”.

Ray White Agent, Canberra.

2. Good copy makes you stand out from the crowd and capture buyer’s attention

When people are deciding whether to come to an inspection, professional photos catch the ‘eye’ of the buyers, and the description then fills in the gaps and appeals at an emotional level, creating a ‘sense’ of the property.

So to stop prospective buyers from scrolling and get them out the door to an inspection, enticing copy is vital to keep them interested.

Buyers want plenty of relevant details in the listing so they can make informed decisions about whether a home is right for them. Good copy also describes the lifestyle benefits of a property that creates a connection with the buyer.

By providing detailed and emotionally compelling copy, you’re making vendors and potential buyers happy, which will help sell your property.

3. Professional copy creates extra value for vendors

Word-of-mouth or referral business is still one of the best ways to get clients. HAPPY clients beget more clients!

Vendors want their homes sold as fast as possible, for the best possible price. That means going above and beyond with a great marketing campaign that includes professional copy.

It only takes 26 seconds for someone to make up their mind about a property. If you’ve gone to the trouble of getting professional home styling and photography, ensure you don’t blow that first impression with a poorly written real estate description.

4. Professional Copy Builds Your Brand Reputation

While your primary focus should be on selling the property, it’s important to know it’s not just buyers who read your listings.

Future vendors are also reading your listings and deciding whether you’re the right real estate agent to sell their homes. If you want to make a good impression, your current listings need to shine.

Here’s a sobering fact: 74% of online users say they tend to notice spelling and grammar mistakes and it puts them off buying from that company. So getting your copy correct is essential, not just for selling properties but for your reputation as an agent.

When you outsource real estate copywriting to a professional copywriter, we provide you with a polished description. What’s more, we can ghost-write it remotely so you can claim all the credit.

“I’ve been using PPC since mid-2013, and my sellers have always been delighted with the copy. Whilst other agents generally include it in their marketing budget, I actually pay for this myself and don’t disclose it has been done by a third party. I enjoy the accolades. Not even my colleagues know, and PPC are very discreet.”

Agent/Principal, Western Sydney region

5. Great Copy Improves Opportunities for Free Editorial Promotion

When you outsource your property copywriting to a professional, you don’t just save precious time; you also increase your chances of receiving additional free marketing.

Most local newspapers have a weekly or bi-weekly property supplement; the editors are always seeking slickly written copy to publish. All you need to do is submit your property editorial with a high-resolution image for their consideration.

If published, you will not only increase that particular property’s exposure and delight your seller; you will also increase the exposure of your profile/brand.  Even better, there is no charge from the newspaper!

Whilst there is no guarantee that any submission will be published, it doesn’t cost you to submit, and it only takes a few seconds to send an email. Don’t give up or be despondent if your first few submissions don’t get published; be persistent (but not annoying)!  If you DO invest in professional copy, you WILL increase your chances significantly.

Make sure, if your piece DOES get published, to flick a ‘thank you’ email to the editor – it will be appreciated, and of course, let the owner know…don’t waste the opportunity to look proactive!

If your vendors are unsure about the value of outsourcing copywriting, we’ve produced a flyer that lists the benefits of professional copy. You can download it here.

Save time and build your reputation by outsourcing your real estate writing to professional copywriters. To find out how we can help you, go to our how it works page or contact us, and we can run you through the details over the phone.

woman writing real estate copy

How to Write a Standout Real Estate Description That Will Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Property (With Examples)

You’re showing buyers around a property – what do you tell them?

You might talk about how great the covered patio is for barbeques or point out the views from the master bedroom. You might mention how close the school is – just around the corner!

Except, you no longer get the chance to chat about a property’s benefits.

Thanks to online listings, most buyers have decided long before viewing a property whether they like it.

Statistics reveal that 97% of people looking for properties start their search online – and of those under forty, 99% are searching online.

And that’s why good real estate copywriting has never been more crucial.

While great photos, video, and accurate data help buyers narrow their selection, the listing description is what differentiates and ‘sells’ a property. All those things you would have pointed out during an inspection need to be in the property description.

We buy with emotion and rationalise our decision later. Good copy creates an emotional connection to the property, helping buyers imagine themselves living happily in the home.

A photograph might show the covered patio, but the real estate description helps the buyer imagine sitting there with a glass of wine, laughing with friends. It’s THAT picture, the picture buyers paint in their imagination, that sells.

And that picture comes down to copywriting.

To write a real estate description that will entice buyers and sell properties, here are eight things you need to include.

1. Ask These Essential Pre-Writing Questions

Most people skip these pre-writing essentials. 

If you want to make your copy stand out, ask yourself (and your seller) these critical questions. 

Ask yourself: What type of buyer would be interested in this property? 

In other words, who is the target market?

There’s an old maxim: when you sell to everyone, you sell to no one.

How you position your copy will depend on the type of buyer you think the property will attract.

For example, if it’s a family home, you will want to talk about how close it is to schools and parks.

If it’s an apartment aimed at downsizers looking for a lock-and-leave property, they’re not interested in schools – you’ll want to talk about security and proximity to the airport.

Targeting a particular buyer means you write SPECIFIC details. Don’t worry; those details will resonate with other buyers as well. By all means, mention that this home would also suit investors or first home buyers, but write the overall copy for one audience.

Ask the seller: What do you love about the property?

The information the seller can give is copywriting gold. They can tell you details like how the sun warms the front living room in winter and how beautiful the spring cherry blossoms look in the yard.

When it comes to painting a picture and selling the benefits, the current owner is a wealth of information.

Ask yourself and the seller: What sets the property apart?

In copywriting terms, this is known as the Unique Selling Proposition or USP. What makes this property stand out from others?

You will want to include these standout details in your headline and the all-important first paragraph (see below).

2. Write an Enticing Headline

The headline does a lot of heavy lifting. 

It’s the first impression your copy creates, and it’s there to entice readers to continue reading.

No one wants to read advertising copy. A headline with a compelling promise draws the buyer into reading further.

Tips for writing a compelling headline include:

  • Incorporate your USP (above)
  • Aim for short and simple but include specific information 
  • Include a benefit – connect it to buyers’ desires
  • Create emotional appeal

Typical example: What a great location!

A better headline: Modern, Spacious – Walk to Shops and Transport.

For more information on writing headlines, check out our guide on How to Write Attention-Grabbing Real Estate Headlines.

3. Hook the Reader with Your First Paragraph

The purpose of the first paragraph is to hook the buyer with the key features and benefits of the home.

Ideally, you want them to keep reading the rest of your copy, but if they only read the first paragraph, they will have a good idea of the property and whether it’s right for them.

Here are two examples:

Typical example: [Real Estate Agent] presents this beautiful home suited to families, first home buyers, or investors.

A better first paragraph: With multiple living spaces, a large backyard, and the local primary school just five minutes walk away, this updated home offers easy family living in a prime [suburb] location. 

4. List the Main Features, Sell the Benefits

When we surveyed our agents, one of the main challenges they have when writing copy is effectively highlighting the benefits.

Let’s first start with the difference between a feature and a benefit. 

A feature is what is included with the home. For example, a dishwasher is a FEATURE. 

A benefit answers the question: “So what?!”

The BENEFIT of having a dishwasher is easy clean up after meals.

It’s important to list the main features, so people know what they are. You don’t need to list every one – just the essential elements that make the home stand out and are important to your buyer.

When listing features:

  • Be accurate
  • Be specific
  • Use adjectives wisely (don’t overdo it)

We BUY benefits, so it’s also essential to incorporate some key benefits.

You don’t need to list all of them. Instead, focus on the benefits your target buyer would appreciate. For example, busy buyers will appreciate a low-maintenance courtyard.

You will also want to point out features and benefits that are not obvious from the photos. Recent renovations, eco-friendly features, and location features help sell the property.

For the main benefit (your USP), create an emotional response by crafting a scene. The storytelling advice of ‘show, don’t tell’ helps engage the buyer on an emotional level. 

Telling: the covered patio is great for entertaining.

Showing/storyselling: swap stories with friends over a glass of wine in the undercover entertaining area while you watch the kids play a game of backyard cricket.

5. Give Information About The Location

Not all buyers will be familiar with the local area. Some key details about the location will help buyers feel at home.

What amenities are nearby? Are they within walking distance, and is it actually walkable? If the only way to get to school is down a busy freeway with no footpath, it’s not really walking distance. Keep your credibility by being real and accurate in your descriptions.

What kind of lifestyle does the location offer? Is it a quiet, family-friendly street or a vibrant inner-city location? Will weekends be spent riding bikes through nearby parkland or meeting friends at the bar? 

These details help the buyer find the right property and imagine what life could be like when they buy it.

6. Format For Readability

Prospective buyers are probably reading your copy on their phones. So you want to make it as easy as possible to read. Vast walls of text that scroll for screens won’t be read.

Well formatted writing includes:

  • Short paragraphs, broken by lots of white space (forget what your English teacher told you – break those paragraphs up!)
  • Short, clear sentences. If your sentence goes on for many lines, add a full stop. Or two. (See what I did there?) Interesting writing has a variety of sentence lengths. 
  • Add bullet points. Some people prefer to skip the text and go straight to easily digestible summaries.
  • Edit for grammar and spelling, and then read your writing out loud. If it’s hard to read, the sentences are probably too long.

7. Add a Call To Action

The whole point of your real estate copywriting is to get potential buyers to take action. 

To make a booking, attend an inspection, put in an offer, or call for more information. 

Don’t leave them dangling at the end of your copy; give them clear directions on what action to take next.

A good call to action summarises the main benefit, speaks to the potential buyer’s desires, and creates urgency. Life is busy, and we forget if we don’t act straight away. So a sense of urgency encourages people to take action right away.

For example: This spacious family home is zoned to highly sought-after schools. Don’t miss your chance to secure your child’s educational future. Call us today to arrange an inspection. 

8. Optimise Your Description For Search

When people search online, they use filters and search terms to narrow down the selection. That’s why it’s vital to add targeted keywords (search terms) relevant to your buyer.

As a busy working mum, when looking at real estate, I use the search filters to out any properties without a dishwasher. I also work from home, so I want a house with a study or home office (ideally with a door)!

real estate search filter

A single paragraph description will not cover all the search terms relevant to your property. If you haven’t added the home’s key features in your description – either in the copy or the bullet points, you’re making it harder to find online. 

It takes time to write an engaging property description that includes all the right elements to make buyers fall in love with your property. When days get busy, this often becomes a last-minute, after-hours job. 

Spend your evenings relaxing with friends and family, and let us craft your real estate descriptions for you. For more information, check out our real estate copywriting services page or call to book. 

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