In the quest to publish a new listing on the internet in a timely manner, especially when Agents and Administration staff are busy and ‘under the pump’, the importance of effective proofreading can sometimes be overlooked. One doesn’t have to search too hard on real estate websites to see many examples of copy that clearly hasn’t been proofread…it’s embarrassing for the Agent and reflects poorly on your professionalism.
Clear, concise, error-free copy conveys a positive message to the reader and enhances the image of the writer/company behind it. This message reflects to others a strong attention to detail and pride in their work. Grammatical errors/typos leave a negative message, and in such a competitive industry where so much time is invested in profiling and prospecting, you cannot afford to look careless or sloppy.
Unfortunately, too many people rely heavily on their computer’s spell check for catching errors, and this can prove to be ineffective. Even the most sophisticated spell checker will not identify all mistakes. For instance, suppose you keyed ‘part’ when you meant to type ‘park’, the spell check will recognise ‘part’ as a correctly spelled word; therefore, the typo will be overlooked.
The secret to effective proofreading is reading well. Proofreading requires reading copy as it is, not as you may want it to appear. Documents should not only be proofread on screen but the printed hard copy should be carefully checked as well. This is referred to as comparative proofreading.
It is also helpful to get someone else in the office to proofread before publishing copy; a fresh set of eyes can often find something that you have overlooked, due to your familiarity with the text.