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Do you copy that?

By Waverly Atkinson

Words are incredibly powerful.

If you are looking for a competitive edge in the highly clichéd property marketing space then I suggest you dust off your thesaurus before you tackle your next ad copy effort.

Words can be emotive and evocative.

If they are written well, you can see the property in your mind’s eye.

I am so lucky as I get to read a lot of copy about properties for sale in our huge network.

Some of it is simply genius but there’s a lot out there that’s cringe-worthy and predictable which bores me to tears.

There’s more stock on the market than there has been in years, so you need to stand out as buyers have more choice than ever before.

Often I think I could pick up the copy about a four bedroom brick and tile in the suburbs and drop it on another one as often the copy is so bland, vanilla and dry. Yawn.

So here are my top banned copy words.  I hope that none of you commit any future crimes against copy with your next listing.

Nestled : This has become my pet peeve of 2018. You know what is nestled? A baby penguin against his dad, or a newborn baby in her mother’s arms. Nestle means to ‘lie comfortably within or against something’.  Places can also ‘nestle’ if you are talking about ones that are half-hidden or sheltered. Think of a picturesque cottage nestled in the wooded hills. You know what’s not nestled? A big massive house on top of a hill.

Rare offering: We must have the luckiest bunch of agents in the world to find all these incredibly unusual properties to market.  Rare means scare or thin on the ground. Every second listing on REA and Domain simply cannot be as rare as gold dust. Try unique, exceptional, singular, uncommon, unparalleled, peerless, matchless, unique, unequalled, incomparable, unrivalled, inimitable, beyond compare, beyond comparison, without equal, second to none, unsurpassed, surpassing, exquisite, superb, consummate, superior, superlative, first-class, first-rate, special, choice, excellent, very fine.

Unique: Is it really? It’s fine on it’s own if the address is particularly remarkable, special, noteworthy or extraordinary. Just please don’t ever call something – the MOST unique terrace in all of Sydney. Or the most unique penthouse in Brisbane. You simply cannot have degrees of unique, it’s either unique or it’s not. It’s a bit like being pregnant, you cannot be a little bit pregnant. Trust me.

Located |  Situated: It’s just at or on but please whatever you don’t say ‘peacefully located at’. Instead give yourself an upper cut and then reach for the dictionary and try again.

Iconic: You know what’s iconic? The Sydney Opera House or Brisbane’s Story Bridge. So unless you are selling one of those Australian icons, you may just be selling a famous landmark. I love landmarks, they also make the news.

Stunning: This one gets me every time as it’s mostly used as a verb. To stun means to knock someone unconscious – like with a blow to the head and that’s never good for business. Let’s try and keep all our buyers in a conscious state and use words like impressive | first-class | superior  | spectacular.

Looking for the hook is usually the answer when writing any copy. The Ray White Media Team is in the process of updating our copy style guide for 2019. It’s a valuable resource to keep on hand for when you are next writing your copy. Stay tuned!

Alex Tilbury
Media Manager
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