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marketing_sloganIn the season premier of “Mad Men,” Creative Director Peggy Olsen uses a technique learned from Don Draper to help form ad copy for a client. She writes a letter as if she is a consumer recommending the product to a friend. Today, Peggy would be reading online reviews to learn, from the consumer’s standpoint, the clear advantages of her product – and listening to your clients is never a bad thing.

What would your clients say if they wrote a letter to a friend recommending you? What’s really important to them? And what would they say that would convince a friend to do business with you?

Below are some slogans from real estate ads from across the country. You’ve probably seen some of these or maybe even used some of them. They may be popular, but they probably wouldn’t be in a recommendation letter from your client.

“Work with (city name)’s No. 1 Team!”

What does that mean? Was there a playoff game that you won? How do we know you’re No. 1? Why do we care? And by the way, it’s not all about you.

In sales training, you may have heard the phrase “What’s in it for me?” That’s what clients want to know – what you are going to do for them. You may be No. 1 for a reason – because you’ve sold more homes for a higher price in a short amount of time or you’ve help more buyers find their home this year. Those are things to talk about. Saying you’re No. 1 doesn’t tell me why and how that benefits me as your prospective client.

“A Local Lender You Can Trust”

Ouch. Not only does this insult all lenders in the market, but it portrays a negative perception of the process of buying a home. What this really says is “In this industry, there are a lot of crooked people. Are you really sure you want to buy a home at all?”

Make sure your ad is portraying a positive perception of the industry and the home buying and selling process. As your mother says, “You don’t have to make others look bad to make yourself look good.” Tell people why doing business with you is a good idea, not why it’s a bad idea to do business with others. You can do better than the lesser of evils.

“Your Real Estate Agent for Life”

Does this mean we’re sharing a cell? Will you keep calling me and calling me and calling me and calling me and calling me and calling me? This sounds like once I start working with you, you expect me to keep working with you until one of us dies. I’ll let you know on that one. . .

I think what you mean to say is that once I do business with you, I’ll want to keep doing business with you. However, you’re making me work a little too hard to come to that conclusion. Why not say something like “Our clients work with us again and again” Or better yet, have a testimonial from a client who has bought and sold multiple properties with you over a span of time.

I think these are better slogans:

“I sell homes.” Good. That’s what I was hoping you’d do for me. Straightforward and to the point. No guessing here.

“Let’s Make Home Happen.” Using the word “home” in this way gives me warm fuzzies. I’m looking for a place to call home. This also says that you are going to “make it happen.” Results make me happy, too.

“I take the stress out of buying and selling.” Yes, please. Make this a smooth and painless experience for me and I’ll love you.

What does your advertising say about you? Would a client say the same thing in a referral?

Rebecca Chandler is vice president of marketing for NewPoint Media Group. You can read her insights on real estate advertising on