Real Estate Copywriting: Generate More Leads By Starting With Your Audience

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Tips from the world’s top copywriters that’ll make your real estate copywriting stand out from the masses.

Hordes of people left and right are now bumping shoulders among you and trying to get to the same sellers — all screaming at the top of their lungs: “I can buy your house fast for cash!!!”

With more options for sellers and more investors on the scene, our efforts are becoming harder. So, what do we do in this populated market where our prospects are well aware of our message?

The answer is right in your market.

There’s a plethora of advice on how to stand out from the masses. But in this article, I look to the copywriting giants for help.

So, the following advice is taken straight from the methods and teachings of great and famous copywriters like Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, John Caples, David Ogilvy, and Robert Collier… names that have had a huge impact on today’s marketing methods and even Carrot’s own content.

But first…

The problem with REI marketing

If you Google “direct mail real estate investors,” you’ll get a host of articles and forum advice on how to get started with direct mail (DM). But who in their right mind would read through every one of those Bigger Pocket’s articles and forum topics? I did!

When I first wandered into direct mail (before I was aware of copywriting and direct response), I implemented all the advice I gathered from the forums. I even used a famous coach’s DM method exactly as he recommended.

The results?

After tens of thousands of dollars spent and hundreds of calls, I got ZERO deals out of it, maybe two motivated sellers. And yes, I did follow up relentlessly and yes, I did send mail for seven months.

But I wasn’t alone in this. I asked many investors in my area, and I quickly learned that the volume of deals required to obtain consistent results in my area is massive, and very few are successful.

What was the problem?

Fast forward to today, now being a young-schooled copywriter, following the masters of the past, and putting my knowledge to the test with Carrot as a professional copywriter, I realized an important thing… the advice given by coaches/gurus and forums in Biggerpockets is completely contrary to the advice of copywriting and direct mail masters; guys like Dan Kennedy, Eugene Schwartz, Bob Bly, and Robert Collier who all devoted their lives to “sales on paper” and squeezing as much money out of every marketing dollar.

Here’s the difference I found:

The World’s Top Copywriters say:

  1. Create a laser-focused list and keep narrowing down that list.
  2. Research and study that market relentlessly. Get in their minds. Find out what makes them tick, their fears, desires, etc… Find out what their main problem is.
  3. Create a copy that focuses on them and their problem, agitates their problem, and then provides your solution.

Real Estate investors say:

  1. Get a list of absentee owners with equity.
  2. Send a simple letter saying, “Hi, my name is… and I want to buy your house at….”

Here’s the good thing about direct mail in real estate investing: you can generate $20,000 with one deal. So, a .02% response doesn’t really matter if you have the budget for massive volume while still generating a decent ROI.

Here’s the bad thing about DM in real estate investing: A .02% response can get you broke fast in a crowded market where the customer is well aware of your service.

If you’re advertising in a crowded market and you’re doing what everyone else is doing… then your prospects are getting the same message from multiple people.

At this point… your success is determined SOLELY by luck.

Let’s do better.

Let’s rise above the masses by learning from the pros who devote their entire lives to what we’re talking about.

Here are 5 things you can do to improve your marketing message by just looking at your audience.

Table of Content

Compelling Real Estate Copywriting:

Real Estate Copywriting Tip #1: Audience Comes First

“Tell me about my crabgrass, not your weed killer.”

Features VS. Benefits

Your prospects need the utmost attention from you. So, stop talking about what you have and start talking about THEM and their problems.

Every time your message says something along the lines of “I want to buy your house,” all it says to your prospect is “me, me, me, me!”

This message only has what’s called a “feature” in your product. And listing a feature right off the bat doesn’t grab attention.

Now don’t get me wrong, this can work and has worked in a market where your service is brand new and not really heard of. But things are heating up and there are tons of new investors and more options to sellers.

Instead of talking about your features, re-write them in a different way that places the sellers in the middle: This is called a “benefit.”

Here are some examples of Features vs. Benefits taken from Bob Bly’s “The Online Copywriter’s Handbook,” selling an alarm clock:


  1. a) Large illuminated digital display
  2. b) Snooze alarm switch
  3. c) Digital alarm


  1. a) Time is easy to see at a glance­—even at night.
  2. b) Tired? Just hit a button for 10 more minutes of sleep.
  3. c) Alarm wakes you at precisely the right time

See how Bob changed a simple, boring alarm clock feature into a customer focused benefit? This can be done with any product or service. Take for example the features we use as house buyers, rewritten as a benefit:


  1. a) All-cash offer
  2. b) Fast close
  3. c) No hassle


  1. a) No more hoping and wondering if you have a sale — A guaranteed sale with one offer.
  2. b) In 5 days you can wave goodbye to your troublesome house and stressful situation.
  3. c) You’ll literally never have to leave your couch until you sell your house.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my blog articles listing benefits of selling to a buyer…

You can have your home sold in 1 week to a buyer today.

  • Get the assurance your house is sold and never risk the mobile sitting for months just losing money.
  • Never deal with headache buyers who are just flakey and disappoint you
  • Never deal with the agent calling you saying, “only one person showed up to the open house today and they weren’t interested”.
  • Never deal with the realization, months after, that you listed the house for $10,000 more than it should’ve (it’s happened to me and it’s not a good feeling).
  • Pay nothing out of pocket
  • Never deal with picky buyers (they don’t like the paint color, or the floor, or they wanted a new a/c, etc.)
  • Sell your property as-is (bugs in all, investors usually take it)”

Focus on the problems

Other than listing benefits in the message, you should also be agitating the central problem of your prospects.

For example:

  1. If you sell a plumbing service, talk about what mold can do when it builds up due to a leaky water pipe.
  2. Or, if you sell a roofing service talk about what a complete roof replacement costs if you wait until the planks get rotted out.
  3. And, if you sell a house-buying-service, talk about how a foreclosed home due to tax delinquency can mean 7 years of ruined credit, losing all your equity in the property, and the embarrassment of losing a house.

The key to all this is to add emotion.

Features like “Cash-offer” and “Fast close” don’t trigger any emotion. But benefits that solve a problem and storytelling of emotional real-estate problems can pack an emotional punch.

The famous negotiator, Jim Camp, once said, “you’re always safe when you’re in the customer’s world.” Meaning? Always go back to the market. Find out what they want, who they are, what they like, what they need, and what they desire and you’ll be better off than most.

As the marketing giant Dan Kennedy has said in the “Ultimate Sales Letter,” “The goal is understanding. To persuade someone, to motivate someone, to sell someone, you really need to understand that person.”

If you get this part right, it doesn’t matter how bad the rest is, you’ll do fine.

But how do we find out what our market wants?

Here’s an excerpt from one of my blog articles listing problems that communicate emotions…

But if…

you have another mortgage to pay 

have no money to pay that rent space

having medical issue and need to move ASAP

risking eviction

risking foreclosure

need to move out of area for another job you just got

need to pay debt that keeps piling up

need to move in a week for whatever reason…

Than, that offer that’s less that what you expected is much better than paying all that money out of pocket AND suffering through all the pain of staying in the house.”

Real Estate Copywriting Tip #2: Research, Research, Research

“If I have 4 hours to chop a tree, I’ll spend 3 hours sharpening my ax!”

Top copywriters spend hours researching, profiling, and diagnosing their audience. To them, this part is THE most important part of marketing. Exploring and getting in the minds of your sellers is a must.

But how do you do this?

The best way is to talk to motivated sellers. If possible, talk to your previous sellers. Or go door-to-door knocking and spend time face-to-face with them. In other words, spend time with the market.

A good tip given by Ben Settle (you can listen to the Carrot Cast with him here): Spend some time on forums and articles and read comments directly from some people right in your market.

Copywriters like Ben Settle also take time to find out who their audience is in terms of political affiliation, age, gender, race, TV show interests, hobbies, etc.

The bottom line is that you must find out what they truly desire, what they fear, and what they really want. A “cash offer” is not what they really want. What they may truly want is security, or they may truly fear a complete loss of equity or ruined credit from foreclosure, or they may want convenience and not to deal with anything else or to move forward with life away from their stress—in other words, get into the mind of the seller.

The Hidden Benefit

Ted Nicholas (sold over $200 million worth of “how-to” books using direct-response ads in magazines, letters, and newspapers) discusses the importance of emphasizing what he calls the “hidden benefit.” It’s not the obvious benefit, nor is it the first benefit you think of, but the most profound benefit to your prospects.

Let me illustrate this by telling a story from Dan Kennedy’s book, “The Ultimate Sales Letter.

He describes how he had to come up with a marketing campaign for a presentation called “How to recruit more insurance agents under you.” He spent a lot of time amid these insurance agents.

One day, he was listening in on a conversation between two agents and noted that they had A LOT of interest in golf. Most of the time, they were talking about golf, not recruiting… thus a marketing message was born.

His new message to the insurance agents? “Puts Recruiting on Auto-Pilot, So That You Can Go Play Golf!”

That’s genius! What these insurance agents really wanted was NOT just to recruit. It’s to have more time to golf. Recruiting wasn’t their true desire. He asked, “Why do they want to recruit? What do they really want?” It’s to be able to make money while doing what they love: golf.

Getting to what your prospect really wants is key.

But that’s easier said than done if you don’t know who your prospects are, where they’re at, and what they TRULY want.

I know what some of you might be thinking: “Well, that’s hard to do because I only advertise to a large list of homeowners with different interests.”

Well then, my answer to that is…

Real Estate Copywriting Tip #3: Narrow Down Your List

“The only advantage I want is a starving crowd.”

This is my final piece of advice from marketing expert Gary Halbert.

We know that we must center the ad on the customer and do some research beforehand. But before you do your research, you must have an audience… a very targeted audience.

Gary Halbert had once said in his book “The Boron Letters,” “I only want a starving crowd.”

A list of absentee owners is not a starving crowd. What does a BIG list of homeowners with equity have in common? Nothing… except that they have equity.

Are they “starving to sell their house at a discount for cash and a fast, as-is sale”? Who knows if there are any motivated sellers on that list? It’s a dice game.

Combining multiple lists creates a better list that narrows in on problems rather than equity.

An example would be absentee owners who have inherited a house and have had eviction or credit problems. A probate list containing an out-of-state heir/executor and the property going through probate was owned for at least 20 years.

Now, I understand these are probably difficult lists to obtain, but the main idea I’m illustrating is that almost every single person on that list has a serious problem with money, a tiresome house, or doesn’t want to deal with unwanted property. If you need a simpler approach, just take an eviction, divorce, or tax delinquency list.

Does it seem like it’s a little too much?

Well, Gary Halbert, in the same book, gave away his method for determining a list. In doing so, he cut it down 10 times! That’s right, he used 10 different layers (criteria) to narrow it down to a hotlist.

A list like that is much easier to research. Now, you can speak directly about their pain points.

Plus, this produces a MUCH cheaper marketing budget.

We’ve only touched on the audience in this article. And there’s much more to creating compelling copy.

Real Estate Copywriting Tip #4: Unleash the Power of AI, But Don’t Get Lazy

Listen, I get it. You’re a busy investor, juggling a million things. Writing compelling copy can feel like another mountain to climb. But fear not! AI-powered copywriting tools are here to be your secret weapon. Imagine having a 24/7 virtual assistant who can:

  • Craft Initial Drafts in a Flash: Are you stuck staring at a blank page? AI tools can churn out initial drafts based on your targeted seller’s unique selling proposition or property details (square footage, bedrooms, amenities). This gives you a solid foundation to build upon, saving you precious time.
  • Keyword Magic Trick: The right keywords are like gold in the online real estate world. AI can analyze market trends and suggest keywords potential sellers and buyers use in their searches. This ensures your copy gets discovered by the right audience, not lost in a sea of generic descriptions.
  • SEO Optimization Made Easy: Crafting SEO-friendly copy can feel like deciphering an ancient language. AI tools can analyze your content and recommend tweaks to boost your search engine ranking.
  • Grammar Police on Patrol: Typos and grammatical errors can scream “amateur.” AI acts as your virtual editor, providing real-time feedback on grammar, clarity, and sentence structure.

AI: Your Partner, Not a Replacement

Now, let’s be clear: AI is a powerful tool, but it’s not here to replace your savvy as an investor. While AI excels at data analysis and technical stuff, it lacks the human touch.

Storytelling Sells!

AI can’t spin a captivating yarn that tugs at the heartstrings of motivated sellers or paints a picture of a dream home (or a high-ROI rental property!). That’s where you, the savvy investor, come in. Use AI-generated drafts as a springboard, but infuse them with your unique voice and storytelling skills. Highlight the emotional connection your audience will have with you.

The Winning Formula: Human + Machine

The key to success is leveraging the strengths of both AI and human expertise. Use AI tools to streamline tasks, research keywords, and get a jumpstart on your drafts. Then, unleash your inner wordsmith to craft copy that showcases your skills, offers, and solutions.

Remember, you’re an investor, and every detail counts. Make your copy work as hard as you do!

Real Estate Copywriting Tip #5: Expanding Your Copywriting Arsenal

Crafting compelling copy is just the first step in effective marketing. Here’s how you can leverage your copywriting skills to attract the right sellers and buyers and maximize your return on investment (ROI):

Targeted Website Content:

Your website is your digital storefront for attracting qualified leads. Compelling copywriting is key to converting visitors into offers:

  • Headline Hero: Craft clear, concise headlines that grab attention and instantly communicate the property’s potential.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Include data and market analysis to showcase your market knowledge and support your offers.
  • Compelling Case Studies: Feature past success stories with before-and-after testimonials and showcase renovation examples to demonstrate how you’re uplifting the community.
  • Clear Calls to Action (CTAs): Make it easy for interested leads to connect with you. Include CTAs like “Get an Offer Today” or “Download our Free Guide: The Pros and Cons Of Selling A House To A Professional House Buyer.”

Social Media: Engaging with Potential Leads

Social media platforms are powerful tools to connect with motivated leads:

  • Captions that Convert: Write compelling captions highlighting your unique selling points (USPs) and using relevant hashtags to reach your target audience.
  • Targeted Ads: Craft engaging ad copy with clear CTAs to drive traffic to your website or landing page with detailed information.
  • Behind-the-scenes Content: Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of renovation projects or neighborhood highlights to build excitement and showcase your expertise.

Building Trust with Consistent Branding:

Maintaining a consistent brand voice and style across all your marketing materials establishes you as a professional and trustworthy investor:

  • Define Your Investor Persona: Are you a quick-flip specialist, a buy-and-hold investor, or something in between? Tailor your brand voice to resonate with your ideal buyer.
  • Develop a Style Guide: Create a style guide that outlines your preferred voice, tone, and formatting to ensure consistency across all your written content.

Tailoring Your Copy for Different Property Types:

Adjust your copywriting approach to highlight the specific benefits of each property type:

  • High-Demand Rentals: Focus on strong rental income potential, low vacancy rates, and desirable amenities for tenants.
  • Fixer-Uppers: Emphasize the property’s potential for value-added renovations and highlight the cost-saving benefits.
  • Commercial Properties: Showcase the property’s location, traffic patterns, and potential for increased business activity.

By mastering these copywriting strategies, you can effectively market your investment properties, attract qualified buyers, and achieve your real estate investment goals.

Every good advertiser starts with their audience

I know that I’ve mentioned direct mail quite a bit. However, all this info applies directly to any marketing channel, such as Facebook, TV, Bandit signs, and PPC.

Simply put…

  1. Narrow down your list to hit specific pain points.
  2. Research that list to learn more about your audience, hidden benefits, and pain points (including interests, hobbies, TV shows, age, gender, political affiliation, desires, etc.).
  3. Focus on the prospect and their pain points in the message.
  4. Use AI-powered copywriting tools as your secret weapon.
  5. Expand your copywriting arsenal

Applying these tips doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowded market or not.

Imagine your prospect who is tired of her rental and having money issues, and she’s holding two letters in her hand:

One says, “I will buy your house…” a message she gets every week. The other (yours) speaks of the problems of evictions, the cost, and how difficult it is to sell a house with tenants and then introduces a solution.

It’s obvious which one grabs more attention.

However, this is nothing new. This has been tried and made true by hundreds of copywriters who help 8-figure businesses increase their revenue.

If you implement these, you can put yourself ahead of the game by increasing your ROI (and your success). While others spend $10,000 a month for seven months on a huge equity list, saying, “I want to buy your house…”

Paul doCampo

An investor and former wholesaler, Paul has written content for Carrot since 2017, and various other real estate vendors. He now runs an email marketing agency and also helps investors dial in their follow-up marketing at:

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11 responses to “Real Estate Copywriting: Generate More Leads By Starting With Your Audience

  1. This article was spot on especially when it comes to direct mail. The only reason I know anyone getting deals from that is because after spending $50,000 I would HOPE you’d luck out and get a deal from someone due to timing. With copyright and internet marketing you always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Appreciate the article!

  2. Adam!

    Thanks for the comment man! Paul (a fellow Carrot member) wrote a stellar article and I’m glad you liked it man!

  3. This is such a Great Article. The message is absolutely spot on and critical for any business any industry. Keep up the good work.

  4. Excellent article. I have experienced this too, getting too caught up in simply writing content for the sake of writing content…but then the other day I got a wake up call – a powerful link on the blog of a local news station for one of my top shelf content pieces that was well thought out, had links and downloadable information and other resources, etc.

    The point is that investing time / money into great content always pays off in dividends…if it’s truly a useful resource.

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