Real Estate Marketing Online - The Power of Headlines

Brandon Cornett

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Real estate marketing online is about getting people to stop when they visit your website.

Then you must get them to follow a desired path through the site. This path leads to your ultimate goal, which involves the reader contacting you directly or offering up their contact information.

Most web readers have heightened powers of selectiveness. They know how to hop from website to website in search of the content they want.

So if you want your website to engage the reader, and ideally evoke a response, you must first get the reader to stop. That's where headlines come in.

The Value of Headlines
An engaging headline will stop a web reader momentarily. Good content will pick up where the headline leaves off, moving the reader toward the desired goal (a phone call, a subscription, etc. ). But it all starts with the headline.

When creating your headline, keep revising it until it accomplishes three things:

(1) It should capture the reader's attention and pulls them into the web page.

(2) It should identify and qualifies the audience.

(3) It should deliver a complete message to add momentum to your message.

I’ve taken some tested headline “formulas" and narrowed them down to those that have a history of working well on the web.

The Personalized Headline
Key to the personalized headline - identifying the audience right away: “Attention homeowners thinking of selling. Do you know the top ten ways to increase the selling price of your house?"

The “How to" Headline
We love helpful tips and can’t get enough of them. We gobble up information that promises to make us healthier or happier, to save us money or make us money, to give us an exclusive edge.

Want proof? Just browse the nonfiction shelves in your local bookstore and see how many titles start with “How to [blank]" or “Twelve easy ways to [blank]" or “Improving your [blank] in 30 days or less. "

Using the “how to" headline in your marketing:

  • “How to sell your home in a buyer’s market . . . and still profit!"
  • “How to buy a home in a seller’s market . . . without getting taken to the bank. "
  • “Seven ways to protect yourself when buying a home in a seller’s market. "
  • “Quick tips for putting your house on the market . . . and getting it sold fast. "

The Offer Headline (a. k. a. the “Direct Headline")
This headline introduces the offer or primary benefit without wasting a single word on introductory matter. How you might adapt this for your website:

"The Complete Guide to Buying a Home - Yours Free. Call today!"

The Provocative Question Headline
The question (or “interrogative") headline uses fundamentals of psychology in order to succeed. The human brain does not like unanswered questions. When our minds encounter a question, they immediately try to answer. When the mind cannot answer the question, it asks “What, then, is the answer?"

  • “How do you get the most for your home when selling in a buyer’s market?"
  • “Do you know the five easiest ways to increase the selling price of your home?"
  • “Think you can’t afford a new home?"

You can see the power of these headlines. Look at the first one. If you were selling your home in a buyer’s market, do you honestly think you could ignore that headline?

Deliver on the Promise
With any headline (but especially this one), you should transition into your body copy in some logical way. The body must support the headline. It must answer the question, solve the problem, or otherwise expand on the topic you’ve introduced in your headline.

Which Headline is Best for You?
I’ve shown how easily you might adapt any of these headlines for your website. But to find out which works best for your website and your particular offer, there’s only one sure way. You have to try them. It all comes down to your reader, your website, and what you want your reader to do on your website.

Brandon Cornett has worked as a marketing manager for a direct mail company serving the real estate industry since 1986. He now dedicates his time to helping real estate professionals improve their marketing. His “Modern Guide to Real Estate Marketing" and his free newsletter are available at: .


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