• Shannon

Hey all you Dam*, Fu@#$%^ Potential Clients

Updated: Nov 11, 2018

There is a “real estate writer” out there who freely admits on her website that she’s never taken a listing.

She also says that she’s never performed a final walk-through with a buying client and never attended a closing as an agent.

She has never held a real estate license.

Yet, not only does she publicly declare herself a “real estate writer,” but does so emphatically, including using profanity to drive the point home.

She also claims that she needs more writing jobs so that she can improve her writing (oh, she mentions the need for money too), so obviously, she is a novice at her chosen craft as well and wants your blog to be her guinea pig.

How, then, I asked myself ― and I now ask you ― can she competently and knowledgeably write about the topic for the real estate consumer, under an agent’s name?

That’s an easy question to answer: a lot of the agent-focused topics on her blog are topics I’ve written on for national real estate sites.

Sure, she was careful to avoid directly plagiarizing me, but my voice is there nonetheless.

So, if you hire her, you can count on her to pilfer ideas and facts from writers who are true experts in the real estate industry. You can therefore also count on your blog posts being cheap copies of originals and, for the bonus prize, a ding on your search engine results because she has created duplicated content.

The expert wins in that arena and she is no expert.

But that’s not the way she describes it. No sirree ― she claims she gets her real estate chops from talking to a lot of Realtors.

Who knew it was this easy? I mean, my first thought after reading that was to go talk to a ton of doctors so I can add “medical writer” to my resume.

She also says that she relies on these agents to help her decipher real estate stats so that she can then go on to disseminate them to the public.

Do you have the time to explain real estate market statistics to a writer?

I know the agents I write for certainly don’t. One of the reasons they hire me is because I AM a former agent.

They know they can shoot me the stats and I’ll write up an explanation in language the average consumer can understand and they don’t have to spend time with me on the phone, holding my hand.

You can’t fake experience

There’s an old adage in the writing profession: “Write what you Know.” Now, this advice doesn’t fly for novelists, especially when it comes to genres like fantasy, history and science fiction.

It very much applies, however, when one is giving advice, especially to consumers. How can a writer, inexperienced in real estate, fully explain to consumers what it feels like for the buyer waiting for the appraisal to come in and exactly how it feels if the appraisal is low?

How can someone who has never actually done a CMA tell the public, from raw data, what to expect from the current real estate market when they haven’t a clue how to decipher that data? Getting the information second hand doesn’t cut it.

Only experience flies when it comes to giving real estate advice.

I ghostwrite blog posts for an agent in the Midwest. He hired a company to build his website for which I wrote all the content and now populate with blog posts weekly. The website company also supplies blog posts.

I wish I could give you the URL because I’m sure you’d get a good laugh out of this company's "writer's" posts. He is neither a writer nor a real estate expert.

Yet he tries to be both, and because he writes under my client’s name, he makes said client look like a moron. Here are just a few issues I’ve seen while reading his blog posts:

  • He has no idea that a “plat map” isn’t a “plant map” and continuously refers to it as the latter.

  • In a post asking if homeownership is a good idea he decided it wasn’t. On a REALTOR’s blog. Oh. Yes. He. Did.

  • He counselled home sellers to target their marketing to mobile users. WHY would he tell homeowners to do this when the agent for which he is writing will take care of all of the homeowner’s marketing needs? Is he giving advice to FSBOs?

  • In that same post he tells homeowners how to choose an agent and cautions against using the same agent they used before. Oops ― there goes my client’s repeat business.

  • He also suggests that the readers of my client’s blog check for agents online and to get referrals. Not one word about the fact that my client is the best in the market and why.

  • His advice on “picking the right agent” links back to my client’s home page ― not to his marketing plan page nor his testimonials, but to the site’s home page.

  • If the agent wasn't able to successfully negotiate repairs, the "writer" suggests that the buyer chalk it up to a lesson learned and adds that, hopefully, his agent learned a lesson as well -- about "how to deal with such sellers in the future." Yes, agents are so stupid they learn as they go along. I feel so sorry for my agent client.

  • Thankfully, this writer's real estate-related content offerings on the blog are few and far between. Sadly, his primary content is restaurant reviews, which aren't really reviews because he has never been to the eateries he describes but he writes so many of them that my client's site probably gets higher SEO for food blogs than for real estate blogs.

Hey all you Dam*, Fu@#$%^ Potential Clients

Finally, in my efforts to caution you about who you hire to ghostwrite for you (and it feels rather odd to mention this) but read the writer’s own blog. The so-called real estate writer I initially mentioned peppers her writer’s blog with profanity.

Yes, a business-facing, client-attracting blog contains cuss words.

Then, there's a newcomer real estate writer who, as a former agent, gives pretty good advice. But there are more than FORTY blog posts on her site that include some version of the "F" word and about that many that include some form of the word #$it.

Now, I am the daughter of a booze-loving Irish plumber, so cussing isn’t particularly offensive to me (sure, some words bug the heck out of me) but I know for a fact that for millions of Americans, profanity is most certainly offensive. 

Why, then, would anyone take a chance on offending someone -- especially a potential client -- when there are thousands of words to convey your meaning rather than using swear words?

Are we not writers and, therefore, wordsmiths? Excrement is a cool way to say sh$% and gets the point across admirably and with class, and I rather like "confound it" to replace "dam$ it."

The use of profanity in business writing is not only stupid, it's LAZY.

Then, there’s the whole issue of the lack of common sense of using profanity on a business blog.

Who does that? Apparently, some “real estate writers” do. Writers that I hope you’ll think three times about before hiring.

You agents are fortunate. There aren’t many impostors among your ranks. I mean, they either have a license or they don’t.

In my industry, anyone with a pulse can and does call themselves a writer. Much like agents and FSBOs, when it comes to encroaching on my expertise, I get downright indignant.

Careful, folks. You ARE your website and every word on it reflects on you -- on your brand, your intelligence, your credibility and your authority.

Don’t hire novices, wannabes or the clueless to speak for you.

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