No matter how sensible you are, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve been tempted by a headline or two at the grocery checkout counter. Be honest — you’ve flipped through to read about “7 Secrets to Achieving Your Dream Body,” “How to Double Your Income In Two Months,” or “The Danger Your Dentist Isn’t Telling You About,” haven’t you?
You’re not alone, we’ve all done it! And that’s because those headlines catch your attention, grab you by the collar and pull you in to learn more. Now, these type of headlines might seem too sensational and unprofessional for real estate, but the formula behind them can be applied to your ads to drastically increase your leads.
When you crafted your ad headlines, you probably took a look through the real estate section of your local paper or the listings on Craigslist to see what other agents were doing. It’s good to be on the pulse of what your competition is up to, but you need to be very clear about the fact that other agents are far from your only competition.
In the fight for your prospects’ attention, the real competition is everything else in your prospect’s life. In our fast-paced world, that “everything else” category is extremely interesting, so you only have milliseconds to make an impression with your headline. Your marketing has to be strong enough to break through all that clutter to reach your prospect.
Dialing into WIFM with Your Headlines
The way to slice through the noise is by using headlines that attract your prospects through their own self-interest. I often talk about the fact that your prospects are only interested in WIFM — What’s In It For Me? You have to consistently measure your ads and headlines against this idea, to make sure prospects can clearly see what’s in it for them.
What’s in it for you when you open up the magazines at the grocery store to read those enticing articles? Easy — the story behind the headline is bound to be helpful, maybe even life-changing, or just plain fun and entertaining.
To tap into WIFM with your headlines, ask yourself “What are my prospects really looking for?”
This is the crucial piece you must understand to write headlines your prospects can’t ignore.
The Winning Headline Formula
Once you figure out what your prospects want, the formula to create your headline is simple:
Offer something prospects want + make it easy for them to get it.
Let’s compare this formula to a traditional agent headline, such as “Award-Winning Agent Jane Doe: She’ll Go Above and Beyond for You.” This doesn’t touch either point in the formula — it doesn’t present a clear benefit and doesn’t tell prospects what to do next. Jane won’t see many calls as a result.
In contrast, here are some examples of headlines that follow the winning formula:
Your Home in Under 60 Days or I’ll Buy it
Move Up to Any One of My Listings and I'll Buy Your Home for Cash
Save $5,000 on Your Home Purchase Guaranteed or I Pay You $1,000 Cash When You Buy Through Me
Buy Any One of Our Listings and if You Are Not Satisfied in 18 Months, We’ll Buy it Back
In the examples above, the headlines clearly answer the WIFM question by presenting the specific benefits prospects can expect to experience. They also make it obvious that you’re the solution to their problems and entice prospects to learn more. Check and mate.
Before you craft your next ad, make sure to use the headline formula to address WIFM. And remember, the quickest way to cut through the clutter is by making your headlines impossible to ignore.
“Craig has revolutionized our business. He has helped us organize and run our business like a business with systems and specific tools to succeed.”
– Amy Coleman, Realtor/Owner, Golden State Realty Group, Inc., Sacramento, California
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