Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Monday, November 28, 2011, 7:00 AM
Real estate agents have long been teased about questionable babble in their listing ads. But is the teasing still justified? Or has the shift to online advertising reduced the problem?
I was sent this “broker babble” generator by a soon-to-launch online rental company that doesn’t need real estate agents (an assumption based on the “sick of brokers?” link on the bottom of the web page). Besides the generator not being very good (but looks very cool), I feel like the language of real estate agents has actually been improving over the past decade and this attempt at humor was out of sync with today – designed to “buddy up” with consumers directly.
Does the industry still use silly language in some of its listing ads? Of course! Descriptions that include “triple mint” and “fab vus” are still used to excess. Then why did this attempt at low brow humor seem so hollow?
Perhaps it comes down to the decline of classified print advertising for real estate listings. Limitations on print space back in the day cried out for choice words to get the attention that would drive the sale.
Since listings are shifting to the web whether it’s with the online classified ads of the New York Times, online services like Trulia or StreetEasy or brokerage firms, whose space constraints are less daunting for agents.
Perhaps the modest upgrade in the qualifications of people entering the industry and the rising emphasis on professional development has played a role?
Or it is still just as bad and because I’ve been involved in the real estate industry for too long and it’s become white noise.
Whatever it is, this sort of promotional stunt is just a silly.
- A Short Guide to Real Estate Lingo and Acronyms [National Association of REALTORS]
- Broker Babble [Apartable]
- Classified Ad Revenue Down 70 Percent in 10 Years, With One Bright Spot [Poynter]