In Advertising It’s What You Say, Not How You Say It

In Advertising It’s What You Say, Not How You Say It
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM

The New York Post ran an article the other day that summarized a recent list of words a busy Real Estate brokerage (The Corcoran Group) will no longer use in their advertising. Among the words: exclusive, quiet, private, kids, walking, playroom and more. Throughout the article, there was a continued reference to the duties of real estate owners, managers and brokers to abide by Fair Housing Guidelines that prohibit discrimination against prospective buyers or renters.

While I certainly understand and appreciate the need for equality and fairness within the advertising of for sale and for rent housing, at what point does it not become excessive? The need to re-word ads simply to tip-toe around what could potentially be one of the best selling points of a property is overkill, is it not? Could it not possibly prohibit a property owner from achieving the highest and best value for his or her property at market?

We attend the mandatory training once a year as put on by the Fair Housing Association. After listening to some of their in-depth and yet uninformed lectures on how to operate a property, I would much rather have their input on my advertising than on how to sell or manage a building. Before too long, ads might need to be pictorial only and completely free of text to avoid some sort of recourse or reprimand.