Before I got into copywriting, I had a side job as a home photographer with a local real estate agent.
Whenever the realtor would go to list a home for sale, he’d bring me and my professional lighting equipment in for a couple of hours to make sure the property looked presentable.
(Most real estate photos are TERRIBLE—soft, natural-looking lighting really makes your home stand out in online listings.)
All together, I photographed around 70 homes.
And let me tell you, you see some weird stuff when people invite you into their inner sanctum like that…
This one house had a tiny little one-room basement that was completely DOMINATED by an enormous stuffed moose head.
And another property (that looked like it was decorated by Tony Soprano) had mirrors EVERYWHERE throughout the upstairs, where the bedrooms were. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one…
Far and away the wackiest thing I saw, though, was in this townhouse not far from where I live.
The townhouse was owned by a 20-something bachelor.
I walked in the front door, which opened into a living room with a vaulted ceiling.
And perched above the living room, at the back of the townhome, was a combination dining room/kitchenette.
I walked up the stairs to photograph the dining room, and as I rounded the corner I stopped dead in my tracks—then busted out laughing.
The entire wall in the dining room was a giant mural.
The painting depicted what I can only presume was the homeowner…
Clad in a toga like a Greek god…
Beads of sweat glistening on his bulging biceps as he wielded the power of the mighty thunderbolt…
Legs astride a stream that flowed past his sandal-clad feet and vanished into the foggy distance…
I imagine the mural was a big hit with the ladies.
The best part was, my realtor client told me that the homeowner wanted to make sure we got some good photos of the painting to include in the listing.
The guy had “invested” several thousand dollars having it created, and no doubt in his mind this was a big selling point for the property.
I never found out what became of that mural after the townhome sold.
I’m willing to bet thought that the new owners were a LOT less smitten with it than the previous occupant would have hoped.
(Nothing a pint of “eggshell white” won’t fix!)
This mural reminds me of what a lot of businesses end up doing in their email marketing.
They’ll blast out messages intended to tell their subscribers about the new website redesign they just launched…
The latest awards they’ve received…
And other assorted “news and updates” about the business.
You know how this ends up looking to their subscribers?
About as attractive and interesting as a giant nekked Greek dude looming over you while you eat your Coco Puffs.
Don’t do it.
Think like a skeptical buyer, NOT like a proud seller.
Focus on what’s important to THEM.
And when it comes time to pull the trigger, your odds are a lot better that their decision will go in your favor.