How to Write a Compelling 30-Second Commercial-- of Yourself!

By Debra K. Traverso

Copyright 2008 by Debra Traverso, OneCall
All rights reserved in all media.

The content of this article may be forwarded in full without special permission provided it is used for nonprofit purposes and full attribution and copyright notice are given. For all other purposes, contact Debra Traverso at

In this fast-paced competitive world, you have about 30 seconds to: make a good first impression, trigger curiosity in your listener, and stand out from your competition. Whether delivered in person or over the phone, an effective 30-second message can significantly change the direction of your real estate career. (In some situations, you might have only about 15 seconds, so create an abbreviated version too.)

The point of this polished commercial is threefold: (1) to let prospects know who you are and what you do; (2) to deliver a distinctive message that aids in recall; and (3) to give prospects a reason to choose you for their business.

Number 1 above assumes that you have gone through the exercise of identifying your uniqueness and how you differ from your competition (If not, then see my article, "Clients Want a Reason to Choose You--Give it to Them!")

Number 2 is simple logic: A generalist message implies just another service, whereas a distinctive message implies a distinctive service--just the impression a service should make. People remember clever, confidant, comfortable-in-their-own-skin people.

Number 3 means making prospects feel smart about selecting you for their business. After all, everyone wants to feel smart when they choose a product or service.

Here are just a few selections (out of 40 tips) from a booklet I wrote (of the same title as this article). For the sake of space, I've only included parts of the entire 30-second messages:

  1. Make a list of what you must include in your commercial. This will differ depending on your audience, the situation that brings you together, and what you hope to accomplish. For example, in a 30-second commercial, you should include:
    • who you are
    • your company's name
    • the product/service you offer
    • the clientele you serve
    • how you differ from your competition
    Yes, it's possible to include all this information in 30 seconds. You just have to be clever.

    (Note on the last bullet: Just as you don’t change your name each time you introduce yourself, don't change your unique positioning, your differentiation. Instead, repeat it again and again. There’s a proven marketing axiom that prospects need to hear a message seven times before they believe or remember it. To understand the importance of repetition, think of a song or a jingle you hear on the radio. Imagine if it changed every time you heard it. You'd never get to the point where you could remember it, repeat it, rely on it.)
  2. Aid in Recall of Your Name. State your full name, then give listeners the name, if different, by which you'd like to be addressed. For example, "My name is Robert Smith, but please call me Bob." -- With this simple step, listeners have heard your name (or a variation of it) twice, so recall has been enhanced. If you do not use an abbreviated first name, then repeat the full name again. For example, "Hi, I'm Victor (pause) Victor Dunkin."
  3. Answer your listener's unspoken question. "Why should I do business with you as opposed to your competitors?" For example, as you hand over your business card, say: "I’m sure you'd have a positive experience with any number of REALTORS® in town; however, if you want an agent who will be accessible, then I'm the one. I have a unique find-me-follow-me number that will allow you to reach me anytime you need to. It's the only number you'll need.
  4. State what makes you different from your competition. For example, "After we've found the perfect house for you, I provide you with a unique four-step program to acclimate you to the neighborhood. My program drastically cuts your learning curve in becoming familiar with the community."
  5. Share benefits, not features. Benefits are what the prospect receives, whereas features are what you offer. If you talk in terms of features, you're forcing your prospect to do too much work--that work being translating how your features will benefit them. Do the work for them because they might not make the effort! Example: Do not say, "I offer A, B, and C." Instead say, "With A, B and C you will be able to (smoothly transition to how the prospect will benefit.) If you're still confused, try this: State a feature you offer, then finish the phrase, "What this means to you is..." That's the benefit to the customer! (Tip: Remember this terrific six-word phrase; it often comes in handy.)

  6. Appeal to listeners' concerns. For example: "As a REALTOR®, I know first-hand that clients don't just buy a home, they buy a neighborhood too. So, unlike other REALTORS®, I put together a Community Amenities Reference booklet of the neighborhoods my clients buy into. My goal is to ensure that clients aren't faced with disappointments after they've moved in." (Go on to give an example, keeping in mind your audience's demographics, interests, and Fair Housing laws.)

When you think you're done, test your introductions on friends, family, strangers. Solicit feedback. Ask them which introduction works best. Also ask what they would still need to know before they would turn to you for help. Sometimes people are too shy to ask for clarification, so solicit it instead.

Copyright 2008 by Debra Traverso, OneCall
All rights reserved in all media.

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