Please Critique my Brochure

21 replies
I have created this brochure for a real estate company. They specialize in selling homes to those with little credit or not enough for a down payment.
It will be printed as a tri-fold brochure but I have put it up on a web page so you can see it. There is a link at the top to the inside of the brochure.

Untitled 1

Thanks
Rick
#brochure #critique
  • Profile picture of the author AMBuddy
    The figures look like they have been cut out and stuck on; they are not in proportion to the background. Seems very odd to look at. :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Hi Rick,

    I just took a quick look at your brochure. If I have more time, I will look more closely look at your copy.

    But the one thing that jumps out is that the copy on the back is in all caps. That's very hard to read. Drop that approach and write in normal fashion with capitals for the first letter of the first word of each sentence.

    Best,

    Thomas O'Malley
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    • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
      Hi Rick,

      I took a look at your brochure and noticed a couple of things that need to be changed.

      I think you need to change "buying a house" to "buying a home". A home is a much stronger image than "a house" which is vague and impersonal. I think you should change the reference to the goal post as well because I think it only speaks to men.

      Change "thousands more families" to "thousands of families". Change "In a nutshell, here is how it works:" to "Here's how it works".

      Honestly, there is a lot I would change and I'd rewrite more of it if I could copy/paste the text. I hope what I have given you helps a little, at least.
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      • Profile picture of the author Neil AM
        This needs a fair bit of work, in my opinion.

        First of all, check your grammar. There's a few missing possessive apostrophes (like in Craigs Real Estate) and at least one missed capital letter ('the banks have become very picky...') This kind of thing makes your message look unprofessional - you're asking your prospects to part with a lot of money, so your presentation has to be top-notch.

        In the copy itself you need to tap into the real desires of your prospects early on - why do they want a house? Maybe security, maybe somewhere special to start a family, that kind of thing.

        Something like this might draw your prospects in better (starting at the beginning of the inside of the brochure; this is something written quickly so it'll likely need further work):

        Does this describe you?
        • You have a steady income
        • You can put up at least a partial downpayment
        • ...but you still can't get a loan for your dream house

        You've worked hard. You've stopped buying those little luxuries you used to enjoy. But every time you get close to buying a house, the banks move the goal posts a little bit further.

        But there is a way to beat them...

        A way you can have the security of owning your own home
        A way you can free yourself from money-grubbing landlords

        Here's how it works:

        [turn the bit about how it works intoa set of bullets or a numbered list, and end it with 'you own your dream home', or something like it]

        All you need is a steady income and a partial downpayment. That's it. You're already approved.


        Then lead into the numbers and what the estate agents do.

        I'd drop the 'Upside Down World' section - I don't see what it adds.

        The 'Last Chance' and 'Stop Renting' sections are good, but put them in normal text rather than capitals. I'd also be tempted to turn the 'Stop Renting' section into a list of bullets rather than paragraphs - you've got some good benefits there and that will make them more noticeable.

        Hope that helps.
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        • Profile picture of the author wilmath
          Thanks for the help, everybody. I have fixed the all-caps problem on the back page and am working on some of the other things.
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          • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
            Hi Rick,

            I recommend you review an excellent chapter on writing brochures in copywriter Jonathan Kranz's Writing Copy for Dummies book. I know it's a Dummies book but Kranz does a good job explaining how to write a powerful brochure.

            Best,

            Thomas O'Malley
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            • Profile picture of the author Summertime Dress
              Bill Glazer talks about a secondary reader path (not sure if that's the right terminology), but basically this means that readers typically scan the headlines, sub head-lines, bold copy and photos first -- and your message should make sense. This secondary path will either convince or not to go back and read the entire thing in greater detail. He's got a good book you could take a look at called "Outrageous Advertising".
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              • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Summertime Dress View Post

                Bill Glazer talks about a secondary reader path (not sure if that's the right terminology), but basically this means that readers typically scan the headlines, sub head-lines, bold copy and photos first -- and your message should make sense. This secondary path will either convince or not to go back and read the entire thing in greater detail. He's got a good book you could take a look at called "Outrageous Advertising".
                An excellent suggestion, the book by Bill Glazer (one of Dan Kennedy's business partners) entitled: Outrageous Advertising that's Outrageously Successful

                I've got a copy here after reading a recommendation from my old friend and fellow Warrior and copywriter Jon McCulloch who appears in the book on page 149.

                You can buy the book on Amazon for less than 10 bucks...

                Amazon.com: Outrageous advertising thats outrageously successful: Books
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    I think your brochure sucks.

    HOWEVER,

    I have no idea WHO is going to be seeing it either...and I admit I don't know everything, so it is possible it is good enough as is going to the intended market...I just can't in MY wildest imagination picture who that TARGET is?

    I was a Realtor in Northeast Ohio many years ago, created countless brochures too...but step one is to clearly identify WHO is going to receive it.

    HOW? When? and WHY?

    IF it were me, and I could segment the list, I'd have an ethnic picture on the brochure for every group it was going too...in today's digital printing world, a pretty easy thing to do.

    Again, I don't know the intended audience, but if it is a general "wish I had a house" market, I stand by the opening...it sucks.

    That being said...HOW do you improve it?

    Create a picture of the pefect family...you have a couple with a baby...they are just starting a family...what about for expanding a family...or for Veterans...also, I think you need to give a little more detail about the houses themselves...why are they so affordable?

    Are they on the river which floods? Been fire damaged? Repo'd? Why are the owners so apparently desperate to sell them, what's wrong with them? See?

    Start with the WHO is going to get the brochure. WHY would they take it, or open it or read it?

    Then you have some basics to build on, the DREAM theme you are using isn't, in my opinion, going to fly in today's recessionary times...but a focus on the reason WHY they NOW qualify, along with an incentive to call NOW...might give you better results.

    TARGET first. Words second.

    gjabiz


    Originally Posted by wilmath View Post

    I have created this brochure for a real estate company. They specialize in selling homes to those with little credit or not enough for a down payment.
    It will be printed as a tri-fold brochure but I have put it up on a web page so you can see it. There is a link at the top to the inside of the brochure.

    Untitled 1

    Thanks
    Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
    Hi Wilmath,

    I don't have time to read the whole brochure but hopefully you'll find some use in this.

    Here are a few ideas for your heads and subheads. This is a lead gen brochure right? So, really you want to get people interested and get them calling right?

    Okay, Headlines:

    • Own a home for less than what you pay in rent now
    • You can own a home for less than the cost of rent
    • If you currently rent you can own a home for less than what you pay now
    • Enjoy being a homeowner for less than the cost of renting
    • If you've got a job and pay rent we can put you in your own home
    • If you're currently renting and have a job you can own a home for less than the cost of rent
    Subheads:
    • New Program makes the dream of home ownership possible for all
    • New Home Ownership Program 98% approval for those with a job
    • If you rent you can own exciting new home buyer program for renters
    • Own your own home - new program makes it possible for Ohio Renters
    • Own your own home - new program makes it possible for Ohio Residents
    2nd Sub:
    • Rent to own - pay what you currently pay and own a home
    • Rent to own - 98% Approval Rate - New Ohio Resident Funding Program
    • Own a home in less than 90 days - New Ohio Rent To Own Program Makes Home Ownership a Reality
    3rd Sub:
    • Instant approval for you if....
    • Do you qualify?
    • Yours will probably work too.
    4th Sub:
    • We do the work for you
    • We find your dream home for you
    • Move in and secure your home today
    • Don't wait - Limited Available Funding for Ohio Residents
    • Act Now to Secure Home Ownership While You Rent
    The other thing you need are calls to action and contact info all over this baby. So, at the end of each paragraph I would say something like..."call Name now at 888-888-8888 she's here to help."

    • Limited funding for all Ohio residents - Call now 888-888-8888
    • Call now and own your home in the next 90 days - 888-888-8888
    Good luck man, I hope that helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hugh Thyer
      I'm with you Gjabiz. Sorry, but it does suck. And most of the advice so far amounts to little more than shifting deckchairs on the Titanic.

      However, and I don't want to be negative...there is HOPE! Problem is, people aren't going to open it because your opening page is all wrong. A 'motherhood' statement and a picture of a house isn't going to get them going.

      Who is your target market?

      What are their fears? Hopes? Dreams? What pisses them off more than anythng. What's the one thing they want but can't have.

      How can you solve it for them.

      Actually, the bit starting 'Does This Describe You' would be far better on the front page. Describe your ideal prospect and what they're feeling. Then tell them they can have what they want and all they need is a starting deposit and a steady income.

      That's far more likely to get your TARGET prospect reading.

      Good luck,

      Hugh
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  • Profile picture of the author presynaras
    Seems fine, but a few things can still be done. Like the images seem like they've been cut and pasted as stated by the people before me. Also the proportion of space occupied by images in a page must also be checked. There should be a balance maintained
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  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    The opener is WOW. IMO you should delete the "How To" so it would sounds like a good call to action. And "a" to "your", like this :
    "Turn YOUR home buying dream into reality"
    "make YOUR home buying dream come true"
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    • Profile picture of the author wilmath
      Thank you everybody for your help...
      Back to the drawing board
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Your brochure doesn't have to look and sound like others.

        Here's what I mean.

        Have it appear like an advertorial.

        If you don't know what one is, it's like a featured article in the same format as the rest of the newspaper or magazine is.

        It reads as if a reporter/editor has written it.

        Doing so creates credibility and authority which it wouldn't of achieved without it...
        meaning you get believability and sales which is hard to come by these days.

        For visual effect, you can have it appear as if it was torn out of a newspaper or magazine.

        If you are having trouble getting the benefits and hooks that captivate your reader, then you can find a reporter in training and have her/him ask you questions which bring out the news worthy story.

        Then another way to go is, if you already have people who have taken up this offer, ask them what was the reason why they went with it and why it was important to them.

        Ideally go with the woman in a couple situation because they are the ones which mostly control the money.

        In both cases, it's about getting your answers from others, either experts at drawing out the right answers via questioning...or from the buyers.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Elle Davies
    The writing for the titles lacks continuity in size and style, just by changing these two aspects of the brochure should make for an easier read in my opinion!
    Also ensure that the paragraphs are evenly spaced to neaten the appearance up a little, although this should happen automatically if you do decide to change the title font and size.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    The picture on the front is very, very awkward. It makes the thing look downright tacky. I'd work on that.

    You did an excellent job with the inside of the brochure though. Very professional looking, well designed, and informative.

    So yeah, fix that picture and you are golden buddy!
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  • Profile picture of the author theultimate1
    The picture in the front... well the baby's left hand looks mutilated(?!) Maybe that isn't the right word, and I'm too sleepy right now to think of something better. Take a look at brochures from banks, especially the home loan offers. That should help you with formatting the segments of your brochure.

    And yea, I agree with Hugh Thyler's suggestion on defining your target market. Start the inner pages of your brochure with 'Does This Describe You?' or something similar. I (obviously) don't know how well it'll work, but it sets the tone right. Only testing will tell.

    All The Best
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    • Profile picture of the author noobjet
      My opinion as a non-copywrite layman...

      Not to be harsh, but the cover picture is horrid. Like others have said, the babies hand looks mutilated, and the fathers head looks like it's photoshopped on.

      The inside of the brochure is nice though, the only way I can think of tweaking it is maybe changing the color at the top of the page, so they aren't all orange. Maybe Orange, Yellow and Blue or Green. Give it a little pop. But that's just if you want to tweak it, it looks fine the way it is.

      You may also want to change the color on the front, when the background on every page is the same burnt orange color, it's sort of drab. I'm not suggesting getting wild and crazy with the colors, just come up with a nice color scheme that is pleasing to the eye and really grabs the readers attention.

      The only thing in your script that may throw people is the "move the goal posts" part. Although it's common knowledge to you, me and probably 95% of your readers, 5% may be confused as to exactly what this means, thus throwing a shade of confusion on the entire brocure before they have fully read the first page. Perhaps use a more well-known analogy.
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  • Profile picture of the author derricks4
    Definitely need to proofread. Maybe download some more snazzy fonts?
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  • Profile picture of the author RRMarketing
    Main cover:
    -> Make your headline clear and specific. It's more like a motto ... like a tagline, then an actual specific headline.

    "How To Buy The House Of Your Dreams (Which You Can't Afford Yet) With Minimum Risk In As Little As 60 Days!"

    -> You have made sacrifices ...

    -> Make it clear, specific. I need to read it several times to actually get the point. Your prospect won't have this type of patience.

    -> Also, I'm not 100% convinced you are hitting the right buttons for selling.

    Razvan
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