When you write blog posts, prospecting letters, property fliers, emails, and web pages, are you careful about your grammar?
You should be, because poor grammar can knock you completely out of the running with some clients. They’ll simply decide that you’re not a professional and will pass you by.
Some agents think it doesn’t matter. They say that as long as what they write can be understood, no one should care. But that’s the point…
When your grammar is bad, your message is NOT easy to understand. When a possessive word lands in the middle of a sentence where there should be no possessive, it makes your writer stop and wonder what you’re trying to say. The same goes for using “there” when you mean “their,” writing “waist” when you mean “waste,” or making any other mistake that puts a word in a spot where it’s meaning makes no sense.
Then there are mistakes that simply make an educated reader stop and think “That’s wrong.”
Misplaced punctuation when used with quote marks is one of those mistakes. Not every reader knows the correct usage, but those who do will think less of you when you make a mistake.
This one is actually easy to learn because there are few exceptions to remember.
The rules are posted here on my Active Rain Blog.
Do you know the rules for apostrophes?
Since I mentioned seeing possessives where they don’t belong, I might as well mention the proper use of apostrophes. They do have several uses, as I explain here on Active Rain.
Forming plurals is NOT one of those uses, unless you’re writing something that would be misunderstood without it. For instance, the plural of “I” is “I’s” – not “Is.”
The plural of Realtor, however, is Realtors – NOT Realtor’s. “Realtor’s” is a possessive and HAS to be followed by something belonging to that Realtor. (Realtor’s car, Realtor’s listing, Realtor’s grammar)
Because good grammar is so important to your success as a real estate agent, I write a lot of grammar posts. If you need a refresher course on some points of grammar, come here to see if there’s a blog post covering the topic. If not, Google Grammar Girl and ask her.