In commercial real estate brokerage, you need a number of new business processes working at the same time if you are going to attract and convert volumes of new business. One of those processes should be direct mail.
When used in conjunction with telephone prospecting and door knocking, the typical direct mail piece can work very well in attracting interest. The important issue to remember here is that all pieces of correspondence sent to prospects and clients should be followed up; that’s the rule. That’s how things work.
There is absolutely no reason to send out prospecting letters without doing call follow up. The costs associated with direct mail are reasonably high so make sure you get the follow up calls going. Always follow up your prospecting letters. Extract the people and the leads that exist in your local property market.
Whats Happening Today?
Today it is the case that less letters are being sent as emails take over the communications electronically. This then means that the typical letter can stand out as important and or relevant. So there are some rules to this process. Here are some of the main ones:
- Have a series of letters to send – Don’t just send one letter; send a fresh and new letter to the target audience every month or two months. Make the message different but still solidly focused in the target market. Over the period of one year the people that you are mailing to will relate to you as an industry specialist and locally based. That is what you want.
- Target groups locally – You can and should send letters to specific groups and or locations. That then makes it easier to build relevance into the letter and to attract interest of the people that you want to connect with. Think about the motivations and interest factors of the targeted groups such as investors, business leaders, franchise groups, owner occupiers, and industry related support groups such as accountants and solicitors or attorneys. They all have focus factors that you can write to any about.
- Send letters in small batches – Many times you will hear of a broker or agent that has sent out hundreds of letters to their database in an effort to find new listings and clients. They then sit back and wait for the telephone to ring. What a waste of time! Don’t send too many letters that you cannot follow them up. It is realistic to send out 5 to 10 letters per day; beyond that the averages and the work involved gets too difficult. If a letter is sent, the personal contact process should follow. If you are to send out prospecting letters, you must get on the telephone and personally follow up the mail sent. In 90% of the cases you can do that important extra step providing you have plenty of focus on what you do and your time in prospecting. Use a database to track your letters and your conversations created by personal contact. Put your personality into the contact process.
If you really want to drive new client relationships, then the letter and direct mail process is very useful, but make sure you are putting yourself and character personally into the follow through. The people that we serve tend to remember people more than they remember letters.