When it comes to winning new leads and opportunities as a real estate agent, prospecting letters are a worthwhile strategy providing you follow the rules.  They form a solid part of a business generation system for agents and brokers.

In saying this, there are some facts that should be understood:

  • Sending prospecting and canvassing letters as a single method of business generation generally doesn’t work to any great degree.  You will need to do other things in addition to the direct mail process.
  • The letters should be specifically written and sent to a market segment in your local area.  Don’t create a broad letter message that tries to cover all segments of the market; it will likely be discarded.
  • Regularity in the letter cycle is really important.  Send your direct mail every 60 days so that you are building impact and branding.  Over a period of one year you will have sent 6 very specific pieces of correspondence to your target audience.

Many times you will see agents use this prospecting for new business process because it is easy to implement (although costly).  As a standalone marketing process the conversion factors are very low.  That is why the 3 previous points as mentioned are critical to getting results.

Here are some stages to implementation of this type of contact and networking process in commercial real estate:

  1. Choose a segment of the market that you can relate to locally.  Ideally that will be business owners, or property investors.  The focus of these two groups is totally different and on that basis you will need specifically designed separate letters with unique content.
  2. Send out your letters in locational groups and to no more than 100 people at a time.  After a few days of sending the letters you can make your direct telephone calls in follow up.  As you are sending correspondence locally it then makes it a lot easier to relate to the person you are going to call; you can converse from a local perspective and be quite informative in doing so.  Conversations are the key to engagement.
  3. Always enclose your business card in correspondence sent.  If the letter is discarded, it is likely that the business card will be retained.
  4. Simplicity is the key to letter readership.  Use dot points and references to local issues as part of the layout.
  5. Try to keep your message contained inside 3 paragraphs and certainly on one simple A4 sheet of paper.
  6. Always sign your correspondence personally and do so in blue ink.  In that way the reader will see that they are getting something that is ‘real’ and not mass produced.

These are very simple rules to follow and yet so logical.  Many real estate agents over complicate their direct mail processes and hence get little result.  Adults like simplicity; on that basis you will need to stay clear to your marketing message and simple in layout.