In commercial real estate brokerage today, you should have a system of marketing letters to integrate into your prospecting program. Those letters will be in addition to the cold calling and door knocking processes that already should be occurring.
As a general rule, the letters sent to prospects and clients within your territory and within a property type should be followed up where ever possible. That being said, it is better to send a small number of letters each day rather than several hundred in one ‘block’ dispatch. As part of the prospecting process, make direct calls to the people that have received your letters.
Given the impact of emails today, letters are increasingly becoming a very effective marketing tool in commercial real estate brokerage. That being said, the letters will need to be followed up in a professional and consistent way wherever possible. Put yourself and your personal brand into the process of client and prospect contact.
Here are some rules to help you establish this very effective letter based marketing process:
- Target property types and also properties within parts of your territory. In that way you can make the letter relevant and real to the people that you are writing to. The message needs to be quite clear and precise to the trends of the market today.
- Send the letters at a frequency of once every 60 to 90 days. Every letter should have a new message and a story to tell at a local level.
- Ensure that the letter is fully contained on one piece of correspondence covering three or four paragraphs. Make sure that the message is simple and that you sign your letters personally in blue ink. Ensure that your signature is legible; people will look at the signature and determine whether you took the time necessary to get personally involved in the correspondence.
- Look at the other ways that you can use this letter process. You can send ‘success letters’ around those listings that were recently successfully sold or leased. You can also send ‘marketing letters’ around those quality exclusive listings on your books.
- This marketing approach is very good in supporting and building a personal brand for an agent or broker. You are putting your name and your professionalism towards the client in addition to the other contact methods that you are using. On that basis the letters need to be well crafted and interesting. If letter construction and words are not one of your skills, then get a professional copywriter to compose a series of direct mail letters for you. You will need to send at least four letters over a period of 12 months and all the messages separately sent will need to be individually important and relevant to the market.
So this process will give you significant leverage in the market and help you build your client database and listing opportunities. Have you got the consistency to establish the program?
The cycle of contact in commercial real estate today is quite long and protracted. It can take some months if not years to get the client or prospect to work with you. The prospecting letter process helps you establish trust and relevance with those people that can use your services at the right time in the future. In the end result, the opportunities you get for pitching on new listings should escalate.