If you are looking to build some reasonable momentum as part of a commercial real estate prospecting process, then direct mail will be something to consider and merge into your business model. In saying that, there are rules to the process; reasonable levels of success can be obtained over time. (NB – You can get our commercial real estate marketing tips in our free course right here)
The concept here is that the letters you send can complement your other marketing processes both online and directly.
There are many reasons to send letters to people in your property market. That is where the elements of strategy evolve and results can be achieved.
Cost versus Benefit
Before saying too much about this unique and special marketing process, it should be recognized that there is a reasonable cost to sending direct mail pieces today. If you are prepared to spend the money and devote the time personally to the activity of follow-up, then you should track the rules so that every letter sent can be optimized for improving results.
A mail marketing system is more traditional and well proven as part of an agent or brokerage marketing process. So, let’s get things started. Here are some rules to help you establish the system of direct mail marketing in commercial real estate brokerage:
- Select the target audience – every letter should be uniquely crafted and written with the target audience in mind. Understand the factors of attraction and the triggers of activity that are likely to create reader attention and encourage contact. Focus on certain segments and property types in your location. Targeted letter copy directed at specific groups and people will help you optimize inbound inquiry. Generic marketing really doesn’t work; be specific and direct into targeted people, specific buildings, and targeted locations. Tell stories about the location and recent property results as part of sending your direct mail piece.
- Frequency of letters – over a period of 12 months, you should send out 6 to 9 letters to the same groups of people. Organization is required. Each letter will build on the momentum of the last message within the same people and the targeted groups. To achieve this strategic approach to letter marketing, use a database with mail merge facilities to create the correspondence conveniently and accurately.
- Brand consistency – in commercial real estate brokerage, there are two brands to promote. Firstly, your personal brand and image will be very important to every letter sent. Secondly, there will also be the brokerage brand to merge into your correspondence and business message. Make it easy for people to remember you and your professional skills. Build your brand directly and specifically with every letter sent.
- Simplicity is required – every letter should be simple in format and message. A single sheet of A4 paper containing a few paragraphs of targeted content will be sufficient to attract the interests of the reader. Use headlines and dot points to attract attention and encourage interest. At the end of the letter provide some reference to a website and or mobile telephone for inquiries to be directed and captured.
- Owners and occupants – different letters will need to be sent to property owners versus property occupants. Some businesses in occupancy will be tenants. A degree of research will be required to make sure you are sending the right message to the right people.
- Market coverage – choose the businesses, the precincts and the buildings to send the letters to. Choose the better businesses, the quality locations, and the best buildings as part of that marketing approach. Cover your market comprehensively with a bias towards quality in each respect.
- Timing calendar – create a calendar of letter activity to cover the upcoming 12 months. As mentioned earlier, you will need to send at least six letters over a period of 12 months to the same people, and on that basis the messages and the timing of the process will need to be considered. Differentiate your messages, but repeat the contact process. The conversion to inquiry usually escalates after the third letter.
- Telephone follow-up – wherever and whenever possible follow-up every letter and direct mail piece. Make the calls to the people that have received your marketing message. Create conversations and track the feedback that you identify. A conversation today can be another conversation in the future with greater relevance. Relevance and repeat contact will help you build the marketing momentum that you really require.
As you consider your prospecting and marketing model for the next 12 months, consider how you can merge direct mail and direct marketing into your business model. If you are going to spend the time and the money in sending letters to your prospects and clients, get involved with the follow-up and track the results.