The new client prospecting process in commercial real estate is a bit special and different when compared to any other part of the property industry. Most of the people that you would regard as potential future clients are either going to be business people or property investors. Yes, I know there are other people to reach out to for new business, but these are the main two groups where most of the new opportunities are located for agents and brokers.
An In-depth Look at Prospecting Letters
So how you are going to find and connect with those two groups in a meaningful way so that it will influence your listing and commission outcomes? Your solution to that question is as important as the people that you talk to when you focus on establishing your mark as a top real estate agent in the local area.
I put to you that the prospecting letter process is an effective part of prospecting for clients and property listings. In saying that, don’t send out thousands of letters at one time and hope that you will get some leads and listings; the costs are high and the conversions are low. In many ways, sending fewer letters in a specific way is much more effective than sending huge numbers.
Perhaps you want to send out some letters in an ongoing way to attract new business. I won’t dissuade you; rather I will encourage you, but there are ways to lift your conversions to meetings and listing opportunities.
Direct Mail Checklist
Here are my focus points as a checklist in sending any direct marketing mail piece in commercial real estate brokerage:
- Personalise – Make sure that your letter message is matched to mindset or requirements of the intended reader. Specific letters should be written and sent within groups such as those for investors, business owners, owner occupiers, tenants, and property developers.
- Target Areas – Given that the message should be locally biased, only send the letters to certain parts of your city. In that way you can talk about key issues and changes and make them trigger points in capturing the reader’s interest.
- Follow-up systems – Wherever possible all correspondence sent should be followed up by a direct telephone call. If your message is well crafted then the telephone call will be easy in both connecting to the right people and helping you create future opportunity.
- Tell a local story – Your message should be tied to the location by reference to local issues and property changes. Put the location and the property type into your core message. Expand on the matter by using dot points (adults like to glance at things simply and quickly – dot points do that).
- Headline Attraction – Have a look at how the more successful magazines and newspapers in your city use headlines on their covers to attract purchase and readership. You need to do the same thing to get the core message across from a property perspective. Select a few headlines from magazines and see how you could merge a property message into them.
- Point of value – Why should someone read your letter or even more specifically act on it? To lift your conversions your letter should have a specific point of value. It could be the offering of a special report, local area information, or the downloading of a ‘Property Investment Calculator’.
There will always be other agents and brokers sending separate prospecting letters across Commercial Real Estate Sales, Leasing, and Property Management. On that basis you really do need to optimise the process yourself for better results.
Track the results that you get from the letters that you send out; the results should be compared across letter types, times of the year, and targeted groups. In that way you will know what is working for you in growing your real estate business. Are you up to the challenge?