Prospecting letters are useful in commercial real estate brokerage, but in a stand-alone analysis they do not work very well solely in generating new business. They are time consuming and costly. Conversion numbers are low when you simply look at marketing letters sent with no other interaction with prospects and clients. You need to do other things to make prospecting letters work.
If you are going to send letters to the people and the prospects in your local property market, then you are going to have to understand the best ways of doing so. The facts of the matter are that you should do a number of other things with prospecting letters to make the conversions happen and create the growth of market share that you need. A plan and a strategy is required with a good degree of results tracking.
The facts to remember are these:
- Do not build your commercial real estate business solely on the back of prospecting letter marketing. Do a few other things as well.
- There are good ways to make this happen, so be prepared to track your letter efforts based on the results you are getting back.
- If you are sending letters locally, then match the letters you send to the location and the types of property people you are writing to. There are real differences in the letters that you could or would send to investors versus business people or owner occupiers.
- Why will the people you are writing to read your letters? If you don’t have a relevant approach to sending these direct marketing pieces, then they will get binned faster than you would like.
So there are things that you can do here to make this work. Understand your location for what it is, taking into account the property changes that you can see coming up, and the investment pressures that the marketplace is under.
Delve into the property trends, property ownership’s, and the business proprietors. Write letters that accommodate all the local elements that you know are applicable currently with property, and that are relevant to your targets.
Here are some rules to help you with your direct mail systems:
- Keep your letters specific to a topic for the location.
- Understand and write to the specific types of people that are your targets for new business.
- Keep the correspondence simple and do not go over one single page of content.
- Always enclose your business card with every letter. They are likely to keep your business card.
- Sign your letters in blue ink and do so legibly. A ‘scrawled’ signature sends the wrong message.
- Make a follow-up call a few days after you send your letters, to ensure that you are connecting with the people and creating a conversation.
Send 6 letters a year to the same people. That then is done on the basis of one letter every 2 months. Ensure that every letter is different, but it follows on from the topic of the previous correspondence sent. Over time your letters can build a profile and relevance for you in the location and the business territory that you operate within.