Whilst we have many promotional tools to use in commercial real estate brokerage today, it is a fact that the traditional letter and the direct mail process is still highly effective. That being said, there is a specific strategy and process to be followed.
Sending letters can give you a much greater level of conversion than what you would get by sending an email or making a telephone call. On that basis it pays to mix and match your marketing processes at an individual level so that you can convert many more new people and business opportunity.
Direct Mail Systems and Rules
Here are some strategies that you can use with direct mail marketing in sales and leasing:
- Targets: Design the letter specifically for the targeted audience. Understand the differences when it comes to property investors, developers, business owners, and tenants. Each letter should be designed for the target audience and the location.
- Short and Simple: Keep your letters short and to the point. Each direct mail piece should be comprised on a single sheet of company letterhead without reverting to a page 2. Don’t make it too difficult for the letter recipient to understand what you are talking about and why you are approaching them. Three or four paragraphs will be sufficient to convey the core message to the reader and create real interest.
- Use Your Business Card: Enclose a business card with every piece of direct mail sent your database. The business card is likely to be retained whereas the letter may be discarded quite quickly. Your business card is perhaps the most valuable marketing tool that you have available.
- Readable: Simplicity and readability are two factors to merge into your letter layout and design. Start the letter with an attractive headline relevant to the location and the property type. In that way you can encourage the person to read further. Whilst the letter may include two or three paragraphs, use dot points to feature critical factors of attraction. In that way the letter will be easier to read and that can then lift your conversions.
- Make the Call: In sending any letter, ensure that you make the follow-up phone call to the person concerned. Even though you may invite the person to call you as part of the letter wordage and copy, that will really happen. Return phone calls only occur in a small number of situations. Most people will not call you as a result of receiving a letter. On that basis you must be prepared to make the calls.
- Watch Costs: Sending letters today takes time and will cost reasonable money. The conversion rate from sending a letter is quite high providing you follow through with that personal telephone call mentioned earlier.
- Watch Your Numbers: Only send a small number of letters each time. In that way the follow-up process doesn’t become too demanding or difficult. It is very possible to send between three and five letters per day to people that you have correctly researched and targeted. Over a period of 90 days you will find that five letters sent each day will create a database of 300 new people.
- Letter Types: You can send letters of this type for a number of reasons in commercial real estate. The most common reasons could be for or as prospecting letters, thank you letters, or success letters. The format of the letter can also be specific to the property type and refer to recent successes you may have had in the local area. The generic approach simply doesn’t work. On that basis be prepared to drill down on the message that you are sending.
- Central Message: Craft your letter carefully with due regard to the core message, keywords, and content. The message should be simple and yet interesting. You want the person to take your call when you make that follow-up approach.
In saying all of these things, this marketing strategy involves discipline, consistency, and systemisation. You will need a good database to help you with organisation and follow-up calls.