It is an established fact that direct mail marketing works effectively and consistently in commercial real estate brokerage. Even with the advent and improvement of online marketing, websites, and blogs, the traditional direct mail piece sent through the mail will always attract readership and interest, providing the appropriate strategies used.
Every commercial real estate agent and broker should have a specific strategy for sending marketing letters to targeted people, and then making appropriate follow-up calls in a timely way. Don’t bother sending letters unless you are prepared to follow up the correspondence. The cost of direct mail is significant and on that basis every letter should be followed through with a telephone call.
Commonly you hear of agents and brokers sending out several hundred letters or perhaps even 1000 letters at one time. They then hope that they will get a return phone call from an interested party or prospective client. The reality soon sinks in when they only get one or two calls direct telephone calls per thousand letters sent. That can be a very expensive and non-productive way of marketing.
Follow the Rules of Direct Mail Marketing
Here are some important rules to help you with the strategy behind the letter marketing process:
- Control Letter Numbers: Only send a small number of letters each time you are doing your mailings. A good number to focus on is between three and five letters per day. The degree of research behind the task will take time as will the necessary follow-up phone calls. Don’t send out too many letters at one time.
- Seek Examples: There are plenty of direct mail examples to consider and use. Look at the different industries using direct mail today and compose a simple and central message relative to your property skills, a particular property type, and the location. Ask questions in the letter, provide interesting property related facts for the location, and introduce the idea that you will be making a follow-up telephone call in the next few days. The letter introduces the telephone call. That is the main idea behind direct marketing via letters and correspondence.
- Stop Emails: The email approach by comparison doesn’t work when it comes to direct marketing. The concept is entirely different and will have very little impact if you send your message through the email. Focus on sending letters in a simple and direct way. Whilst it might take you a lot more time and effort to send a letter, the level of professionalism and dedication to the process will shine through for you as a central message in building your brand. Your target should be to stand out as the agent of choice, knowledge, and skill in today’s property market. The letter will help you do that.
- Watch your Costs: There are costs to the process of sending correspondence. On that basis every letter should be followed through with a telephone call; focus on generating a personalised conversation to encourage a meeting . Identify if the person has an interest or a potential future need in property. They are the people that you should be meeting with.
- Ongoing Contact: After the first meeting with any prospects and clients, establish a pattern of ongoing telephone calls and meetings into the future. You need to connect with every person in your database at least once every 90 days. Through that contact process you will help them understand that you are the agent of relevance and local focus. It is hard for a person to ignore an agent that is diligent, professional, knowledgeable, and skill. Over a period of time, the regular contact process can help you build that profile in a relevant way. Always have on hand a selection of marketing tools and local information to be shared as part of the client contact or prospect meeting.
- Watch Your Results: Track and measure the statistics and the results that you are getting from direct mail. The statistics to track are most particularly the number of letters sent, the calls at you are making, the conversions to meetings, and the results of meetings. Given that the conversion to meeting ratio is usually quite high, you should be converting in excess of 70% of your direct mail letters to meetings. Eventually those meetings will lead to opportunity.
- Build Your List: Establish a direct mail list of targeted people. Generally speaking they will be in separate segments and most particularly property investors, business owners, and tenants. Each segment requires a specific letter relative to a property type and the potential property need.
- Short and Simple: Keep every letter simple in format and short in length. Most adults prefer to read a letter of less than three paragraphs in length featuring a few dot points. Stick to that format and make your message clear and simple with a bias towards local property activity. Keep your letter to one side of the correspondence so that your message and your signature can be seen on the same single page. Include your business card with every letter that you send.
So the message here is quite simple. In commercial real estate brokerage the direct mail strategy has a place as part of your personalised promotional campaign. Consistently connect with the right people in your local area through a customised mailing approach.
Send letters at least once every 60 days to the same people, and in doing so change the message and provide different property related ideas. Drill down into the facts of the local area, the property changes, and the property opportunities. Make every letter stand out as a specific approach to a targeted market. Understand the differences when it comes to the focus of buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords. Design the letter to the specific focus and keep the core message short.