You can use direct mail to gain business leverage in your commercial property business. It is part of a good prospecting process that you can consider. That being said you really do need to do things to a system if you want results.
Are you ready for some new business system modification? Here are the facts about direct mail marketing in our property industry:
Be specific and not generic – drill down into a particular message to a target market. You can write your direct letters with the target market in mind. Understand what people like to hear and see as they consider the changes in the local property industry. Create some charts about vacancy factors, supply and demand, prices and rents. Graphs and statistics create questions and can show that you know the facts. That is where you can step in as the expert of choice to help with those market segments.
Be local – most of the inquiry for properties will come from the local area. Concentrate your letters in the streets, the buildings, and the businesses, but always stay local in your focus. Keep that local area defined within precincts, roads, and suburbs. Get to know the precincts in the local zone and what people are thinking and doing in those zones. In doing this you can comprehensively get to know what rents, prices and inquiry is doing. You can feed that information into your recommendations and listing pitch.
Contact small batches of people – you can ‘overdo it’ in commercial real estate marketing thinking that the volume approach is best when it comes to sending letters; the reality is far from that. Only work your direct letters into small groups that you can follow up. It is better to send 5 or 10 letters as direct mail pieces that you can follow up, rather than send 200 pieces that you do not follow up. There is also a cost component that should not be forgotten. If you send a letter, then you must follow it up.
Create a series of letters to use – when you start the direct mail strategy, have a series of letters that you can send every month or 2 months to the same people. Regularity in contact creates familiarity. Help the people remember you by raising valuable ongoing information in batches that attract people.
Simplicity really works – every direct mail piece can be simplified. Don’t send out something that is overly long and complicated. Most adults and particularly property people will on average not spend much time looking at your letter and message. Simplicity will help the message get through. Use a keyword or phrase to pull people into your correspondence then put a few dot points to extend the interest.
Your business card – with every letter that you send out, enclose your business card so you can encourage ongoing contact. In most cases, business cards are kept for future reference even if your letter is ‘binned’. Make sure your business card is carefully designed with professional layout, as well as being printed on good rigid paper stock.
So you can do a lot with direct mail marketing if you design the system that works for you. Track and measure the results that you get back in, then improve your processes at every opportunity.
You can and should use ‘success letters’ in your commercial real estate business.
When you have a positive result in a sale or leasing situation, is worth sending a ‘success letter’ into your location and certainly so with the prominent investors, property owners and business leaders.
Use your positive results in your local real estate business as a marketing tool.
You want the local people to know that you have produced a positive result with a property that they are likely to know and perhaps see every day.
Use the local area as a base of marketing. Help them remember you and your success with the listing, they drive past it on the way to work or on their way doing business locally.
So what specifically is a letter of this type?
It is simply a traditional direct mail piece that is sent to the surrounding location property owners and business leaders. It is simple in format and usually contained on one single A4 page; the letter tells of a property result locally, you enclose your business card, and you invite general enquiry for more information.
When you send these letters out into the local area, you must follow them up; that is the way the processes really must happen. Here are some ideas to merge into this marketing strategy:
Reference the address of the property and or the building – Make sure that everyone knows that you are the person that listed the property, created the inspections, negotiated the deal, and resolved the property challenge for the client.
Talk about enquiry rates – Local property owners like to know that other enquiries are still unsatisfied; that may be enough reason for them to contact you for their property challenge.
Use case studies – You can put together a case study or series of case studies that talk to the property listing and result that you achieved. Over time you can compile a series of these special information sheets and merge them into your presentations, client discussions, and negotiations. Sometimes people just need that extra proof of an event to make the final decision to move on what you are saying or recommending.
Have a story to tell – Stories create interest. You can merge a number of stories into your property marketing and client contact processes. Stories should be local in relevance and proximity. You can put those stories into your canvassing letters.
Write editorials and blogs – A good story about local property results and trends can be put online via a blog and or into the local newspapers. If you did the sale or leasing deal, then you have a story to tell. As part of that process, ensure that you have the client’s approval to talk about things that they may consider ‘sensitive’ to their property sale, lease, or disposal.
Connect with your database – Whilst you should and will have a database, there are various ways you can connect into the people within the list. Email, letters, and telephone calls all work as part of a comprehensive property marketing campaign.
Integrate your social media platforms into your case studies and results – There are a few social media platforms that are useful in commercial real estate today. It is doubtful that you will directly attract and close on a listing though social media, but you should have the advantage there of staying in regular contact with the people that you know and have already reached out to.
So your success letter process can feed into your marketing methods both online and offline. Chart out your current marketing processes and look at how they can be improved with this process.
I have been using prospecting letters for many years as part of a balanced new business program in commercial real estate. The letters can be used in sales, leasing, or property management; the trick is to make sure your letters are well designed and specific.
Finding new clients and getting them to talk to you can be a very challenging process. In this audio program I share my rules about the direct mail systems that tend to have more success in commercial real estate brokerage.