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.
In the commercial real estate brokerage today, the classic sales letter will always create opportunity for an agent or broker if the process is put in place successfully and consistently. It is necessary to understand the logic behind the process, the timing of the letters, and the requirement to do it regularly.
It is a fact that the e-mail prospecting process has taken over a large section of the real estate industry. For this very reason, the traditional sales letter sent through the Post Office System will create a major point of difference in marketing when it comes to the prospecting activities of an agent or a broker.
If you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to your marketing efforts, merge the sales letter process into your personal marketing efforts. Here are some rules to help you:
The sending of letters needs to occur regularly. Send your letters to groups of prospects on a monthly or bimonthly process. Given that each letter is specifically written for the target market of property owners or tenants, it is quite easy to group your prospects into segments. At different times of the month you can send your letters to selected segments.
So a key factor here is to write letters specifically to the targets within each group. You can are groups for landlords, tenants, business owners, investors, and developers. Specific letters are used in each case.
As a general rule, and wherever possible, take the time to follow-up each letter with a telephone call. If you know the telephone number of the person concerned, make the call. Many letters will help you convert more meetings.
It is preferable that the letter process is simple and select. Three or four paragraphs on a single page will get the message across. Sign your letters individually and ensure that they are personally addressed to the people concerned. Enclose your business card with every letter. You are marketing yourself and your contact details; that is what the letter and the message must do.
Given that this is a prospecting process, the letter is designed to connect with the person you are sending it to, so that you can get more meetings and opportunities. On that basis the message and the letter needs to be simply designed. Do not fill the envelope with bulky marketing material that will confuse the central message. Marketing letters are best left to a different approach and a generic mail system.
Make it easy for people to contact you as part of the mail out. Some people will call you as a direct result of getting the letters regularly. That is why you enclose your business card as part of the process. It is quite likely that the receiver of the correspondence will keep your business card for future reference.
So the direct mail process is a real and important part of the commercial real estate brokers marketing system. Make it an important part of your regular marketing efforts.
In commercial real estate brokerage, the use of prospecting letters will help boost your networking and new business efforts. New clients and listings can be generated by a good prospecting letter system. That being said, it is not just a matter of sending letters and hoping that results will occur; you need to develop a real logic to the process. You should also follow up the letters with a telephone call whenever possible.
Why would you send these letters? In most cases it is to achieve one if not all of the following:
More Sellers as listing prospects
More Landlords for leasing services
Better enquiries from the market
Buyers and tenants for your listings
Establish your brand as an industry expert
Looking at these things very simply, it is essential that you design your prospecting letters in separate ways for the market that you want to tap into; understand the new business that you are looking to attract back to you. Write your letter accordingly.
Here are some rules to creating a marketing system of letters for commercial real estate brokerage:
The letter process is a repeated system. In each period of 12 months the letters should be sent every 2 or 3 months. Each letter sent should have a separate message and theme.
Understand the ‘pain factors’ that apply to the market today and reach into those issues as part of the letter layout and message. Establish your brokerage as the ‘solution’ for all the pain and discomfort that a landlord or property owner could be experiencing.
Focus on listing stock. When you control the listings you control the market. Exclusive listings should be part of your proposal and presentation process.
Any of your competitors listings will be a trigger for prospecting letters in the same location. Any other property owners looking to sell or lease may like to compete with the other property.
Write ‘success letters’ for every sale or lease that you achieve. Send them into the immediate vicinity of the successful transaction.
Follow up all letters with a telephone call whenever you can. The personal approach is really important to conversions.
Purchase a good book on ‘copyrighting’ and ‘words or phrases that sell’. These simple books are invaluable when it comes to attracting the eye of the reader in your message.
Your marketing letters should be simple and composed over 3 or 4 paragraphs on one page only. Enclose your business card with each letter. Make it easy for people to get back to you.
If you want more listings in commercial real estate brokerage today, this strategy of sending prospecting letters really does work beyond the all too convenient ‘email’ strategy used by many. Most agents only rely on emails for prospecting communication; in those situations the client or prospect will usually not even read the content. The ‘delete’ button is all too convenient.