Real estate professionals and investors today have more tools at their disposal than ever before. Websites and online listing databases can give you updated information at a moment’s notice, and social media means that many people are instantaneously aware of things like new listings. However, all of this information can just turn into a dull roar of noise. It can be overwhelming and difficult to sift through.
Table of Contents - How to Write a Great Sales Prospecting Letter
Even though it’s “slower,” there’s still something to be said for providing the good old-fashioned touch, and a sales prospecting letter can fit the bill. Essentially, these letters are “feelers” that you’re sending out to prospective buyers or sellers, asking them if they’re interested in buying or selling a property (usually the address where they’re receiving the letter).
Generating leads in this manner can sound outdated, but it actually has a higher rate of success than you might expect. It all comes down to how the letter is written. Reading up on some tips to write an engaging sales prospecting letter is a great first step to increasing your chances of success.
Everyone loves the mail
“Mail” and “young people” might not immediately go together in your head, but you’d be surprised. People of all generations love getting mail, especially pieces that aren’t blatant advertising. A well-written sales prospecting letter that lets them know that their property is desirable could be just the ticket to turn a “maybe” prospect into a “yes,” and before you know it you have a quality listing in your name.
The trick is to not come across as too “salesy” in your letter. It’s not about closing the deal right off the bat – it’s more about establishing the first connection. You want to introduce yourself, explain what you can offer and describe how your skills can be beneficial to their real estate future. Don’t be pushy – you have plenty of time to establish a working relationship after this point.
Personalize, personalize, personalize
It’s much easier to use a form template that you can just send to everyone. Writing “Dear Sir or Madam” makes it simple to print off tons of letters and get them in the mail, but it’s not going to generate much momentum. It comes across as insincere and rushed, and it will end with many of your letters going right into the recycling bin.
At the very least you should be typing in each individual’s name in their copy of the letter, and it can be even better to write “Dear [blank]” and then handwrite the person’s name. This is a small detail, but an important one. You want to give yourself the advantage possible when it comes to securing a lead via letter, and eye-catching personalization wherever possible is a great first step.
Stay professional and authentic
While you want to come across as engaging and personable, you also don’t want to cross the line into unprofessional. Avoid using slang terms and another distracting language, for starters. Be clear and concise in what you need to say – your customers will appreciate your honesty and directness.
You also want to keep your own unique voice. You’re trying to establish a relationship that hopefully lasts for a long time, and this letter could be the first step. For that reason, write the way that you always do. If you try and change your natural style, many people will be able to instantly sense it, which can give them a sour taste in their mouths. Think of it as writing for your friends – would they want to read it, would they understand it and would they recognize it as uniquely yours?
You should also avoid the easy tricks of bright colours and distracting sales language. These are hallmarks of direct marketing mail that people receive every single day, and again makes it more likely that it’ll just be discarded with the rest of the “junk mail.” It’s best to stick with unassuming and professional stationery that gets the point across without much fuss.
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Include real data
You can do yourself a lot of favours by including hard numbers in your letter. If you tell someone that a buyer is interested in properties similar to theirs, that’s all well and good, but so what? You need to then demonstrate how this could be beneficial to them. Look into comparable listings in the area and delve into how their price estimates have increased. This way you’ll have actual quantitative data to insert into a letter and give a prospective seller some real numbers to consider.
You should follow this up with a call to action – a request for the person to contact you, or an easy way to access your website. You can also throw in something for free – maybe local coupons or a sports schedule magnet, but something relevant to real estate is always nice. For instance, we’ve seen many agents offer things like free comparative market analyses. This gives potential clients a formal and attractive deliverable to hang on to and serve as a reminder of your services.
Always follow up
The direct mail prospecting letter should always be followed up with another form of communication. Keep a spreadsheet in Excel or another program to track who you’ve contacted and how, or even consider investing in a sales management program that can help you easily figure out who you’ve contacted, how to contact them and how they’ve responded.
This makes it much simpler to know when and how to follow up – you can follow an initial prospecting letter with a phone call, an email or another letter. Follow-ups are a great way to keep lines of communication open and reiterate any connections that you made with the initial prospecting letter.
Writing a good sales prospecting letter is all about coming across as genuine. Clients can easily be turned off by language that seems forced or deliberate, so just be yourself and don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Eventually, these “old-fashioned” letters will lead to you forming relationships and networking opportunities that are founded on trust and understanding.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Sales Prospecting Message
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