Why are real estate prospecting letters sold in sets?
Because consistency in real estate marketing builds trust,
and trust leads to success.
Trust is a rare and valuable commodity these days.
Every time we turn on the TV news, pick up a newspaper, or even log in to our own e-mail, we get another story about someone who has broken either public or private trust by lying, cheating, stealing, or abusing.
It’s enough to make us all skeptical of everyone we meet – and that’s just what it has done.
So… when you want a new customer you have to do something to gain his or her trust.
Drip marketing can accomplish that task – if you do it with an attitude of giving before you get.
It requires a bit of planning – you can’t just send a message saying “Here I am and I want your business.” Your drip marketing letters need to first show them that you care enough to give them some help or advice with no strings attached.
Why can’t you just mail one letter that says
everything you want to say?
Because one-shot marketing leads to failure.
How do I know? Research, reading, and my own experience…
Please… do learn from my early mistakes!
When I first got into real estate, long before I studied marketing and learned better, I used to send one prospecting letter and believe that if someone didn’t answer, they just weren’t interested. After a while I started sending repeat letters to the same prospects, but only after two or three months had passed. Later I might pick up the phone and call.
When I wrote one letter to homeowners with expired listings and got no response I assumed that they either already re-listed or were no longer interested in selling.
What a huge mistake! I don’t like to even think about the business I lost following that plan.
Marketing studies show that the first letter usually brings something less than a 1% response – if any.
Here are the statistics:
People who study direct marketing have determined that of the responses you will get, only 2% will come from the first contact. And you know, when you’re writing to a cold list of homeowners, only a small percentage will ever respond. So unless you’re mailing several hundred letters, you probably won’t get any response at all.
Their studies show that another 18% of the responses will come with the 2nd through 4th contacts, and that a full 80% come from the 5th to 12th contact. Thus, most recommend that 5 “touches” are a minimum.
What is a “touch?” It could be a letter, a postcard, an email, a phone call, or even an in-person visit. I recommend using every method you can because your prospects are not all alike. One may respond well to a postal letter or postcard while another will only respond to a phone call or email.
Next, the touches need to be spaced fairly close together. If you mail a letter in July and don’t write again until September, most “cold contacts” won’t even recall having seen your name before.
Depending upon the type of prospect, the correct timing might be once a week, twice each month, or once a month. In some cases, such as a pending foreclosure, it would be wise to send the first few letters only 3 or 4 days apart.
So why do people who actually are interested in listing fail to respond to your first contact?
For several reasons.
The most obvious is that they don’t know you and don’t yet have a reason to trust you. You’re a stranger reaching out to solicit business. (How do YOU react to those messages?)
Not only that, it could be that your letter is all about you or that it asks for business before offering proof that you have something good to offer. Too many agents send “Hi, I’m wonderful, choose me” letters.
If you’ve mailed a letter in which the first word is “I,” then you were just asking for rejection.
Check out these Five Rules for Writing Prospecting Letters to Homeowners.
Other reasons relate to the timing.
On the day your letter arrives, they might be:
- Swamped with work, with no time to read your message
- Swamped with email messages, so yours gets deleted unread
- Ill – or awaiting medical test results that have them worried
- Caring for a sick child
- In the middle of a personal crisis of some other kind
- In the middle of planning some kind of event
- Entertaining house guests
- Packing for a trip
- Out of town
- Depressed and discouraged about the chance of selling
- Inundated with similar letters (But that’s unlikely. Most agents don’t really prospect.)
In other words, they might be interested, but today is not the day. So your message goes unread.
Consistency in Real Estate Marketing Overcomes Those Problems
When you keep appearing in front of those prospects, your chances of having the message read go up with each mailing. And once your prospect reads one message and finds good information, the chance that he or she will read your next message and the next one increases… until at last they’re convinced that YOU are the agent they need.
One more thing…
When prospecting, choose your target audience and send letters that will mean something to them. One size does not fit all when it comes to prospecting.
The real estate prospecting letters you need to attract the clients you want to serve…
That’s why, on my prospecting letters page, you’ll find a wide variety of letters to appeal to different niches and people in different life situations.
Need custom letters? I can help..
Maybe you have a specialized niche or specialized territory. Maybe you bring a different twist to your real estate practice. Maybe you just want some letters that no one else in the universe might be using.
If so, get in touch. I’d love to write custom letters, just for you.