You know I believe in real estate prospecting letters, both for direct postal mail and for email continuity campaigns. That’s why I offer a wide variety of letters ready to personalize and send.
Agents who use them report back that they work – or they let me know by purchasing more sets. They also hire me to write personalized prospecting letters when their niche or expertise is more focused. Most of those agents are using postal mail to reach their target prospects.
Some believe print mail is dead, but it is not.
Even millennials, who are believed to be hooked on digital communication, like to read their mail. According to this article, 75% of millennials say receiving personal mail makes them feel special.
An additional benefit to using postal mail is that it sticks around longer than email, and it’s likely that more than one member of a household will read it.
Can’t decide which to use? Click here for the solution.
So why would I say there’s a problem with real estate prospecting letters?
Because so many of them are a waste of time and money. I’m basing that opinion on the few we receive in the mail and the samples I’ve read online. Obviously, I haven’t read the real estate prospecting letters you may have written yourself. Yours may be problem-free.
Why are so many letters a waste of time and money?
Because they’re focused entirely on the agent – how wonderful he is, and/or what she wants and needs.
The fact is, homeowners and home buyers simply do not care that some real estate agent wants or needs more listings or buyers. They also don’t care that the agents believe themselves to be superior to all others.
Problem #1: The letters begin with the words “I” or “We.”
That alone can cause many recipients to stop reading and dispose of the message. It gets even worse if the first line says “I want…”
Instead, craft your letter to begin with a question or with the word “you,” with a statement the reader will agree with. Establish the idea that you are interested in your reader and his or her concerns and problems. Show that you understand the issues or questions they may be dealing with.
Once you’ve gotten their attention by focusing on them, you can show them how you can help.
A letter we received this year has 16 instances of some form of “I.” It has only 4 instances of “You” or “your.”
The rule of thumb is that you should say “you” at least twice as many times as you say “I.”
Problem #2: The letters are written to a crowd.
You may be writing to 500 or 5,000 prospects, but only one person at a time will read your letter. Sp write to only one person. Eliminate use of “all of you” or “you guys.” People may know that you’ve sent the same letter to many others, but they still want to feel special. Let them.
To help you accomplish this, visualize one person in your target audience. If you like, give him or her a name, an occupation, and a family. Then think about what matters to that person before you begin to write.
Problem #3: The letters make unrealistic claims.
The agent whose letters we occasionally receive makes the outlandish claim that she knows our county “like the back of her hand.” I’m sorry. That might be possible in a very small county. It’s completely unrealistic in a county that encompasses more than 4,000 square miles, 2 major lakes, numerous small lakes, several rivers, and at least ten very different communities. The funny part is that she’s an agent in an entirely different county.
Problem #4: the letters haven’t been proofread and edited to correct grammar errors.
No, it doesn’t matter to some readers, but to others it matters a great deal. When they see: “I and my team” or “reach out to myself” they won’t even consider that agent.
Proofreading is also important to correct garbled sentences such as this one: “…we will figure out what your property’s market value is worth in our current market.” Sentences like that can stop a reader, even if they had been engaged with your words up until that point.
If you’re writing your own real estate prospecting letters…
- Write to and about your prospective clients and their interests/concerns – NOT about you or your wants and needs. Then offer ways that you will help solve their problems.
- Write to one person, because only one person at a time will read your message.
- Make realistic, believable claims. That could be your list to sell ratios, your average days on the market, or even your knowledge of a specific niche or territory.
- Proofread your work. If you aren’t good at grammar, find someone who is and have them edit your letters before they go out.
If you prefer to purchase your real estate prospecting letters…
Of course I’m glad when you choose from my collection. but you do have other alternatives.
Before you make a decision, read some samples of that writer’s offerings. Make sure they adhere to the 4 points above. If you look at a sample and the first word in the letter is “I,” move on. Also, make sure they’re reflective of your personality and way of doing business. Some are more aggressive than others.
Most writers have a sample or two on their websites. You’ll find links to samples of my letters and free letters you can use today when you visit my Freebies Page.
Sometimes the real estate prospecting letters you send are the first impression prospects have of you.
Write or choose your letters carefully to ensure that the first impression is one that will lead prospects to like, trust, and choose you!
One more thing…
Some agents mistakenly believe they can send just one letter and get good results. It doesn’t work that way. If you’re going to prospect, commit to sending at least 5 letters to the same prospects.
grammar book Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net