Whether they’re sent by postal mail or emailed, correctly written prospecting letters work.
Correctness in writing prospecting letters begins with your salutation.
One of the 3 things I learned in college was that you must never begin a letter with “Dear Sir.” If possible, you should use a person’s name – and you absolutely must spell that name correctly.
Later on, I learned from listening to people that it’s best to use the person’s title and last name rather than a first name. While most of society is definitely casual these days, some people DO still expect to be greeted formally by strangers. That, however, only works if you know the person’s gender, and some names do not make it obvious.
Names like Chris and Terry could be either. Even my name, Marte, confuses some people. When I receive a letter addressed to Mr. Marte Cliff, I know instantly that it’s from someone for whom I am only a name on a list.
If you have no way to personalize your letters with names, at least recognize the status of the reader. For instance, instead of mailing your letter to “resident,” you could say something like Dear Park Place Resident, or Dear Fellow Meadowlands Homeowner.
Next is the first sentence of your message.
The thing to remember is that the letter needs to be all about the reader, NOT the writer. So don’t introduce yourself, don’t tell them that you’re the expert they need. And do not ever say “I want” or “We want.”
Remember this harsh truth: Those strangers don’t know or care who you are. They certainly are not interested in what you want.
Instead of talking about yourself, say something of interest to the reader.
This can be a statement they’ll agree with. It can also be a question. It could be a fact of the “did you know” variety.
If you’re writing to potential buyers who are currently renting a home or apartment, your statement might be: “Renting doesn’t build equity for your future.” Your question might be “Are you tired of buying a house for your landlord?” A “did you know” statement could be “Did you know? There are zero down mortgage loans available in (city).”
If you’re writing to potential sellers, you might ask if their house still suits their lifestyle or if they’re ready for a change of place. What you should say depends upon the sellers you are targeting. Probate and divorce sellers, for instance, have specific reasons for selling that you can address.
If you’re writing to people who have received a notice of default, you might begin with “Receiving a notice of default is a terrible experience.” Then go on to say that there’s still time to sell and avoid foreclosure.
Homeowners in specific geographic areas would likely be interested in “Did you know” tidbits about new commercial developments, an increase in utilities fees, or even “Homes in your neighborhood are now selling for X% more than they did a year ago.”
You could also tell a story.
We humans do love stories, so share one in one or more of your letters. Relate something interesting that happened to some other buyers or sellers (no names) that is either advice or a warning.
For instance, you could tell about a couple who lost their life’s savings when the title company’s email was hacked and they sent their down payment to a fraudulent account. Sad to say, that’s happened to more than one homebuyer.
Or, you could talk about the sellers who refused to let prospective buyers alone so they could look at the house.
Remember why you’re writing prospecting letters!
You want those buyers or sellers to pay attention, notice you, and remember you when they’re ready to buy or sell. (Which just might be this week.)
That means you must remember that the purpose of the first sentence is to entice your prospect into reading the second sentence. The first paragraph should lead them to read the second paragraph – and on and on. So of course, your message must carry through with the topic of your first sentence!
The final step: Your call to action.
If you get too pushy here your prospects might back away, so be friendly, be helpful, and invite the readers to call you with questions or to learn more.
And…if you have some kind of special report to offer, do urge them to request it – with no strings attached, of course.
If you’re going after listings, offer to prepare a market analysis – also with no strings. (If they take you up on it, do it, but remember to take it away with you if they haven’t signed a listing. More on that another day.)
If your prospects are buyers, offer to put their needs and wants lists into your MLS search function so they’ll be alerted to new listings that fit. You could also offer to introduce them to good lenders, to answer their questions about different communities, and of course – to show them homes!
How many prospecting letters do you need to write?
According to research done by marketing associations, you need at least 5 for each purpose. It takes multiple touches before cold prospects will begin to recognize you and perhaps see you as someone worthy of their attention. In fact, it could take 2 or 3 letters before they even take time to stop and read what you wrote.
Here’s more about why multiple letters are necessary.
So don’t try writing just one letter. Tests show that you can expect less than a 1% response rate from just one letter. It is repetition and consistency that bring success.
If you don’t want to write your own real estate or investor prospecting letters, use the ones I wrote!
Come to https://www.copybymarte.com/prospecting-letters/ to find more than 40 sets of letters. You can choose from both prospecting and “nurturing” letters for sellers, both prospecting and nurturing letters for buyers, and even letters to keep you in touch with those valuable past clients.
And of course, if you prefer custom letters written just for you, I’ll be glad to oblige. Just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your needs.