Saturday, August 10, 2013

Prospecting Letter Systems for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

high rise office buildings
Get prospecting letters into your market faster.

Prospecting letters are a good strategy for commercial real estate brokers when it comes to building market share and client listings.  They are useful processes for you if you are looking to get your real estate business established, or are struggling with competitors in your market.  That being said you do need to create a system of action based around the letter process.

So why do these letters work in this world of email and the internet?  The letters are not as common as they used to be in commercial real estate and on that basis are more likely to be read and remembered.  Anything that helps your personal profile today is a good thing.

There is a cost and a time factor in this type of marketing.  For this reason every letter should be followed up with calls and meetings where possible.

There are some important rules to set and follow if this is a marketing process for you today.  Here are some ideas to get things going:

  1. Every letter needs to have a clear message and a call to action.  That is easier to do when you specifically focus on a property category or the category of person you are writing to.  Segment your database so you can send separate letters to landlords, property investors, business owners, and tenants.
  2. Make the correspondence simple and easy to read.  That says the letter should be one written on a single page over 3 or 4 paragraphs.
  3. Use a headline that is relevant to the category of prospect.  To help with your letter content you can get some good books on ‘words that sell’ or ‘phrases that sell’.  Simple well-chosen words will help your message and letter being read.
  4. As a general rule ensure that you follow up as many letters as possible.  The main reason you are corresponding in this way is to find people to meet with and merge into you prospect list.  Our industry is built on the strength and diversity of relationships.  Get to know as many new people as possible.  Spread the word about your relevance as a top agent in the local area.
  5. Only enclose your business card with the letter.  It is likely that your card will be retained for later reference even after the main correspondence has been ‘binned’.
  6. The contents of the letter should be focused on the market and the client, and not your agency and recent ‘brag list’ of achievements.  Design the message to attract interest on a theme of property activity or any changes.  You can for example get good stories from the local area on any new developments or business changes.
  7. The focus of the letter is to get the person to ring you, and or for you to make a call and get a meeting.  Over time you can connect with many more people in this way.  That’s how you build market share.

So the process of sending prospecting letters is productive and professional.  It is more effective than emails as a method of marketing.  Over time the cycle of letters should be set to once every 60 days to the same person.  Make each letter different and direct.  Get away from the generic approach wherever possible.