How to Write an Effective Real Estate Prospecting Letter

By
Real Estate Services with Marte Cliff Copywriting

The impression you make with potential listing clients has always been important - and in this market, it is vital.

When you mail a prospecting letter it may be the only impression your prospect has of you before making a decision. So...Your letters need to convey the message that you are the top agent in your niche and you will make things happen for them.

One way to show them how you can market their homes well is by proving your marketing expertise via marketing yourself well. Think about that for a minute.

Why should a seller trust you to market his or her house if all you can do for yourself is send an "I'm here, hire me" letter?

The letter you send is worth your time and attention. Probably more time and attention than you expect. But it's worth it to write a good, concise letter that shows your prospects exactly what benefits they'll enjoy when they list with you.

The first step, as in ANY business letter, is to focus on your reader. If you're tempted to begin that first sentence with an "I" or a "we" then immediately put down your pen or take your hands from the keyboard and slap them silly!

Once you have your focus straight, you can go on...

One important detail is to switch to gender-neutral pronouns, so that you don't offend anyone by assuming your reader is male or female. Today with so many names that could be either, guessing is not a good idea. People don't think "Oh, they just didn't know." They think "This person has no idea who I am." And then they toss the letter. I speak from experience on that one, because my name is often mistaken for a man's name, and I have a son named Chris - who gets letters addressed to Ms. So avoid saying something like "An informed woman like you knows..." And of course, don't address a letter to Mr., Mrs. or Ms unless you know you're correct.

Next, tighten your message. Use your software's "find" function to ferret out all words you tend to over-use - such as there or just. Most of the time you can delete them with no change in your meaning. So do it.Then re-read and take out any sentences or phrases that are redundant. And for heaven's sake - don't ramble!

As you write, do away with generalities and get specific. If you're a top agent, show them why. If you're a new agent, show them why your attention and enthusiasm will get the job done. Instead of "I sold more homes in October than any other agent," say "During the month of October I closed transactions on 6 homes, while the average number of closings for agents in our MLS was 2.5."

You can do that to emphasize any part of your service. For instance, you can tell them how many photos of their home you'll put on your website or how many various websites will show their ads. These desperate sellers are looking for some concrete indication that you can pull off the miracle that their last agent (or 4 agents) could not. Generalities won't convey that message.

Avoid industry jargon - especially the "designation alphabet." Clients don't know or care about GRI or ABR or any of the others. If you want to mention your designations, talk about why you took the trouble to get them and what that extra education means to them.

PROOFREAD!

Now... you've written a message that conveys why you're the agent to choose. You've tightened it up by getting rid of overused words, The next step is to proofread in search of typos, misspellings, misused words, and sentences that don't flow.

If you can, get a new set of eyes to read your letter. If that won't work, read it aloud to yourself. Then read it backwards. This is important, because when you "know" what a sentence says it's easy to miss errors such as missing or doubled words - or missing letters. (There's a big difference in meaning between know and now.)

Watch for incomplete changes...

Be on the lookout for places where you made incomplete changes. It's easy to delete most, but not all, of a sentence - and end up with a word combination that makes no sense at all.For instance, had I been changing the previous sentence and "missed something" it could read "- and end wind up with a word... "

And check for misused words...

Misused words can also trip you up. Even when you know that you intended to say meet - not meat - sometimes your mind wanders while your fingers are working. And errors like that tell your prospects that you don't pay attention to details. Be sure to watch for errors in usage of words like there, their, and they're; here and hear; your and you're; and our and are.

If you aren't sure which to use (and many brilliant sales people do not), look it up or ask someone who loves words.This is one of those times when not knowing that you don't know can come back and bite you.

Read aloud to check the flow...

Next, check the flow. Flow is important if you want your prospect to read and understand your whole message. Any spot that makes him or her stumble can send your letter to the round file. So read it, and read it again. Read it aloud and read it to someone. If there's a "stumbling spot," re-write it.

Since you know what you mean, your message may make sense to you even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else - so do try to get another person or two to read the letter. Ask them to tell you if anything is unclear. Then watch their faces as they read - if you see a frown or a puzzled look, find out what caused it. Then correct it.

Include a call to action in your letter. Ask for a phone call, an e-mail, or a visit to your website to get a complimentary report. And make it easy for your prospect to take that action. Rather than expecting readers to search for your phone number, say "Call me at 123-4567 today." Direct them to your website or email in a similar fashion.

Finally, once they respond and you have that phone number or email address, follow-up regularly. These folks may have been with an agent who ignored them during the listing period, so show them that you won't ignore them!

You most definitely can prosper in a down market - but it does require more effort!

I love helping Real estate professionals prosper, and guess I also love nagging them about it just a little bit. If you'd benefit from a little nagging, just subscribe to this blog!

close

Re-Bloggged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Will Curry 01/28/2010 06:28 PM
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the key to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Groups:
Real Estate Rookie
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
It's all about them (ThemThem)
Services for Real Estate Professionals
Addicted to Active Rain
Tags:
how to write a prospecting letter
real estate marketing

Comments 21 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the cloud to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
748,477
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Tony & Suzanne - It sure is. And what we all do now will determine our First Quarter 2011 earnings!

December 04, 2010 11:55 AM
Anonymous #18
Anonymous
Timu

Marte, 

Great posting, thank you for sharing with us.

Any chance you posted a sample letter. I would like to see one intial intro, and one for a drip campaign. 

 

Timu

http://miamiluxuryhomes.org

 

 

June 21, 2011 02:47 AM
Rainmaker
748,477
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Timu - Boy, you found an old blog post!

I don't have an introduction letter to show you, because those are all specific to one person, but there are some other samples out there you can view.

Here's letter #3 in my "Default with Equity" set: http://www.copybymarte.com/pro/equity3.pdf

Then, on this page: www.copybymarte.com/pro/freebies.html you'll find an offer of two free letters you're welcome to use.

There's a free first time buyer letter at www.copybymarte.com/pro/freefirsttimebuyerletter.html

and #5 in the Letters to Sellers set is at www.copybymarte.comk/pro/SellerLetterSample5.html

Best success!

Marte

June 21, 2011 03:07 AM
Rainer
332,837
Paul Gapski
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty
 

thank you very much for the informative and interesting post. I get so much out of the active rain network.

March 03, 2012 06:50 AM
Rainmaker
748,477
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Hi Paul,

You certainly found an old post! You're right about Active Rain - it's a great place for all of us to learn from each other.

March 03, 2012 08:40 AM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the clock to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
748,477

Marte Cliff

your real estate writer
Do you have a question about real estate copywriting? Just ask!
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the pencil to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Author Bio: Marte Cliff is a freelance copywriter who specializes in writing for the real estate profession.

Thoughts, ideas, insights, and tips on real estate copywriting and real estate marketing. Locations of visitors to this page