PROSPECTING FOR HOMES TO SELL, NOT LIST - A SUCCESSFUL LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN MAY WORK FOR YOU - IT WORKS FOR ME.

Reblogger Marte Cliff
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

In the following re-blogged post, Lenn Harley has added important information to my earlier post on letter writing.

I would encourage all agents to take the time to construct well-written letters for this purpose, and to use them!

Because letter-writing is almost a lost art, that alone will make you stand out from your competitors.

And, you never know, you might find a gem of a house that your buyers will love. Even if you don't find just what your buyers were looking for, you'll be introducing yourself as a true professional while getting acquainted with more homeowners.

Personalize your letters

Len addresses this in the comments on her post, but in case you haven't read all the comments: Be SURE that each of your letters is addressed to the homeowner, both on the envelope and in the greeting on the letter.

Each letter should look as if it was written to only that one homeowner. And with contact management software, it's easy to do. So take the extra time to take that extra step.

Original content by Lenn Harley 303829;0225082372

MARTE CLIFF writes a helpful post about "WRITING LETTERS TO LISTING PROSPECTS".

Well, what about writing letters for home buyers???  It works for me. 

Marte also writes:  "You are merely another stranger who has invaded their mailbox."

UNLESS THE HOME OWNER FINDS HELPFUL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE IN THEIR MAILBOX. 

I use business correspondence to generate potential homes for qualified home buyers.  It works. 

NOT YOUR USUAL JUNK MAIL.  One of the reasons my letters are successful is, I believe, because the consumer is not used to receiving business correspondence from real estate agents.   What they usually get every month or so is the same old, same old, post card with the big photo of the agent and a few words.  Or, someone knocks on their door just as they sit down to dinner.  Or, the phone rings just as they step out of the shower. 

A well constructed business letter is taken seriously.  Of course, you're still selling something.  However, in this case, you're selling a well qualified, pre-approved ready willing and able home buyer.  Just what many home owners are going to be seeking when they inquire about listing their home for sale.  No, you're not looking for listings and you should make that perfectly clear in your letter.  Don't try to pull the wool over the home owners' eyes.  Consumers aren't stupid.  The home owner will see right through you if you send letters claiming that you're representing a buyer seeking a home in their neighborhood and you can't produce a buyer. 

WE NEED A HOUSE.  When I'm on the prowl for a home for a buyer in a particular community, I send letters.  They work.  If I were a listing agent seeking listing, I could often pick up 2-3 listings with every 100 or so letters that I send.  As it is, my letters generate about 6 telephone contacts from owners for every 100 letters I send. 

My last round of letters seeking a home for a family was sent to 130 homes in a community in MD and generated 7 owner telephone and e-mail contacts with homes to view from which my buyers selected one that they loved.  The owners accepted the buyers offer, saved money and my buyers got a home they love.  All from a few letters. 

THE NUMBERS ARE IN YOUR FAVOR.  In every community over 2 years old there are always a number of owners getting ready to sell.  It's all in the numbers.  If you reach them before they are listed, you'll generate a higher return rate than then the usual return for direct mail advertising. 

Good professional correspondence is a long lost art, if it ever was an art for most agents, which I doubt.  I'm a word junkie and I started sending out personalized letters back in the 1980s.  To the great surprise of my then broker, I generated a significant number of listings or homes for buyers to consider.  I've used them since and trained several agents to do the same.  Sadly, few have ever taken up the practice on a regular basis and would prefer to just wait for listings for sale.  The MLS creates a dependency for many agents.  Sad.Your keyboard is your friend 

BE PRO-ACTIVE!  If you're working with a good buyer client, tour the communities and if the buyers focus on a particular area or community, write a letter presenting your buyer to selected home owners.  You just might find the perfect home for your buyers to buy.  

YOUR KEYBOARD IS YOUR FRIEND.  Let it take you to new lands of opportunity.

It works for me.

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.  Helping home buyers in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

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Rainmaker
567,315
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Thank You for re-blogging this article Len... I missed it and find it very relevant to me =)

Jan 23, 2010 12:57 PM #1
Rainmaker
401,649
Richard T. Dolbeare
Keller Williams Realty - Lihue, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

Hi Marte.  Yes, it's easy to personalize the letter using mail merge.  The same is true of email correspondence if one uses a service such as Contact Contact or Top Producer.

Jan 23, 2010 12:58 PM #2
Rainer
33,192
Don Williams
Bay Coast Realty - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Hi Marte, you are doing somethng different than going after listings, you are coming in with at least 1 perspective buyer.  In my opinion, that is a great use for that situation.  Completely different for going after sellers.

Jan 23, 2010 01:05 PM #3
Rainmaker
655,545
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Personalization is really the key.  I know I get generic junk postcards hat I don't even read before I throw them in the trash.  I don't want the same happening to what I send out.

Jan 23, 2010 01:41 PM #4
Rainmaker
814,090
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Chris - you're welcome. I thought Lenn had an important message to share - and that perhaps not everyone had thought of doing that.

Richard - I've never figured out how to use the merge tools in Word, but have ACT to use when I need to send the same message to several people.  I use Constant Contact and Get Response for my ezines.

Don - You're right - it's a different situation. The letter is a bit more difficult to construct than a letter to expired listings or FSBO's because your target audience is made of people who have not yet raised their hands to say "I want to sell."

Jan 23, 2010 01:42 PM #5
Rainer
373,860
Gary Swanson
RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc. - Grants Pass, OR

Thanks for the advice Marte.  I've been doing a letter writing campaign, but haven't had any results yet.  I'm going to take another look at the letter I'm sending and see what I can do to improve it.

Jan 23, 2010 01:58 PM #6
Rainmaker
814,090
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Hi Gary - Good idea.

I don't care if you're Clayton Makepeace (the copywriter who pulls in over $1Million per year), any letter you write can always be improved upon.

Try writing your first draft with every paragraph beginning with the word "you." Then your focus will be in the right direction. You can go back later and change it, and you probably should, but that trick helps you think about the subject from the reader's point of view, and helps you show him or her the answer to "What's in this for me?"

Best success!

Marte

 

Jan 23, 2010 05:57 PM #7
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Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff

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