Marketing Real Estate With Prospecting Letters

Question: Can real estate prospecting letters be used to produce sales leads, increase name recognition in an agent’s real estate farming area, and generate inquiries from prospective clients?

Answer: The short answer is “yes!” Here’s the longer answer:  Real estate prospecting letters can and do accomplish all those things if they’re well written, targeted, and sent out as part of an integrated marketing plan. What that essentially means is that building “top of mind awareness” is an ongoing process in which one real estate marketing strategy reinforces another.

As an example, if you mail out one real estate marketing postcard to your farming area announcing a “just sold” or “just listed” property in the neighborhood, it may get noticed by a handful of people and produce a few phone calls. More importantly, though, you’ve begun the process of familiarizing people in your farming area with your name, your photo, and your proactive approach to marketing real estate listings.

Side note: Sending out real estate introduction letters, marketing postcards, or farming letters could be compared to planting seeds — which is probably why they’re called “farming letters”. Those individual contacts need to be nurtured, though, so they can grow into profitable client relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s say a few weeks later, you send out a real estate prospecting letter to the same group of homeowners, offering a free competitive market analysis — perhaps with an attention-catching blurb on the outside of the envelope, such as “Find out how much your house is really worth.”

Then, a month later, you sent out a real estate marketing newsletter updating your farming area on the latest news, trends, and relevant statistics in the real estate market. UPDATE: In my geographic area, for example, a local association of Realtors announced today that pending sales of new and existing single-family houses were 14 percent higher last month, than they were last year during the same period. This, coupled with a 16% decrease in local inventory, has created a “sellers’ market,” according to the association’s CEO. It’s exactly this type of timely real estate news that would be of interest to homeowners in your farming area — especially the ones thinking about putting their house on the market in the near future.

Real Estate Marketing Strategies

By sending out periodic real estate news letters — using postal mail and/or email — you’ll be positioning yourself as a source of credible and up-to-date information about the local real estate market. You can reinforce that image and expand your visibility by creating a real estate blog and posting articles to it at least once a week. You can either create a blog on your own website (contact your web hosting service if you have any questions about doing this) or you can publish blog posts through your Linkedin account and have it shared with everyone in your network. It’s also a good idea to share your real estate blog posts with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and other social networks you post on.

So whether you’re mailing out real estate prospecting letters, publishing weekly blog posts, sending out real estate marketing newsletters to your farming area, or creating top-of-mind awareness through a real estate postcard marketing campaign, a combined approach to real estate farming is one of the most effective ways to get noticed and stand out from the crowd.

Visit my website for helpful tips on postcard marketing, social media marketing for real estate agents, business-building articles and real estate marketing strategies.




Ready-to-use Marketing Letters for Realtors
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Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on marketing for real estate agents and Realtors. Feel free to contact me at my email address if you have any comments, questions, or points of clarification.

–Joel
Freelance writer, business blogger, marketing consultant
Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: My blog posts generally feature links to real estate marketing templates, email marketing services, relevant digital products, and prospecting letter kits for which I am a compensated affiliate.

Boost the Effectiveness of Your Real Estate Marketing Letters

Sending out real estate marketing letters are not just a one-dimensional technique for generating leads and staying in touch with homeowners in your farming area. Direct mail techniques and email marketing can work in concert with other online and traditional strategies to increase your visibility, strengthen your name recognition in your farming area, reactivate old client relationships, build your reputation as a source of credible advice and information, and help brand you as consummate real estate professional — one that clients can trust and depend on for outstanding service. Here are a few tips for creating a cost-effective integrated marketing strategy, in which one technique tends to support and reinforce others.

Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

  • Quarterly real estate marketing newsletters: Information-laden bulletins sent out through the postal mail and/or email can be a great way to maintain “top of mind awareness” among your farming area, email subscriber list, and professional network. In order for it to be an effective real estate marketing tool, it should contain information, announcements, and updates that are useful, relevant, and timely. You might also want to experiment with the effectiveness of distributing newsletters on a monthly, rather than quarterly basis — perhaps in a more “capsulized” form. It all depends on your time and inclination, your ability to streamline the process, and the responsiveness of your mailing list. Using email marketing services, such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, GetResponse, AWeber, or Fluttermail* can help you automate the process of building a subscriber list, managing the list, and staying in touch with your real estate prospects and clients. If you need relevant content or article ideas for your newsletter, there’s a real estate marketing kit* you can download that includes 260 newsletter articles and 320 real estate marketing letter templates for creating real estate thank you letters, referral requests, agent introduction letters, open house invitations, letters to new parents with growing families, FSBO prospecting letters, short sale prospecting letters, expired listing prospecting letters, and other real estate marketing templates for generating leads, networking, and cultivating client relationships.
  • Developing a real estate blog and adding new posts and information to it twice a week can help you generate more visitors to your real estate website, and increase the number of inquiries and prospects in your pipeline. As is the case with publishing a real estate marketing newsletter, mentioned above, a real estate agent blog can position you as an expert in the local real estate market and help brand you as a credible source of information and advice. That can be a big step toward earning trust and credibility in your farming area. Blogs also have the potential to achieve high rankings on Google and the other search engines, which can potentially lead to a steady stream of Internet visitors to your website. (A rudimentary knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) can help you achieve visibility on the major search engines, although the most important things you need to know about SEO are how to identify and use relevant, searched for “keywords” in your content and how (and why) to get other websites to link to your real estate blog and/or website.)
  • Real estate marketing postcards: Real estate postcard marketing tends to be an effective way to call attention to your “just listed” and “just sold” properties, and can also reinforce your name and face recognition in your real estate farming area. Real estate postcards are effective from a visibility standpoint, because there’s no envelope to open or “subject line” to click on. Prospects are going to at least take a quick look at your postcard when they’re shuffling through their mail, and if it’s a well-designed, well written direct mail piece, then interested prospects will take a closer look at it and contact you if they’re thinking of buying or selling a home. For helpful tips on marketing with postcards, check out a series of postcard marketing articles I posted on this website.
  • Real estate marketing flyers are also a component of a well-orchestrated real estate marketing campaign. In addition to the most obvious uses of real estate flyers (handing them out at open houses and making them available in brochure dispensers/flyer boxes), real estate listing flyers can also be distributed via email and can accompany your marketing letters and real estate agent introduction announcements. If you sponsor workshops and seminars for first-time homeowners — which can often be an effective marketing strategy — there’s a good chance that your attendees will be interested in your current property listings. For more information on real estate open house flyers, visit this page on my website for marketing tips and real estate flyer templates.
  • Public relations/media relations strategies for real estate agents: As someone who used to be actively involved in the public relations profession, I’d venture an educated guess that most people do not really know exactly what public relations is and what it entails. It’s true that one aspect of public relations for real estate agents is being seen at community events, shaking hands, schmoozing, and networking. However, an equally, if not more important, facet of public relations involves developing a relationship with the media and generating positive publicity for newsworthy announcements and the agent’s knowledge and expertise about the local real estate market. Two strategies for generating publicity are sending press releases to local news outlets — but only when you have something newsworthy to announce — and making it known to reporters, editors, and bloggers that you are an authoritative source of information on the real estate market (if that’s true) and are available for interviews, updates on the local real estate market, background information, and quotes for feature articles and news stories. Media relations is an underused, sometimes misunderstood real estate marketing strategy, and if you incorporate it into your overall real estate marketing plan, it can give you a competitive edge over real estate agents and Realtors who do not leverage the media to get free publicity and instant credibility.
  • Real estate video marketing is another marketing tool that is not being used to its fullest potential — or at all — buy many real estate agents. Whether you post real estate videos on YouTube, your website, or both, you’re going to attract and engage more prospective clients to your listings and your real estate services. Although a picture may be “worth a thousand words”, an online video has even more impact. If you take advantage of the power of real estate video marketing, you will have a decided advantage over other real estate agents who do not know how to do it or are unaware of its potential as a lead generation marketing tool.

So getting back to my original topic, which was how to get more mileage from your real estate farming letters and prospecting emails, there can be a lot of value in a well-planned integrated marketing strategy:

When your real estate marketing plan includes a variety of complementary strategies, you tend to create a synergistic effect, in which the momentum of the campaign can be greater than the sum of the individual parts.

In relationship to real estate prospecting letters: When people in your farming area have already heard about you in the media, through advertising, from direct mail, or via word of mouth, then they’ll have more of a tendency to pay attention and respond to your marketing messages than if you were unfamiliar to them.

This ties in with the sales principle that Dale Carnegie may have popularized decades ago, although it’s often attributed to other people. Although it’s logical and intuitive, we often forget that people tend to do business with other people who they know, like, and trust. So it pays to be known in the community and to be perceived as a real estate agent who is a not only an expert in their field, but is also trustworthy and likable (It sounds like a tall order to be all those things at once!) Personally, I think that the likability factor carries the most weight and comprises well over 33% of the equation.

As a side note, it can also be beneficial, from a public relations standpoint, to be associated with charitable events, fundraising drives, worthwhile causes, and volunteerism. Not only will you solidify relationships and enhance your image in the community, but the charitable cause you volunteered for benefits, too. (a win-win proposition!)

Marketing Tips for Real Estate Prospecting Letters

Many of my previous blog posts have focused on strategies for generating leads and producing more results from real estate marketing letters. However, I would like reiterate and elaborate on some of those key points:

  • Include lots of contact information in your marketing and prospecting letters, since different people prefer different modes of communication. Some prospects will feel more comfortable emailing or texting you, while others would rather visit your website, blog, Facebook page, Linkedin profile, or Google Plus page, first, instead of plunging right into a conversation. (They need to be “warmed up” a little bit.) My point is this: In general, people like a lot of different options, when it comes to contacting you or learning about you. While it’s not always necessary or advisable to spend a lot of time on social media marketing, it IS a good idea to have a social media “presence.”
  • Make your prospect the focus of your letter: In your real estate prospecting letters, try to avoid the temptation to make the letter all about you. The ideal farming letter strikes a balance between introducing yourself and focusing on how you can help your prospects sell their home and/or find another property that better suits their needs.
  • An essential ingredient: One thing that can render a real estate marketing letter ineffective is to forget to include one or more “calls to action.” Tell people what you would like them to do to respond to your letter, and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. An excellent place in your farming letter to reiterate your call to action is at the very end, too. If you include a “P.S.” or even a “BTW…”, there’s a good chance your prospects will notice it and read it.
  • First impressions count! Make your real estate prospecting letter visually appealing by breaking up your message into plenty of paragraphs and using bullet points to organize your information and call attention to individual points. Nobody likes to look at, let alone read, a page of continuous text that doesn’t have “white space,” bullet points, and a logical flow of information.
  • Edit and proofread… Avoid anything in your marketing letter that could look unprofessional or “annoying”, such as typos, factual errors, or excessive use of exclamation points (!!!!), bold words, italics, hard-to-read fonts, or too much underlining. Another cardinal sin of written communication is using ALL CAPS, except on a very limited basis. In emails, real estate letters, and websites, for example, ALL CAPS is the equivalent of SHOUTING at your audience! And speaking of alienating potential clients in your farming area, you may want to “tread lightly” or avoid making reference to things like political affiliation, religious affiliation, or even sports team favorites. Although it could work in your favor, depending on the target group, it could potentially backfire, too. When marketing your services to a heterogeneous group, you generally don’t want to risk alienating individuals or saying anything which could make them feel excluded. Of course, every target group or audience is different, so it’s best to approach things on a case-by-case basis and use your best judgement.

Thanks for checking out my latest opinions, thoughts, and observations on real estate farming letters, marketing tools, public relations, and real estate lead generation. I invite you to stay tuned to this blog for more information and insights on everything from real estate postcard marketing to online lead generation.

By the way, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at prowriter30years@yahoo.com.

Best of luck in all your real estate marketing campaigns — both large and small!

–Joel
Freelance writer, business blogger, marketing consultant

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: My real estate marketing blog posts feature links to digital products, templates, email marketing services, and other websites for which I am a compensated affiliate.

 

Marketing Tools for Real Estate Agents and Realtors

The cornerstones of a successful real estate sales career include superior knowledge, expertise, an outgoing personality, and a strong motivation to help people (and be financially rewarded for it).

Although that comprises the foundation of a vibrant real estate business, being a top producer also hinges on the ability to consistently attract clients and generate a steady stream of qualified leads. Accomplishing that feat often involves the use of specific real estate marketing tools and proven lead generation strategies.

Real Estate Online Marketing

In the same way that a carpenter or mechanic doesn’t always use every tool they have in their kit, certain real estate marketing tools will be used more frequently than others. A lot depends on your personality and your comfort level with Internet marketing methods.

For example, some real estate agents have a more natural on-camera presence than others, and may be especially good at appearing in real estate marketing videos and commercials. Real estate video marketing can be a powerful tool for some, and an exercise in frustration for others. (It’s simply a matter of leveraging your strengths and steering away your limitations.)

As the Internet evolves and consumers become more Internet savvy, posting online real estate videos can be an effective way to engage prospects, increase your visibility, and brand yourself. Some real estate agents who have a high comfort level with Internet technology may also take advantage of other  marketing opportunities like conducting Webinars online for first-time home buyers.

The use of social media also has the potential, over time, to engage prospects, cultivate client relationships, and generate leads, but — as is the case with blogging — it requires persistence, fresh content every few days, and some basic knowledge about real estate online marketing techniques.

In some cases, it makes sense to delegate the task of social media marketing to a freelancer, a part-time employee, or even a college student who’s social media savvy. (I haven’t been a college student since before the Internet Age, but I’d make an educated guess that most college students ARE social media savvy.)

In addition to the real estate marketing tools and tactics I mentioned above, here’s a handful of additional ideas worth considering:

Marketing Tools for Real Estate Agents

  1. Real estate marketing letter templates: For more than a decade, I’ve been affiliated with a company that offers one of the most comprehensive collections of professionally written real estate letters for virtually every situation. By downloading this collection of relationship-building and real estate marketing letters, you can have immediate access to persuasive marketing messages that only require a little tweaking and customization. This indispensable collection of 320 letters includes a variety of templates for the following types of real estate marketing situations: new agent announcements, expired listing prospecting letters, FSBO prospecting letters, real estate thank you letters, referral requests, converting renters to homeowners, open house invitations, short sale prospecting letters, home staging tips (advice on “getting your home ready to sell”), moving tips, the advantages of using a professional Realtor, and letters offering a free competitive market analysis. This handy real estate marketing kit also includes 260 relevant articles you can use in your real estate newsletters (both print and email), your website, blog, introductory information packets, and other marketing tools. Visit this website for three free samples of real estate marketing letters and more information about the complete real estate marketing kit described above.
  2. Email marketing services: You can’t send out a professional email message, newsletter, or announcement to your subscribers unless you’re tapped in to a good email marketing service. There’s a wide selection to choose from, including, Constant Contact, AWeber, GetResponse, Mail Chimp, FlutterMail*, and a handful of others. Features to look for include competitive pricing, ease of use, the ability to send out autoresponder messages, features that enable you to keep track of every message you send out, the ability to resend emails to specific subscribers if you so choose, opt-in features to make sure your mailing list consists only of people who really want to receive your announcements or newsletter, and the ability to segment your client list.
  3. Real estate marketing postcards: Among the advantages of sending out real estate marketing postcards is the fact that a postcard campaign can be less expensive and more effective than sending out marketing letters enclosed in an envelope. While the objectives of a postcard marketing campaign are sometimes different than a letter mailing campaign, postcard messages are immediately visible to the recipient and can be more cost-effective. A necessary first step to launching a successful real estate postcard marketing campaign is knowing what strategies work and which ones do not work, as far as postcard design, messaging, mailing methods, and overall presentation. This e-book* provides helpful tips, examples, and tactics for getting the most return from you postcard marketing campaigns.
  4. Real estate flyers: Professional-looking real estate flyers are an old-fashioned, yet necessary real estate marketing tool for agents and Realtors. Not only are they a must-have marketing tool for open houses and brochure dispensers, but they can also be emailed, postal mailed, tacked up on community bulletin boards, and efficiently distributed in a variety of other ways. One of the keys to effectively using real estate flyers to attract clients and generate business is to have access to a user-friendly set of real estate flyer templates to streamline the process, save time, and help ensure consistent quality. To preview a collection of 53 professionally designed real estate flyer templates, visit this website.*

That’s a snapshot of some of the traditional and Internet based real estate marketing tools that can help you generate leads, produce more inquiries, and help you build your client list and real estate business.

Stay tuned to this blog for more real estate marketing ideas, tools, and strategies!

Thanks for checking out my latest ideas and marketing tips, regarding real estate direct mail marketing, real estate video marketing, and online marketing ideas for real estate agents.

 

Best of luck in all your real estate marketing campaigns!

–Joel
Real estate marketing blogger, freelance journalist, website content writer
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

 

 

 

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*Disclaimer: My blog posts often feature links to real estate marketing tools, templates, ebooks, software, and services for which I am a compensated affiliate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Letters Can Serve Many Purposes

As someone with a background in integrated marketing communications, I have no doubt that real estate marketing letters can be an important element of a successful marketing campaign. Not only can a well-written real estate letter help introduce you to your farming area, but it can also facilitate client referrals, business relationships, and create top-of-mind awareness.

Creating top-of-mind awareness is one of your most important real estate marketing strategies, for the simple reason that you want your prospects and professional contacts to think of you first when the services of a good real estate agent are needed. That’s why it pays to develop a cost-effective marketing plan that includes everything from developing a Web presence to distributing prospecting letters, real estate marketing postcards, email newsletters, or even press releases. One of the first steps to launching a successful real estate marketing campaign is to develop a marketing plan.  A real estate marketing plan can  include some or all of the following components, as well as other strategies and techniques I’ll mention in future blog posts.

  • Networking with other professionals: When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of potential contacts in your community who can help steer real estate business in your direction. Some real estate agents find it productive to send networking letters to other professionals, such as loan officers, mortgage brokers, CPA’s, title company reps, insurance agents, financial planners, apartment managers, property managers, landscapers, contractors, and anyone else you can think of who provides services to home owners, sellers, and/or buyers. (Face-to-face networking is also a crucial ingredient to any successful real estate agent marketing plan.)
  • Marketing real estate with newsletters: Although email newsletters can be a more cost-effective way to stay in touch with your contacts — as compared to distributing printed newsletter copies through the postal service — an occasional “special edition” mailed to your farming area can help enhance your image, increase name recognition, and build your reputation as a source of helpful, authoritative information. Topics in a real estate letter could include energy saving tips, home safety reminders, property maintenance, cost reduction ideas, home staging tips, moving and relocation checklists, security tips, and other snippets of helpful information for home owners, sellers, and others on your mailing list. If you need professionally written articles that you can easily insert into real estate newsletters, blogs, websites, and emails, there’s a software product you can download that includes 260 ready-to-use real estate agent articles and 320 real estate marketing letters. Having access to this user-friendly real estate marketing kit can streamline the process of lead generation, real estate prospecting, sending out real estate thank you letters, handling client followup, and cultivating professional relationships. More details here.*
  • Offer workshops for first-time home buyers: Buying a new home, arranging financing, and handling the countless choices and decisions required can be pretty intimidating for first-time home buyers. By offering educational workshops for a small, targeted group of potential clients, you can not only offer a valuable free introductory class on home buying, but you can also get an inside track on becoming their real estate agent of choice. Workshops can be offered either at your office, a local community room, or even remotely, as a webinar. By the way, you can publicize home buyer workshops through a variety of means, including press releases, blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, email blasts, flyers, postcards, word of mouth, cost-effective advertising, and other marketing tactics.

Stay tuned to this blog for more real estate prospecting tips, marketing plan ideas, client communication tools, and marketing strategies.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post.

Wishing you the best of luck in all your real estate marketing campaigns!

–Joel
Marketing blogger, freelance writer, journalist
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

*Disclaimer: My blog posts often feature links to marketing templates, services, and digital products for which I am a compensated affiliate.