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.

 

10 Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Agents and Realtors

Aside from the need to be self motivated, extremely knowledgeable, and service oriented, likability and credibility are two key catalysts that determine success for real estate agents. There is a formula for real estate marketing success, and a fundamental part of that formula is the public’s perception of you.

Real Estate Marketing Strategies

There’s a well known saying in the sales and marketing world, which I’ve adapted to the real estate profession:

Your chances of winning over prospective real estate clients is strongly influenced by whether those prospects know you, like you, and trust you.

Being “known, liked, and trusted” are of such paramount importance that those priorities should be focal points of any real estate marketing strategy.

Expanding your visibility and establishing credibility are two branches of that strategy, which can help you create momentum and be more effective in all your marketing efforts. Visibility is crucial for creating top-of-mind awareness, and credibility is a necessary component of trust.

Elements of a Real Estate Marketing Plan

Here are 10 real estate marketing ideas and strategies for creating and reinforcing visibility, name recognition, and credibility in your farming area and local community.

  1. Create an active real estate blog: “Active” is the operative word, because a frequently updated blog is seen as being more timely, relevant, and meaningful to prospects, your client base, and potential blog followers. If you don’t have the time or inclination to be a blogger, then perhaps you can find someone who can “ghostwrite” blog posts for you. Obviously, that person would need to be a good writer and have the ability to create short, but informative articles on a regular basis. (BTW… Feel free to contact me at¬†prowriter30years@yahoo.com if you’re in the market for a freelance writer.)
  2. Be a local columnist: Many local periodicals, weeklies, and daily newspapers will welcome the opportunity to have a knowledgeable real estate expert provide them with informative and well thought-out articles, columns, editorials, or blog posts. This can be an opportunity to increase your local visibility, boost your credibility, and expand your name recognition, without having to tap into your marketing budget. Public relations strategies are among the most overlooked approaches to building the reputation, visibility, and credibility of Realtors and real estate agents. And speaking of public relations…
  3. Distribute press releases: I used to be employed in the public relations field, so I have a relatively high comfort level using marketing tools like press releases and media advisories. Submitting press releases to local media outlets is actually simpler than you might think. First of all, the press announcements have to be considered somewhat “newsworthy” and not blatantly self promotional. Press releases can be either e-mailed or postal mailed, and should answer the journalistic questions of “Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?” The information in a press release should generally be organized in order of descending importance, and include a headline, the date, who to contact for more details, and a boilerplate paragraph at the end of the announcement about you or your agency.
  4. Publish an email newsletter: There are several email marketing services available, including Fluttermail*, which can provide you with easy-to-use email marketing templates, email list management tools, autoresponder capabilities, and much more. By inserting a small subscription box (form) on your website or blog, you can collect the email addresses of interested prospects. You have many options when it comes to providing subscribers with worthwhile content, including writing your own newsletter content, hiring a freelance writer, or purchasing a collection of professionally written articles that target the interests of homeowners, property sellers, and first-time property buyers. Get more information here.*
  5. Mail out real estate prospecting letters: Professionally written marketing letters can be an integral part of a well orchestrated real estate marketing plan. Whether you’re sending out a real estate agent introduction letter to your entire farming area or targeting a specific group of prospects, such as expired listing home owners or FSBO prospects, reaching out to people, via email or postal mail, is a proven lead generation technique. If you’d like to save time and maximize the effectiveness of your real estate prospecting letters, check out a professionally created kit of real estate marketing letters for agents and Realtors that I’ve been featuring on my blogs and website for years*.
  6. Real estate postcard marketing: Postcard marketing is a time-tested method for generating leads, getting your name and photo out there, and increasing your visibility in a real estate farming area. According to Jeff Charlton, the author of Real Estate Postcard Marketing’s Best Kept Secrets*, the reasons many postcard marketing campaigns produce disappointing results are a lack of originality, a failure to create high perceived value, and mediocre postcard designs.
  7. Real estate video marketing: As your clients, prospects, and other real estate agents continue to become more Internet savvy, real estate websites that feature video presentations will have a decided competitive edge, in terms of being more engaging, captivating, and professional looking. Posting real estate marketing videos on video sharing websites, such as Youtube, can also help you generate more website traffic, sales leads, and online visibility. Appearing in a real estate video — assuming you’re comfortable in front of the camera — can also increase your recognition factor, personal branding efforts, enhance your credibility, and reduce sales resistance when you meet prospects in person. In some cases, it will have the effect of turning a cold call into a “warm call,” because if they’ve seen you in a video, you won’t be perceived as a complete stranger.
  8. Real estate marketing flyers: Being able to quickly design, print out, and distribute professional-looking real estate marketing flyers can help you cost-effectively spread the word about an upcoming open house, new property listing, a price reduction, a real estate investment opportunity, or a short sale. Real estate marketing flyers can be distributed in a variety of ways, including email, postal mail, front-yard brochure holders, community bulletin boards, open houses, or through cooperative relationships with other businesses and professionals. Visit this website for examples of professionally designed real estate flyer templates.*
  9. Real estate business cards: Perhaps the cheapest, yet most valuable real estate agent marketing tool you’ll every use is your business card. It pays to hand them out liberally and make sure they’re always professional looking and up to date.
  10. Real estate marketing materials: In addition to business cards real estate marketing flyer templates, there are other cost-effective ways to market yourself, such as real estate door hangers, brochures, mini calendars, greeting cards, exhibits at trade shows and community fairs, and first-time home buyer kits.

Thanks for checking out my latest marketing ideas for real estate agents, including real estate prospecting letters, blogs, newsletters, public relations methods, and other cost-effective real estate marketing strategies.

Stay tuned for more real estate marketing tips over the next few days.

–Joel
Freelance blogger, writer, marketing strategist
email me at prowriter30years@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: My blog posts features links to digital products, marketing templates, websites, and services 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.