Direct mail for real estate is great in theory, right? But it takes time, carefully crafted content, and a sound strategy for when and how to send letters if you want direct mail to be successful. Well, we’ve done much of the work for you so you can spend less time pouring over what the letter should say and more time working for your clients.
I got married a couple of weeks ago, and my current situation reminds me much of what real estate agents face when they think about sending out letters. I’m in the process of writing the thank you notes. Sigh. But, I must. I can’t let everyone think I’ve forgotten about them now that the wine has been drunk, the dance floor has been cleared and the gifts have been opened.
One of the hardest parts, besides the hand cramps, is trying to decide what to say to whom. The message to my aunt and the message to my father-in-law’s business partner really should be different. The note should be somewhat personalized, and I want every thank you note to be well-crafted and sincere. I want every recipient to understand how grateful I am. But, when I have to write 200 of them …this seems a daunting task.
Your goal as a realtor when sending direct mail for real estate is very much the same. You want to send great letters to a lot of people…and that can be daunting.
Send well-written and personalized letters to everyone without spending a lot of time doing it.
You want to connect with current clients, past clients, and future clients. You want to send them direct mail with great content to catch their attention. You want the letters to be somewhat personalized so each letter is meaningful for the recipient. But, you’re busy and you don’t have a lot of time.
Real estate direct mail templates tailored for individual clients and unique situations. Using templates assures you can send out well-crafted content and meaningful mail. Direct mail for real estate doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. Here are some ideas for when and how to send handwritten letters to current and future clients.
Direct Mail For Real Estate Ideas
Farming and Prospecting
These sellers haven’t been able to sell their home, and they’re most likely frustrated. Use this letter as an opportunity to introduce yourself and offer a solution to their problem.
Common Mistake: Being too pushy. These sellers are already frustrated. Offer them useful information and share your knowledge to build trust.
Once you’ve picked a farming area, you have to send out quality content and you have to do it consistently. Chris Leo gives the following advice on leadingagent.net:
“While the quality of what you mail out to your farm is important, let me level with you. The MOST important thing of all, with any geographic marketing campaign is consistency. You have to bang away on your farm area, every 3-4 weeks, month after month, year after year, and you will dominate your marketplace.”
This strategy takes a number of different letters with different content, and it takes time. Templates offer a fix for both of these inconveniences.
Common Mistake: Failing to include market information relevant to the area. Generic info that doesn’t apply to the recipient is a waste of time for you and for them.
For Sale By Owner
Most people selling their homes without an agent don’t know as much about real estate as you do. Use letters to give them pertinent information. Share market trends or area home sale prices. These grateful sellers will look to you when they want an agent’s expertise.
Common Mistake: Belittling the seller. You don’t want to make the seller inferior. You want to share your knowledge so you can build a relationship.
Send a thank-you letter
Send the letter after meeting with a client to show you were listening and that you care. They’ll appreciate the sentiment.
Common Mistake: Being too generic. Be sure to include something specific from your meeting.
Check in with past clients
Send a letter to see how they are doing. This shows you care about clients even after the sale is closed. It builds the relationship. This could lead to referrals and repeat clients.
Common Mistake: Starting with “I’m checking back to make sure…” or any other phrase that implies obligation. This isn’t how you would check-in with your friends, so it shouldn’t be how you check-in with past clients.
Send a letter or card for a special occasion.
Melissa Dittmann Tracey offers some great ideas for sending personalized cards in her article “Relationship Management: 7 Ways to Keep In Touch With Past Clients.” She also quotes Vicci Hall, an ERA Real Estate Professionals in Ridgeland, Miss. who sends out 50 personal letters a month to past clients. Hall says:
“I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of positive comments and feedback from this letter…This contact with past clients ensures that they don’t forget me and also reminds them to refer me to friends and family.”
Common Mistake: Only thinking to send a letter around the holidays. Mailboxes are already being flooded at these times, so consider sending a letter or card on a date that’s important to the individual client such as a birthday or anniversary.
Asking for referrals from past clients
Asking for referrals can be difficult, but referrals are important. In an article on Fortunebuilders.com, Paul Esajian says,
“Studies conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have already acknowledged the benefit presented by referrals. The majority of buyers and sellers get their agent from a referral.”
Esajian provides 5 Strategies To Increase Real Estate Referrals. One of these strategies is to “Respectfully Request Referrals.” A well-written, detailed template can help you do just that.
Common Mistake: Selling yourself short. Be confident and specific. Remind the client of your strengths before asking for a referral.
- Share you‘ve started a new business
- Share you‘ve moved to a new agency
- Share useful updates on the housing market
Providing information to clients keeps them in the loop. Update them on your current situation and location. Give them useful information every once in awhile to keep them updated on the current market or trends. Don’t let the saying “out of sight, out of mind” be true for you. Keep a connection with your clients.
“In order to develop a successful referral-based business, it is imperative to keep in touch with your clients and continue to offer them value in the future. This will not only generate a quality relationship, but the likelihood that they will reciprocate their appreciation is going to increase.” -Esijian
Common Mistake: Forgetting about your past clients once the sale is closed. If you’ve had a good relationship in the past, hold on to it by keeping in touch.
You want to build relationships with the clients and succeed in real estate- a people business. Sending handwritten letters is a crucial component.
But, if time is scarce or if your copy skills aren’t quite up to par, use templates and personalize them to fit you and your clients. We’ve written some helpful templates that avoids all the common mistakes and follows best practices.