8 Ingredients for Writing Effective Prospect and Referral Letters
A personal approach can make all the difference when it comes to marketing your business in this digital age. Those real estgate agents who’ve mastered the art of sending a good thank you note, know that a personal handwritten letter is a great way to make yourself stand out from the competition.
To be successful at developing prospects and referrals you need to have a plan. To start a direct mail campaign, begin by identifying the audience you want to reach and the message you hope to convey. Your prospect letters should be:
- Brief and to the point. You only have a few moments to capture and maintain your readers’ interest, so make the most of it by keeping your letter short and with a clear call-to-action. Briefly introduce yourself and your reason for writing. Make your pitch and conclude with a compelling CTA. Keep both sentences and paragraphs short. The tone should be conversational, but not overly casual. Avoid industry jargon and underline key phrases to catch the reader’s eye.
- Handwritten. A handwritten letter is great, provided you have good handwriting. If your cursive is more like a doctor’s, find someone who’s better suited to the task. Consider using a calligrapher, or even just your office manager with the nice handwriting. It adds a personal touch that can go a long way.
- Written on stationery. Don’t just write your note on a sheet of lined paper. Either use your business stationery or some other type of high-quality paper and envelope.
- Crafted to stand out from other mail. In order to avoid being lost in junk mail, try using a unique-colored envelope to make your mail piece stand out.
- Paired with a follow-up plan. Be sure you have a plan in place to follow up after you mail your letter. This could be a phone call or, even better, an, “I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by.”
- Creative ( but not too creative). If you choose to type the letter, or have to, use a sensible font. San serif fonts are preferable for a business letter. You want the right blend of personal and professional. Bold or underline key phrases to catch the reader’s eye.
- Written with P.S. Use the postscript to emphasize a particular point or to draw attention to a special offer.
- Proofread by more than one person. It’s so easy for the writer to miss their own mistakes. Once you’ve proofread your letter, have it reviewed by one or two other people as well.
Messaging for real estate prospects
- Renters. Detail the benefits of homeownership and the downsides of renting.
- First-time homebuyers. Addressing concerns of those new to house hunting and the home buying process.
- Neighborhood prospects. Introduce yourself and offer a free assessment of their home.
- For Sale by Owner. Introduce the benefit of using an agent to sell their home.
- Expired listing. Send to homeowners whose houses have failed to sell.
- Downsizing. Send to those clients who are now empty nesters.
- Vacation and second home. Pitch to high-end buyers who may be interested in a second home or a vacation property.
- Past clients. Stay in touch with clients and seek referrals.
Messaging for professional partners
- Local business partnership. For building business connections and potential referral resources. Pitch the benefits of teaming to offer potential buyers with special offers.
- Professional partnerships. Attorneys, financial advisors, builders, and contractors — introduce yourself and offer your expertise and assistance to their clients.
- Referral request. Reaching out to current and past partners.