I’ve written hundreds of different prospecting letters over the years, and what follows is based on five years’ experience and what generated the best results for agents.
Let’s get straight into how we can go about writing prospecting/canvassing/touting letters that help your agency win instructions from your rivals ethically and consistently.
Brilliant Basics – The letter must look visually appealing. Include a photo of you or one of your team, a brief testimonial for social proof purposes and some key stats down the right-hand side of the page.
Boring Consistency – You need a plan in place (or software tool) to ensure your letters are sent consistently and timely. There’s no silver bullet to this.
Show Personality – Put forward the people who make the agency and avoid jargon and overpromises like you would a cave full of bats in Wuhan.
Pain and Progress – Acknowledge their pain (haven’t sold in eight weeks, price reduction, back on the market, etc.) and put forward a plan on how you would cure that, i.e. better marketing, proven track record, seller testimonials, stats, fresh enthusiasm and expertise.
Experience – I disagree with those who say no one is interested in how long your agency has been established. Experience matters, especially when offering to solve someone’s biggest headache. Think of my EAT equation – Experience + Authority = Trust. How can your agency show it has the experience and authority that makes a homeowner trust you enough to sell their home or solve their problem?
Cold Canvassing – Mass leaflet drops – I’m interested to know your ideas around this. Again, no silver bullet, but a way of getting more trackable interaction from them is to link QR codes to a video about your agency. The more hyper-local you go, the better. The best response we ever received from a ‘mass mailer’ was one that targeted bungalow owners. It included the history of bungalows and advice on home maintenance which was pretty much the same as that sent to houses – minus the need for a ladder. It generated three fees, ten valuations and more than 50 new names on the agent’s database.
To make your letters stand out from the ‘bland-as-a-beige-cardigan brigade’, always include a line covering one thing that you do that your rivals don’t or can’t.
It could be the amount you give to the community, the percentage of successful sales you achieve, the years of experience you have, the time taken from instruction to completion – we all have an edge. This is about communicating yours.
Back to Basics
Below are six simple things you can do to improve your agency’s prospecting letters.
Be Polite – Introduce yourself in the first line – but don’t apologise for ‘disturbing them’. Remember, you are offering the cure to their pain. A polite introduction means you’re not going straight in for the kill.
Be Concise – Act like a lenient court judge. Keep your sentences short. 25 – 30-word sentences help the reader understand the messages you convey. It’s the ideal copy cadence (more on that later in the month).
Be Clear – Bullet points work well and help make your key points stand out.
Be Different – In the past, we’ve used references to David Bowie, included jigsaw pieces, mini magnifying glasses, and played spot the difference. Again, aim to NOT sound like an estate agent.
Be Thorough – A typo or spelling mistake is a sure-fire way to raise doubts about your agency in the reader’s mind. Remember, they are looking for reasons to stick with their original choice unless you show you have demonstrated a potential solution to their problem.
Be Realistic – Writing good prospecting letters is a skill – if you can’t do it in-house, find someone with experience and a good track record. Also, insist on area exclusivity.
Here’s how you can add a little pop to the end of your prospecting letters.
Think about the calls to action (CTA) you finish your letters with.
Rather than say, ‘for a no-obligation, free valuation, give us a call’, offer a review/audit instead.
Here are a couple of examples we’ve used very successfully (we’ve more than eight tried, tested, and triumphant CTAs which we’ve used across our prospecting packs).
I would love the opportunity to give you a complimentary Property Marketing Audit and see what needs putting right for you to sell successfully. (This call to action offers the reader the chance to have their property’s current marketing reviewed and a headache cured.)
We can offer you a free Rental Property Review where we’ll go through four fundamental things that need to be in place for you to attract the best tenants and achieve a premium rent. (Arouses curiosity and positions your agency as problem solvers.)
To succeed at winning those second agency instructions, your prospecting/canvassing/touting letters need to be:
Solving a problem
End with a compelling offer
I was asked why I openly share the techniques outlined above. The agent I was speaking to suggested I should be wary of giving the game away.
The truth is, knowing is not doing. And even when people know this stuff, the biggest piece of the prospecting puzzle is writing (doing) the actual content.
That’s where the real marketing magic lives.
Thanks for reading and if you want to be put on the waiting list for information about our new package of prospecting letters being released in February 2022, email me at Jerry@estateagentcontent.co.uk