There are a number of ways to prospect in commercial real estate. One of the more effective ways to do that is to send prospecting letters to key people and targets in your area. If this is something that is attractive to you in prospecting, then you will need to understand the letter system and implement it correctly.
The secret behind the success of the letter process is to make them relevant to the marketplace, and provide valuable insights to market conditions and trends. Over time, and through sending plenty of letters in a 90 day contact cycle, you are perceived as a market leader that should be considered when it comes to any new listing in the local area. That is when you will get a good share of invitations to present and pitch on listings.
Most clients and prospects want to use the best agent with the ‘runs on the board’. Prospecting letters set up that image and branding. Some agents believe that this is the only way to prospect. They would be wrong, particularly because this process takes many months if not years of consistent action to get the results coming back to you. Over a period of 12 months you should be sending 4 letters in a staged process. Every letter will have a new story or message to tell.
This letter based prospecting system is in addition to your cold calling, door knocking, and referral business. So you will have the other things to activate and run in parallel to your letter system.
Here are some rules to help you set up this valuable networking and prospecting process:
Letters should be sent to the right people by type and location. In this way you can judge the feedback and inbound enquires. Create letters for Sales, Leasing, and Property Management. That then helps you with relevance in each letter sent.
Follow up your letters wherever possible. Use the letters as triggers to make calls. They turn a ‘cold call’ into a ‘warm call’.
Letter frequency will always be important. At a minimum your letters should be going to the same people every 90 days. You can shorten that cycle to 60 days if you wish.
Track the conversations and enquiries that you get back from the campaigns. That will help you understand what works and how you can improve on that.
Meaningful messages should be created for each letter. Understand the ‘pain factors’ in the market today that apply to sales, leasing, and property management. Write the letters to the challenges that property owners and occupiers are suffering. Offer solutions.
Success letters should be sent to all businesses and property owners around each completed listing.
Marketing letters should be sent around all quality listings.