Saturday, February 24

Real Estate Marketing Mistakes: Poor Follow Up Letters

Sometimes in my research for real estate clients I check out their competitors. And, as part of that research, I sign up to get follow-up emails from them.

A few are well written and informative. The rest are… definitely not.

The majority ask if I’m still looking for a house and invite me to call if I see one I like.

Never mind that I didn’t identify myself as a buyer or a seller – and that no one asked which I might be.

If I’m a seller, I’m definitely not interested in that message. And if I’m a buyer, the agent hasn’t given me any reason why I might want to use them to help me with the purchase of a home I’ve already picked out.

Most home buyers have no idea of the reasons why they should consider using a buyer’s agent rather than the listing agent. In fact, most don’t know what real estate professionals do behind the scenes at all. Your follow up letters should inform them – and show why you are the professional who will protect their interests.

Had I filled out a form to get a market analysis, I assume the agent would have known to send me seller information. I haven’t tried that, since I don’t know the addresses or neighborhoods in the towns where I’m doing research.

One agent started sending me multiple emails. Ten the first day, 5 or 6 each day afterward for a couple of weeks. Then he forgot about me.

Those letters were even worse, because they were using the shotgun approach. They were written to every kind of buyer or seller he could think of. I suppose that was in hopes that one of the letters might apply to me. All they did was make me laugh, but I did open them just to see what he would come up with next.

So what should you do instead?

First, install a capture form on your site for buyers, and a different one for sellers. If you serve different niches of buyers and sellers, install one for each niche. Your autoresponder will automatically create the lists, so all you have to do is fill them with appropriate follow-up letters.

First time buyers need one kind of information. Relocating buyers need another. Move-up sellers need information on getting their home ready for market, while short sale sellers need to know what to look for in a short sale agent.

And every one of those letters needs to include an offer to make their lives easier. Telling a buyer to call you when he or she has found a house is like saying “I need some money. Let me write your offer.”

Your letters need to offer service, and benefits to the buyer or seller.