Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Holiday Listing Letters
Are you fed up with experiencing a “slow market” in November and December?
Does your real estate practice experience holiday doldrums because people put off listing?
Does that translate into too few closings in January in February?
Give your listing prospects 5 good reasons to list now. The holiday listing letter set consists of 5 letters, each offering another reason why now is a good time to act. Send them to listing prospects you’ve already met, or prospects who are already hearing from you. You could also post them on your blog, or include their information in your newsletter.
- #1 points out the fact that buyers who are looking during the holidays are serious. Otherwise, they’d be spending their time in other pursuits.
- #2 reminds people that seldom are their homes more beautiful and “homey” than when spruced up for the holidays.
- #3 explains that there is less competition, because some sellers elect to go off the market at this time of year.
- #4 States the importance of listing with an agent who will actually be working. Sales are lost when buyers can’t get appointments to see homes because the listing agent is taking time off.
- #5 says “Wouldn’t a signed-around purchase agreement be a wonderful gift?”
Short and to the point, they’ll encourage serious sellers to list now – and to call you, rather than some competitor who may or may not actually be working in December. OK, so what do they cost? Because notice of this page is only being sent to agents who are already using my prospecting letters, and since they’re only useful for about 2 months out of the year, they’re yours for a very special price. (They’re also available on my other site, but without the discount.)
As my thank you for using my letters, these 5 letters are yours for only $7.50.
So get yours today; personalize them; send them; and get your listings on the market while those holiday buyers are searching.
You can’t be all things to all people.
What the heck am I talking about?
I’m talking about the mistake I see both online and in print ads: The habit of writing “Call on me for all your real estate needs.”
Both you and your prospects know that you cannot fulfill everyone’s real estate “needs” any more than I could provide good copy for every business in the universe. Some areas of real estate require specialized knowledge, as do many areas of marketing.
Since it’s unlikely that any one agent will possess specialized knowledge in every area of real estate, to say that you can fulfill all of anyone’s “needs” is simply a “lazy lie.”
Telling this lie is a way to avoid taking the time to reveal what you actually do.
So don’t do it. Instead, get specific. Focus in on the segment of real estate that you do know, and market yourself in that segment. You can do it even if you haven’t developed a specific niche. (Which you should do.)
For instance: If you sell homes, but not specific homes, you could say “Your guide to homes in …” and name your City or general territory.
At least then you wouldn’t be claiming to handle commercial development properties, multi-family properties, farmland, leasing, or any other specialty for which you don’t have expertise.
Think about what you offer, then take the time to write ad copy promoting your true services.
Don’t tell a lazy lie by claiming to be able to handle all of anyone’s real estate “needs.”
<em>Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</em>
Use an unusual sized mailer.
Print your message on an odd-sized postcard. If you prefer to use envelopes, mail it in something other than a #10 business envelope. Greeting-card size usually evokes curiosity, especially if you’ve hand-written the address.
You might also try an 8 ½ X 11 mailer to look somewhat “official.”
Use a teaser.
Offer a hint of what’s inside on the outside of the envelope.
This won’t work if your prospecting letter is of the “Here I am, I’m wonderful, hire me” variety. But hopefully you would never do that. You’re sending good, useful information. So give a hint of that “good stuff” they’re going to find inside.
Maybe it’s a market report. You could say “What are homes like yours selling for this month? Get the full report inside.”
If it’s a report you’re sending to expireds on “Why it didn’t sell,” you could say: “Inside – the 3 primary reasons why homes expire off the market unsold.”
If it’s going to FSBO’s you might say “Things to consider when selling on your own.” Then tell them about some of the pitfalls to watch out for.
Maybe you’re writing to residents of an apartment complex. Your teaser could say “Purchasing a home without a buyer’s agent could cost you thousands. Look inside for the reason why.”
Few people can resist opening an envelope if it’s lumpy. You just never know what you might find inside, and we humans are almost as curious as cats.
A few years ago I wrote a promotion for a new agent who was establishing a territory in her own neighborhood. Her mailing contained a quarter, along with the message: “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.” (In case you don’t remember, that’s a line from a Country-Western song that was popular at the time.)
Of course, the promotion went on to talk about her love for the neighborhood and that SHE was the one who cared.
Your lumpy object could be all sorts of things – pens, notepads, a packet of garden seeds, or even a wooden “round tuit.”
Use your imagination and match “the lump” to the neighborhood, the clients, or the season.
Mailbox graphic courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Fifty years ago selling your own home or property without an agent might have made sense. In those days we weren’t bogged down with rules and regulations like we are today.
In addition, most people went along with the idea that “What you see is what you get” and “buyer beware.” You weren’t apt to be sued if you failed to disclose that the roof leaked last year.
The way people search for homes has changed, too. Instead of driving around the neighborhood and checking the classified ads in the newspaper, 90% of potential buyers go on line to search. And individual homeowners can’t begin to place their homes in the number of places that a well-connected agent can.
And then there’s that all-important pricing. Homeowners without access to actual sold statistics and with no way to accurately compare their homes with the competition can only guess.
But the thing is… most consumers don’t know that that the advertised price of the home next door wasn’t necessarily the selling price. They don’t know that their real estate agent is going to protect them from liability – or that their agent is working hard behind the scenes to put their home in front of every possibly buyer prospect.
Our FSBO letters let them know – gently. For instance, they offer ways that the homeowner can more accurately determine the right price for their home (it’s a lot of work). They talk about the forms they need to find (perhaps at a stationers?) and give warnings about failure to disclose. They also talk about the need to be careful when speaking with buyers and precautions they should take to keep themselves, their families, and their belongings safe.
In other words, they give a lot of good advice, while planting the thought that selling without an agent is a huge undertaking.
Learn more about the For Sale by Owner Letters that will add listings to your portfolio right here.
Farming is just a bit different from prospecting.
When you prospect, you’re searching for those gems that you can cash in on right now. In other words, someone who wants to list and sell today – not next year.
When you farm, you do what farmers do. You plant the seeds, then nurture them while your “crop” grows to maturity.
The letters you write, the calls you make, the advice you give – all are the sunshine, water, and fertilizer that make your crops grow. And then, year after year, as you establish yourself as your territory’s most knowledgeable, trusted agent, more of those homes will become your listings.
So get the Geographic Prospecting Letters and use them… but don’t stop there.
Instead, make yourself visible…
- Stop by now and then to say hello and offer to answer questions.
- Attend their yard sales.
- Cheer for their team at sports events at their schools.
- Have coffee at the neighborhood shop.
- Attend HOA and other community meetings.
- When you get a listing, send a just listed card, then invite the neighbors to the open house.
- When you have a closing, send them a card.
In other words, make yourself a recognized name and face in the community.