Why are real estate prospecting letters sold in sets?
Why not just get and use one good letter?
Every now and then someone writes to ask if I can provide them with one good letter to use in prospecting. The answer is “Yes, I could. But contacting your prospects just one time is a poor idea.” Prospecting letters are sold in sets because you need more than one letter.
Studies show that of the people who might respond, only 2% will respond after just one contact. Remember, not everyone will respond at all. If you’ve chosen a niche or a geographic area, only a small portion of those people will be thinking of selling in a given year.
According to the Census Bureau only 5.1% of homeowners moved in 2012. So if you write to 500 people and only 5% might be interested in selling their homes, you might potentially get 25 responses.
BUT if only 2% of those 25 will respond the first time you write, you have a good chance of getting NO response at all.
Remember, 2% of 25 is only 1/2! Statistics are based on averages, so you COULD get lucky with one letter. It’s just not likely.
Your odds should go up if you’re writing to people who need to sell, such as distressed homeowners, or to FSBO’s, or Expireds who have already shown their desire to sell. But even in those groups, there are some who won’t ever respond.
So how many letters does it take? Those same statistics show that:
- 3% of responses come from the second contact
- 5% of responses come from the third contact
- 10% of responses come from the fourth contact
- 80% of responses come from the fifth to twelfth contact
Why does it take so long for people who need you to respond?
Several reasons. Among them are:
- Your letter arrived on a day when they were busy – they didn’t even look at it
- They’ve never heard of you before – and you’re just one of many who has written
- They’ve been thinking about a move, but aren’t yet serious about it
- They don’t realize that there’s a difference in agents
- They have a friend or relative in real estate
- Your letter didn’t give them any reason to trust you
Think about that final reason… and think about all the prospecting letters you’ve seen that say nothing more than “Here I am, I’m wonderful, choose me.” It won’t matter how many times you write if all you do is let them know you want their listing. Instead, you have to give them some solid information that shows you not only know what you’re doing, but will have their best interests at heart.
Prospecting letters sold in sets offer you an opportunity to present an ongoing flow of information. One letter builds upon another to foster both familiarity and trust.
Plan to “touch” those people at least 5 times.
In addition to letters you can send email messages, knock on their doors, or call on the phone (where allowed). And… when you list or sell a home in their neighborhood or that niche, send a “just listed” or “just sold” card. So write some good letters or purchase some of my pre-written real estate prospecting letters. Then set up your system so it runs on auto-pilot to get the letters in front of the homeowners whose houses you’d like to list.