What's the first thought that pops in your head when somebody talks to you about a referral letter marketing method for Realtors? I'll bet you $20 you think I'm talking about getting letters of recommendation and testimonials from your past clients, right?
That's a effective marketing idea for Realtors too. Although, I'm talking about getting yourself an overflow of clients sent to you by professionals like attorneys, contractors, CPA's and landscapers. And all it'll require is just a personal letter written by you, the world's most fantastic Realtor.
Here's the referral letter marketing theory for Realtors or agents in a nutshell: generate a list of professionals that are likely to have clients that could potentially be your clients too. Then, sending it by regular mail, compose a personal letter to your list of respected professionals.
Be sure you get unique and use an envelope that stands out from every other white, standard envelope in the mail. If doable, telephone each professional that receives your letter, as a follow up project.
There are a ton of “top producing” Realtors who apply this single method to create the majority of their closings. There's nothing unethical with following the leader.
The 1st step in this process is making a list of these respected professionals that you desire to build relationships with…
– Lenders (understandable, correct?)
– Financial Advisors
– Real Estate Attorneys
– General Contractors
– Real Estate Appraisers
– Escrow Officers
– Residential Landscapers
– Tree Trimming Professionals
– Handyman Contractors
– Get the picture?…
Of course, there are countless more professionals to add to the list but that'll get you going for now.
So how do you get this full list of specific professionals to market to? Fantastic question, glad you asked. Depending on how many marketing dollars you have, there are a duo of options for you.
Looking through the yellow pages, on-line, is a economical option. You must already have a geographical area you stick to so you'll want to stay within that region, for the most part. The time consuming component about this option is the manual labor.
You have to go through each person listed and find their name, phone number and mailing address. It may take you a while but if you have more time than marketing dollars, this is the way to go.
The other option for you is to just pay money for a list of these professionals that you wish to market to. In the same way you're probably on one or more Realtor or agent lists being sold out there, just about every profession has their own list for sale too.
Don't worry, these types of lists are not unethical or anything. Some people don't know but these types of lists are compiled and available for sale if professionals, like us real estate agents, join an association or give their info to a publication that they subscribe to.
You have more than decent choices when it comes to picking a list company to purchase your list from. The list company you choose should be able to provide you with every profession you'll require, rather than going to one company for a CPA list, another company for an attorney list, and so on. I assure you, it'll cost you a few dollars for this list but it's going to salvage you hours of valued time!
However you prefer to obtain your list of professionals, once you have it, it's time to begin writing your “personalized” letter. I don't have space here to instruct you about copywriting, regrettably. That's a subject all by itself.
Just understand for now that you don't want your referral letter to be a “sales letter”.
When one of these professionals gets this referral marketing letter, they need to feel like they're the only one who got it, even though you could copy most of it and mail it to other professionals.
It's all about writing the letter as if you were talking to the person face-to-face. Don't apply the same flavorless language that your bank does when they send you a boring letter in the mail. Speak to them like a real human being and catch their curiosity.
As a side remark, personalizing your marketing goes for all your Realtor marketing ideas, like postcards, emails, articles, ads, etc.
What the heart of this letter needs to tell them is that you desire to refer business back and forth, not simply take and take and take from them. The ultimate result you're looking for is to be their favorite Realtor for all their clients who require real estate services. Don't tick off these professionals by “selling” them, but alternatively, show them however they're going to profit, o.k.?
If you happen to know a personal tid bit about their company or a customer they've worked with, toss it in your letter. Perhaps you personally know of a client who's used that professional, toss that in the letter too. Unless you begin talking about their momma, there's no way you can get excessively personal.
Penning this marketing letter yourself would be my huge, chief suggestion. But, if you utterly detest writing this kind of marketing letter, your other alternative is to locate a good freelance writer to do it.
Just type in “independent writers” on Google and you'll see many individuals to pick from. With a number of companies, they even permit you to sort through their writers from across the globe. It's nifty since you can sometimes check their reviews, pricing and even send them a question to “interview them”. In several cases, posting a project you want written and letting freelance writers apply, is allowed. It's excellent.
Ok, so now that you have your marketing list and referral letter written, it's time to send it out. Only whatever you do, please do not send your letter in a regular white envelope like we see everyday of our lives… please!
Get another unusual mailing package or envelope with a little color or size to it. Your intention is to stick out like a sore thumb, in a good way, from all the mail your list will be receiving. I'd also advise you to write the mailing and return addresses by hand so that you increase the “personal” look of your letter.
When you gather your mail, which pieces do you open right away and which ones do you toss without a second look? The precedence goes to letters where the sender hand-wrote the address, everytime!
A bonus you'll want to include, in the package, is some sort of marketing piece in addition to your referral letter. This may be a video you create using Animoto that showcases who you are and why they must pay attention.
A friend of mine used poker chips as his marketing thing when he sent out a mailing for his life insurance business. His slogan on the poker chips was “Don't Gamble on Your Life”.
Sheer brilliance! That's the sort of creative juice you need to have flowing if you want to be the top dog Realtor or agent in your area.
With this referral letter, make certain you specify for these professionals to not only call your phone, if they want, but also to check out your blog or website. Give them the choice but make certain you give them both. You can never tell who hates talking on the phone and who hates looking at websites.
The final step we'll address is absolutely critical. Repetition is king when it comes to marketing. If you look at marketing statistics in general, it's been shown that consumers and prospects need to hear or view the same marketing message more than 6-7 times before they feel comfy enough to respond.
So the obvious “take-away” is that you must continue to market to these professionals on your list, more than once. Following up with these professionals with another letter or a telephone call every 4 weeks or so would be my suggestion. If you were able to get or buy their email address, feel free to start emailing them as well.
As it is with dating, you need to be careful to not smother and bother them or else you can bet on never getting referrals from them, ever. It's a fine line but you need to tell them why you should be their “go-to” Realtor without coming across in a rude or annoying style.
As a side note, if you have the marketing funds but don't have the time, think about hiring a teen or college kid to stuff these mailers. Your college kid or teenager can stuff all the envelopes and address them but I'd still suggest for you to pen the referral letter yourself.
This sort of hired-hand will be about as inexpensive as you can get and you'll salvage so much time that you won't know what to do with yourself.
In the end, I feel this is one of the most outstanding marketing tips for Realtors to ensure a long, successful career without a million-dollar marketing budget. If you construct these relationships correctly, they can bring you so many leads that you won't need to actively promote or market your real estate business in any other way.
Trust me, the cash will come as long as you focus on helping them as much as you need them to help you!
Shiloh Street University is an online marketing school for Realtors, dedicated to “Creating Wealthy Agents through World-Class Marketing” by providing step-by-step video on top real estate marketing products and real estate agent marketing advice.