Getting listings is perhaps the most challenging aspect of being a real estate agent. Waiting for listings to come to you is too passive and it only works if you’re very well-known in an area. Even then, it pays to be proactive and to take advantage of tools such as real estate farming letters.
A real estate farming letter (or a postcard) enables you to establish the first contact with many of the neighbors in an area. If some of them are thinking about selling, your letter might give them the push they need to reach out and ask for a valuation.
In this article, we’ll discuss how real estate farming letters work and how to write one, step by step. Let’s get to it!
What Are Real Estate Farming Letters?
Think about real estate farming letters as cold calls for getting listings. Your goal is to craft a letter that you can send to as many homeowners as possible in a specific area and to tell them why they should consider selling now:
There are a lot of ways to reach new customers in any given area as a real estate agent. You can use real estate flyers, pay for physical and online ads, host open houses, and much more. Ideally, you’ll use all of those approaches as well as real estate farming letters.
Going by cost alone, farming letters are one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. However, just as with cold calls, your letters may get ignored if you don’t use the right approach.
How to Write a Real Estate Farming Letter (Step By Step)
You might have a way with words, but there are some specific elements that most successful real estate farming letters share. Knowing what those are should increase the success rate of your letter-writing efforts.
Step 1: Open With a Hook
Few people like getting unwanted sales pitches, which is precisely what a farming letter is. If you want homeowners to read your entire letter, you have to start by giving them a reason to care.
In most cases, high home values and hot real estate markets are the best possible hooks that you can use. If there’s an area with a hot real estate market, that’s a perfect target for a farming letter.
If you check out the example we showed you earlier, you’ll see that it dives right in to the hook:
“The property market in your suburb has changed dramatically. In fact, we’re finding property owners are surprised when they discover the NEW value of their property.
The market is certainly very hot right now and if you’re thinking of selling, there has never been a better time than now.”
It’s essential that you establish why readers should be interested in finding out more before you make an offer. That’s what step two is all about.
Step 2: Offer a Free Consult or Home Valuation
There are few things that people like as much as freebies. The idea of a free consult or home valuation might be enough to entice homeowners. Some of them might be open to the idea of selling, but they haven’t decided to take that first step yet.
Your real estate farming letter should plant the idea that now is the time to act and offer a free and painless way to do so. Our two favorite offers for farming letters are:
- Free consults: The idea of a consult is that homeowners get to pick your brain for a while about the real estate market and you get to talk about why now is the right time for selling.
- Free home valuations: This type of offer has a high value because it targets owners that are more likely to decide to list their properties.
Your farming letter should lay out what owners should do next if they’re interested in your offer. Here’s a quick example from a Jigglar farming letter template:
If you want customers to reach you, tell them when you’re available to discuss their concerns. More importantly, you need to include contact information and while you’re at it, add your business logo as well.
Step 3: Personalize the Letter
Farming letters are, by definition, mass communication messages. However, it’s in your best interest to personalize letters as much as possible.
It might not be feasible to send letters with each individual homeowner’s name. However, what you can and should do is create highly-targeted letters that focus on specific areas or neighborhoods.
That focus will provide you with the data that you need to back up your hook. If the real market in an area is really hot, you’ll be able to share numbers and statistics with owners within your letter.
Make sure that you mention the area’s name and if you’ve sold any properties nearby recently, include those addresses as well. Those little details add up and make your farming letter feel more trustworthy.
Real estate farming or prospecting letters can be powerful and cost-effective marketing tools to get you more listings. However, if you want your letters to be successful, they need to be well-crafted.
Here are three basic steps to creating a real estate farming letter that gets you good returns:
- Open with a hook.
- Offer a free consult or home valuation.
- Personalize the letter.
Are you ready to get to work on your first real estate farming letter? Try out Jigglar for free and use any of our templates to get started!