In a recent study, researchers found that 46% of real estate professionals believed their biggest challenge to be generating enough high-quality leads. Combine this with the second most popular answer, that 24% of realtors struggle to find the right marketing tools, and we can safely say that reaching out potential sellers isn’t an easy game. Few seem to know how to do it and somehow even less know where to start looking, with many realtors searching perhaps just a little bit too far afield. So, where is the best place to find seller leads?
Funnily enough, right at home. Relationship marketing is crucial in real estate, often more important than any other marketing avenue. It could even be argued that relationship marketing is more valuable in real estate than it is in any other industry. A customer is happy to let any old cashier handle their groceries but, naturally, there needs to be a great deal of trust when it comes to someone handling their property. That’s why, in 2018, 48% of first-time sellers found their realtor through referrals from either a friend or a family member. Their realtor needs to be someone who they can rely on. Luckily for realtors, though, if the seller is happy with their selling experience, then they will almost always recommend their realtor to at least one other person, while a further 32% will recommend their realtor three or more times. As you can see, there is a great deal to be gained from this mutually beneficial relationship, and it is often the case that the realtor and seller begin to develop a long history of working together.
The Realtor-Seller Relationship
Last year, 27% of sellers who had sold a house in the past sold their property through a realtor that they had used before, and 53% of sellers used the same agent to purchase their new house as they did to sell their old one. While all these facts and statistics are fascinating, I’m sure you’re wondering what the point I’m trying to get at is. The point is that it could very well be that your future seller leads are the leads from your past.
Unless you mainly work with retirees, chances are that those who have moved with you before (either as a buyer or a seller) are going to want to move again. It’s important that you maintain an excellent realtor-seller relationship to pre-empt their decision to move. Customers prefer the personalized approach, so when it comes to nurturing a relationship built on trust and understanding, the cold touch of the procedurally generated email is definitely out. Instead, why not try a personalized handwritten letter? Personalized handwritten letters are almost always opened, and by using Scribeless to reach out to potential seller leads, you can increase lead conversion by as much as 350%. Sound good? Great! But there are a few things to consider before you start throwing out letters left and right.
When to Send a Personalised Handwritten Note
As well as building a meaningful relationship to ensure that the seller trusts your agency if they do decide to move, you can also use personalized handwritten notes to influence when they move. A great rule of thumb is that, in order to avoid any financial loss, homeowners should live in their property for at least 5 years before looking to move again. So when a homeowner is coming to their fifth or sixth year of residency, they are likely to be in a much stronger financial position to sell. Remember, they have trusted you to oversee their move before so if you’ve been maintaining a strong relationship over the years, there’s no reason they shouldn’t trust you to facilitate their move again. Use the information that you’ve gathered through your CRM to determine the ideal time to suggest a move to your sellers and reach out to them with a personalized handwritten letter. Scribeless’ seamless integration ensures that the process can even be automated so that a letter can be delivered on the fifth anniversary of the homeowner’s residency without the need for you to write and send it yourself.
What Should Your Letter Say?
When it comes to the content of your handwritten notes, well that’s entirely up to you! Just remember to keep it personal. If you succeeded in your work, you will have already delivered a smooth and stress-free customer experience during the buying/selling process, and as such your potential seller leads should already feel safe with you. Let them know that you are forever thankful for their trust, and that you hope that they have been comfortable in their property. If you’re looking to encourage them to make the move again, then it might be worth mentioning some of the positive stuff on the financial side of a potential sale, such as how much their home has increased in value over the years, or changes in local market conditions. Alternatively, if you dabble in renting, you could advertise new housing options available, such as an affordable newbuild opening up in the area. Agencies have used Scribeless’ handwritten marketing to deliver a range of correspondences, including thank you letters after the customer has agreed to move ahead with the agency, congratulations letters once the property has been sold, birthday and Christmas letters, and annual follow-ups with the customer to simply say ‘hi’. One agency in particular saw an uplift in customer engagement of up to 18% over the direct mail and email outreaches that they had been utilising in the past.
So why not see what Scribeless can help you achieve?
Click here to send personalized handwritten letters at scale and increase your chances of reselling with the leads of your past.