The result, unfortunately, is usually a "no-purpose" letter when it comes to results.
A letter came to me recently that underscored the problem. In reading it, I couldn't decide if the writer wanted me to list a home, buy a home, or sign up as an agent with the firm. The subjects kept bouncing around, bumping into each other at every turn.
He needed to write 3 different letters. And in fact, in today's economy, to be effective he could have written many more.
Today we have sellers in many different categories: Non-distressed, pre-foreclosure with equity, and short sales. And some of them are trying to sell as FSBO's while some are disappointed because they listed their homes and the listing expired without a sale.
Add high-end, low-end, and middle-priced properties and you have a wide variety of people - all with different problems to solve.
Almost the same can be said for buyers. Some are first-timers, some move-up, some relocating, some military, some high-end, and some are investors looking for properties to repair.
So the first step in writing to your prospective client is to decide who that client will be. Then think about the problems that he or she wants to solve.
* What are his or her greatest concerns right now?
* What can you do to help?
The next step is to decide what action you want your prospects to take after reading your letter. You do need to tell them!
Quite often, in the name of modesty or perhaps fear, agents forget the "call to action" - so their prospects take no action. If you want them to call, ask them to call. If you want them to visit your website, give them the address and tell them why it will benefit them to visit you. If you want them to opt-in to get your messages, ask them to do it and tell them what you're going to give them in return.
Before you actually begin to write, try to come up with someone you know who fits the profile of the customer you're writing to. If that won't work, make up a person.
* Give them a name and a face.
* Envision what kind of clothes they wear and the car they drive.
* Imagine what they're saying to their families over the dinner table.
* Consider what has them worried and what makes them smile
When you write, focus on that one person and write as if you were talking to her or him.
Talk about their concerns first and then how you'll help them solve them. Do your best to start every paragraph with some form of the word "you."
Even if you have to come back to edit and smooth out your copy later, starting with "you" will help you avoid talking about yourself and what you think.
Remember, they don't care about you - only about the solutions you offer. If you begin your letter with "I" or "we" you might as well not write it at all, because few will read it.
About the Author:
Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries.
She'll help you with one letter, or an entire marketing plan. For Real Estate agents and brokers who are ready to get full value from their websites, she'll be happy to put together an entire package - from the web copy to the lead generation packages that make an agent's phone ring.
For busy agents on a budget, Marte offers pre-written letter sets for use in postal mail or in e-mail continuity campaigns. The current selection includes letters for FSBO's, Expired Listings, Short Sale sellers, First Time Buyers, and a set for new agents to send to buyers. Read what's included in these sets by visiting http://www.copybymarte.com/pro/prospecting.html
Marte's weekly ezine for real estate professionals offers tips and hints for building a successful business. To subscribe, and to see other resources available for real estate sales professionals, visit her at http://www.copybymarte.com