Market Insight

How to perfect your letter sending strategy

It’s no secret that off-market site finding is a numbers game. This means, be wary of how much time you spend on each site because that will directly affect how big your stack is at the end of the week.

Hugh Gibbs
March 1, 2023

When was the last time you reviewed your letter sending strategy?

Let’s start with another question: How important is it to send a letter to the owner of a property or plot you are interested in? 

Well, unless you happen to have an intro through your network (the property industry is a very social bunch) or you’re the type to knock on the door and introduce yourself, it is very important. You could have a thousand sites saved and earmarked for having development potential but unless you reach out to the owner, they will sooner find themselves on someone else's portfolio than they will yours. 

That said, let's discuss letter sending strategies and see if SearchLand can’t do anything to improve your process.   

What is direct to the vendor?

Before I jump into letter dropping strategies we need to quickly cover a phrase you are probably familiar with, this is Direct To Vendor or DTV. You’ve done your homework, you think the site has legs now it's time to introduce yourself to the most important of all - the landowner. 

How to run a letter campaign

Sorry to say it but there is no magic bullet to running a letter campaign. No precise string of words placed in the correct order with just the right amount of space between the lines makes landowners want to jump into bed with you - if there was, this magic formula would probably be used for more nefarious reasons. 

There are, however, some very good principles to go by. They are borrowed from just about every successful sales strategy used from product to software sales. DTV letter campaigns and marketing are one and the same. The marketing folks refer to it as outbound marketing and it is the lifeblood of most businesses dependent on lead generation. 

Here are 4 principles you can start using in your letters.  

Keep it simple (stupid) a.k.a. KISS.

You’ve heard this one before but maybe as less is more’. In your introductory letter, it is generally a very good idea to keep it to the important stuff, like:

  1. Why you are writing to them
  2. Who you are 
  3. How they can contact you

There really is no need to fill that page, white space on an A4 is much nicer than a dense document that screams TLDR (too long didn’t read).

Personalisation is key

The trick here isn’t necessarily to make it all about them but to show you have done your homework. That is enough. If this isn’t achieved in the letter(s), thoughts of canvassing come to mind - the marketing equivalent of throwing mud to the wall and seeing what sticks.

SearchLand personalisation quick tip: 

Want to know how to personalise your letters without it taking all your time? try these:

  1. Use the landowners details from the HMLR’s Land Registry Document. Use the name and the address from this document, no more Dear Sir/Maddams. 
  2. Send a site plan. Stand out from the crowd by sending a site plan of their site with a red-line outline. This also helps in the case where the proprietor owns multiple plots and can see instantly which you are referring to. 

Automate your workflows

It’s no secret that off-market site finding is a numbers game. This means, be wary of how much time you spend on each site because that will directly affect how big your stack is at the end of the week. I’m not saying cut corners and skimp on due diligence but save time where you can. That’s where automation comes in.

When it comes to automating letter sending there are a few tricks. Mail merge is the most common, but you’re still going to be needing to allocate time and resources to getting those letters out the door. SearchLand has recently launched an automated letter sending feature that will allow you to bulk send letters and keep track of progress. Check out the tool on our website here and see how much time you could be saving with this feature.  

Run a letter sending Campaign

I like to send a second letter one month later and then a third between 6 months to 12 months after the first. Remember, each letter is trying to achieve something different. The first is just an intro, the second is about showing that you are committed and not just passing by and the third, this is just a nudge and nothing more, the letter equivalent of saying ‘hey, remember me?’ without being overly intrusive. In all of these letters it doesn’t hurt to be yourself. Off-market deals are slightly longer plays so recipients will want to see if there is a connection there. 

How can SearchLand help? 

Letter sending is a bittersweet process. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of the site finding. Your stack of letters have been folded, franked and off to spread the good word of your hard work. However, it’s time consuming, repetitive and can be prone to human errors (ever put the wrong name next to the wrong address, I have). But we do it because it is the lifeblood of any business dependent on filling the pipeline with new leads.

SearchLand has taken a good hard look at how the out platform can help and we’ve come up with a pretty nifty solution - automated letter sending. You find the sites, de-risk them in whatever way you like and hit send. We’ll handle the rest. We also listen to our advice and have built a way for you to add a site plan to these letters too. Reach out today and see how we can help. 

Hugh Gibbs
May 9, 2024

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