9 faults and fixes for an estate agent canvassing letter

03 February 2010
Posted in Canvassing

A thread posted by Neil Robinson over on the new Property Owl estate agency networking website reminded me of an awful letter that I was sent recently.

Now, you might remember that I've tweeted about Mann Countrywide's
poor marketing efforts in the past (business card in an envelope anyone?). This time, it's Cubitt & West's lazy, badly designed effort that gets a mention. Click the image below for a full size scan of the letter.

So, what's wrong with it?

  • They've addressed it to "Homeowner". People like to see their name.
  • The biggest (and therefore most important part of the letter to me) is the branch manager's name. It should be the benefit to me of using their agency.
  • He didn't make the effort to sign it personally, or even use a scanned signature - very impersonal.
  • It starts "What a start to the year". The snow you mean? Yes, that has rather disrupted things. Sorry? You mean you've been successful - and record breakingly so? During all that snow? I don't believe you.. You've lost my trust.
  • "We need your property to sell"? I'm sorry, your needs are of no interest to me.
  • It sells the features, not the benefits. Not enough viewings, poor feedback, incorrect price..
  • It uses jargon: "market appraisal". Every day homeowners don't talk that way and failing to show empathy is a big turn-off.
  • There are no personal contact details. Not adding his personal email address and mobile number after his job title shows no level of commitment to the relationship.
  • Finally, we withdrew our property from the market two months earlier, so the letter's whole premise is incorrect. Maintain your prospect list!

Sorry Edward. Better luck next time.

If you've got any examples of either good or bad marketing, I'd love to see them.

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