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Marketing Letter to Sellers Agent


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The silence is deafening!

I don't send letters to agents. I don't solicit business from agents. I try to be polite (not easy sometimes) and present my business card only when they ask for it.

I'm guessing that a lot of the regulars on this board operate in a similar style. I not knocking those who ask agents for business - it's hard to get started in this business without agents sending clients your way. When I started I tried to get agents to refer me, but as soon as I could, I cut the cord and haven't looked back. Life is so much more pleasant without them.

My diatribe is probably not much help, but I thought you deserved an answer.

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Originally posted by Paul MacLean

The silence is deafening!

I don't send letters to agents. I don't solicit business from agents. I try to be polite (not easy sometimes) and present my business card only when they ask for it.

I'm guessing that a lot of the regulars on this board operate in a similar style. I not knocking those who ask agents for business - it's hard to get started in this business without agents sending clients your way. When I started I tried to get agents to refer me, but as soon as I could, I cut the cord and haven't looked back. Life is so much more pleasant without them.

My diatribe is probably not much help, but I thought you deserved an answer.

Good answer Paul you expressed my sentiments exactly.

Paul Burrell

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Hi Paul,

Yeah, that was weird. Kevin's post didn't show up on my end at all this morning. I didn't see it until just now when I came home and went onto the site. Wonder what's up with that?

Kevin, I can't help you Bro. I used to do it but I stopped. I'm loath to go there because I don't want to initiate a Katrina-like thread drift with any unsolicited opinions.

I'll just go so far as to agree with Paul - life is so much more pleasant without them.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Thanks for the input. Well, I guess at this point in my business (just finished my second full year doing this full time)I have no choice but to send out marketing letters to agents, mortgage lenders, past clients, etc.

I just booked my 280th inspection for this Saturday, and out of all of those inspections, I would say 80% were from referrals. I do get a lot of hits on my web site and then get the call to book an inspection.

I am defiantly not at the level were I can just sit back and rely on past client referrals and internet leads...I have twins that are a month old, a daughter that is 2 1/2, a mortgage, car payment, bills, you get the picture.

So, How do you do it? How did each of get to that level?

-Kevin

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Hi,

Dare 'em for the referral. I used to stop by open houses. I'd step inside, say Hi, introduce myself and palm two of my cards into their hands. Then I'd ask them to put me on their list. I'd tell 'em I knew they had a list of those they refer. I'd tell 'em, "I dare you to refer me to your clients just one time. I predict that once you see how I do an inspection, you'll bump one of the people on that list."

That was about it. Anything else just felt like I'd need to wear kneepads so I didn't do anything else. I did this knowing full well that most of them would not like the kind of inspection I do, but willing to garner just those single digit referrals here and there. Just like I figured, the majority of them would refer me only once and then I'd never hear from any of their clients again. I would usually hear from them though, when they wanted their own home, their kids' homes, their relatives homes or a lawyer's home inspected. Out of all those hundreds that I met the first year, about 10% were converted and I got more referrals from them. Sometimes it would be the listing agent on a house or the owner of a house too.

I did 127 in the 8 months remaining of my first calander year and then did 287 the following calander year and hit 1000 in less than 4.

If you can hang, eventually the previous customer referrals will far outdistance anything you get from the real estate folks. I think you are wise to direct market your former clients. They are, after all, the ones living in the home you inspected for them. If they're happy, they'll refer you to others. Just send them a post card saying that you hope that they're enjoying their new home and telling them to call you if they have any questions. Then say something like, "Mine is a small company and I garner 100% of my referrals from those who like the kind of inspection that I do. I don't do any other advertising, so I'd be very grateful, if you were satisfied with the scope of the inspection and the thoroughness of the report that I did for you, if would you wouldn't mind telling your relatives, co-workers and friends about my little company?"

I stick a little blurb like that on the bottom of every email cover letter when I email customer's reports to them and I always give a client 2 cards, so they'll have one to give to a friend or relative. I think that once they realize that I am a small company and don't do advertising that they are happy to help me out a little bit by spreading the word.

Works for me.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Kevin A. Richardson

I am defiantly not at the level were I can just sit back and rely on past client referrals and internet leads...I have twins that are a month old, a daughter that is 2 1/2, a mortgage, car payment, bills, you get the picture.

So, How do you do it? How did each of get to that level?

-Kevin

Kevin,

Mikes post about covers it. You have to be persistent and do what is necessary to get started. A yellow page add linked to your web site should help if you do not have one now.

Just keep moving and knocking on doors and if you knock on enough one will open for you. Time, good business practices such as looking out for your client, respond to complaints immediately and always be friendly with all your business contacts. Service and personality will cause them to remember you for the next job. Always do the job right but don't pick it apart cosmetically. On an older home ordinary wear and tear is normal.

Like my old man used to say "Son you stay the course and do what is right and you will win in the end".

Good luck,

Paul Burrell

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Kevin, I think I can help you out a little. Send the twins to me and I'll send them back in a few years.

Seriously, all the advice above is good. I started when nobody knew what an inspection was, so my advice is a little dated. The new guys that join the company have a little advantage because we will pass then clients as soon as they do good inspections.

You seem to have a good and honest attitude and that will serve you well!

Good Luck.

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