Successful prospecting demands consistency – so put it on autopilot

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Successful real estate prospecting demands consistency – so put it on autopilot.

Whether you’re trying to gain dominance in a geographic area or a niche market, the key to success is consistency.

Just one letter might get you a response – if you send enough copies of that one letter – but don’t count on it. Those in direct marketing who track and test mailings say it’s lucky to get a 1% response from a first mailing to a cold list.

In fact, they say 5 “touches” should be the minimum, and if you want the full effect, go for twelve.toudh

(Note that a “touch” can be a letter, a postcard, an email, a phone call, or an in-person visit.)

The bottom line – if you’re going to prospect, plan on mailing (or emailing) at least 5 times to the same list. And… don’t wait so long between mailings that they’ve forgotten you. Plan to make contact at least once a month, and more often if the circumstances call for fast action. Sellers needing a short sale, for instance, don’t have that much time to make a decision.

FSBO’s and sellers whose listings have expired might also be apt to make a faster decision, so should hear from you weekly.

roller coasterThe problem is – you get distracted. You might have time this week to get the first letter written and sent, but by next week or next month be so busy that you forget to follow up.

In spite of the fact that consistent marketing is vital to your success, it’s often the first thing to get shoved aside when you’re busy with appointments and making sure closings happen on time. That’s why so many agents have a roller coaster income.

Unless you have someone to do the marketing for you, it’s up to you to keep it going even when it seems impossible.

The solution is to put the mailings on autopilot.

Begin by writing or purchasing the entire series of prospecting letters. You can add more later, but get sending emailthe core messages written (or personalized) and ready to go.

If you’re emailing, all you have to do is load the messages into your autoresponder, set the send dates, choose the list that will receive the messages, and you’re done.

If you’re using postal mail, begin by printing the entire set of letters and envelopes to each of your recipients. Yes, it takes a while, but it takes less time than it would to start over for each mailing, and it will be done.

Sign all the letters, fold them, and put them in the envelopes. Then bundle them into groups to be mailed on specific days. Write that date on the corner of the envelope where the stamp will go. (Or – if you want to stamp them all ahead of time, use a sticky note.)

Put them in an easily accessible spot – one where you’ll see them and remember to mail them on the asigned days.

While you’re at it, put a note on your calendar to remind yourself to drop those envelopes in the mail.

When you prospect and market yourself continuously, you'll be able to get off that roller coaster forever.

"Touch" courtesy of stockimages

Roller coaster Image courtesy of foto76 at

Phone sending email courtesy of fantasista

Comments (25)

Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Marte -- thanks for this most informative and important post.  Putting things on auto pilot is the key!

May 13, 2017 07:47 PM
Marte Cliff

It can sure simplify things, Joan Whitebook.

May 13, 2017 08:07 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Hit and miss marketing has never worked in ny kind of buainess marketing,.

May 13, 2017 07:58 PM
Marte Cliff

No it hasn't, William Feela - I do believe you have to try different things, but you also have to stay with them and be consistent long enough to see if they'll work for you.

May 13, 2017 08:08 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Seen, heard so when real estate is the bell going off in the brain, the buyer or seller thinks your brand. Increasing your reach for the largest audience possible is just as important as the frequency you massage the targets. Great post Marte Cliff !

May 14, 2017 04:50 AM
Marte Cliff

Absolutely Andrew Mooers - You don't want to allow them to forget you for a minute.

May 14, 2017 09:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte

Thanks for the reminder on an issue we all know about, but sometimes struggle with - being consistent!. Enjoy your Sunday!! Bookmarked!


May 14, 2017 07:01 AM
Marte Cliff

I well remember that struggle, Jeff Dowler - and I remember how writing one letter at a time often meant the second one didn't get written for weeks and weeks.

May 14, 2017 09:56 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Marte Cliff "In spite of the fact that consistent marketing is vital to your success, it’s often the first thing to get shoved aside when you’re busy with appointments and making sure closings happen on time."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

May 14, 2017 07:47 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you so much Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers.

May 14, 2017 09:57 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Well said Marte Cliff , consistency is part of the recipe to success

May 14, 2017 04:26 PM
Marte Cliff

That's right Scott Godzyk - one-shot mailings are a waste of time and money.

May 14, 2017 04:38 PM
Jay McHugh
SendOutCards-Appreciation Marketing Expert - Acton, MA
YOUR SendOutCard Mentor

Well said. Our SOC system is helping agents crush it here at LAER

May 14, 2017 05:37 PM
Marte Cliff

Jay McHugh Yes - cards can be another effective "touch."

May 15, 2017 08:18 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Your post is right on point . . .  . Prospecting to be successful needs to be consistent.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 14, 2017 05:50 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Lou Ludwig - I was a bit startled by the feature, especially since it happened almost immediately.

May 15, 2017 09:47 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on a well deserved  feature on your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 14, 2017 05:53 PM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Lou Ludwig - I appreciate your support.

May 15, 2017 08:19 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

One needs to know people who's names and avoid those real estate professionals that you are working on their neighbors.....

May 14, 2017 06:03 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks for stopping by Sam Shueh 

May 15, 2017 08:20 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

So true, Marte Cliff - having a system in place to connect with them is the key to our success. 

As always, nice advice - and great post.

May 14, 2017 11:08 PM
Marte Cliff

Praful Thakkar Systems do make it easier to stay consistent.

May 15, 2017 08:20 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Make allowances & provide room for the fact that whatever we do a difference is being made. Think: cause & effect. It rules the Universe. Join in anytime. It works if you do!

May 15, 2017 07:31 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Richie Alan Naggar cause and effect is one of those rules we can't disregard.

May 15, 2017 08:21 AM
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Thanks for the idea and great suggestions on how to prepare and stage everything.  Autopilot and outsourcing are great tools when used properly.

May 15, 2017 07:38 AM
Marte Cliff

You're welcome Mick Michaud - and thanks for stopping by!

May 15, 2017 08:21 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Very true. My boss says to always be persistent. Thanks!

May 15, 2017 09:32 AM
Marte Cliff

I agree with your boss, Paul McFadden!

May 15, 2017 09:47 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Marte Cliff believe me, I feel like a machine at times.... but I don't dare miss a beat....

May 15, 2017 04:31 PM
Marte Cliff

Barbara Todaro Your agents are so fortunate to have you there, being the machine that keeps those leads flowing in. I expect a whole lot of "lone agents" are envious of that!

May 15, 2017 04:36 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

A simple system can bring great results.

Marte, thanks for sharing.

May 16, 2017 04:17 AM
Marte Cliff

John Wiley In my experience, simple systems get used while complicated systems get set aside to figure out later.

May 16, 2017 08:10 AM
Krystyna Baty Ryan
Broker - Torrance, CA

Thanks for the reminder. It's time to send market reports to my farm.

May 16, 2017 08:30 AM
Marte Cliff

You're welcome Krystyna Baty - nagging is one of my best skills.

May 16, 2017 08:42 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Great message(s) contained in this post, Marte Cliff ... the feature of your article AND your reference to the number of times you must mail before you grab a prospective client's attention.  Some give up way too soon!


May 16, 2017 01:21 PM
Marte Cliff

Yes Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - giving up way too soon is the biggest reason for failure.

May 16, 2017 01:32 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

You spoke the truth!

Whether you’re trying to gain dominance in a geographic area or a niche market, the key to success is consistency.

May 16, 2017 02:10 PM
Marte Cliff

Never let them forget you, Sham Reddy 

May 16, 2017 02:40 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post and reminder for anyone doing any mailers.  Consistency keeps you top of mind! 

May 19, 2017 03:39 PM
Marte Cliff

That's it Jan Green - you don't ever want to give a good prospect time to forget you.

May 19, 2017 04:08 PM