Agents all want more listings. That’s a given. 

One method, the tactical use of an “I have a buyer” letter is simple, yet most agents ignore it. Is it because compared to advanced technology integrations, personalized letters to homeowners seem like an antiquated, old-school prospecting approach? Maybe. 

Call it what you want, but after scoring a nearly $2 million listing from one letter, I call it part of my business plan. Crafting an approachable letter to attract potential opportunities for your buyers and potential listing leads for yourself is a win-win. 

Today, I’ll walk you through the steps to create your own compelling letter that resonates with potential sellers while demonstrating your commitment to your buyers.

Know your audience

The key to a successful “I have a buyer” letter lies in understanding your audience and speaking to their values. 

In my case, the audience is primarily comprised of long-time residents with adult children, who have witnessed a boom in the local population and the rapid evolution of their community. They are proud homeowners, often finding the constant calls from real estate agents more annoying than valuable. Most are hesitant to sell, either due to sentimental values or the overwhelming task of preparing their home for sale. Recognizing these sentiments, I tailored my letter to connect with my audience by speaking to both their pride and concerns.

Tell a story

A compelling story can transform a cold sales pitch into an approachable appeal that drives a conversation. 

In my letter, I shared the story of a young family with two aspiring lacrosse players who are dreaming of a larger yard to match their active lifestyle. By illustrating the family’s connection to the community and their need for a larger space, I tapped into the nostalgia and pride of the homeowners. The key here is to evoke emotions that the homeowners themselves experienced, creating a sense of shared experience and purpose.

I also add a note to drive home the fact that their home does not need to be market ready, that regardless of the home’s condition or preparedness for the market, my buyers would love the opportunity to present them with an enticing offer. Addressing the homeowner’s concern head-on allows them to be at ease regarding the home’s condition and hopefully gives us an opportunity to get in the door.  

Blame it on your clients

Frame your outreach as a commitment to your clients rather than a cold prospecting attempt. By emphasizing your dedication to going above and beyond for your clients, you showcase your professionalism and dedication. This not only softens the approach but also subtly markets your services to potential sellers who might be considering a future sale.

Follow up with a call

When I call these homeowners, I open with a service first approach—service to my buyer who is looking for an opportunity to get into the neighborhood. I connect with the homeowner by implying I understand that they love their house, that they may have zero interest in moving, and that I understand that they likely find pitches from real estate agents annoying. I respect their time and make my delivery as clear and efficient as possible. 

I explain that I am compelled to make every attempt to find this wonderful family their ideal home. This leads to more welcomed conversations because I’m not trying to convince the homeowner of anything. I always end by thanking them for their time and saying “If you hear any rumors that one of your neighbors may be selling, do me a favor and please call me so I can get this great family into their favorite neighborhood!” People love gossip and being in the know, so the word “rumors” works well. 

How this Tactic Got Me a $2M Listing

Let’s break down how this approach got me a nearly $2 million listing. I sent out 47 letters to homeowners. I called every one of them and had conversations with 21. 

From these 21 conversations, two homeowners gave me the inside information on a neighbor who is thinking of moving (both referenced the same homeowner) and one homeowner told me they planned to list their home for sale by owner in the coming months. I set an appointment to show my buyers and had a great conversation with the homeowners. The price point was above my client’s threshold, but I still worked my way into a listing appointment, and I got it. Worth the few hours I spent crafting this intentional “I have a buyer” letter and the minimal expense involved.

Facilitating this strategy to actually benefit your buyer is the only way to go. Don’t pretend you have a buyer or just mail a canned prospecting letter, which will likely end up being a waste of your time as well as the homeowners’ time. However, when you take the time to understand your audience, tell a relatable story, ease potential anxieties, and showcase your commitment to your clients,  the “I have a buyer” letter can be a successful tool.