Whilst we all want the fresh stock to sell, statistics show that a high percentage of properties are not sold by the vendors first choice Estate Agent. Therefore it is valuable to have a strategy in place to capture those vendors who might be looking for an alternative Estate Agent. Here we look at using rightmove (or any other portal) to help us generate more instructions and increase our market share.

So without further ado, here is our 4 step strategy.

Step 1: Find the properties

Canvassing from rightmove - Step 1
Canvassing from rightmove - Step 1

First things first, we need to narrow down the properties that we want to speak to. A great way to do this is to use rightmove’s “Draw-a-Search” function to map out your core area. Simply type your core postcode into the search bar and click through until you get to the list of properties. In the top left you will see the option for “Draw-a-Search”, click on it then follow the instructions to map your core area. Remember to save the area for for future use.

Next, view the list of properties and on the left hand side select property type “Houses” and make sure the “Include Sold STC” checkbox is not ticked. There’s not much point including the flats as they are hard to find the door numbers for.

Step 2: Get the door numbers

Now print the property details of the properties you want to find. It’s better to print the details instead of a list as it’s good to keep them in a folder so you can check what you’ve been out to should you need to. We would suggest breaking your data down into price brackets depending on your market as doing this exercise in one go may prove difficult.

Next we need to identify the door numbers, to do this we have two choices, we can use google street view or get out there and go and find them. The second choice is more time consuming but also more rewarding, who knows what else you’ll find or who you’ll speak to when your on the road. Some of you might also take the opportunity to “Door Knock” or drop of a complement slip/business card with your contact details….

Either way, once your have your door numbers it’s time to enter them into your database or mail merge sheet. Try and get out at least once every other day and keep adding anything new that comes to the market.

Step 3: Write to them

Ok so this is where things get interesting. What should we write, how often should we write, who should we address the letters too, these are the questions we are often asked and the truth is there is no right answer. The goal is to capture their contact info so that you can add them to your call out list. Here are some suggestions which we hope are helpful.

Q: What should we write?

The temptation here for most agents is to go in all guns blazing, telling the vendor how great they are, how many websites they’re on, how large their network is etc. Unfortunately in todays market most people are averse to being sold to and don’t really care about your boasts. They wont read past the second line! We would suggest a softer approach and certainly wouldn’t ask for the business at that stage. Maybe you could simply introduce yourself and enquire if they need help with their search. whatever you do make it relevant to them and not all about you. They need to be immediately interested or you’ve wasted your chance. If you can afford it, hire a content writer to write something about the housing market in their particular area. If you are stuck for what to write or just don’t have the time then you’d do well to take a look at our Letter Pack – Already on the market

Q: How often should we write?

Our recommendation is once every two weeks until they make contact. more than that you risk annoying them, less than that they’ll forget about you. This way, four well written letters will stretch over an eight week period by which time they should be nearing the end of any agreement and will most certainly be questioning the ability of their agent.

Q: Who should we address it to?

If you have the ability to get the names from the land registry or wherever then do that and don’t worry about the ones that are wrong. Failing that just use “The Homeowner” or something similar, not the best option but it will have to do.

Need some letters?

Step 4: Rinse & Repeat

Keep doing this until you are communicating with every house for sale in your core area. You may not get instant results but over time you will certainly capture listings that you would not have had otherwise. You will also be making great strides to increase you name awareness. Remember there is not a single agent which sells every property they take on, so make sure you are there when that vendor needs to try somebody else.

As always good luck & happy hunting!