So much goes into running a successful home inspection business. Obviously you need to know your stuff, but the best inspector in the world still needs to connect with clients to keep those appointments coming.
You need to sell yourself!
One of the most effective ways to reach out to real estate professionals is through the trusty introduction letter. That may sound old-fashioned, but you can show off a lot about yourself with just a single page of good writing. Whether you choose to send it out on paper or via email, a great letter gets you in front of a wide audience of potential customers.
Most home inspectors didn’t get into the business because they wanted to spend time in front of a computer typing out letters, and that’s okay. The good news is that once you have a great email written up, you can just switch out a few details to send it to someone new. It’s worth the investment to get your template right for the future.
Ready to get started? Check out these tips and some samples to get inspired to write your own winning letter of introduction.
7 Tips for writing introductory emails to real estate agents
1. Strike the right tone
If you have a vague memory from high school that business letters should be stiff and formal affairs with complicated headers and formatting, let it go! These days, a more casual approach isn’t just allowed — it’s preferred. After all, you probably don’t want to read a letter that sounds like a legal document, so why would you send one like that?
Your goal when you write should be to sound like yourself. Not necessarily the self you are with old buddies, but the self you present when meeting someone for the first time: polite and friendly, with good humor and a great attitude.
To do this, try using voice typing in Google so you can just say what you’re thinking. You can clean it up later, but this can be a good way to start. Not sure what to say? Try giving your elevator pitch or explaining how your reporting or scheduling systems work.
Some basics for striking a casual yet appropriate tone:
- Open with a friendly greeting that’s more like a “hello” than a “Dear sir or madam.”
- It’s okay to use an exclamation point now and then to show you’re excited, but don’t over do it. No more than two per letter, and only one at a time.
- Contractions are always better. Think how much more natural it is to say “I’m writing” than “I am writing,” and you’ll see why they’re great.
- Keep sentences short so they’re easy to follow.
- Don’t use any words you wouldn’t use in everyday conversation. Keep that thesaurus on the shelf!
2. Keep it short and sweet
Real estate agents are busy people, just like you. It will be tempting to put absolutely every bit of information about your business in your letter, but less is more. The recommended length for a business email is between 50 and 125 words. You can do slightly more, but never go above 200 words. No one will take the time to slog through a wall of text.
To make your email or letter even easier to read, structure it so it has a lot of white space. That means breaking your ideas into short paragraphs of no more than three sentences each. You can also use bullet points to get lots of information out there in an easy-to-read format.
3. Personalize the introduction
Banish “To Whom It May Concern” from your vocabulary!
In addition to customizing each email with the person’s first name in the greeting, you’ll also want to open with a mention of something that’s unique to that agent. To do this, you’ll have to do a bit of homework. Look up their website and search their social media accounts (which you should be following already) for clues about their interests.
Then, try to choose a tidbit that you find interesting or shows that you have something in common, and mention that right away. It could be that you went to the same high school, are both fans of the same sports team, or have a mutual acquaintance.
You can also latch on to something unique or impressive about their business to compliment. Look over their latest social media and blog posts for relevant topics to get inspired. To see how this works in practice, see the sample emails below.
4. Master the unique value proposition
In marketing, a unique value proposition (UVP) is the thing that sets your business apart from the competition. It may be tempting to talk about your years of experience as unique, but a great UVP should be of direct benefit to the customer.
For example, HomeGauge users can offer a convenient online scheduler so buyers and agents aren’t waiting around for a returned call and can keep the process moving. There’s also our Create Request List™ (CRL™) function, which makes agents’ lives easier by allowing them to create a list of repair requests with just a few clicks. Any time you can offer something that will save agents’ time or money, you know you’ve got a great UVP!
So what do you offer that the other guys don’t? Try making a list to brainstorm your ideas. You only need one or two for your letter, but keep the list handy — in the future, you can swap out this information to send a second letter if needed.
5. Include a sample report
Instead of using up valuable space to explain to real estate agents how good you are at your job, why not just show them? Including a sample report in your email or letter shows off all your skills at once, including your eye for detail, thoroughness, and clarity in your reporting.
For your sample report, it’s a good idea to choose something that shows your ability to spot a problem, but not a house that was a disaster area — you don’t want a reputation as a deal killer! Double-check your sample for errors and be sure to remove any private information before using it.
You can either attach, embed, or link to a sample report on your website.
6. Close with contact info
The whole point of sending your email or letter is to drum up business, so you need to make it easy to respond to you. Under your signature, don’t forget to include all your contact information, including your:
- Company name
- Phone number
- Social media handles
When sending an email, make sure each of these is set up with a clickable link to make contact even easier.
8. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Finally, read over your email to catch any mistakes — there’s nothing worse than hitting send only to discover an error. A perfectly proofread email or letter will highlight your professionalism, so it’s worth the effort.
If you’re not confident that you’ve caught everything, ask a trusted friend to read over it for mistakes — it’s always easier to find errors in someone else’s work than it is in your own. You can also use online tools to check your work. The standard spelling and grammar checks in Microsoft Word or Google Docs are quite good. You can also try the Hemingway app online to check for awkward phrasing or wordiness.
Sample emails to real estate agents
If you’re still feeling daunted by the prospect of writing a new introductory email to a real estate agent from scratch, you’re definitely not alone! Take a look at these samples to get a clearer idea of how to put all the pieces together:
Email #1: for new businesses
I noticed you just moved from Century 21 to start your own real estate office. Congratulations on your new venture — it’s sure to be valued as buyers keep coming to Springfield for all it has to offer!
I’ve also just launched my own business venture: Douglass Home Inspections. After 20 years in general contracting for custom construction and historical renovations, I’m now putting my expertise to use for buyers looking for their dream home.
One of my main goals is to offer a modern, connected experience for homebuyers and agents. That’s why I offer instant online scheduling on my website and use HomeGauge’s Create Request List™, which lets agents create attachments to repair amendments in just a few clicks. I’d love to show you how it works — it’s a huge time saver!
Please feel free to reply to this email any time. I’m also available at (123) 456-7890 to discuss the CRL™ and answer any questions you may have. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Douglass Home Inspections
Email #2: for established businesses
Your latest blog post about shopping for a home during the pandemic caught my eye. There’s so much excellent advice there, and I’ve shared it on Twitter and Facebook. Great stuff!
I wanted to let you know that Springfield Inspections has just invested in drone technology. With a high-res digital camera attached, the drone makes roof inspections faster, safer, and more thorough than ever before — and we include those close-up photos in every report.
You can see a sample report with drone footage at www.SpringfieldInspections.xyz/drone. I’d also love to show off the drone in action at a future inspection. You can reach me at this email address or call me at (555) 654-3210 any time. Looking forward to working with you!
Need some help getting that unique value proposition in place? HomeGauge is your source for dedicated home inspection software that makes it easy to stand out from the crowd. We’re also your source for up-to-date tools, beautiful websites, and more. Get in touch to learn more today!