Why your canvassing isn’t working and how to FIX it

When you design your canvassing campaign, here’s the five step journey you probably hope most vendors will take:

Step 1 – Receive canvassing leaflet

Step 2 – Call office to book MA

Step 3 – Have MA

Step 4 – Sign sale agreement

Step 5 – Sell property

There’s a problem with this journey however; homeowners do NOT proceed from step 1 to step 2; well, not often enough.  And if you can’t get them to step 2, the whole journey is broken.

Looking at metrics like retention, conversion and response rates, you’d need to send out 11,100 canvassing pieces to get just ONE instruction through to a successful sale.

Here’s how the figures stack up:

1Send out leaflets 11,100
2Phone responses0.02%222

So if canvassing isn’t working effectively, what can we do to improve it?

I’m going to suggest a completely different strategy is now needed.

Have you heard the term ‘permission marketing’?

Here’s the official definition:

“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognises the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realises that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.”

Interruption marketing is the opposite of permission marketing.  Interruption marketing interrupts our tv watching, our magazine reading, our email checking, and more.  Now contrast that to my Supertips emails. Those agents who get my Supertips will tell you the information contained in these emails is useful, timely and innovative, full of creative tips and unusual tactics to help you get through more doors and win more instructions.

My Supertips emails don’t say: “I’m fantastic”, or “Buy my stuff!” If they did, you would be reaching for the unsubscribe button straight away.

What I’m doing by being useful in the emails I send out, and not trying to sell you anything, is building a relationship based on trust, over time, in a consistent manner.

By sending you information and asking for nothing in return, I earn the right to talk to you about your business down the line if and when you are ready for it.

So what are you doing to build your relationships with your future clients, over time, in a systematic way? How are you earning the right to talk to them about their potential property sale, down the line?

It’s time to make permission marketing the basis to your canvassing.

This strategy will help you build a solid foundation to form and nurture a successful relationship with your future clients; a relationship you can then rely on when these vendors decide to sell, to ensure you are top of mind, and their favourite agent, even before you step through the door.

Let’s talk about subscribers

Subscribers are those people who join your email list or database via an action they have taken themselves. It could be that they exchange their email address for your ebook or that they have entered a contest you’ve run. Whatever the method, so long as they have taken the action and been rewarded with the response they wanted, they should be happy to hear from you.

Let’s run the same journey as before, but to generate subscribers, instead of  direct to market appraisals:

1Send out leaflets 11,100
NEWEmail response50%56
2Phone conversation70%39

You’ll see then that even at only a 1% subscriber rate, you could end up with eight completed sales.  Of course, your subscriber rate could be lower, or even higher. But whatever your response rate is, I promise you that it will be significantly higher than your response rate would be if you were just going straight for the valuation.

Working the numbers back, I calculate that at an average fee of £2500, the same 111 subscribers could be worth £174.56 each, meaning that your new list of potential vendors could be worth a total of £19,376.44.  At an estimated cost of £1000 to have your canvassing leaflet designed, printed and delivered to 11,000 households, that’s a return on investment of 1900% – that’s a pretty decent return, I think.

I appreciate that this is a new, radical way of using canvassing to generate new business. Using a permission-first, nurture-focused strategy definitely requires a shift in mindset and when you’re used to traditional marketing methods, that’s not an easy shift to make.  But estate agency is changing, and so must you.

So change now, before you have to.



In my signature programme, Add £100k with High Value Homes, I show my clients the exact letters that work for us at our agency, AshdownJones, and precisely how to create and implement a sending schedule that gets real results. To register your interest, and find out if our programme is a good fit for you, click on this link and take the first step towards taking your agency to the next level.

Sam 🙂

Why your canvassing isn’t working and how to FIX it