How to Write a Real Estate Proposal (+Free Template)
April 23, 2020
As a real estate agent, there is only one thing that a client can say can make you both happy and sad at the same time:
“Please send me a proposal.”
Even though it means that they are interested and they are much closer to becoming a client, at the same time, it means that you have to write a business proposal.
No matter how you put it, writing real estate proposals is not fun. However, thanks to modern proposal software, writing, sending and managing business proposals is no longer a hassle.
Here are the exact elements that every real estate proposal needs to have to convert well and win new business. Our findings are based on expert insights from over 190,000 proposals sent through our system.
A real estate proposal is a sales document where the sales agent presents a complete plan on what they intend to do for their client. Proposals outline the entire scope of the work so that the client has a clear idea of what you are going to do for them, how long it is going to take and how much it is going to cost, all before actually signing the proposal and agreeing to work with you. Proposals are much easier to write if you start off with a real estate proposal template rather than writing each proposal from scratch.
I just want my free real estate proposal template
1. A killer introduction
The reality is, most clients will only care about two sections in your real estate proposal: the introduction and the pricing. However, the introduction is crucial because it needs to get the client “hooked” to read the rest. The key thing about the introduction is to discover what the client really wants instead of talking about yourself, how many homes/buildings you sold and what you do.
Use the information you have from the conversations you had with your client and briefly explain how you will solve their problems. Take a look at the example from our real estate proposal template:
2. The detailed specification
Bearing the name “Plan of Action” in our template, this is the place where you get down to business. This section should be a plan of what you will do for the client, down to the very minute details. The more you write here, the better the client will feel knowing that their property is in good hands. Moreover, it’s great for liability to have everything in written form, in case things go wrong later on.
Note the subsection called “Viewings” that informs the client about their part of the deal and what they need to do to get their property sold quickly. As mentioned, if things do not go as planned, you can go back to this section with the client later on.
3. An estimate project timeline
No real estate agent can guarantee how long it takes to sell or rent a property. However, they can guarantee the things that they are in charge of.
In our example, this section of the proposal states how long it takes the agent to visit the home, measure it up, grab some photos, write the description and get the listing up and running.
Moreover, there is a neat timeline that shows what happens in week one and week two since the cooperation with the agent starts. The purpose of this section is to let the client know exactly when to expect their deliverables. More often than not, real estate agents forget to include this section completely.
4. Social proof
In our template, this section is called “Meet the Engleberts” because that’s exactly what it is. It tells the story of a couple who decided to sell a 6-bed house in Chicago to move to the Hamptons. Moreover, it includes some great details – they wanted to get away from the crowded city and they make decisions quickly. They want to achieve their goals quickly too.
The goal of this section is to show a success story from one of your previous clients. The Engelberts are an example which is similar to our imaginary client. The section shows what the agent is capable of and how it solved a problem for a specific client.
This section is incredibly powerful and it can make a massive difference in your conversion rate. I have only one tip – make the case study example as similar as possible to the client who is about to read the proposal. The more they identify with a family such as Engelberts, the more likely they are to imagine themselves as your client too.
In our template, this section is called “Your investment” and this is not a coincidence. We’ve seen that wording like this makes it likely for clients to sign because they don’t see the money they spend as just as a cost – it’s an investment.
Once you scroll down, you can see the extremely simple pricing structure:
- If the property sells under 90 days, the fee is 2% of the purchase price
- 90-180 days and it drops to 1.5% of the purchase price
- More than 180 days means the agent gets 1% of the purchase price
The main lesson to learn here is to keep your pricing super clear and simple. We’ve found out that if you offer upsells, you actually decrease your chances of winning the client’s business. The more choices the client has, the less likely they are to sign the proposal.
6. Your guarantee
Most real estate agents don’t like guarantees. As I mentioned, you can never really guarantee when a property can be leased or sold. However, you can make the client more confident about working with you if you offer them a solid guarantee.
In our case, the agent drops the price for each deadline they miss, as mentioned in one of the previous sections. The risk is on the agent and it’s a hard offer to pass on.
7. The next steps
One of the most common reasons people don’t follow through with your proposal is because they don’t know what exactly to do. Those who are really keen to hire you will ask you, but those that are on the fence will simply bounce. You can ensure everyone follows through by including this section.
As you can see from the template, all it takes is a few steps that the client needs to follow to get the ball rolling and start working with you.
8. Terms and conditions
No matter what kind of properties you lease and sell and no matter who the client is, you need a section that covers terms and conditions. Sure, your rental lease agreement may not be professionally written and reviewed by a lawyer, but it doesn’t really need to be. The purpose of this section is to make the client feel confident that they are making the right move because you are legally bound to do your part of the work.
You can grab any T&C template online and put it in your real estate proposal, but most real estate proposal templates nowadays come with a pre-written section of this kind. Remember, if things go wrong, this is the section that both you and the client can refer to.
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Once you are done with the proposal, you’ll be sending it in an email to your prospect. We’ve prepared a couple of options for the email text you could use.
Example proposal email #1
Example proposal email #2
As you can see, here are two examples of emails that you can send with your proposals. Both work great, but in general, we’ve found that customers prefer emails that are short and to the point. Make sure that you tie the email to your discovery session and kick-off call and send a link to the proposal and you should be good to go.
The best real estate proposals have one common trait – they are deeply personalized to suit the client whose business you want to win. These are the key sections that every winning real estate proposal should have.
If you want your proposals to win new business and convert like crazy, make sure to include every section covered in this article, as well as personalize your proposals for the clients who read them. Do these two things right, and every proposal you write and send will perform well.
Olga is the Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, an easy-to-use proposal software that helps send professional proposals in minutes instead of hours. She’s a SaaS enthusiast with entrepreneurial mindset, a deep SEM expertise and 10+ years of experience in digital marketing. Having written for 50+ top tier publications, she believes that epic content is King, Queen and all the Aces in marketing.
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