Within the real estate industry, and many other industries, the goal of the cover letter is to distinguish you (competitive advantage) from other applicants when applying for a particular position. A cover letter allows you to identify, clarify, and expand on your most relevant skills and qualifications that would closely match those of the position you are seeking.
An elevator speech is an excellent way to convey your skills and qualifications in an informal setting. This can occur when networking with your peers or potential employers. Typically, an elevator speech is a one-minute verbal summary of: a) who you are, b) why you are qualified, and c) what you have to offer.