Real Estate Direct mail is not dead. Using real estate direct mail works well, if you are putting the right content in front of the right people. We are going to discuss the 2 ways you can use real estate direct mail to generate more clients in this post, but defining your direct mail strategy first is everything!
Can you still use real estate direct mail marketing and actually get results in a digital world?
I like to break down real estate direct mail marketing into two categories. You can use it to market your database for referrals or you can use it to market for real estate lead generation. Let’s first discuss using real estate direct mail to market your database and generate referrals.
Real Estate Direct Mail For Referrals
Prior to the Internet, real estate direct mail campaigns used to be my primary method to stay in touch with my database or sphere of influence. Today, it’s 1 of 3 channels I use to stay in touch with my sphere of influence. Before social media and even email, real estate agents used postcards, newsletters, and other personalized direct mail marketing pieces to stay on top of mind with their referral base.
For some reason or another much of the real estate industry seemed to fade away from using real estate direct mail to market their databases as more “cost efficient” ways of reaching our database such as email marketing, but did it have the same impact as direct mail?
How Real Estate Direct Mail Generates Referrals …
The whole point of marketing your database is to stay on top of mind. I am not direct mailing my database to send them to a squeeze page or bore them with some type of real estate content, but instead to nurture the relationship. The only goal I have for sending my database any kind of marketing to to gently remind them I am alive in a non-intrusive way.
“Direct mail is one of the most effective ways to nurture your database for what I’m about to tell you”
How much direct mail are you getting on a daily basis? I’m guessing no where near as much as you would have gotten 10-20 years ago, but that’s why real estate direct mail works so well for nurturing your database. Your marketing pieces are no longer buried in a pile of mail that doesn’t get seen.
Do you check your mailbox frequently? So does everyone else and that’s why this is so effective. It’s almost exciting nowadays to get direct mail.
The only goal here is that when your database thinks of real estate, your name is first thing that comes to mind.
Unlike email, direct mail has a 100% deliverability rate.
How many of your emails get opened?
The national average is 13%!
What effect is your email marketing if no one is seeing it?
Yes, people throw direct mail in the trash, but they still have to acknowledge it first. Whether they read it or not, is not the point. They still take a mental note and acknowledge communication from you, which is the entire purpose.
“Hey Remember me, I’m still here for your referrals and repeat business ya know just in case you want to send me some”
Because direct mail is tangible, it leaves a longer lasting impression than an email would. People will physically engage with it. This is why direct mail still works today.
We like to use direct mail as part of an overall referral marketing campaign that looks like this.
What Kind Of Content Do You Send Your Database Using Real Estate Direct Mail?
This is a question I get asked a lot, but it should be something people would enjoy reading. I do NOT recommend sending your database just listed postcards as much as I would a direct mail newsletter or even holiday greeting.
I used to send my entire database 1-2 postcards a month either wishing them happy holidays or sharing with them some kind of trivia fun fact and it worked very well, but it’s important to use direct mail in combination with other channels as well.
Real Estate Direct Mail For Lead Generation
So now that you have an idea of how to use real estate direct mail for referral marketing and database nurturing, let’s talk about how to use it for lead generation. Real estate direct mail marketing for listings is a great way to prospect potential sellers, but you need to know how to reach people who are most likely to sell.
How do all these rehabbers find such great deals? They know how to target sellers.
Many of them use direct mail as their primary marketing method?
So why couldn’t you do the exact same thing? If real estate investors are out there finding properties to buy, why couldn’t you market the same people? The key to making it work for you is obtaining the RIGHT data. You can have the best marketing campaign in the world, but if it’s put in front of the wrong people, it’s not going to work.
Lets check out some direct mail marketing ideas.
Targeting Distressed Sellers With Real Estate Direct Mail
Let’s first talk about how you get good seller data. My personal favorite company to go to for this data is GeoPoint Data. This is a company that has several levels of data that can determine when there is a distressed situation that is more than likely to trigger a property sale. They are able to provide emails, phone numbers, addresses, and relative property information so you can find ways to reach out to these leads.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Absentee Owners/Vacant Homes
Absentee owners are people who own property that they do not live in. These homes are either rented out or sitting vacant. The cool thing about these leads is that you can target specific owners that have certain loan to value percentages on properties they own. For example: lets say I want to target people who have over 40% equity in their properties. You can find the data for these lists very easily. These potential sellers are more likely to sell than the ones that have a 15% or less equity position in their properties.
The point being is that with targeted data, you can place your offering in front of the very people who are most likely to sell.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Absentee Owners/Vacant Homes | Situational Distresses Sellers
Now let’s talk about some traditional prospecting options you may be able to prospect. When targeting sellers such as divorce, FSBO, or expireds, there is also opportunity. For these types of sellers you can potentially use a combination of direct mail or even send them a book you wrote. Yes you can do that(click here to see how).
There is a company who can white label books for you so you can send to potential leads. Once you do it gives you an excuse to follow up and try to convert.
Regardless of what you decide to mail or send somebody, it gives you an excuse to follow up and start a conversation. Let’s go through some examples.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Targeting Divorce
People get divorced everyday, it’s a part of life. The vast majority of those homes get listed by an agent so why can’t that be you. Someone who is getting a divorce more than likely needs to sell fast. Your marketing piece should give them a solution to that problem. DO NOT call them and ask them, “hey, I see you are getting a divorce so you mind if I help you sell your crib”? You might get punched in the face with that tactic, but that doesn’t mean that direct mail is not a very good option to market to them and potentially get the conversation started.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Targeting FSBO’s
For sale by owners are great potential leads. You know they want to sell and the vast majority of them end up listing with an agent. Most sellers do not want your phone call solicitation, so direct mail is a great way to break the ice and try to build a relationship by offering a helping hand.
After about 1-2 months FSBO’s begin to realize that selling a house encompasses a lot more than just popping a sign in the yard and posting the house on Zillow. The key is catching their interest by standing out from all the other Realtors you know who are calling them with their “interested buyer”.
You could offer them FREE staging and home selling advice. Breaking the ice this way is much more likely to build a relationship than to go straight for the listing.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Targeting Expireds/Cancelled
You know these individuals want to sell desperately so show them what it takes. When a listing expires, sellers get bombarded by Realtor phone calls with the “old school” script techniques.
How about mailing them marketing piece that’s a little different?
What about a mailing piece that makes them an offer no other Realtor is making them?
Most cancelled and expired sellers are frustrated with Realtors. This is why you need to have a REAL marketing plan that encompasses more than a sign in the yard and a MLS listing. Sellers want to hear about marketing specifics.
You can send them a book describing “How To Sell A House That Refuses To Sell”. Don’t approach these leads as a Realtor, but as a marketer. That’s all they want.
Real Estate Direct Mail | Concluding Thoughts
Direct mail still works, but it’s relevant to the objective of your campaign and the list of people you are targeting. Any marketer will tell you that the success or failure of real estate direct mail marketing depends on two things. The quality of your offer and quality of your data.
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