Starting your own direct mail campaign can be a difficult task for even the most seasoned real estate professional. However, we are here to help!
Watch the video below to learn how to be successful with your direct mail campaign! You can also read and follow along with the transcript.
All the time, we get the similar questions of what is it that I need to do to be successful with direct mail, and so what we have to do is we have to step back and ask ourselves why are we mailing?
Different industries have different reasons for why it is that they want to mail. In real estate, generally, we have a very specific reason for why we want to mail, and that’s to get listings, and the way to get listings is to create yourself as an authority in that neighborhood, that subdivision or with that sphere that you’ve built. So, before we get into any sort of direct mail campaigns, we have to make sure that we understand why we’re mailing.
To some people, they say, “No, I want to mail because I want to get buyers.” We really never want to mail to get buyers. The reason for that is that we can get buyer leads for so cheap through sign-up websites, through open houses, through all of these things. Direct mail is truly made to get listings, so why are we willing to spend the additional money to get a listing? For one, listings come with a long-term reputation in a neighborhood. If you can saturate a neighborhood and you can get known as being the expert in that neighborhood, the listings will continue to come.
The second thing is that listings also bring buyers. They bring buyers because they come to open houses, which you or your team are holding open. They generate buyers because they come off of signs. They see the sign on the side of the road and they call you, and then, of course, maybe they’re a fit for that home, maybe they’re a fit for another. We generate buyers from listings based on all of the online sites. The Zillows, the realtor.coms, all of those sites are great ways for you to push out your contact information and generate buyer leads, so, in general, listing leads in real estate are absolute gold, and that’s why we use direct mail to generate listing leads.
Now, when we’re doing that, we have to keep in mind what where we started with this, which is that direct mail is all about building a reputation as being the expert in that neighborhood, that community, with your friends, with your family. You want everyone to see you as the expert, and where that starts is repetition.
We never want to mail a postcard one time and be done with it. We always want to mail postcards a minimum of every month, 12 times a year to whoever we’re mailing, so, essentially, what that generally looks like is we mail coming-soon postcards. Assuming it’s still legal in your area, we mail coming-soon postcards. We mail just-listed postcards. We mail under-contract postcards, and we mail just-sold postcards, so one thing to note there is that one listing now accounts for four possible different postcards, all of which we want to maintain very consistent branding, but we can change the message a little.
Now, with that being said, as you mail those and you change the message that tiny bit, but you keep the branding very, very specific and similar, we’re just changing the words just listed to under contract, we’re just changing under contract to just sold, as we continuously do that, we will start to be seen as that expert. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same listing mailed eight times, and you can mail each of those twice if you want. It doesn’t really matter. What matters at the end of the day is that the recipient of those postcards are seeing the exact same message time and time again, and that message is specific: that you are the expert in that area, that you have brand recognition, that you are the person that has the buyers, you’ve sold other homes in that area, and any time that we don’t have those coming soons, under contracts, just listed, just sold, we fill those in with market updates.
We can quickly go into the MLS. We can get other recent comp data, and we can create our postcards using that comp data so that we are continuously being seen as providing value, so what matters is that we are not just seen as someone that’s just throwing junk in the mailbox. Every time someone sees one of our postcards, they are looking at that postcard because they’re interested in what it is that we have to tell them, because we are the real estate experts in that specific community, so one thing that a lot of people get caught up on is, “They’re going to grab this postcard. They’re going to look at it. They’re going to toss it.” That’s going to happen regardless, but just like anything else, just like the reason that you continuously follow up with leads, just like the reasons that you call FSBOs and “Expireds”, we don’t care about the nine out of 10 times that somebody throws that postcard away.
We care about the one time that they see that postcard, they pick up the phone, they call us, and now we have an opportunity to get a listing. Not only do we have that opportunity now to get a listing, but we have painted ourselves as being the experts in that area so that, when we do go on that listing appointment, we have that much higher of a chance of closing because that person has already seen our face. They already know who we are. They know our branding. They know we sold other homes in the neighborhood.
One thing that becomes interesting is that, by mailing at a regular cadence, let’s say that you end up mailing once a month, as long as you’re consistent mailing once a month, you will be shocked how many listing appointments you go on where they’ll mention, “Yeah, I’ve been getting your postcards every week for the last three years.” You’ve only been mailing them for a year. Maybe you’ve only been mailing them for six months and, because of that repetition, there is a strange time continuum that they think you’ve been mailing them weekly for years, so it’s really an amazing thing. So, repetition is extremely important. Maintaining that branding and consistency in design is extremely important. Making sure that they understand that you are the expert in that neighborhood and that you do nothing but real estate, you are here for their real estate needs is extremely important.
Adding that value, you’re actually letting them know what’s happening in the neighborhood is so important because everybody wants to know what homes are selling for around them because that’s how they start to know what their home might be worth. And, as they start to know what their home might be worth, they start to think, “Man, I’d really like to get a more accurate valuation of that home,” and that’s where our call-to-action comes in, so that call-to-action is something extremely specific that you want them to do such as:
“Call me today to find out what your is worth.”
“Call, text or email me today to find out what your home is worth.)
So you want to make sure you’re telling them exactly what to do and you want to do that on every single postcard.
We also need to make sure that under no circumstances are we changing up our branding all the time. A lot of agents seem to have a desire to each time have some sort of new postcard design. That’s absolutely what we want to avoid. That is the number one thing we want to avoid. If we are going to change our branding and we are going to change what that design looks like. We want to do that, at most, every few years.
In general, you should be operating off of two primary templates. That’s one template that you’re using for those four status changes on a listing. That’s that coming soon, just listed, under contract, just sold template, and then a second template that you’re using for the market updates. These templates should always look very, very similar, and maybe every once in a while we want to throw something in. Maybe we want to throw in a holiday card, something like that. That’s fine, and, generally, those are best used with your sphere, but that’s also fine to send to your farm. We just want to make sure that we are maintaining some consistency, so, even as we change the front, we want to try to maintain consistent messaging on the back of the postcard.
The final thing to keep in mind is that the most important thing you can do is to just get the postcards out consistently. So, anything you can do to get the postcards out consistently, it should be the absolute top thing that you do, because the moment you start missing mailings, you essentially have to restart and start building that brand all over again, so make sure that we’re mailing repetitively. If we don’t have status updates because we don’t have listings, we don’t have buyers purchasing in the neighborhood, we fill them with the market updates.
We always have a call to action, always telling the recipient of the postcard exactly what we want them to do. We always maintain consistency in branding and in design. We’re extremely clear that we’re real estate agents, we’re experts and we provide value. One of my favorite things is to say right on there, “We are the expert in ___, subdivision,” and then the last thing is don’t overthink it. If you get caught up too much on the content, then you’ll end up not getting the postcards out, and that is the absolute worst thing you can do.
If you have any questions, definitely please feel free to reach out to us at wisepelican.com, and we’d be happy to answer them. Good luck with mailing and in real estate!