Consistency is Key for Direct Mail Campaigns
Many real estate agents get into the real estate business because they believe that it’s a good way to get rich quick. It doesn’t take long to learn that real estate can be extremely profitable. However, just like any other business, it requires hard work and investment.
When my wife and I got into real estate, we were lucky enough to already understand this. What we didn’t know, however, was just how much time it would take to truly have the machine up and running.
From the time we started marketing ourselves, it took a full year to start actually making money. That doesn’t have to be base, but in our instance, we knew that we had no interest in cold calling FSBOs and expired listings, circle dialing, or door knocking. We were getting into real estate because we’re marketers, not prospectors.
When we first started the business and mailing out postcards in hopes of developing seller leads, we used to sit at our kitchen table and I’d call my wife’s phone (the phone number on the postcard) to make sure that the reason we hadn’t gotten more calls wasn’t because the phone wasn’t working 🙂
Fast forward a couple of years down the road and we’ve been consistently mailing a farm of 5,000 homes for 2 years and the phone is consistently ringing and we’re consistently getting listings.
Direct mail is not a “I’m going to send out a ton of postcards this one time and hope the phone rings” kind of a game. To be successful with direct mail, you need to choose an area that you want to mail consistently, and stick with it.
The minimum you should be mailing any “farm” (what we call the area you’re consistently mailing) is once per month. If you can’t commit to that, then you should start with a smaller farm. Direct mail works because you paint yourself as the expert. If you’re aren’t mailing at least once per month, you’re not painting yourself as the real estate expert in that neighborhood.
So what should I be mailing to my real estate farm?
The best way to start off with a farm is mail postcards when you get a listing. Each listing has multiple opportunities to mail for it and if done consistently, one listing can feel like multiple transactions you’ve performed to the recipients of your postcards. These postcards can be comprised of:
- Coming Soon or “Off Market” Postcards (one of our favorites!)
- Just Listed Postcards
- Under Contract Postcards
- Just Sold Postcards
As mentioned before, a single listing has 4 different postcard opportunities, and… you can use each opportunity more than once. There’s no reason you can’t send each of these postcards at least twice to really break into the market.
How do I keep mailing postcards when I don’t have any listings?
The simplest thing to do here is send market update postcards. This is a great way to provide value and to keep people interested in what you’re sending. By providing data, you’re also really showing how much you’re the expert in the area and that you actually get it.
This data is very easy to pull from the MLS and you don’t need to spend an afternoon inputting every listing that’s sold in the last 6 months. If you have 3 to 5 listings you can let the recipient know about that is plenty (and by 3 to 5 I really mean 3…)
It helps to begin with a “Blitz”
Many of the neighborhoods that our real estate group has really gotten a strong foothold in, we started it by “blitzing” the neighborhood.
What does that mean? It means that whatever listing we had in it we mailed info about at a minimum of once per week for 8 weeks. Again, you can use the same coming soon, just listed, under contract, and just sold postcards to do this. The under contract can be mailed every week the homes is in escrow and the just sold can be easily mailed 2 to 4 times. You might also decide to throw a postcard in the rotation that talks about who you are and what your values are.
Consistency = The True Secret to Obtaining Real Estate Listings
Here’s the bottom line, don’t start going crazy overthinking everything that you send out. There are 2 main things that matter when it comes to direct mail, and they both have to do with consistency:
- Postcards should be consistently mailed
- Postcards should have consistent branding
When the recipient looks at a postcard for 6 seconds and throws it in the trash, you want them to remember that it was you. This is what causes them to grab your postcard when they are ready to list their home. They recognize you and know who you are. You’ve already proved to them that you’re the expert in the neighborhood.
Remember, REALTORs are sending postcards out all the time, especially in the market we’re in (Phoenix / Scottsdale metro area), but the ones who mail consistently are the agents that people feel like they’ve built trust with. Once you have the trust and are known as the expert, you will also find that everything else gets easier. It’s a lot easier justify your commission rather than having a potential client trying to negotiate it down when your expertise offers value above and beyond what a “discount agent” can bring to the table.
Postcards are a reflection of you
One of the things that sellers worry about the most is ending up with an agent that’s going to throw their listing up on MLS and that’s the en of it. Sellers want to know that their property is going to be marketed, not just listed on MLS. When potential sellers see that you’re consistently advertising listings to them, you don’t need to convince them that you’re going to be proactive about getting their home marketed and sold; you’ve already proven this to them.
Share with us
How often do you mail postcards? Do you mail each of the above 4 steps? Let us know in the comments below.