Every real estate agent has used some form of real estate postcard marketing over the span of their career. Yet many of these agents waste thousands of dollars a year because they don’t make smart decisions about who to send their real estate mailings to and what the mailings should contain.
As an agent for the past decade, I have made a fantastic living by using real estate mailings to generate expired real estate listings. This article will explain how I do it and how you can use real estate postcard marketing to beat your competition and dominate your local market. The best part is, if you use these steps, you’ll save thousands of dollars every year on your mailings and sell more houses than you ever have!
Step 1: Target Your Real Estate Mailings
The biggest mistake agents make when starting a marketing campaign is to make their address list far too big. The common thinking among agents is that the more people they mail to, the more business they will receive. While this may be true, few agents know how to mail to a much smaller list and still generate the same amount of business. Over the years, I have steadily reduced my mailing list size while dramatically increasing my revenue. Here are the tricks I use:
- With rare exception, I no longer mail to entire neighborhoods (or “farm”). Instead, I target only expired real estate listings and those that have been withdrawn from the market.
- Once I identify the expired and withdrawn homes, I identify the homes I want to market to. If a home is in a slow moving or depressed area, I take them off my list. I only target homes that have a high probability of selling. My knowledge of the market allows me to identify these homes quickly, but some homes I need to do more research on. While this may take 5-10 minutes per home, it will save time and money on the real estate mailings (see below)
- I scan each of the expired real estate listings for the words “Short Sale.” If the home owner needs to negotiate a short sale with the bank, it is almost never worth my time or the cost to add them to my campaign.
It may seem tedious, but these steps will identify a list of homes in your market that are worth your complete attention. Having a highly targeted list of one to two hundred homes is far more valuable than having a list of thousands of houses that may not be looking to sell.
Step 2: Smart Real Estate Postcard Marketing
Now that you have spent the time to research and identify the withdrawn and expired real estate listings, you’re ready to out-market your competition.
While the rest of the agents in your market will have spent all of their money sending one postcard to thousands of people, you can now spend much less money sending several postcards to the small, targeted list you’ve created. Here’s a list of items I send out to my small list:
- On the first day the listing comes off of the market, I send a jumbo, full color postcard to the homeowner. This postcard needs to be big and impressive, because the day the home is off the market, many agents will send their one and only postcard to the home. Make yours stand out.
- On the second day, I send another postcard to the home. This is usually a smaller, full color 6 x 4 postcard. Make this postcard look similar to your first (i.e. same logo, colors, etc). For my real estate postcard marketing campaign, this postcard tells the homeowner that I really want to sell their home and I never give up.
- On the third day I send another jumbo full color postcard. It uses the same logo, colors etc, and says something to the effect of “See, I told you I never give up.”
- Two days Later, they receive another postcard asking “Don’t you want to sell your home? Why haven’t you called?” My competition gave up on day two. I now have 4 marketing pieces delivered to this homeowner. The homeowner knows who I am and they know I want to sell their home.
The response to this campaign is incredible and while I do spend the money to send four, full color postcards (and sometimes a fifth follow up), because I was smart about my list, I’m spending much less than my competitors and my real estate postcard marketing campaigns have an unbelievable rate of return!
Step 3: Save Even More Money on Your Real Estate Mailings
If you follow my steps, you’ll already be saving thousands of dollars on your real estate marketing while making more money. Here’s how to save even more on your real estate postcard marketing:
- Use online printers and use a coupon! Many online printers that provide postcard printing offer promotions and discounts.
- Order your postcards in bulk all at once. I use the same postcards for every home, so I order all of my real estate postcard marketing materials at the same time. I order them without postage and have them mailed to me. I then print out labels and affix the postage myself for each mailing. Most suppliers give discounts for orders over 500 pieces.