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#434990 - 04/04/14 03:18 PM Direct Mail Marketing
Dedra Smith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 2
Loc: Columbus, OH
I'm thinking about starting a postcard campaign for my mailing list. I was wondering if anyone could offer thoughts, advice on direct marketing? How often do you use it? Why is it beneficial? Is it worth it? What are some companies to go to?

thanks!

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#434994 - 04/04/14 04:18 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Hi Dedra, O-H!

I absolutely love direct mail!!!

Is your mailing list people you know or did you just pull streets and names off the tax records and put a list together?

Have you ever heard of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) from the USPS (https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm)? You can mail large postcards for 17.5 cents (current rate). I mail 8.5" x 11" postcards (be sure you check with USPS for current sizes and weight) using EDDM to our farm area.

We put just listed/sold houses on our postcards along with a FREE home sellers' guide potential sellers can inquiry about. We also use testimonials on the postcard.

We mail at least twice a month, usually more.

Always be sure to have a "call-to-action" on your postcard. Give the potentials sellers a reason to contact you. Saying, "Call Dedra To Sell Your House" isn't going to cut it.

You'll hear from other marketers about branding. Don't listen to them. If you always have a "call-to-action" and mail to the same area over and over you'll build your brand over time.

Why is it beneficial? Because most Realtors don't do it and direct mail marketing is still the largest form of marketing there is! Look at Google, they use real life postcards they send in the mail advertising their online marketing. Hmm..... I wonder why.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#442820 - 01/27/15 05:26 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
Alchemist Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 35
Loc: British Columbia, Canda
I usually send market updates once every 3 months.

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#444079 - 03/09/15 04:51 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
AgentShortcuts Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 17
Loc: Canada
To be honest, I've found direct mail marketing to be quite ineffective.
1. It's expensive
2. Most people will throw it away after looking at it for 2 seconds (if you're lucky)
3. For it to really work, you would need to send one every week for a few months for people to start noticing it.
4. The return on investment is one of the lowest in all marketing methods...
5. You'll need to hire a graphic designer to get your mailers designed

I'd say email marketing is the way to go. Inexpensive, and typically generates an ROI of at least $40 per $1 spent. Hubspot (which is an enterprise platform for marketing - fyi, I don't work for them) ran an experiment and they found they achieved 95x their return on investment with email marketing alone VS direct mail.

In other words, don't waste your time and money on direct mail marketing.

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#444088 - 03/09/15 06:29 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Lots and lots of emails go to spam and don't always get delivered. A postcard is always seen when someone goes to their mailbox to get the mail (no spam boxes for your postcard to drift into, and a 99.99% delivery rate... try that with email).

Do a mixture of both. Collect as much contact info as you can about a prospect.

I got 5,473% ROI on one postcard mailing (and I've seen that number many-many times over in real estate).

The problem isn't direct mail, it's people don't know how to use it... don't know what to offer.
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#444097 - 03/10/15 07:03 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: AgentShortcuts]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2248
Loc: Outer Banks
Originally Posted By: AgentShortcuts
To be honest, I've found direct mail marketing to be quite ineffective.



there are some problems with your advice.

1. Expensive - cost of doing business
2. 2 seconds is more than enough to gain recognition
3. Once a month is plenty
4. Roi may not be as high as some other methods but the roi is sufficient to warrant the effort
5. If you can't make your own postcard/letter, then how can you make a profeesional looking email

email marketing is cheap but not everybody has an email list, wheras everybody has lists of homeowners. In other posts you talk of internet squeese pages to get leads, but those will be buyer leads. It is very hard to get any quantity of sellers off the internet. Direct mail marketing targets sellers, so apart from cold calling, direct mail is one of the best ways to reach potential sellers.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#444118 - 03/10/15 08:16 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Bigtoe]
AgentShortcuts Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 17
Loc: Canada
[quote=Bigtoe][quote=AgentShortcuts]To be honest, I've found direct mail marketing to be quite ineffective.

[/quote]

there are some problems with your advice.

1. Expensive - cost of doing business
2. 2 seconds is more than enough to gain recognition
3. Once a month is plenty
4. Roi may not be as high as some other methods but the roi is sufficient to warrant the effort
5. If you can't make your own postcard/letter, then how can you make a professional looking email

email marketing is cheap but not everybody has an email list, wheras everybody has lists of homeowners. In other posts you talk of internet squeese pages to get leads, but those will be buyer leads. It is very hard to get any quantity of sellers off the internet. Direct mail marketing targets sellers, so apart from cold calling, direct mail is one of the best ways to reach potential sellers.



[/quote]

Thanks for taking the time to answer, but unfortunately, I have to disagree.

1. Yes, but there are ways to make your business more efficient so at the end of the day you have more money in your pockets - or if you can save in certain areas you have extra for others.
2. I'm not saying it won't work, but it's going to cost more for a similar effect.
3. You're right, if done right.
4. For me, time = money and I calculate everything. If I spend efforts and time on a marketing method, I'll pick the one with the greater ROI without a second thought.
5. Postcards needs to be well designed and pretty. Emails, it's the copy that counts. Plain text emails convert better and get caught less often in spam filters than pretty HTML emails. I do realize many people do not know how to write the copy, but this is why I created Agent Shortcuts (or suggest people they spend the money they save to get someone to do it for them).

As for the list, it can be as simple as adding your existing clients, add signup forms/ballots in open houses, ask people & prospects you meet if you can add them (since you will provide additional value in the content). Trust me, within a year your list will have gotten big pretty fast.

To address your comments about leads, well all clients start as a lead. Then you have to warm them up.

Landing pages done right will work as well for a seller than for a buyer, but it all varies on how the page is created. (I could write for hours on this, but I'll save it for a blog post one day)

And yes, I will agree with you: Cold calling is effective, direct mail can be too if done right, and at the end of the day I think it's a combination of everything that is the solution.

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#444142 - 03/11/15 07:45 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: AgentShortcuts]
Kaylin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Florida
I would say if you want to know what successful agents are doing with postcard marketing ask the company that is printing for them (that's me).

Bad marketing is very expensive.
Great marketing is a money maker.

Sadly most agents send out stock junk. Bad graphics, poor calls to action and more. Of course you are going to think postcards are expensive when you are mailing junk, what do you expect?

I have some agents ordering 5000 and 15000 a month not because it is expensive but because it is making them money!

If you get no results I'll bet you my 20 plus years doing this your piece was bad.

http://www.kaylinprintandpromos.com

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#444165 - 03/12/15 06:51 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Kaylin]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2248
Loc: Outer Banks
Originally Posted By: Kaylin


Bad marketing is very expensive.
Great marketing is a money maker.


very well said
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#444190 - 03/12/15 04:36 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Kaylin]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Kaylin
I would say if you want to know what successful agents are doing with postcard marketing ask the company that is printing for them (that's me).


I see tons of printing companies who specialize in real estate, but don't have a clue on how to make a postcard that gets response. They're all about BRANDING, which could take a long time for someone to remember your name.

Why wait, when you can get responses today by using direct-response marketing which has an offer and call-to-action (FREE CMAs aren't a good offer... Nor is... Call me to sell your house.).
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#444198 - 03/12/15 08:30 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: David Hunter]
estatereal Online   content
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 3126
Loc: LAND OF THE FREE!
Originally Posted By: David Hunter
Originally Posted By: Kaylin
I would say if you want to know what successful agents are doing with postcard marketing ask the company that is printing for them (that's me).


I see tons of printing companies who specialize in real estate, but don't have a clue on how to make a postcard that gets response. They're all about BRANDING, which could take a long time for someone to remember your name.

Why wait, when you can get responses today by using direct-response marketing which has an offer and call-to-action (FREE CMAs aren't a good offer... Nor is... Call me to sell your house.).


You gave two examples of bad offers. Can you give two examples of good offers.


Edited by estatereal (03/12/15 08:53 PM)

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#444229 - 03/13/15 01:29 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: David Hunter]
gitmonee Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 10/24/13
Posts: 600
Loc: LA California
Originally Posted By: David Hunter
has an offer and call-to-action (FREE CMAs aren't a good offer... Nor is... Call me to sell your house.).



and yet, I see too many agents who don't know what they're doing and just copy the next guy with a free cma.

Those get thrown in the trash.

I'm not saying I know much about marketing, but I've seen what comes in my mailbox, and they're all the same.

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#444242 - 03/13/15 04:19 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: estatereal]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: estatereal
You gave two examples of bad offers. Can you give two examples of good offers.


1. Offer a FREE Home Seller's Guide. This will get people to raise their hands who are thinking about selling their house.

2. When you have a buyer, and ONLY when you have a buyer, who knows the area they want to be and their housing criteria, design a postcard saying you have a buyer who's looking in "x" (the more detailed the better... city, neighborhood, etc.) and describe what they're looking for, examples:

*$400,000 - $600,000
*4+ Bedrooms, 2.5+ Baths
*Updated Kitchen
*First Floor Master
*Finished Rec. Room

Etc.

Now, if they are out-of-towners, then you can say you have out-of-town buyers who will be looking March 14, 15, and 16 (what ever dates they'll be in town) and you'd like to setup a showing for them.

You'll get responses to anyone who's thinking about selling their house. A lot of times, it's someone who doesn't have the criteria matched up, but they talk up a storm about how great their house is. This is now YOUR LEAD.

Also, if you do #2, be sure you don't put any sales message on it. You don't want to be like the other agents who say the generic, "I have a BUYER in YOUR AREA, please call me to schedule an appointment." <------ Usually, this is a lie. That's why you have to do it when you have a buyer and be specific on what they're looking for. The more specific the better.

Oh, and tell your buyers you're sending out a postcard for them. It'll sent you apart from all the other agents who just send mass emails to other agents looking for pocket listings.
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#444243 - 03/13/15 04:28 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: gitmonee]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: gitmonee
and yet, I see too many agents who don't know what they're doing and just copy the next guy with a free cma.

Those get thrown in the trash.

I'm not saying I know much about marketing, but I've seen what comes in my mailbox, and they're all the same.


That's the problem. Most people don't know what they're doing with marketing so they copy someone else who doesn't know what they're doing either.

And, you're right. They all look the same. I get them too.. especially the "Just Listed/Just Sold" cards. Can't get more generic than that.
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#445224 - 04/27/15 03:36 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
RooftopCoaching Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/15
Posts: 4
Loc: NH
Direct mail is one way to keep your name in front of those in your niche. A few things to remember:

1. Direct mail is relatively expensive.
2. DM needs to be done consistently to work.
3. If you're able to target your mail, it will have a better ROI.
4. A 1% response rate for DM is considered a good return.

My suggestion would be to put together a marketing plan to answer some of the bigger questions about your business, your target customer/niche market, your competition, etc. and come up with a content/contact strategy.

I am almost ready to officially launch my marketing coaching business and will be shooting some videos on putting together a marketing plan. For now I'm on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn posting some informational and educational material every day. I hope you stop by for more info. and help!

Good luck!
Kerri
Rooftop Coaching

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#447571 - 09/02/15 11:21 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
Rachel Scott Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Florida
Hey there, Dedra!

I know it’s been awhile since you posted about possibly using direct mail, but I wanted to check in and see how your postcard campaigns are going. Are you seeing the results you thought? And what about your return on investment—were you happy with it?

There are a lot of factors out there that can/will effect the results you recieve—postcard size, number of cards mailed, who you target, and postcard design just to name a few. It can be pretty overwhelming... especially if you've never done a direct mail campaign before.

David Hunter is definitely on the right track -- EDDM can be really successful for real estate if you pick a good route (EDDM is basically a carrier route list that's been rebranded by the USPS). And a call to action is VITALLY important, and just to add another -- you definitely want to include an offer with a high perceived value that will make the recipient more likely to want to act. A good offer my company has tracked is a no-cost free market analysis. This really motivates people to call and helps you build trust.

Anyway, I work for PostcardMania, a direct mail company that has already assisted 68,145 customers to date and I’d love to chat. Possibly drum up some ideas on how to improve your campaigns!

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#447784 - 09/14/15 02:06 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
Don Glasgow3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/14/15
Posts: 5
Loc: Utah
Here's my story: I do direct mail marketing to three farm areas - about 400 townhomes and 500 mobile/modular homes (weird untapped niche). I also mail to expired listings. Between printing costs and stamps I spend about $700 month.

I just started the two farm areas 4 or 5 months ago. I got and sold one listing so far (earned about $3700) in the townhome area. I also received a potential listing which I referred out, as the listing was going to be too time consuming and annoying.

Farm areas take about 18 months to really pay off. My farming postcards show a couple of recently sold in the neighborhood and a call to action (CMA).

I've made a little under $10,000 this year selling an expired townhome and an expired piece of land. Those listing are left over from expired direct mail marketing I did last year. I stopped doing expired mailings mid year last year (stupid boy!). I just started up massively mailing to expireds again.

Expired mailings are cheap, a few letters, a few postcards and maybe $5.00 in stamps (over about 10 months) for each expired listing. I would guess I am currently mailing to 200 expireds. They each get a letter or post card every other week for 5 months, then one letter a month for another 6 months. I love expireds. :)

Direct mail marketing works. You don't have to spend the kind of money I'm spending. Pick smaller farm numbers.

By the way I own a property management company as my full-time job. That's where the marketing money comes from when I haven't recently sold any listings.

I don't like being a property manager but love real estate sales so after about nine years of property management I'm really massively ramping up the real estate marketing so I can shrink the property management biz.

I hope you can tell that all of the farm and recent expired marketing I'm doing has been done in the last four or five months so the real pay off hasn't arrived yet.

I'll try to remember to update this thread as things develop.

Don


Edited by Don Glasgow3 (09/14/15 02:12 PM)

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#447796 - 09/15/15 08:11 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Hey Don,

Glad to see you using direct mail.

Instead of offering the CMA, test an offer with a Home Seller's Guide and see if you get a lot more leads. You'll be surprised!
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#447860 - 09/18/15 05:57 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
WalterC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/18/15
Posts: 7
Loc: Toronto
How do you I know if direct mail is working?

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#447947 - 09/22/15 11:07 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
RealtorWebsite Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/15
Posts: 69
Loc: Multiple
I have to say today is based on technology. The clients are checking their phone more than their mailbox smile
_________________________
For all realtors: Automated Marketing System via Social Media & SEO Ranking Services.
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#447952 - 09/22/15 11:58 AM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: WalterC]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: WalterC
How do you I know if direct mail is working?


Well, that's why you need to have offers. YOu want to be able to track your mailings. You put on the postcard... "Call or email for your free Home Seller's Guide."

Plus, you can track where you send the postcards, so you'll know who responds.
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#447953 - 09/22/15 12:01 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: RealtorWebsite]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: RealtorWebsite
I have to say today is based on technology. The clients are checking their phone more than their mailbox smile


hahaha! You're so silly.

Although, true, people are always checking their phone and not their mailboxes (probably because they can't take their mailboxes with them), everyone gets their mail once a day! Probably the most important part of the day. Who knows what's in it... could be a price, could be a thank you card or a handwritten note from a long lost friend, maybe it's bills (who doesn't love to pay bills?!), or, maybe it's the most irresistible offer to a new fancy restaurant you've been wanting to try out.

Also, online marketing only accounts for 6% of all marketing. If I do my math correctly, that leaves 94% of all marketing is done offline. :-P
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#447998 - 09/26/15 12:44 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Don Glasgow3]
Don Glasgow3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/14/15
Posts: 5
Loc: Utah
Sept 26, 2015: Update on my direct marketing:

1. I received a new listing of a 1984 modular home. The owner says that when I sell this one, he has two more to list.

2. I almost decided to stop mailing to mobile homes to cut back on expenses, but now I'm fence sitting, waiting for this new listing to sell before I market to mobile homes again.

3. I'm still mailing monthly to the townhomes farm areas. No new listings, just the one sale about 6 weeks ago.

Don

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#448004 - 09/26/15 08:24 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Still offering the CMA or switched to a Home Seller's Guide?
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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#448049 - 09/30/15 01:12 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: David Hunter]
Don Glasgow3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/14/15
Posts: 5
Loc: Utah
Still offering a CMA. I forgot to mention that I mail to expireds too.

Don

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#448059 - 10/01/15 01:30 PM Re: Direct Mail Marketing [Re: Dedra Smith]
David Hunter Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Expireds are a great source of leads. Keep at it!
_________________________
David Hunter | Retired RE Agent |Direct-Response Marketer
www.DukeOfMarketing.com/7-Real-Estate-Marketing-Strategies/
www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org


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