Blog Checker

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What Is Wrong With My Postcards!?

What Is Wrong With My Postcards!?

After several years working with Realtors and postcards I have heard it all. They're too expensive. They take too much time. They don't work. Well, I am here to tell you they aren't that expensive, they don't take that much time, and they most certainly do work. Many of my clients saw their annual sales triple, even quadruple after a one-year direct mail campaign. Others, hardly got a nibble. What was the difference in these two groups of clients? The first group listened to me - better yet, they just paid me and let me do what I do. So what is it that I do (or don't do) that makes such a huge difference? Here are a few things.

I Don't Mail To EVERYONE

The first mistake that virtually every Realtor makes is they send postcards to every house in a neighborhood. This is such a huge waste of money because not everyone in a neighborhood is likely to be in the market in the next year. Check out your local stats - compare the number of residential properties in your area to your area's annual sales. In Houston County there are around 63,000 residences (Census Bureau) and around 2,500 annual residential sales (local MLS) resulting in an annual turnover around 4%. That suggests that, on average, 1 in 25 homes in a subdivision are likely to go on the market and sell during the next year. High demand/high turnover subdivisions could be twice that while less desirable areas could be less than half that.

So if you mail 500 postcards to a high demand/high turnover subdivision with 500 houses you are basically throwing away 460 postcards - postcards you could have sent to addresses that are more likely to be interested in your services. Use your local stats, national stats (such as those provided by the National Association of Realtors), and your professional knowledge to determine which properties have the greatest chance to generate a lead and don't waste time (and money) with properties that are all-but guaranteed to be a 'NO'.

I Don't Mail to Investment Properties (Normally)

If you have messed around with the tools offered by most MLSs you have likely come across the CRS Power Tool (or something similar); and in the process of using these tools you likely noticed an 'Owner Occupied' filter. Checking this box filters out investment properties, properties that are owned by someone other that the person that lives there, assuming those properties are occupied at all. Why do this? Two reasons. First, investment properties are either vacant or occupied by renters. Renters are difficult to convert and the commission on their first purchase is usually not worth the extra time it takes to close the deal. Second, if you exclusively target 'owner occupied' properties, one lead almost always becomes TWO sales because they will be selling their current home AND buying their next home.

I Don't Send The Same Postcard To All Targets

It doesn't do you much good to send a postcard that reads 'Thinking About Selling?' to a renter or a card that reads 'Is Your Family Growing?' to an empty-nester. Make multiple postcards for every type of client to whom you intend to market. The more the postcard resonates with the recipient, the greater the chance that they will read it and respond to it.

I Don't Send Tiny Postcards

When it comes to postcards, bigger is better. Smaller postcards can hide between pieces of junk mail and never even be seen. The smallest postcard that I suggest is 5.5 x 8.5, but strongly suggest 6.5 x 11 or 6.5 x 8.5 to avoid being lost in the shuffle.

I Don't Send Before Trash Pickup

Avoid sending postcards on the days before trash pickup. The average homeowner checks the mail less that 3 times a week, one of those days is trash pickup day - AS THEY RETRIEVE THE TRASH CAN FROM THE CURB. Their hands are full and pieces of mail like postcards are far more likely to go straight into that empty bin. Know your neighborhoods and mail the night of, or immediately after, trash pickup.

I Don't Send In The Week Before Major Holidays.

Similar principle as scheduling around trash pickup; mailing postcards in the week (sometimes two weeks) before certain holidays increases the chance of your card being dismissed. Do you really think your "Happy Mother's Day!" card is really going to stack up to a card from a mother's actual child? Instead, send a card the week after 'Hoping you had a great [holiday here]!" or mail out weeks in advance with tips on how to enjoy the long weekend and make the most of the day.

I Don't Compete With Strong Realtors

One of the final filters I use to evaluate a mailing lists is to check the current owner's buying agent. If that agent is active and on top of their marketing, reconsider that address. The same goes for agents that you work closely with. Ideally, you want to target properties where the buying agent is no longer operating in the area. It may also be worth reconsidering addresses where there was no buying agent.

I Don't Mail To An Address Once

There is a saying in real estate, "location, location, location". This tells us two things: location may play a factor; and it never hurts to repeat yourself. Studies (and my own experience) show that repetition doesn't just matter, it is key to generating a lead. A single instance of contact has less than a 2% chance of generating a lead. Lead generation chances creep up to 10% on the 4th instance of contact, but by the fifth instance that chance jumps to around 80%. Just make sure to space your contacts by no more than 60 days.

I Don't Just Slap Some House On The Card

It doesn't do much for client morale if the postcard you send them features a home that is out of their price range or is out of your sales area. Yeah, that Florida McMansion may look nice to you, but your first-time buyers in Nebraska might be intimidated by the 8,000 sqft ocean-front property with palm trees and 10 car garage. In fact, putting something other than a house on the front increases the chance that the recipient will read the whole card - if for no other reason than to figure out why they are getting talking dogs and adorable kittens mailed to them.

I Don't Use Printed Labels

For one, all it takes is the tiniest bit of one corner not being perfectly flat and the entire label can be ripped off or mangled. Second, and more importantly, printing address information on a card directly requires special software (such as Microsoft Access) to generate the address lists. Lists that can include tracking numbers and unique QRC codes and messages that target the recipient. With a little extra effort you can print a unique url on each postcard. This will allow you to track which postcards generate results because the recipient's name, address, and the card's design id is embedded in the url they enter into the browser. With the proper Analytics you will know which addresses are interested in your services, even if they never contact you directly.

No comments:

Post a Comment