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Joe Yobaccio, Real Estate Pro in San Gabriel, CA

What results are other agents getting on post card direct mail versus letter direct mail?

Asked by Joe Yobaccio, San Gabriel, CA Tue Jun 15, 2010

I've been using color postcards to find short sale clients. They are jumbo size. I've had 0-1 call per 200 mailed on average. I feel letters addressed to someone will at least get opened and a good letter may get read and not lost like a post card could.

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My experience has been that when I send a letter, I am not getting any responses.
Post cards are more visible and not very discreet if you are fishing for short sale clients.
It's tough to know what is the right thing to do for more respons. I am going to continue with letters in the
zip code of area that I want to farm
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 17, 2010
Joe, excellent question and a debate that will never end. In my experience, IT ALL WORKS when you execute the plan property, clearly identified your audience, and clearly gave the reader instruction about what to do next.

I have friends who keep a round file and a square file. All real estate & mortgage junk mail goes in the square file for my review. The assumption is real estate folks are flooding home owners with direct mail. Not true in my area. Average is two direct mailings a month received by homeowners.

Response rates are directly related to the value your message represents. You mail must contain several critical components to be noticed then to be responded to. In a glance the reader must understand 'What's in it for me" or 'Why should I care?" After catching the readers attention you must present a message offering a solution, result, benefit or outcome of which they have concern.

Because you have lasered in on your audience with a very targeted message you will get a exceptional result. Keep in mind, before anyone calls they will do a bit of research about you. Make sure you have the appropriate validation structure in place. IT ALL WORKS, BUT YOU MUST WORK IT!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 17, 2010
I farm to specific people who need to or who are likely to sell soon (estates and foreclosures, primarily) and rarely do blanket marketing. My response rate is very high when I combine other forms of direct marketing along with my direct mail campaign. Now is it the response I necessarily want to hear (i.e. "yes I'll hire you as my realtor")? Not necessarily but at least I get my foot in the door if and when they change their minds.

Angela I agree with internet marketing over print media when it comes to buyers (most of whom are young unless you're talking about retirees buying somewhere like FL) and generation x sellers who likely don't have enough equity to avoid a short sale. But many of my sellers (I'm also an investor) are baby boomers who have either passed away (and their estate is selling the property) or who are relocating down south somewhere. And these folks have lots of equity and are looking to cash out and head back to their southern roots (after migrating North during the 20's-60's). Then again, when dealing with estates, it's usually being handled by generation x folks (children of the deceased), but not all who are into the internet like that.

Bottom line: I think a strong internet presence coupled with an effective direct marketing campaign is key.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
I just had a conversation with a broker who manages an office with 100+ agents (yeah, she says the 80/20 rule applies...) regarding your question. They are running a 9 month test of a marketing program that is primarily premium Internet presence (say that 3 times quickly) supported by hand-written-only letter mailings to specific people/addresses, no farming, blanket mailing or postcards. She promised to share the results when it's over, I'll blog the results then. This is a program developed by their staff, anyone doing anything like this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
it's intersting when you review the data tracking the success of mailing campaigns vs print media vs internet marketing. The numbers are astounding that GenX & GenY refer to virtual media far more than print. When you weigh the costs and time spent n print mailings perhaps it would be a better idea to make a six month plan and focus on internet marketing and review your success to make future decisions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
In my experience as a broker, most agents in the industry use direct mail of some type. From postcards, letters, calandars and magnets to market reports. Unfortunately, you and 100+ other agents are probably farming the same areas and doing the same thing. It is likely that your hard earned dollars invested in these type mass mailings are being trashed without a second thought.

Stepping outside of the box is what it will take to get you the attention and business you need to survive the industry. Think about what you can do that is very different than what everyone else is doing related to direct mailing. When a potential client opens the mailbox what would you like them to see? What will compel people to want to know more about you and what you offer? People need to know at a glance if your mail is worth their time. Is it?

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
Unfortunately I have done both with not one response. Not sure why.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
I like letters over postcards. Especially here in NJ where a "YOU'RE IN FORECLOSURE" postcard can be considered an invasion of privacy by many (no one wants the neighborhood letter carrier knowing their business). Handwritten letters almost always get opened (think about it - isn't it the first piece of mail you open when you get your mail?). Plus its more private.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
My last two post card campaigns have been a dismal flop. Trying hand addressed letters now.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 15, 2010
The biggest weakness of letters is that they have to be opened to present their message. Postcards are usually at least scanned before they hit the round file. I've found that more letters get read if I put something on the envelope saying why it should be opened, and that letters work better with investors and postcards work better with consumers. Many brokers say the opposite. That's why testing never ends.......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 15, 2010
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