There are a number of ways that have been mentioned, but I'll add to that. Send out a personal invitation to all those in the neighborhood inviting them to an open house for the neighborhood. If it's a higher end listing you might mail to a neighborhood where you might find move up buyers. Make sure it's an invitation size envelope as much more people will open and look at it. Make sure that it's addressed properly to the people you are inviting. If the envelope says Resident or Homeowner it will certainly head to the garbage. You can create a database of the neighborhood and with mail merge run the envelopes through your printer. You can run the invitations through a printer or have them printed up. I like to have a photo of the house on the invite. It's good to have food or snacks and in certain circumstances you might have wine and cheese or something. If you really want to do it right, follow up the invites with a phone call to ask if they received your invitation. This does not violate the do not call laws as you are not calling to sell them something, just to ask if they received your invitation.
There are many benefits to doing an open house this way. It sets you apart from other agents in the area. When homeowners in the area are thinking about selling they may think of you as a result. You could get more listings as a result. People in the neighborhood might have a friend or family member who wants to live nearby and you could end up with the commission from both sides of the transaction. There are really a lot of benefits to an open house like this.Yes, it's a lot more work. If you really want to be successful in this business you need to actually work.
One other idea. I don't know about in La Crosse, but in my area, agents don't use brochure boxes. I do. I have my cell number on the flyers so they call me direct. I've had a number of sales this way and my average sale was in excess of $600k this way which is close to double the average in my area. You can find the boxes online for about $16 each. Worth the investment.
Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate