William, Home Seller in 18951

Direct Mail/Flyers - What Gets Your Attention?

Asked by William, 18951 Sun Sep 9, 2007

As realtors, I know you get alot of direct mailings and flyers coming across your desk every day. My question is - what catches your attention? What are the things that will make you stop and consider showing a solicited home / attending an open house / previewing a home / showing a home?

What are examples of the most creative media you've received that stopped you in your tracks ... and what things sold you? What makes you "think outside the MLS"?

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Answers

28
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Sun Sep 9, 2007
I completely agree. The flyer is only useful to those it applies to as far as being a possibility for a client. But, hypothetically, say the flyer does meet my criteria, here is what I love seeing:
• correct spelling (it horrifies me to see blatant typos in the titles)
• to the point comments on the house
• mini map of location
• a few or one nice photo(s) of the best selling points of the house
• just say "no" to excessive clipart and unreadable type treatments
4 votes
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Sun Sep 9, 2007
Craigslist. This catches my attention. You see things here you will not see anywhere else from Realtors and from Sellers. It is kind of a no holds barred creative marketplace. You have to wade through a lot of it but there are some really creative people here.

Direct mail is somewhat effective. Print ads are dead. Everyone is looking for homes on the internet.

Ads for free reports? Everyone has already figured that game out.
3 votes
Bridgette Ko…, , Florida
Wed Sep 12, 2007
William,
NOTHING impersonal will catch my attention. A mass email can even backfire, because I'll probably block the address of a habitual offender. As the other posters have mentioned, a hand written note is about the only way to stand out... Best of luck!
2 votes
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Wed Sep 12, 2007
Okay I cannot resist, so Steve and I give out goldfish crackers, with our business cards for our "Make the Jump With Us" and the whole goldfish theme ... so ... do you give out Chic-Fil-A sandwiches at your open house? Isn't that like the cow they use at Chic-Fil-A? The ad was great William. Really enjoyed it. It made me smile. THanks for sharing. Now will you stick with the cow in all of your campaigns or is the cow a one-milk deal?
Web Reference:  http://MakeTheJumpWithUs.com
2 votes
Jodi Strober-…, , Bucks County PA, Montgomery County PA
Mon Sep 10, 2007
The only thing I have ever received from another agent that really grabbed my attention was a professional flyer (the glossy coated, thick stock kind with pictures and details on both sides) of a home in an area where I do most of my business - with a letter written by the other agent acknowledging my presence in the market.
The attached letter was more of a "Hey Jodi- I notice you sell a lot of homes of this type in this area - I think this one is special because...if you come across anyone interested in this type of property, please keep us in mind..."
RATHER than the usual "PRICED TO SELL" 4 BR, 2.5BA Colonial on .5 acres..." on pink stock or a fax or email that immediately gets thrown away/deleted because absolutely no thought was put into it.
I guess it's an ego thing, but it worked. I now use the same approach myself and actually get phone calls from the agents saying they will keep my property in mind.
Great question and I love the many different answers.
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sun Sep 9, 2007
I like to know all the inventory in my core area. But, I won't save a flyer or brochure unless I have a reason to pass it on to a client. In my core area, I never know when a discussion might ensue about a particular property, so I simply want to know them all.

Once I get to the peripheral edges of my core area, your marketing efforts may guide my attention to a property that I might have otherwise overlooked. While I check the MLS daily, or multi times per day for new properties or status changes in my core area, I may not notice the MLS info in the nearby adjacent areas.

I don’t recommend too much print advertising for Realtor-to-Realtor marketing. Only if I have a client, do I want your print brochure. If you hold a special event, a handwritten note card could be effective. If you are promoting a Broker Open House, email may be the most cost effective. If your property is not in MLS, it’s important for you to communicate that. I might skip your email or snail mail flyer, assuming I can always learn about the property from MLS.

If I have a potential client match, previewing a listing, or learning about it moves up to the top of my priority list. Conversely, I won’t show a home that does not meet my client’s criteria, regardless of how awesome your promotion. Getting agents to preview is necessary to get agents talking about your property. That can lead to showings that might not have happened any other way.

For Realtor-to-Realtor marketing, I think you can stick to the basics, keep it brief and tell me in just a few words who this property is for and why. Let me know where I can go to get more info, but don’t overload me in your outreach. I don’t like unsolicited faxes, and tend to discard immediately. Special event marketing can be effective when tied to a particular type of property. i.e. A historian providing insights and information, doing a book signing, or the like at a historic property. A yacht broker parked at the dock of a luxury waterfront estate. Those would be “outside the MLS box” type of approaches that would catch attention.
2 votes
Mr.P, , Arizona
Sun Sep 9, 2007
William ,

Great question,
The only thing I stop for is

Seller Financing or Creative Financing
With details on How you are going to do it .
example
Contract price $300,000
Buyers down payment $20,000
Buyer obtains new loan $200,000
Seller "carry`s" Buyer $80,000
( with promissory note and deed of trust)
or( exchange something of value, boat, car, other Real estate)

You want to sell your house, tell me how you are going to help my buyer qualify.
2 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Sun Sep 9, 2007
The things that make me show a home/attend an open house/preview a home are the desirability I feel it will have for a client. If it's a match for their needs, it gets my atention. No flyer in the world can do that. No lunch at an open house, no added seller incentives to buyers' agent. If the house is a fit, I'll take a look.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
2 votes
William, Home Seller, 18951
Fri Sep 14, 2007
I wouldn't dismiss mass emails. If you draft them correctly (and know a little about technology) you can send an email with a very personal appeal. If you don't come off like a monster car race ("SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!") and instead sound like a real person, it can work.

I sent out an email last night to for my Open House on Sunday to 500 realtors in the area. So far, 3 have responded to the email. 2 are coming to the Open House, one is bringing a client. Worth the click of a mouse? I'd say so! Would my house have hit their radar without the email? Hmmmm...
1 vote
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Mon Sep 10, 2007
Welcome Darren to Trulia! I am so glad to see you here. You are the only other agent from our area I have seen on here. There are a couple from the New Orleans area that chime in once in awhile, but not many. Great link, great house. Good luck with it. Carrie
Web Reference:  http://carriecrowell.com
1 vote
Darren James, Agent, Denham Springs, LA
Mon Sep 10, 2007
Willam,
Thank you for the question. As a REALTOR, when marketing a property, you have to think "Outside the Box". With so many homes on the market these days, you have to try and make your home "stand out" above the rest. Some of the marketing that I apply to do that is virtualtours posted on all of my listings. The MLS, and most websites have a limited number of photos to be posted per listing. With the virtual tours, you can create panoramic shots of photos that give the the viewer an accurate and complete portrait of the property. Also, if trying to market your home yourself, I would suggest making your home visible to the most potential buyers as possible. The way that is done is through reciprocity links with other sellers in a general demographic, or create a website with syndication capabilities to many of the real estate online portals such as trulia.com, REALTOR.com, Craigslist.com, and others.

The most spectacular piece of marketing that I personally use for my properties is through a company called Imprev. Take a look at this presentation, and tell me what you think. Its one of my most recent listings, and I email it to my Sphere of Influence and other REALTORS. Hope this helps.

Here's the link:
http://client.imprev.net/12571/150995/150995.swf
Web Reference:  http://www.agent225.com
1 vote
Ute Ferdig -…, Agent, New Castle, DE
Sun Sep 9, 2007
Good question William. I usually glance at the flyers that I receive in my mail box, but a lot of them are not of interest to me. We truly are simply flooded with information every day. I get e-mail flyers from all over the country it seems. I believe in e-mailing flyers, but not all over the country. If someone hits the delete button, at least I did not spend money on getting the flyers printed and/or delivered to local real estate offices. I am also wondering about the just listed and just sold postcards. I could see announcing an open house in conjunction with a just listed postcard.
Web Reference:  http://www.go2kw.com
1 vote
Jennifer Mon…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sun Sep 9, 2007
Sorry William, but it all goes in the recycling on my end. I just do not have the time to look at expensive and well produced booklets and flyers. And it's a shame people are still spending so much $$ on them.

What gets my attention? An approach that isn't commonplace. A handwritten note or invitation, or a personal phone call if the property matches my reverse profiling in MLS. Mass marketing doesn't work with me, but relevant and thoughtful approaches CAN stop me in my tracks.
1 vote
David Gifford, Agent, Yardley, PA
Thu Jan 6, 2011
I also like to send big postcards with big eye balls one them!
Web Reference:  http://bit.ly/exRP0e
0 votes
David Gifford, Agent, Yardley, PA
Thu Jan 6, 2011
Video is the way to go!!!
Want to network with realtor/artist from the thriving metropolis of Newtown PA.
Well this might not be what most normal artists are thinking but I wanted to let you know a little about me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT14akF2GdE
Web Reference:  http://DaveGifford.com
0 votes
Donald Bradb…, , 18951
Thu Apr 24, 2008
I use direct mail in my farming areas. I am also very aware though that internet marketing is where it is happening. Email announcements to Realtors on open houses, etc, are very effective. Virtual tours are also impoortant, and I use them on all my listings. Social networking, such as Active Rain, Trulia, Zillo, etc are also rapidly growing in importance. Video emails with sound is the newest way to promote listings in this internet marketing society we are living in these days. http://www.bradburyteam.com Don BRadbury 215-536-6777 x 329 We excel in providing superior customer service to every client, every time.
Web Reference:  http://www.bradburyteam.com
0 votes
Trisha Wade, , York, PA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
A cd with a virtual tour or just pictures and information would really grab my attention. It is not done very often and recieving the cd would make other agents feel like they are actually getting something instead of all the flyers that come across our mailboxes daily.
0 votes
Annette Lang…, Agent, Auburn, AL
Thu Apr 24, 2008
information on business card cd
0 votes
Donald Bradb…, , 18951
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Most Realtors respond to the amount of commission that is offered by a Seller. The standard is 3% co-op offered to the Buyer's Agent. Many Agents will not show those that offer less. When a seller tries to offer less to save money, it often costs him in the long run, in a lower price, due to the excessive days on the market. The most important part is to work with a Realtor that provides excellent customer service, and responds to phone calls from clients immediately. The Bradbury Team at Coldwell Banker Heritage provides such excellent service. Call us today. We would love to assist you. 215-536-6777 x 329 222.bradburytea,.com Please visit our blog to see the success we are having even now, in this challanging market. Remember, when you are the buyer, the Realtor services are FREE! Yes that is right, The Seller pays the Realtor in Pennsylvania.
Web Reference:  http://www.bradburyteam.com
0 votes
Horlow , , 19440
Fri Nov 30, 2007
I sent out a power point presentation with voice and action animations.
0 votes
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Fri Sep 14, 2007
Darren,

Not bad. Too much flash for most though and it takes quite a while to load. Buyers hate to wait.

It is however a tool to keep the seller happy.

Also, the web address does nothing to get the site to the top of the search engines. You can market on sites like MSN, GOOGLE, Yahoo, Craigslist but the search engines will have a hard tim attaching it to a place where the homebuying public will find it. http://client.imprev.net/12571/150995/150995.swf. You'll have to direct the buyers to it. Too much work.

Search engines have a hard time with flash. They look at the web address, the website name and about the first 250 words on your site to sort and filter your offering. To hard to optimize with flash.

You are better giving the site a catchy name that identifys the site with a place buyers are looking for homes. Even the property address would be better. http://www.1234 yourhome.com

Keep it simple. Make it easy for search engines to see it and buyers will find it. Make it as easy and quick as possible for buyers to get your information. You'll see much better results.
0 votes
Carolyn Gala…, Agent, Chatham, NJ
Thu Sep 13, 2007
BEST ANSWER
I jumped ahead with my last answer. I stopped flyer distribution in my mailbox a long time ago. I do read small invites for a broker open if it is a luxury home 2.5 million or more and the home has not been open before, that is I have not seen it or a house like it by the developer. The key is I sell in that price range and that is the price of a new home in my area. Otherwise I don't bother reading postcards, flyers, invites. More paper. See my next answer for E cards, virtual flyers and alerts. -
Web Reference:  http://www.carolyngalant.com
0 votes
Carolyn Gala…, Agent, Chatham, NJ
Thu Sep 13, 2007
Most of these products do one thing-- make money for the vendors. Real estate is always behind in technology compared to corporate america. The latest time waster is e-cards. Listen, I am on the mls each day, have alerts sent to me. The last thing I want is some agent sending me a flyer for a property 55 miles away with " PRICE REDUCTION". the flyers look pretty, but continue to the clog up and time wasting. If the property is in my market area, I already know about.Exec. summary: REDUNDANT!!! I bet you have noticed clients and family members have cut down on emailing . Years ago everyone was on email with long messages. Now you get short emails from clients using Blackberry or other PDA units. They don't want time wasted and moreover, don't want to spend time chatting, esp the Gen Xers.
0 votes
William, Home Seller, 18951
Thu Sep 13, 2007
Heather - ha,I love the idea! The cow will be sticking around for a while, I've grown attached ... was thinking about a life-sized version on the lawn with that message but that might be overkill (would certainly get peoples attention though!) We'll see. Have been contacting the realtors I've made personal connections with individually also. Will let you know how things work out!
0 votes
William, Home Seller, 18951
Wed Sep 12, 2007
Well, I had some fun with the flyer - hopefully will get a chuckle or 2. Copy was printed in color (landscape.) Sent it to 500 realtors in the area. We'll see how it does this week...

I love the idea of a personal handwitten message... ha, kinda tough with 500 copies!

Here is a link if you want to take a look. Let me know what you think:

http://www.logicmountain.com/3133dovecote/CowFlyer.jpg
0 votes
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Mon Sep 10, 2007
Yes William, Great question. Looks like you are facing a challenge to find a way to bring people to your home. I agree with an invitation or hand written note. Flyers and postcards get a glance and then get tossed. As a realtor I still use them for my data base as they will see my face as they make the toss and they will be reminded I am still in the business. For reaching other realtors, no. Something catchy or quick, somthing funny or witty, might make me take a 2nd look
Web Reference:  http://carriecrowell.com
0 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sun Sep 9, 2007
I am a big supporter of Craigslist and their postings. We are overwelmed with flyers and direct mail. Most of our agents just toss that paper stuff.
0 votes
Cherin Cox, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Sep 9, 2007
Direct Mail - consistency is key. I receive send me your referral postcards from about 5 realtors regularly. Thats it! I also have realtor friends here in Houston who have me on their mailer list. From one i'm always reminded to turn the clocks backwards or forwards, another always reminds me of a strange holiday - rather than the typical ones...

I also believe that 50% of the population likes to cook so if you send a mailer with a recipe or measurements guide 50% of the people receiving it will probably take a look and possible keep it for future use.

I like useful things.
0 votes
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