I just started my real estate business. Can Realtors send out postcards to neighbours anouncing/marketing a listing?

Asked by Jrealtor, 77338 Sat Jan 2, 2010

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29
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Jan 4, 2010
I recommend that you read the book SHIFT by Gary Keller, Bob Jenks, and Jay Papasan.

The most productive thing you can do is devote three hours each morning to lead generation.
Mailing out postcards is great, then follow up with a phone call a few days later.
If you have a new listing SHIFT has a great strategy for open houses...seven levels of open house marketing. So when you have a listing, market it to the hilt to find my buyer and listing leads.

If you are asking what is the most productive way to promote a new listing, it depends upon your objective-
1. Selling the listing
2. Attracting buyer leads
3. Attracting seller leads.

Each objective has different options....I suggest trying to do all three.

Good luck.
2 votes
Kathy Weber, Agent, Temecula, CA
Sat Jan 2, 2010
Jrealtor,

The answer is "yes".

I usually check the MLS first to make sure that the homes I'm sending this information out to is not already listed with another agent. It's just common courtesy.

If your mass mailing to a farm area, just do your best to weed out properties already listed. It's hard to do sometimes if your farm is large. Just do your best to respect other agents.

Best of luck on your marketing!
Web Reference:  http://www.weberhomes.INFO
2 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Tue Jan 26, 2010
It's my understanding that the do not mail list is for those that register on it similar to the do not call list, not an accross the board mailing.
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Joseph, I have never heard of such a law, thanks for that update. I stand corrected.

I was able (after reading about this from you) find that San Francisco campaigned for anti-mail laws... but was unable to find anything about it for Oak Park.

Can you provide a link?
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Yes, we also have Do Not Mail list and we have to check against that list before we mail solicitations out. It is more and more common now.

Sending out post cards announcing and marketing a listing is a good idea. Some agents in my office will also walk the neighborhood before hand and invite the neighbors to come to the open house - with owner's permission, of course.

Many ways to get your listing and your names out.

Best,
Sylvia Barry
1 vote
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Hi Jrealtor,

Not so fast Alan May. Every once in a while you WILL find a municipality where mailing solicitations may be disallowed. Oak Park, IL is such a place. They have "anti-solicitation" lists for phone calls AND for snail mail. Seriously. When it comes to any kind of solicitation, use care and know the local laws and ordinances.

rockinblu is right... I mean, I have the exact same attitude with sales and he has a point that is important. If you believe in yourself and your service, go there... knock... if you truly know you can and will serve well and want that listing. There is such great pleasure in meeting face to face. They are character-building experiences that strengthen your sales abilities. After all, it really is all about helping people and believing in your products and services. I don't feel it's lazy to call them, though... in fact, that could even be tougher for those lacking telephone skills. It may be better to knock, though, since "Do Not Call" lists could get in the way of your phone call. Like rockinblu says, be proactive and don't "hide" behind the postcards (hoping somebody will respond and call you). That would be the lazy approach. Also, try to respect any local "anti-solicitation" laws or requests. In my city of Berwyn, IL there is a law that says door-to-door canvassing for any purpose requires the agent to get a permit first. Yuck! Even if not, some owners post "No Solicitors" signs on their doors... be aware they could really mean it.
1 vote
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Hi Jrealtor,

Are you a home seller or a beginning Realtor or both? I have extensive experience mailing postcards to neighbors surrounding my new listings. I always enjoyed extensive listing success and my "just listed" postcards were always a big part of that effort. Still, I have even less trouble getting listings today- even without utilizing my postcards strategy. You see, the near west and south-west Chicago suburbs that I serve are loaded with foreclosures and short sales. If you appeal to these sellers and show yourself to be a passionate agent, you will get some listings. The question remains whether or not they sell in the near future. The postcards are wonderful- people know you're in the business but the listings still take time to sell. Sometimes they take a very, very long time to sell... if they do. Good luck, J! (smile)
1 vote
Pelin Guzel, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Jrealtor,
Congratulations on your new real estate business!!!
You are so lucky to have a lot of helpful agents in Trulia, when I started there was not any source like this.
You can send newsletters, market your listing, do the announcements etc. only thing is respect other agents listings. You may write that you are not trying to solicit listings currently on the market or whatever wording works for you and your area. I think not to send your marketing to Active MLS listings is a good idea.

Best wishes and Good Luck,
Pelin
http://www.dallashomelist.com
1 vote
Ronda Allen, Agent, Plano, TX
Mon Jan 4, 2010
Postcards tend to be pretty low return if you use them on a hit-or-miss basis around your listings. I was in one marketing class that said you'd have to get those postcards out at least every 10 days to have any real impact of name/face recognition in your farm area. Most new agents don't have big marketing budgets. I didn't begin to use postcards until I was in the business for four years. There were too many other more important tools to begin with to do postcard marketing right off the bat. If you are just starting, and you are looking for growth and longevity in your real estate career, I suggest you look for means to market yourself that don't cost a thing. Personal contact will bring a higher rate of return. Ask the veteran agents around you what they did when they got started. And, don't be afraid of the phone. It's amazing how many rookie agents hide behind their voice mail rather than picking up the phone when it does ring. If you have completed activities that made the phone ring, for goodness sake, pick it up and answer it. Buyers don't tend to call back, and sellers aren't going to be impressed if they call your line and no one answers.

Be sure you market your own listings - as you may get into trouble with your local board and create a bad reputation for yourself - if you present some other agent's listings as your own. Use your name rider and cell phone number on your signs, as well as the status of that home (available, contract pending, price reduced, sold). Neighbors truly appreciate listing agents who work those for sale signs and keep them in the loop on what's going on with that home sale listing.

Best of luck to you! Your optimism to get the business going at a time when the media is saying we're in an economic downturn shows that you believe in yourself and can push media hype aside. There is enough business out there for the good agents willing to work for it. Somebody is going to have a great 2010. Ignore the media, do formal (and realistic) goal setting, work a daily to-do list of income-generating activities, be consistent, put in the hours as if you were a store-front operation, and you'll make it through your first year and be giving advice rather than asking for it.

Have a blessed day!
Ronda


Ronda Allen, Realtor and Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)
CEO of comingsoonhomes.com
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs
1 vote
Vickey Wacht…, Agent, Katy, TX
Sun Jan 3, 2010
Hi! When I started I sent out cards with my business card in them to former customers, friends and associates, when I moved to another brokerage I sent them out again, three years into my business I got a call one day from a former customer asking me to list their home, they had kept my car on the frig all that time and exchanged it when they got the new one. It never occured to them to go with another agent. I sold
their home and referred them to another agent in California. The commission on just those two sells more than paid for the postage and cards I have sent.
I also try to give away 10 business cards a day, it can be to anyone. I gave the pool repair man a card 2 years ago, he took it back to the office and taped it to the copy machine, this year when the owner of the business decided they wanted to lease out a house they owned, she gave me a call, I leased it for her and then the next month I got a call from their designer who also had a house she wanted to lease, I made $1800 from that one card I gave to a repairman. You never know where your business will come from, send the cards, pass out cards, what ever it takes to get your name out there.
1 vote
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
That was good, Alan. Sorry, no link...

But, I'll find one! ;-)
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Joseph, what blog are you talking about... I don't think I've seen that one, and I can use the boost today. Care to provide a link for that?
0 votes
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Thanks, Deb!

Hey Rock, I always thought the punks got the gals anyway! lol

Jrealtor- Deb's right, mail away. I still feel marketing anywhere it's wise to check with the town 'bout all that stuff I wrote below... it's just FYI. Goog luck!
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 28, 2010
no "but's" in my sentence Rock............you know, you reach a certain age when nice is good! (those gals' loss is Mrs Rock's gain)

to stay on topic....Jrealtor............ keep mailing those postcards out! :)
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 28, 2010
Rock, Mack, et al..................didn't mean to omit your names from the "nice gentlemen" list...............you're all great!
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 28, 2010
Joseph if I may - I want to award you the Mr Congeniality award! You always come across as such a nice gentleman!

(you're right up there too, Alan & Patrick ....must be the air in IL ) :)

Jrealtor - in NJ we can send out anything our little hearts desire!

Just listed and just sold cards get your name out there along with spotlighting the home - it's a win-win situation........mail away!
I am fortunate, in that my company subsidizes the postcards...but I'd still mail them even if they didn't. I have gotten listing appointments as a result of the cards.

Good luck with your new business !
0 votes
Debra: I'm looking into mailing postcards for JUST SOLD. You seem to have had success in yours. What wording would you use to solicit a new listing or offer free CMA?
Flag Fri Apr 3, 2015
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I can't picture your smiling face being anything different than helpful and considerate! Even the Regulars said so (smile). Keep up the good work, Alan. (And don't say, "Whatever, Joseph!")
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I've learned more since I brought up your Mayor badge by reading some other blog with input from a lot of regulars on Trulia... your mission as a "helpful person" as Mayor on Trulia.
~~~~~~~
Uh, oh... don't believe everything you read, Joseph.
0 votes
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Wed Jan 27, 2010
Hi Jrealtor,

Note to Alan May: I've learned more since I brought up your Mayor badge by reading some other blog with input from a lot of regulars on Trulia... your mission as a "helpful person" as Mayor on Trulia. I wish you all the best with that! (wink)

As for anti-solicitation laws by U.S. Mail, I figured Oak Park was totally unique, really. Sylvia's addition to this thread makes me wonder... are there even more places that maintain such lists? I'm just curious...

Thank you, Honorable Mayor; take care everyone.
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Jan 27, 2010
Joseph - I know that many times these things can be taken poorly, because in type-alone you can't hear any tone-of-voice, so it's really easy to take things badly.

I always presume (until I'm shocked into awareness) that people are speaking politely and pleasantly. And I'm always happy to learn something new.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why I was tagged to be a mayor. There are many, here on Trulia who would disagree that I'm "tactful" & "polite".

thanks.
0 votes
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Wed Jan 27, 2010
Hi Jrealtor,

If I may, thanks to Alan for asking so politely. I worried my revelation would come off wrong and you interpreted my meaning correctly... thank you. Unfortunately, though, I don't have a link. I do get a mailing from the Village of Oak Park every quarter with the list (and my office is in Berwyn... go figure). Oak Park's budget permits them to keep all of us local Realtors up-to-date I guess. Patrick- you're right. It is a voluntary sign-in sheet. The problem is... all agents everywhere soliciting real estate business in Oak Park must adhere to that sheet... even if you are unaware it exists! Fines apply... so call that local municipality to ask first. I would always call the municipality first anyway- for a few reasons. First, to be sure no anti-solitation laws exist. Second, to ask if a local compliance inspection is required and at what cost? The questions continue... can that compliance work be completed by the buyer after closing? Is an escrow required to guarantee completion? Is there a local transfer tax? If so, who pays? What paperwork is required prior to closing a sale (ie final water reading, copies of deed, state and county tax docs, etc)? So the idea of investing a call to the municipality can solve a lot of unknowns upfront- important if we feel confident that we will be doing business there.

Thank you, Alan, for your interest and polite inquiry. Is that what makes you Mayor? (smile) Oh, and Sylvia, thank you for your input on mailing solicitation in California. Your input will raise eyebrows, for sure. Take care everyone.
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Yes, of course. There is no "do not mail" list, you can send mail to any address. Part of my normal marketing plan includes sending out "Just Listed" and "Just Sold" post cards to a radius of anywhere from 100 to 500 properties surrounding the new listing.

As Don Tepper already mentioned, direct-mail is a low-return product (a less than 3% return), but it is good to get your name out there, let people know about the new listing, and help give you some street credibility.

Good luck.
0 votes
Duane Hennem…, , 77338
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Congratulations on your decision to become a Real Estate Agent! I have many Realtors around the country
using our Referral Marketing system VERY successfully! With our system you can send out real postcards and greeting cards with a "personalized message and signature". You may also include a photo if your want.

Several of our Realtors will take a photo of a FSBO, add their photo and a personalized message and send them a Greeting Card. This personal touch certainly creates attention and sets them aside from those that just call and knock on doors. Further they send out Thank Yous, Birthdays and every other kind of card you can think of, monthly to just reach out an touch people. Make sense?

You can check this out your self buy going to my website and sending out a couple of FREE cards on me!
I'm also picking up the postage too! Be sure to send one to yourself so you can see the quality we provide.

Lastly, you can send out that postcard you refer to for 59 cents including postage all personalized in about 60 seconds... If you send a Greeting Card the cost is $1.06 including a 44 cent real stamp!!! Add another 31 cents to include a photo. This would be comparable to a $3.50 to $4.50 Hallmark and the same or better quality!

Good luck and I hope this gives you some other marketing ideas that will set you apart from other Agents
in your office...

Duane Henneman
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Jan 4, 2010
Sure you can send out any material you like anytime, you need a global marketing program never depend on one source bring in clients. Mail marketing can take up 6 months see any results.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
Lynn911

http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Jan 3, 2010
Sure, with the caveats already provided.

Postcards are a low-return technique, but they do work. Often--like open houses--they don't work on the specific property, but they do work in increasing your name recognition and in getting people to call you when they are ready to buy or sell. It's one of the basic techniques in what's called "farming" a community. Check with your managing broker for more details.
0 votes
Catherine "C…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Sun Jan 3, 2010
Hi J,
In New Jersey, it is fine as long as you include the usual wording...I have done some in the past like pretty much most other realtors but I am not a fan. It is fairly expensive, not targeted enough, etc...
I would invest in more expensive signs (including wooden post signs...) to place on the property if you are targeting the neighborhood and also I would go introduce myself and handling personally my brochure/cards.
0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Sun Jan 3, 2010
J, I mail out 5x8 gloss post cards with photos of the home. The idea behind it is not to market to the neighbors but the neighbors friends. They get a piece of marketing that is top notch and attractive. This is something that someone can hand to a friend that is looking for a home and it may draw some interest. The cards are not cheap and this is of a quality that I can not do with the equipment that I have at home.
It does not sell the home everytime, maybe 1 out of 100 but if we eliminate everything that only works 1-2% of the time pretty soon all you do is put the home in the MLS and sit back.

Good Luck
Web Reference:  http://www.Find1Home.com
0 votes
Alan Aly, Agent, OVIEDO, FL
Sun Jan 3, 2010
Not sure if you have any different regulations than we have in NJ, but it should be OK, as long as you have on the card stating that "Should your home be listed with another broker, please disregard" or some thing to that effect.
In general, it may only be effective if you consistently market yourself to a specific area (farming).
Good luck
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 2, 2010
Yes.

Your office may have a "do not contact" list for you to check your mailing list against.

Mailings are generally a very very very low-return form of prospecting.

The "face-to-face meeting" is the single most productive prospecting method, and one way you can exploit your new listing is to schedule an open house and door-knock several days before, inviting the neighbors by. (This works even if it isn't your listing, BTW). Yes, the overwhelming majority will be underwhelmed, but it gives you a reason for canvassing the neighborhood and looking for potential buyers (renters) and sellers.
0 votes
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