Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing
Real estate marketing has always been one of the most challenging marketing niches out there, but it is also one with high revenue potential. The real estate business has, over the years, employed various marketing methods for reaching out to its target audience. But, direct mail marketing for real estate remains the most popular and effective marketing strategy for real estate businesses everywhere and particularly in the US. However, over the years, direct mail has evolved to accommodate smart digital technologies into it so that it can get the best possible result.
According to a recent report, direct mail has an ROI of 29% and more for real estate businesses. Tech-savvy agents, investors, and marketers of the twenty-first century employ fully automated direct mail for real estate marketing. Using such a solution allows them to scale up the process of identifying listings, buyers, and prospects to the extent that is never seen before. The key to success as far as a real estate marketing professional is concerned is to find a reliable marketing channel that is fully capable of lead generation. Agents, investors, and in-house marketers would die to find such a marketing channel for their real estate business.
Although much work is needed to get the results we speak of, real estate direct mail still remains your best shot at having a near-perfect marketing channel. Provided that you use real estate direct mail campaigns and can nail the marketing aspect with engaging content and attractive offers, you may just well be able to get unbelievable results for your marketing efforts. This article discusses the essential aspects of real estate direct mail marketing and why they are the perfect choice for your business. We also dive into the finer details of direct mail marketing for real estate and even provide you with valuable tips for optimizing your real estate direct mail campaigns.
Why Employ Direct Mail Marketing for Real Estate Businesses?
The leading real estate marketing professionals in the US have depended on direct mail to find new prospects as well as to grow their business. Direct mails have long been at the forefront of real estate marketing. Although at some point, its shine did flicker a little when digital marketing took over every industry almost by a storm, many companies still continued to use direct mails because they knew how effective it was in reaching the target audience.
However, direct mail was abandoned by many companies because it became increasingly difficult to ensure the accuracy of data which is the postal address. The whole point of using direct mail for real estate agents was its reliability, and bad data would often ruin this reliability. Businesses were slowly giving up on direct mail for real estate marketing until they were finally presented with a viable solution – advanced address verification tools.
What started out as just a simple address verification tool then evolved into a fully automated direct mail solution, and the real estate industry was among the first to reclaim the new and improved direct mail for real estate marketing. The fully automated direct mail for real estate businesses came equipped with many nifty features and surprising advantages, which revived the wave of realtor mailing service. We discuss some of the major advantages of using real estate direct mail below.
Direct Communication/Access to Prospect
Direct mail, as the name suggests, goes directly to the target audience. They can be targeted to your real estate prospects in local geographical areas, although that’s not necessarily the criterion/approach in every marketing campaign.
You’d be surprised at how important it is for your marketing efforts to be tangible. For example, a real estate postcard is tangible and allows the recipient to hold on to it, and they may even hang on to it for weeks. The image of the property can further aid in cementing the prospect’s desire.
Ideal For Drip Campaigns
When automated the direct mail marketing for real estate businesses is the ideal tool for drip campaigns. Before, when the direct mails were not automated, this would have been a challenge that very few could have accomplished. But, today with automated direct mails let you nurture prospects over long periods.
Reasons Why You Should Employ Direct Mail Real Estate Campaigns
The straightforward reason for employing direct mail campaigns for real estate businesses is, simply, that it works. It is more than likely that you’ve already seen the direct mail campaign for real estate in action already even if you may not have employed it yourself. A real estate agent may send a postcard, magnet, or some other form of mailpiece to your home. Similarly, use of direct mail marketing letters for mortgage brokers and real estate investors that outline their unique offers in their campaigns.
Furthermore, recent research has proven that consumers trust direct mails much more than marketing efforts made via digital channels—these are some of the more common advantages of direct mail real estate campaigns. However, the reason for employing direct mail marketing for real estate businesses goes beyond this. Below we discuss some of the enticing reasons for employing direct mail marketing for real estate businesses.
Establish Yourself as a Local Market Expert
Perhaps the prime consideration for anyone looking to move out to a new place is the locality making it an important aspect when it comes to real estate. Both the buyers and the sellers prefer to work with real estate professionals who are local market experts. Why? Because a real estate agent who is a local market expert is bound to know what exactly they have to offer, and they also understand the minor details about the locality such as the ZIP codes, nearby towns, or even streets that could potentially impact the value of a property.
The use of hyper-targeted direct mail can give your target audience the impression that you really know the locality thoroughly. This holds true no matter what role you play, whether it is that of a marketer or investor, or real estate agent. The buyers also want to work with a real estate professional who is well informed on both the property and its locality. The right information on the locality or market can help the buyer to narrow in on the right neighborhood.
Furthermore, such a real estate professional can also be trusted to find a better deal, and their familiarity with a specific market can help them intuitively pick the right property best suited for the buyer. Similarly, the home or property owners looking to sell off their property also look for similar characteristics in their real estate dealer or agent. A real estate professional who knows the area well will naturally know what ideas to pitch to the potential buyers in order to get every ounce out of the value possible for a property or sale.
It would not be an understatement to say that the knowledge of the locality and local markets is the most sought-after trait both buyers and sellers look for in a real estate agent/business. While the buyer hopes to get the maximum details about the place they are going to live in, the seller is hoping the real estate professional can monetize on their local knowledge and get them a better price. A simple direct mail ensures that your message reaches the target audience within the market you serve.
Automation Capability For Direct Mail
Modern direct mail campaigns are eons ahead of their traditional counterpart and equipped with features and capabilities that help you make result-focused decisions. But, the real game-changer that really took direct mail for real estate agents is automation—automating means that you will no longer have to pour in your valuable time and effort into direct mail efforts in order to connect with more prospective clients.
However, automation of direct mail often requires you to have an online presence for optimal performance. Today’s direct mail real estate campaigns make use of both online and offline marketing methods and club them together for maximum penetration. Although automation can be possible through advanced direct mail tools such as PostGrid without having an online presence, the best results would require an online presence for you or your real estate business.
What’s more interesting is that, more often than not, advanced direct mail tools like PostGrid also come equipped with address verification capability. This ensures that your direct mail reaches the target audience at all times. Furthermore, the fully automated direct mail from PostGrid boasts a deliverability rate of 99%, which in turn promises the optimal result of your direct mail real estate campaign. With the help of a skilled developer, you can integrate the solution into your website’s CRM.
Having automation capability for your direct mail campaign implies that every process, including the printing and mailing of the mailpieces, is already taken care of. This means you now have free time and resources in your hand that can be utilized for growing your real estate business. Additionally, automation allows you to avoid situations where you forget to send out direct mails, especially if you intend to run a drip mail campaign.
Local Social Proof
Social proof is a term that all marketing professionals are familiar with, and it is a huge motivator for customers/clients regardless of their industry vertical. And for those of you who may not know what social proof is, it is a psychological phenomenon that makes people conform to actions made by others by making them assume that the said actions are in fact, the correct behavior to be followed. How does this come into the picture of the real estate business?
When your prospective clients see that you have helped your customers with similar requirements to theirs reach a positive outcome will without question act as a crucial motivator. It reassures your prospective clients that you can deliver the desired result. You can use direct mails to reach out to the target audience and present them with cases where you have successfully delivered sales for your other clients in the recipient’s local area.
It is also important if you are able to sell such a property above the market value as your prospects will want to know that. This is what you need to do if you are looking to entice new clients that want to sell off their homes or other properties. As you may have already guessed, if the purpose is to find prospective clients who want to buy a new home or property, then you might have to try a slightly different approach.
When trying to sell off properties, the content of your direct mail focus on the scenarios where you were able to sell a property at a price lower than the market value. Focus on stories with a personal touch and showcase how you were able to find the dream home for your client and how you managed to do it at a price below market price. Consider using visual elements in the direct mail, including the picture of your client and the property you successfully sold.
Pitching an Offer at The Appropriate Time
Identifying the appropriate time to pitch your offer to the client can make a world of difference for all your marketing campaigns, including direct mail for real estate agents. There are specific time periods throughout the year that are busier for the real estate market than others. As far as the real estate market is concerned, summer is the ideal time to ramp up your direct mail marketing efforts. Why? Because the summer is normally the time when most people opt to move because the weather is pleasant for moving large shipments.
Additionally, summer is the ideal time for families to shift to a new home because their kids will not have to miss out on their classes or go through the formalities of transferring to a new school. Therefore, it is not hard to see why the real estate market really picks up in March and peaks in the month of June. Once this demand subsides, you can see another spike up in the real estate market activity (albeit much smaller than the summer) in August. This surge is due to the fact that families want to get settled in their new homes before the new school year begins.
Furthermore, you can see a spike in November just before the new year. Again, this spike is attributed largely to the families who want to move during the time so that the children’s life can go on uninterrupted, or so to speak. This is a good time for the kids to move to a new place because it’ll let them settle into a new school right after the winter break. Then, there is also the fact that the buyers are more likely to have some days off from work at the end of the year. And some prefer this time for moving because there are some financial or tax-related benefits for moving at the end of the year.
Now that we know when the demand for real estate properties varies at different times throughout the year, it is essential that you make use of these highly opportunistic periods to reach out to the maximum number of the target audience. That does not mean that you can focus your marketing efforts exclusively on these periods. You must make it a point to establish a connection with prospective clients in the months that lead up to the actual time when they’d move to a new place.
The logic behind this is simple. If someone plans to move to a new place, then the decision is seldom impulsive. Your prospective clients will have already started looking for potential options and maybe even reach out to a couple of real estate agents as far as six months ahead of the scheduled move. This means someone who intends to move to a new home in June may require your service as soon as January or February.
By consistently keeping in touch with your target audience via direct mail cements your real estate business in the minds of the target audience. This means that the next time they even remotely think of moving to a new place, your real estate business pops up in their minds almost automatically. This, in turn, enables you to capitalize on the periods when the real estate market is booming in the Christmas or summer months.
Establishing Long-Term Relationships
Although it may seem that establishing a long-term relationship with the clients is not a priority for industries such as real estate because let’s face it, how often do we buy new real estate property?
If you just agreed with what I’ve just said, then I’m afraid that you are wrong because, according to statistics, the average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. When you also take into account that the real estate business is a high-revenue business, it only makes sense that you make an earnest effort to establish a long-lasting relationship with your clients.
By establishing a long-term relationship with your real estate clientele, you are in effect becoming the number one person they turn to whenever they are looking to move to a new place. Now the question that you are asking yourself right now is “How does direct mail come into all this?” Well, because direct mail has long been regarded as the perfect medium for building a long-lasting relationship with the customers/clients.
As we have mentioned on multiple occasions above, direct mails are tangible, and they always have a personal touch to them. These salient features of direct mail make it the ideal choice for establishing losing-lasting relationships with your clients. However, it’s worth noting that direct mail works best after you have successfully delivered your services to the client at least once. In which case, all you have to do is to stay on the client’s mind until the next time they decide to move, and direct mail can easily accomplish that for you.
Direct Mail for Real Estate Agents: Factors to Consider
Consistency is the key to capturing leads and enhancing brand awareness in real estate. It is why real estate investors must do their homework by researching ways to market their business before settling on one.
There are times when real estate agents start with hot enthusiasm until they hit a few snags and quit everything eventually. Here, you must consider planning your work and hitting back hard using direct mail marketing campaigns for real estate. Although this will not come to you as expected, it will eventually pay off in the long run.
So, when drafting the direct mail campaign, there are the following factors as a real estate agency you must consider:
- Your Budget: It includes the amount of money you are willing to spend for your campaign.
- Marketing Approach: To do so, try considering who your targets are and then choose the right approach to establish your real estate direct mail campaign ideas.
- Campaign Testing: Now, this method involves testing your campaign to observe the response of your target audience using analytical tools.
- Tracking Down the Results: Remember, everything comes down to the outcomes of your direct mail real estate campaigns with the best tracking tool. It helps you track the progress while highlighting the areas that need your attention throughout the same.
The response rate of your direct mail campaign will be heavily influenced by these four elements. The next step is developing a direct mail campaign and automating it with tools like PostGrid. Through our robust dashboard, you can streamline and manage every movement of your direct mail campaign to achieve goals while generating real estate leads like never before.
5 Tips to Run The Perfect Direct Mail Real Estate Campaigns
Every marketing campaign has some sort of hacks that can make it easier for the marketer to pitch ideas and generate more conversions. Below, we take you through some of the most useful tips that can help you optimize your direct mail campaigns and hone them for maximum conversions and ROI.
1. Take a Local and Relevant Approach
As we have mentioned above, it is quintessential that you present yourself as someone who’s well familiar with the locality to both your sellers and buyers if you wish to make a convincing case in front of them. Knowing that you are well-informed about the locality of the real estate property puts your client’s mind at ease and creates a sense of trust in them. One way to accomplish this is to include geographic information in your direct mails as it is a sure-shot way of grabbing user attention.
Your direct mail can be a postcard that showcases a certain condominium unit, and you can target them towards prospects who are searching for similar properties and instantly grab their attention. Using the images of properties of a specific locality would give you a tremendous advantage which can further lead to a sale. You can also use collages that showcase the different facilities of a particular property, such as the bedrooms, backyard, and so on. This will give the customers a comprehensive idea of the property and pique their interest.
2. Planning Based on Time-of-Year
We have already discussed how the summer and holiday seasons are two of the busiest times of the year for the real estate market. But, merely knowing when to ramp up your marketing efforts is not enough to get feasible results for the real estate business. The success of your direct mail real estate campaign will depend on how well you can plan it to align with the advantage you get from the time of year. An ideal example of this is sending out postcards during the holiday season. However, pay attention to the nuances and try making use of properties in their holiday themes to get the right reaction from the target audience.
3. Use Resources That The Prospects Can Hold Onto
Direct mail is a great way to remind your prospects about your services and is an effective tool that helps to keep you on top of their mind whenever a real estate requirement arises. However, there is a way to cement this thought further even deeper and stronger. To accomplish such an effect on your audience, you need to start using resources in your direct mails that the user can hold on to. This could be a calendar magnet or a game schedule for the popular sport in the locality or something else that the recipient wouldn’t just throw out after reading. It is not necessarily something that relates to your business or the services it offers.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency
This is one of the old yet effective marketing strategies which is still popular even today. However, this tactic is especially useful in the real estate circle because the prospects are well aware that if they wait too long, their dream home could go to someone else. This allows marketers to use the urgency factor to their advantage. And the funny thing is that you don’t even have to try too hard when it comes to creating a sense of urgency in your prospects. All you have to do is subtly mention that the property is “move-in-ready,” and that alone can trigger their urgency because they will consider that the property is intended to sell quickly.
5. Pitch With an Irresistible Offer
Unlike most other industry verticals, there is no middle ground when it comes to offers given in the real estate business. Either your offer is a steal-deal, or it’s simply not worth it. The bigger you can make the offer, the better will be your results. The key is to find the pain point of your prospective clients, such as finding the right property in the right neighborhood, proximity to the correct school district, and many more. One of your best bets to hook your prospects is to give them an offer on the down payment, as it is often one of the biggest hurdles prospects face in buying a new home.
Types of Mail Pieces for Real Estate
Below are some of the most popular strategies that you can add as a part of your real estate direct mail campaign ideas, they are:
- Short Letters: Short letters are primarily used to generate interest in potential customers. Letters such as these comprise no more than a paragraph and are direct and to the point to encourage the seller to contact you. If you are just getting started in real estate investing, short letters will get you off to a great start.
- Postcards: Apart from being much cheaper, postcards are considered one of the best ways to target your prospects in real estate. It is because they are much easier to read. A postcard spells it out right away instead of forcing the readers to open the envelopes first to read the content. To make your postcards more personal, you must add a personalized message or add eye-catching stamps. Try adding a touch of creativity by making the most of PostGrid’s huge template gallery for designing your postcards.
- Long Letters: Such letters are used to take follow-up or even when you want to notify your clients of their pending interests. For direct mail for real estate agents, the main goal is to keep encouraging your leads by enlightening them in terms of your service now and then.
- Yellow Letters: These letters are similar to handwritten notes on yellow-lined paper. Real estate yellow letters work well because they give readers the impression you took the time to write to them personally.
Understanding Customer-Types Before Sending Real Estate Direct Mail Letters
It is crucial to determine who will receive your direct mail before you print & mail it. Make sure you send mail to people who meet your business requirements rather than mailing to every home in an area.
According to our experts at PostGrid, you have to stop thinking about the term MARKETING IS PERSUASION. Here, you are not trying to convince someone to buy your products or services. In fact, you are showing the readers why you are the best real estate agent around the locality.
An ideal world would be for you to connect with those interested in your offerings! Also, by targeting the right audience, you can increase response and conversion rates. Here are some ways to find your target audience:
- Pre-Foreclosures: Banks begin the foreclosure process when homeowners stop paying their mortgages. At this point, you can offer the homeowner help to stop the foreclosure and save their credit.
- Probate Properties: A deceased’s home may be subject to probate. In most cases, a family has to empty out, clean up the property, and make necessary repairs to sell the property. Direct mail real estate campaigns may help you reach the probate lists easily without making you go through any overwhelming tasks.
- Eviction records: Several homeowners opt for selling out their properties under the stress of eviction.
- The ones with Expired Listing: Expired listings are properties that attempt to sell through a real estate agent but fail to do so. At this point, you can purchase the home from a motivated seller by connecting with them through real estate direct mail campaigns.
- Absentee Home Owners: Owners with different mailing addresses from their property addresses are listed here. Several factors could explain this situation, but it generally indicates a case of a rental property. Landlording can be very challenging. It is why many homeowners prefer selling their homes.
Considering the above target audience, you can plan and implement the relevant real estate direct mail campaign ideas to expand your outreach in the desired manner.
Real estate direct mail marketing has always been and still remains one of the most effective marketing strategies employed by marketers in the real estate industry. Its direct nature of communication, tangibility, and the ability to carry out drip campaigns with the help of automated solutions make it the perfect choice for real estate marketing. The arrival of smart, automated direct mail solutions such as PostGrid has enabled us to streamline realtor direct mail marketing.
You can now easily automate the entire direct mail process, including the printing and delivery part, with advanced solutions like PostGrid. Additionally, such tools also ensure maximum deliverability through a CASS-approved address verification process.