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Why Real Estate Postcard Marketing Works

Real Estate Postcard Marketing

Considering that 52.5% of consumers read postcards (compared to 33% who read sales letters), there’s no reason for real estate agents not to be involved in real estate postcard marketing.

Some Realtors® avoid it because they think it’s expensive or they aren’t sure how to use postcards. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. In some cases, you can send a mailing to a specific group, such as recently expired listings. In other cases, you can choose a neighborhood or area in which to focus your farming efforts, without having to mail postcards to every neighborhood nearby. Make sure your postcards connect with the recipient and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

There are so many different types of postcard marketing available to Realtors® that it can be hard to know where to start. In this post you’ll get an overview of the various types of real estate marketing postcards and how to get started with them.

Expired Listing Postcards

Expired listing postcards are perfect for putting yourself in front of homeowners who haven’t been able to sell their homes with their current real estate agent. Use your postcard to express empathy to the homeowner and offer yourself as someone who has a new idea on how to position the home on the market. The homeowner isn’t going to be looking for the same old techniques!

Short Sale Postcards

Short sale postcards are a great way to reach out to struggling homeowners and help them avoid foreclosure. By showing that you understand their situation and can offer them a way out, you will win business and the goodwill of the community. Consider sending these to an entire neighborhood where you know some homes have more owed than they are worth. If the recipient doesn’t need help, they may know someone who does.

Just Sold Postcards

Just Sold postcards are a great way to celebrate your successes and show your skills to a neighborhood or farming area. By bringing your name to the forefront as a successful selling agent, you’ll be likely to gain even more listings in the area. Listings also bring in buyer lead opportunities, so these postcards are a win/win!!

Farming Postcards

While all real estate postcard marketing can be considered farming, there are specific postcard options that allow you to advertise that you available to buyers and sellers. These farming postcards point out the opportunity in listing with you as a Realtor®, and also keep your name front-of-mind for those looking to buy.

Every Door Direct Marketing (EDDM) Postcards

EDDM postcards are available for a wide variety of businesses. All of the types discussed above would be considered EDDM postcards. Postcard marketing is very effective if it is done consistently over time – it builds awareness of your brand and allows people to see your successes. Real estate postcard marketing also puts your name in their mailbox where there is little competition for Realtors®.

Using real estate postcard marketing is a cost-effective way to build name recognition and gain leads. Postcards even have a lower cost-per-lead than email marketing – and that’s saying something! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to farm your target area and gain exposure through postcard marketing.

Do you use postcard marketing? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

How to Create the Perfect Farming Postcard

Spring is almost here, and that means buying and selling is about to heat up! Want to get in on the action? Farming postcards are a great way to build awareness in any neighborhood or county, and it’s a form of advertising that won’t break the bank.

Creating a great farming postcard that doesn’t simply blend in with other mail is essential to raising awareness about your business and services. Here are some simple ways to create the perfect farming postcard.

Farming Postcards Build Real Estate Business

Use a Postcard

This should go without saying, of course, but it’s important to use a postcard rather than a letter. While a letter can convey more information, they are generally thrown away unopened once the homeowner realizes it’s a solicitation. A postcard has the significant advantage that it’s already open, bringing the eye-catching designs and colors you choose immediately to the attention of the recipient.

Get Attention

In any form of advertising, you have only seconds to secure your prospect’s attention. There are many ways to gain attention using your postcard. The more of the below techniques you can include naturally, the better.

  • A funny picture or saying can immediately grab attention and get a prospect to read the entire card
  • Address Desires and Fears. Every piece of advertising should answer the question, “What’s in it for your prospect?” Every individual wants to fulfill their desires and eliminate their fears, and they’re always willing to find out how. A bold statement offering to fill a desire or eliminate a fear will definitely lead to further investigation.
  • Easier, Cheaper, More Convenient. In line with the previous suggestion, everyone wants life to be easier, cheaper, and more convenient. By making that offer up front, you will definitely gain a prospect’s attention.
  • Special Deals or Free Add-ons. Everyone wants to get the best deal available, and making it a limited-time offer can encourage prospects to respond quickly.
  • Color and Graphics. Bold color and eye-catching graphics will help gain attention among regular mail when used along with the previous techniques.

Include Your Picture

A photo creates an immediate connection, and can help a prospect feel like they know you better than they do. By including a photo with your contact information, you can start to form relationships right away. This is especially important as you continue your mailing campaigns – seeing your picture multiple times helps solidify you in your prospect’s mind.

Target High Value Markets

You want to make sure to spend your advertising dollars wisely, and that involves targeting the best markets with ideal frequency. You should send several postcards a year offering your services, but focus your efforts in areas with the most value to you. This doesn’t just mean neighborhoods with expensive homes – you want to focus in areas where past clients live, the neighborhood you live and work, and other areas that you have a higher level of recognition. Emphasizing those warm markets will help you build a strong client base and gain additional customers over time.

Farming postcards are a simple, low-cost way to engage new prospects in high-value neighborhoods. By using an open postcard, gaining the clients attention right away, and including your picture, you can have a successful postcard campaign and effectively grow your business and your income.

Ready to start farming? Take a look at our wide selection of Printerbees farming postcards today!

The Hottest Trends In Real Estate Marketing You Need To Know About

With housing markets exploding across the country, it’s a great time to get back to marketing yourself to celebrate and cash in on PC.55.Farming.NJL.8.5x5.5.MASTER.[XX]the activity.  I can tell you as the owner of a real estate print marketing company that Realtors® across the country are ramping up their marketing to meet the pent up demands of both buyers and sellers who have been waiting on the sidelines for something to change in the real estate market.  If you’re not thinking about your marketing and actually executing on it, chances are you may get left behind and miss this amazing opportunity.  As a subscriber to Real Estate Marketing Magazine, we can’t let that happen to you!  We have to help you keep up, so here’s what’s hot!

It’s an amazing time to be a Realtor® IF you have good real estate marketing in place to feed your business and exploit the opportunity out there.

Farming postcards are back to being popular again and Realtors® ARE farming because they know it works.  These agents understand that they have to be “the first one to show up at the party” (the market recovery party!) to make sure they’re in front of their prospects when they decide to make a move.

Just listed and just sold postcards are a great marketing tool that many agents use as part of their standard marketing plan.  Using just listed and just sold postcards as part of your marketing shows you’re active in the neighborhood and know “what’s up”!  There’s a huge increase in the number of agents using this method of real estate marketing to continue to build and establish their businesses in the neighborhoods they target.

Expired Listings? I’m not sure why, but there is a drastic increase in the number of people marketing to expired listings.  It’s DRASTIC and definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a specific market to target or a specialty to attack as your own.  Expired listings offer a very unique opportunity to market yourself to a very specific audience and a VERY targeted list.  I don’t think there is a more targeted list of people you can market to in real estate.  You already know they want to sell, it’s just a matter of getting them to pick you over other agents vying for their business. Here’s a link to a free download for marketing to expired listings.

Many people think that in this market, they can sell their home without a Realtor® and still get top dollar.  Not a chance!  I’m a licensed real estate agent who WAS going to sell my home myself. I’m qualified. I know a lot of Realtors®, the area my home is in is short on inventory, I have a lot of contacts, I’m licensed, socially connected, an expert at real estate marketing, etc. etc.  I have every reason to believe I can just do it myself, but I can’t!  I don’t have the time, it’s not what I do anymore as my full-time job.  I listed my house for sale with a Realtor® who can properly market the property and get top dollar in a hot market.  Marketing to FSBO’s is also very targeted because you can offer them assistance they can’t get anywhere else and you can sell their home for more than they can.  It’s a fact and I encourage you to go after that targeted list of people.

There’s many different approaches you can take to making the most of the housing shortages and market changes happening across the country.  No matter what your approach is, don’t forget about the marketing and marketing consistently, it’s the only true method to making it happen for yourself.

The Most Important Marketing Piece You’ll Ever Send

dodl-1The most important marketing piece you’ll ever send is the one following the last one you sent.  If there is no plan for a second, third or fourth piece, there is no point in sending the first one.  This magazine is about providing value to anyone taking the time to read it and there is tremendous value in understanding one of the most important rules of marketing.  Repetition and consistency is the only part of your overall marketing plan that will give you results.  Single-shot marketing absolutely does NOT work, it wastes your money.  The marketing message is lost within seconds of the person taking their eyes off of it.  The good news is that the remedy is easy and the payoff is big when you commit.

It takes a marketing message an average of 33 impressions before it’s remembered. Television commercials aren’t likely to resonate with you until you’ve seen them many times, professional marketers know that, which is why they run the same commercials hundreds of times.   I don’t really watch TV, but I sure know who Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads is because the ads are consistent in their branding, the messaging, humor and the attention to detail. You likely know who I’m speaking of too because you’ve seen the ads so many times as well. If you haven’t seen those ads repeatedly, you would likely have no recollection of them.  The most expensive portion of any marketing campaign is the set-up, so running the same message repeatedly cuts cost substantially and if big companies like Progressive Insurance can run the same ad over and over, so can you.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports the average American receives 25 pieces of mail a week.  Your marketing message gets 1/25 of the recipients attention in a weeks worth of mail and over a four week period only only 1%. You must put repetition to work in any marketing medium you want to find success with. The USPS suggests that mailing frequently is what works best for small business marketers according to their research. I also just read a study the Direct Marketing Association put out saying direct-mail marketing is the most effective method of marketing they’ve identified.

In the book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: (One of my favorite books to recommend for Realtors®), Gary Keller reports that mailing once a month to a list of people you do not personally know (like a real estate farm) will provide results over a period of time. He also reports in his research on millionaire real estate agents that mailing to a sphere of influence and keeping in contact with past clients dramatically increases results. It’s where your biggest return on investment will always be found.

This is MUST READ for anyone looking for direction on finding success in the real estate business.

 

 

Keller found the magic number to be 33 times per year that you need to be in touch with your past client database and sphere of influence for most success. If you were to be in touch with your database once per month via mail and one per month via email, you’ve got 24 knocked off the list.  The rest of those touches could take place over social media, or by picking up the phone and calling.  That’s how the people who are making it big are doing it.  They make sure that any marketing they do is followed by more marketing, they understand when the marketing stops so does the business. They are working their sphere of influence by staying in touch and increasing mind-share by always being present.  They understand that success of the current marketing piece is all about the plan for sending the next marketing piece.

I’m not suggesting you send the same “Thanksgiving postcard” five years in a row or the same home improvement tip postcard month after month. I am suggesting that a marketing piece aimed at branding your image could be mailed over and over again rotated in between other marketing pieces, saving you substantially on marketing costs.

Check out this article on which marketing mediums get the best results according to the Direct Marketing Association.

The Shocking Truth about Postcard Marketing

If direct mail is one of the methods you use to market your real estate business, you’re going to appreciate this information. The Direct Marketing Association puts out a study every year about what type of marketing gets the best results as well as where you might be wasting your efforts.  With all of the hype about Internet marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization marketing, content marketing, etc., the results may surprise you.  And it was all researched, so it’s legit!

Get this….Direct mail marketing was named the most cost effective marketing medium, even over email marketing. It was also identified that postcard marketing is the most effective method of direct mail marketing, offering the highest response rates.

52% of postcards are read, as compared to 35% when the mailing piece is in a letter sized envelope. The study also showed that 34% of letter sized mailings were thrown out, compared to only 21% when the marketing medium was a postcard. It’s believed postcards are more effective for direct mail marketing then letter sized envelopes due to convenience for the person receiving it.

Postcard Marketing StatisticsAs someone who studies marketing, the most interesting part of the study for me was how effective direct-mail marketing is and how well it works. When people were asked about purchases made as a result of different types of marketing, direct mail marketing won, hands-down.  The study also showed that response rates to direct mail marketing increase as people get older.  When you combine that information with the fact that NAR (National Association of Realtors) recently reported the first-time home buyer is holding off longer and longer, it’s not the 20-year-olds that are buying houses, it’s people who are older and more likely to respond to direct-mail. NAR stated that the average age of people purchasing homes is 42.  Note: Direct mail came in overall at 65% vs. 66% for email, BUT when you look at the huge gap in response rates in the age group 18-24 (those who aren’t purchasing homes), it tips the scale towards direct mail over email for real estate marketing.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.51.32 AMIf you think about it, it makes sense. There’s no longer any competition in the mailbox. That all changed when the economy shifted, coupled with the quick growth of the Internet. The clutter that was once in our mailboxes is now in our inboxes, competing for our attention.  The mailbox is where you need to be to get noticed.  Most everyone must check the mail that comes from the post office, however email and the Internet is optional, impersonal, and not everyone has it.

Coming up with a “junk mail email address” is easy, people are getting smarter and more creative about guarding their “real” email addresses, making it more difficult to reach them.

The only way to attract leads that result in business is to have a real estate marketing plan in place that’s consistent and ongoing. Marketing is like food to a business and without it your business will starve. There is tons of information on this site on how to get started and I’m always happy to answer any specific questions you have.  I’m on Twitter @remarketingguru or @nadinelarder

Also, PrinterBees caters to the real estate community and can help you get your postcard marketing campaign off the ground.  The agents who market their businesses with consistent postcard mailings, and drip marketing campaigns, are seeing consistent growth. You can experience the same-just stay committed!

 

Realtor® Commissions Jump By Largest Percentage In 8 Years

Real estate marketingFor those of you who “who made it through” the hard times and are enjoying the increase in your real estate agent commission checks this year, congratulations. A huge congratulations to you! It was a long and difficult ride with many windy roads back to housing recovery, and earning a living as a Realtor®.  I hope your rewards are many and your commitment is paying back in big dividends.  With agent commissions on the rise, more and more Realtors® will likely return to the business of selling real estate and it will certainly encourage many new agents to enter this amazing business of unlimited opportunity.

According to The Wall Street Journal, commissions per transaction has increased 9.1%, the largest year over year gain since 2005.  Publicly held real estate company Realogy (Realogy – RLGY owns Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Corcoran) has seen the stock climb 79% from it’s initial public offering in October, 2012.

Increased average sales prices of 7.7% reported by Realogy have also added to the increase in commission check size.

News of the rebounding real estate market along with stories like this being highlighted in The New York Times will certainly result in more competition for every buyer or seller out there looking for a good Realtor®.  Your marketing will help sustain your business and as your checks increase, remember to invest back in your business with a solid marketing plan.

A solid marketing plan will keep you one step ahead of the competition.  People do business with people they know and like.  Good marketing helps people get to know you and have the opportunity to like you.  Stay current and stay consistent, it will keep you at the top.  Make sure to download the free quick start guide to real estate marketing for some great ideas and tips for how to get a marketing plan started on a budget.  It’s totally free with your free subscription to Real Estate Marketing Magazine.

 

Real estate marketing ideas for 2013

Real Estate Farming PostcardIf you’re looking for new ideas to ramp up your real state farming efforts in 2013, these may help. The biggest thing to remember with any real estate marketing/farming campaign is consistency is everything and I can’t stress it enough. Any type of marketing you do needs commitment and consistency behind it for it to succeed.

Getting back to basics. The reason agents who have been in the business a long time farm with postcards is because it works. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it, right? The best news is that there is little competition at the mailbox these days, it’s all in the inbox and there are amazing new ways to save on postage (.16 cents). Get yourself back to the basics, pick yourself a good neighborhood to farm, set up a schedule for yourself, along with a reasonable budget you can stick with and “get to it”. Article regarding how to choose a farm coming soon, subscribe so you don’t miss it. There are very specific formulas/recipes for success for postcard marketing in the book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!, which every Realtor® should read.

Get yourself out there to talk with people as part of your farming schedule so your farm can put a face and a personality with the name they see on your postcards, for-sale signs, door-hangers and flyers, or your posts on your Facebook, Twitter, your blog or LinkedIn sites. Become familiar and comfortable by being present and helpful, especially if you don’t have a big budget for marketing. The smaller your marketing budget, the more you have to get out there for people to get to know you. Your smile, your handshake and your knowledge is what makes you the most unique, get out there and share it!

Real estate farming postcards - sellers marketSpring real estate marketing for 2013 is easy because it’s all good news! Get the news out about how the market is rebounding, you have buyers, it’s a “sellers market”, etc. etc. Spread the good news about market recovery, that feels food for everyone! This is the most popular postcard being ordered regarding market recovery right now. A lot of people don’t know they may have equity. It’s up to you to tell them, especially if you’re “claiming them” as your farm. Here is a link to some great farming postcards about the rebounding market.

Use promotional items, they work because when you get the right ones, they stick around creating familiarity. Pens are cheap and something everyone needs, notepads, shopping bags, CPR Magnets, kitchen measurement magnets, calendars, inspirational postcards, sport schedules…anything that will stick around.

Blog, Post and Pin! Where do you go when you are looking for something? The phone book, the news paper want ads, what about the encyclopedia? You “Google it” and so does everyone else. If you want to be relevant in real estate, you must be on-line. If you want to be relevant period, you have to be on-line. All your marketing efforts may be wasted if the person remembers your name, but doesn’t have your information handy. When they “Google” you and can’t find you on any of the social networks or on a blog or website, they’re moving on to the next agent they can remember…next! Wouldn’t you do the same?

The greatest advice I can offer you for your farming/real estate marketing efforts is to get out there and be seen! Be at the grocery store, the post office and anywhere else people in your farm go or gather while “doing life”. Be helpful, resourceful and be useful, like you’re running for Mayer. Make sure you’re wearing your name badge when you’re out!

The business will come with commitment, Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor will your business or pipeline be built up in a day or a week or a month. It takes time, just like anything else. You have to be the one who stuck around after all the other agents gave up.

This Type Of Marketing Doesn’t Work – Save Your Money…

Small Business Marketing TipsMy strange fascination with marketing and marketing effectiveness had me stop and take note when I became totally bored as I flipped through a large stack of marketing I received in a clear envelope the other day. I realized I was totally bored and had lost interest by about the fifth marketing piece in the stack. The companies marketing their services in this campaign had absolutely no marketing impact on me whatsoever. They all looked the same, it was totally overwhelming like marketing from a fire-hose and I tossed them out by the 10th in the stack. It’s not effective for these business owners and it’s not likely going to be effective for you trying to build a brand and a name as a Realtor(r) either. I don’t remember or recall any of these businesses and I won’t likely hear from them again due to a lack of response, which is such a bummer, I love and appreciate small business marketing efforts. (after photographing some of them for visual effect obviously!).

When marketing attempts like this don’t prove fruitful, it leaves a bad taste in any small business owners mouth to try other approaches. Approaches like above may be less expensive than alternatives on a “per piece” basis, but “little fish in big ponds” don’t usually get much attention or recognition. There are great alternatives to campaigns like this which can be much more targeted and help business stand out by not being part of a stack where the marketing message simply gets lost.
Important Note: Consistency is EVERYTHING with any marketing campaign, don’t give up too soon.

If postcard marketing is a consideration (because it works!) the new service offering by the USPS called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) as a great option, it’s almost like they designed it just for Realtors(r)! No need for mailing lists, labels, databases, bulk mail permits etc. Choose a neighborhood you want to farm on the USPS website, complete some paperwork, bundle your mailing and drop it off at the post office window. Super simple and only 14.5 cents in postage. PrinterBees has a large selection of real estate marketing postcards customized and created for you by a PrinterBees graphics designer (it’s included at no additional fee) and can help you get started with taking advantage of this amazing program. There’s no chance of your marketing getting lost in the stack, there’s no competition at the mailbox. There is much more about EDDM in this blog post “What is EDDM“? If you’re not familiar with EDDM, I recommend learning about it. What Is EDDM

Some small business owners are implementing email marketing as part of their plan to increase new and repeat business. Collecting email addresses continues to be one of the fastest, easiest and most cost effective means of marketing, IF you have a good list. Here is a link to a great article on email marketing, why it works and how to get started. There’s nothing more important with email marketing than the quality of the list, the quality of the marketing and more importantly, the consistency of it. Email marketing can also get lost in the inbox when not executed properly. Rookie Email Marketing Mistakes – How To Avoid Them.

Marketing with promotional items is also a great means of marketing and increasing repeat business. Promotional items like pens, shopping bags, note pads, t-shirts, etc. have staying power and build your brand while creating name recognition. There is only one Realtor(r) I know the name of in my neighborhood because I’ve seen his pens so many times at the local restaurant my family and I frequent. He always make sure they have a supply of pens for signing receipts and everyone there knows his name. Great marketing that’s cost effective at .30 cents ea. Information regarding pens

One of things to keep in mind when trying to decide about marketing if you would toss it, so would most other people. If it wouldn’t work on you, don’t try it on others, save your marketing budget for something more effective. Pay attention and tune in to what type of marketing works on you, it offers a great insight to what might work for your business.