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Archive for real estate postcards

Is Print Marketing in Real Estate Still Effective?

Print Marketing for Real Estate

In today’s digital world, it can be tempting to write off real estate print marketing and other “old school” farming and outreach tactics as being outdated.

Surely everyone wants to receive things via email and text these days, right? And social media is surely the best way to reach your audience?

Actually, no.

Now, we’re not against email, text messaging, or social media marketing. But print marketing for real estate is far from dead.

Surprising Statistics About Print Marketing in Real Estate

Good marketing has several characteristics. It is focused on the right people, has the right message, and comes at the right time.

To be well received, it must seem personal. The person who receives it should feel like it applies specifically to them.

Finally, it should stand out. Your message must get noticed.

What you may not realize is that “snail mail”, or direct print marketing, checks all these boxes. Here are some statistics that may surprise you.

  • 70% of Americans say that direct mail is more personal than email. The impression is that direct mail takes more effort and that email can more easily be “spammed”.
  • 39% of customers try a new business for the first time because of direct mail.
  • A full 50% of US consumers prefer direct mail over email. I mean really, who needs more email?
  • A USPS study showed that over 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website.
  • 70% – 80% of consumers polled in 2014 say they open most of their direct mail, including “junk mail”.
  • A whopping 92% of young shoppers say that they prefer direct mail for making purchase decisions.

Direct mail is far from dead. It’s still being opened and read, and recipients are taking action based on the contents.

In fact, when you use real estate marketing postcards for your direct mail marketing, they don’t even have to open an envelope! Your message is front and center right away.

The fact is, everyone is overwhelmed with emails. There is far less competition in the mailbox than there ever has been. Use direct mail to get noticed in your real estate focus area!

How to Effectively Use Print Marketing for Real Estate

Sorry if this rains on your parade, but direct mail requires persistence and consistency, like all other forms of marketing.

The good news is, effective print marketing for real estate is relatively simple. And if you have trouble keeping up with the mailing schedule, you can outsource it easily without spending a fortune.

Here are some ideas for print marketing with real estate. Feel free to mix and match!

  • Once a month “New in the Neighborhood” postcard. This postcard can highlight community events, news, and upcoming holidays.
  • Once a month “Neighborhood Property Values” postcard. This postcard would highlight market activity and improvements/declines in property values. There would be a clear invitation for them to contact you for a personal home assessment.
  • The “Just Listed/Just Sold” series. We wrote a few months ago about a four-postcard series that helps you highlight and brag about your listings. You can use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to blanket the area.
    • Coming Soon
    • Just Listed
    • Open House
    • Just Sold
  • Seasonal and Holiday Postcards. You can choose to send a postcard a month with a seasonal, fun message, or you can just choose one holiday a quarter to feature. You can even just send one holiday postcard per year. It’s up to you!

The key with making print marketing for real estate effective is that you choose a schedule and stick to it. Like I said before, I know the mailings take time. If you don’t have the time, Printerbees is here to help!

Not only can we print the postcards for you to mail, we can print them and mail them for you. You’ll never wake up in the middle of the night realizing you missed your mailing target date again!

Print marketing is still effective and there’s far less competition than there is on social media or email. If you’re ready to start your postcard marketing strategy, let us help! We have dozens of templates to choose from.

How do you execute print marketing? Share in the comments!

How to Get Responses to Real Estate Postcards

Postcard Marketing

Sending out real estate postcards can be a great way to boost your real estate leads by casually connecting with potential clients within your community.

However, just randomly sending out postcards without much thought or strategy does not work very well – unsurprisingly.

People might not always respond to your postcards as well as you would like them to. So how can you get the most ‘bang for your buck’ when sending out real estate postcards? Try following these postcard best practices – you might just be surprised how well they work!

Send out Real Estate Postcards Consistently

No marketing strategy yields instant, overnight results. The number one thing you can do to ensure that you see success with your Real Estate Postcards is to send them out on a consistent basis. You never know when people might be interested in selling their home but by sending out postcards regularly, you’ll be much more likely to catch them during a selling season.

Always Use a Personalized Layout

Whenever you send a postcard, it should be as personalized and specific as possible. Did you just list a home in a certain neighborhood? Great! Now send ‘Just Listed’ postcards out to the homes in that neighborhood, letting people know about the listing. Keep things relevant by only sending your materials to people whom you already know might be interested in them.

Establish Authenticity and Trust

If your potential clients can’t trust you, then there’s no way that they will ever be upgraded to actual clients. The key is to establish trust early on in the relationship by always being authentic and honest. Be honest in your promotions, your listings and in every other type of mailing you send, and people will slowly begin to trust you and your services.

Use Real Estate Postcards for Special Promotions

Using Real Estate Postcards to advertise special promotions you might have running during a particular month or season. Everyone loves a good deal, and a special rate or exclusive discount might be just the push someone needs to get their house ready to sell. One thing to keep in mind though – don’t overdo it with the promotions, as there really can be too much of a good thing.

Include Testimonies or References

If you have a great testimonial or reference from a satisfied past client, definitely include that in your postcard! Positive reviews are so helpful when it comes to convincing others to enlist your services, so whenever and wherever you can throw these in, the better that certain piece of marketing material is going to do. There’s nothing better than a little social proof!

Always Aim to Elicit an Emotional Response

Finally, if your postcard can create an emotional response within your reader, you are definitely going to see a lot better return on your investment. And it really doesn’t matter what the emotion is (as long as it’s not annoyance!). Happy, sad, joyful, shock and awe – whatever you think will work best within your target audience, make sure that your postcard elicits that response.

Sending out real estate postcards isn’t rocket science – it all just comes down to practice, a little bit of trial and error, and gaining a good understanding of your target audience. Why not get started with your own real estate postcards today?

How to Use Real Estate Postcards in Your Marketing

Using Real Estate Postcards

Do you think that you need the newest tactics to succeed in real estate? I have some news for you – the “oldies and goodies” like real estate postcards are still popular for a reason. They work!

Many of today’s marketers are focusing on online advertising, which means less print materials out there competing for your buyers’ attention. And it’s quite possible that the print marketing other Realtors® are using is poorly executed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Target a Young Audience

Yes, Gen-Y and Millennials do most of their research online. But that’s not to say they won’t respond to a stylish, professional and well-executed postcard.

“Direct mail surprisingly transcends the age demographic, with younger consumers (the 18- to 34-year-old demographic) preferring to learn about marketing offers via postal mail rather than online sources, according to national survey research from ICOM,” said Lisa Formica, president of FMI, a direct mail marketing and advertising firm.

So don’t be afraid to target first-time buyers with a postcard! You’ll stand out and are more likely to get the call as a result.

Learn from Other Real Estate Postcards

Collect and Google as many real estate postcards as you can. Study them and you will quickly see what works and what’s been overdone. Learn from the mistakes on the bad ones and gain inspiration from the good ones.

You’re going to see lots of Realtors® on cell phones, handing over keys and smiling with a “Sold” sign. If you’re seeing a lot of them, so are your customers. Which means you will have to be a bit more creative.

Printerbees has a wide range of customizable real estate postcards available. With our templates and your professional changes, your postcard won’t look like anyone else’s! Take advantage of the ability to create a unique look that’s perfect for your customers.

Tie Real Estate Postcards to Your Web Presence

Your call-to-action on the postcard is crucial. Let the prospect know exactly what they should do next, and make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you. A phone number, email address and website address works perfectly.

If you have a simple web address like Mikehill.com, feel free to use it. But if not, consider coming up with a special, easy to remember web address that will redirect to your site. People should be able to recall it without the postcard handy. Something like EastValleyHouses.com is as complex as you want to go.

You will also want to consider creating a specific landing page for this postcard, so you can tailor the message and track the results of this campaign – which is also an easy way to implement a simpler web address, by the way! You can also consider adding a QR code to your postcard. This makes it that much easier for people to get in touch with you. One scan gets your information into their smartphones.

Overall, don’t overlook real estate postcards. Direct mail is surprisingly effective, even with younger audiences. There is a lot less competition in the mailbox than the email inbox. You can easily customize your own postcard to make it unique, and it can be linked to your online efforts. Real estate postcards are a win all the way around!

Your Real Estate Marketing Materials Checklist

Real Estate Marketing Materials Checklist

Today’s Realtor® needs to master both new-school and old-school forms of advertising. More importantly, it’s crucial that both forms play off of and complement each other.

To truly reach the most people possible, you need to work both online and off. So in an effort to help you plan your media attack, here is a checklist of marketing materials that all Realtors® need.

Offline

Post Cards

Real estate postcard marketing is tried and true. A postcard campaign that is targeted for the neighborhood you want to dominate remains near the top of the list of strategies for several reasons. Postcards:

  • Are affordable
  • Give you lots of space to work with
  • Reach a wide, but specific audience
  • Can work in tandem with any other campaigns

Make sure your postcards are customized with your specific message, personality, and graphics. There’s far less competition in the mailbox than ever before, so don’t overlook this medium!

Business Cards

At the least, make sure your business cards are professional with a clean look. But maybe try something new too – like a custom design.

“Have you ever made a really great professional contact and they don’t have a card to give you? Sure you can give them your card but then you’re dependent on them getting back to you,” wrote marketing blogger, Michael Cusden.

It can be a good idea to carry blank business cards with you, and when you meet someone without a card pull out a pen and one of your blanks and say something personal and witty. They’ll never forget you.

Seminars

Target a specific market (downsizers, new parents, etc) with a seminar and give them valuable advice.

Your costs are basically the cost of the venue (keep it low. Maybe even host it at your home with wine and cheese) and your time.

You will spread your name, establish yourself as an expert, and meet directly with people who will work with you, refer you, or both.

Billboard and Transit Ads

These are amazing, but you have to be ready to act fast.

If space becomes available in your neighborhood, act on it. These advertisers typically have a list of people in waiting. If you don’t answer when they’re ready for you, they will simply move on to the next name

Online

Website

Your website should be more than the bare minimum when it comes to online advertising. More than just your listings. It’s the portal that sends people to you.

All your online and offline advertising efforts need to send people here. So make sure when they’re on your website, your phone or inbox is never more than a click away for them.

White Papers

Take a seminar idea and turn it into a 5-10 page research paper, also known as a white paper. Or have someone interview you and write it up for you.

The topic and content of this piece will win you more clicks than the design. The design simply needs to be good and professional. The headline needs to address a pain-point or question your customers have AND actually provide value.

Blog

Some good blog topics include happenings in your local area, reviews of area restaurants and attractions, home tips, decorating tips, and seasonal information. Of course, throw in a post or two about listing or buying a home!

Pay-per-click

Pay-per-click involves setting up an ad campaign for Google searches. The strength of pay-per-click (PPC) is being able to measure your results and make quick adjustments to what is or isn’t working.

“Unlike other forms of marketing like radio, TV, SEO, shopping carts, billboards and social media, pay per click (PPC) advertising provides an easily measurable way for Realtors to determine the effectiveness of their marketing dollar spend,” wrote real estate blogger, Louis Cammarosano.

“If done properly, real estate agents should be able to show a profitable return on investment (ROI) from their PPC campaigns.”

So don’t give up after your first effort. Take it seriously for a long period of time and watch for progress.

Testimonials

Create a video interviewing your satisfied customers in their beautiful new home for your website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

You can also use still pictures of this interview in your offline advertising as well.

 

What forms of advertising do you swear by, and what have you given up on? Let us know in the comments below.

3 Strategies to Make the Most of Postcard Marketing

Postcard Marketing

Many Realtors® know they should use postcard marketing to build their business, but some don’t know how to make it count. Since postcards cost money to buy and mail, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck. Here are three ways to do it.

Before we get going, just an FYI – Printerbees is currently doing their biggest postcard sale EVER! Get 1000 color postcards for only $99, with free shipping! Order online before August 28, 2015, and use coupon code 1000FOR99.

Use Postcards to Build Name Recognition

Door knocking is a great way to meet people in your target neighborhood, but postcards can keep the relationship going. By sending periodic postcards to your farm areas, you’ll build name recognition and encourage residents to see you as the go to person for their real estate needs. Remember that this type of farming needs to be consistent, so keep up your work over time!

Some Realtors® feel that direct mail is “dead” and that online marketing is the only way to go. I couldn’t disagree more. With all of the spam in the email inbox, you have far less competition when you mail a physical postcard. In addition, having something your prospects can touch with a picture they can see builds a stronger bond then an email ever will.

Use Expired Listing Postcards to Reach New Clients

With everyone calling expired listings within an hour of the contract expiring, how can expired listing postcards be a reasonable approach? Simple – they help you beat the rush by waiting. What I mean by that is simple: many expireds are not ready to get on the market right away. Your expired listing postcards, sent a month or two after expiration, will reach them at a much better time. Your connection will be made when they don’t have 50 other Realtors® on their back.

Many customers who have listings expire are unable to sell for a reason. Sometimes it’s the Realtor®, but many times it’s the price or condition of the home. You’ll greatly increase your chance of getting and selling the listing if you contact them after they’ve had time to clear their mind and make needed updates to their property. Expired listing postcards are the way to do that.

Take Just Listed and Just Sold to a New Level

Many Realtors® use Just Listed and Just Sold postcards to promote their work, but they often don’t think beyond the neighborhood they’re working in. Consider door knocking in the neighborhood where you just listed or sold, and asking the residents if they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell. Include those new referrals on your Just Listed and Just Sold postcard mailings. You’ll bring in new business from outside the area!

You can also use Just Sold or Just Listed postcards without actually mailing them. Leaving them strategically in certain areas – a grocery store in the neighborhood, a recreation center, or even tucked between the pages of a real estate book in the library – can be a creative way to leverage your postcard marketing. Think outside the (mail)box! You can use beautiful color postcards in a variety of ways.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maximizing your postcard marketing. I’d love to hear what creative things you have done, too! Share in the comments!

Don’t forget to take advantage of Printerbees’ biggest postcard sale EVER! Order online before August 28, 2015, and use coupon code 1000FOR99.

Proof That Direct Mail Beats Email Marketing Hands Down!

Direct mail rates are on the rise for one reason and one reason only, it works. Direct mail is not only effective, but costs less per lead than email marketing, according to The Direct Mail Association.  It is estimated that approximately 48 billion dollars a year is spent on direct mail marketing. It is also expected to increase by 3.6% in the coming year because it pays higher dividends per dollar invested than email marketing.  I’m a huge fan of email marketing which is why this magazine is electronic and sent via email, but it’s hard to argue with statistics.

65% of direct mail recipients interviewed admitted responding to direct mail marketing and either engaging in business, or establishing a relationship that will lead to business. For real estate agents, that’s huge!  Add to it the fact that there is no competition at the mailbox these days, and you might find higher success rates.

 

 

Direct Mail Marketing infographic

Why you NEED to send out open house invites to the neighbors…More Secrets I Share With Friends

real estate listing flier sampleMy next door neighbor recently listed her home for sale and this Saturday it was held open for the first time. What a spectacular home! Over 5000 sq. ft. of pure beauty, and the agent who has the home listed had really nice marketing materials to match the elegance of the home.  Trust me when I tell you, my photos of his marketing materials don’t do them justice, but it is a 11X17 folded brochure, printed on 14 pt. cover stock and it’s beautiful.  This listing flier is so eye-catching that as my children passed by it on the kitchen counter, they all stopped and took note of it.  Each of them said “Wow, this is one of the nicest marketing pieces I’ve seen in a long time,”  and they see a lot of marketing pieces.  His business card is printed on a 16pt. matte finish with gold foil printing and they definitely stand out.

Here’s my one problem with his approach to marketing this house.  He didn’t let any of us (the neighbors) know it would be open on Saturday. This agent clearly understands that marketing is a necessary investment with the look of his marketing materials. They’re stunning!

My thoughts are that those marketing materials would impress a lot of the people in this neighborhood if they were invited to stop by. Open houses are “nosy neighbor magnets!” Nosy neighbors who are many times interested in home values, the market and in many cases trying to determine if it’s a good time to sell. Neighbors are like low hanging fruit on the tree of real estate agent leads, you just need to harvest them by inviting them to stop by.

Here’s some ideas on how to invite the neighbors:

  • Go door knocking and personally invite them, provide them with a listing flyer in the event they can’t make it.  Make sure to ask them if they have any questions about the market.
  • Use services like Cole Information Systems to get a current mailing list of the surrounding homes and call those that have phone numbers, invite them to stop by. (Mention this magazine/PrinterBees when contacting Cole and receive a 25% discount!)
  • Send out Just Listed/Open House postcards with an invitation to stop by. (Cole Information Systems provides the needed mailing list)
  • Use door hangers as you walk the neighborhood and become a familiar face.
  • Include a sign rider on your for sale sign saying “open this weekend.”
  • Hire some teenagers to hand out “Open House Fliers” to advertise the upcoming event and so they know they’re invited.

Activity breeds activity and people like doing business with someone they view as successful and busy. You’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to grow real estate business if you’re not exploiting the opportunities you have to be in front of people, while you have the activity of a listing.

What kind of response rates can I expect on my postcard marketing campaign

One of the most common questions we receive when a Realtor® is considering a postcard marketing campaign is “what kind of response rates can I expect?”  It’s not an easy question to answer because there are so many different factors that come in to play with any postcard marketing campaign, the most important being “how committed are you?”  While we aren’t in a position to promise results, we can  provide some hard core facts about direct mail marketing and the standard response rates as reported by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

The DMA studies every marketing medium out there and provides an annual report based on their findings.  This report provides the answers to ALL of your marketing questions.  We’re happy to send you a copy of this year’s report, it’s everything you need to know about where to focus your real estate marketing efforts.

I think before digging in to the “stats” its important to note the factors that play such a significant role in the success of your mailing campaign.

  • A postcard mailing will NOT yield results, a postcard campaign will yield results.  The difference between the two being a one-shot marketing piece vs. a campaign that keeps going until… (The “until” in my own mind is “until I don’t want to be in business anymore”)
  • The quality of your database will substantially impact your results.  (Visit Cole Realty for information on Databases, mention Real Estate Marketing Magazine and receive a 25% discount on services)
  • Your audience needs to match your marketing efforts.  If you are marketing daycare services in a retirement community, chances are you won’t get good results.  A first-time home buyer (FTHB) marketing piece is not likely a good fit in a neighborhood where home values are high, it would get much better results in an apartment/town-home type community.
  • You’ll have a dramatically higher success rate by mailing to a list of people you know vs. a list of strangers.  (Check out these free letters you can download to help you get back in touch with your sphere)
  • Real estate is a relationship based business, it’s not a quick sale like ordering a pizza.  People move on average of once every 5-7 years according to the latest studies and your marketing needs to be present at the time a person is ready to move, which indicates a five year commitment.  (93% of American families eat pizza at least once per month)
  • The average cost of a postcard marketing campaign for one home, once per month over a five year period is approximately $30.  Based on a 3% commission rate and average home prices, the average real estate commission check is approximately $2700. I’d say you’re looking an a great return on your marketing investment, would you?
  • The quality of your postcard, your messaging, your call-to-action and your accessibility, be it on-line, email, telephone, text are also factors.  If I can connect with you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter to keep in touch, that too will improve your response rates.

Below are excerpts from the report.

Direct mail is one of the most cost effective means of marketing to your list.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.50.44 AM

Postcards have the highest response rate

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.57.55 AMPostcards work best with both prospects and your sphere of influence (House File).  House Files have double the response rates. 
Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 11.04.37 AM

Your marketing dollars are best spent on past clients and those who are familiar with you.  There’s nearly a 15% difference with familiarity! 

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.58.51 AM

The moral of the story:  There’s no guarantee when it comes to marketing, but some options work better than others.  Some methods cost less than others, postcard marketing being the most cost effective from a cost per lead/transaction.  The only way you’ll find real success in your real estate marketing efforts is if you commit to your marketing and the relationship your marketing builds with the people receiving it.

We’re happy to send you the report, please provide your information below and we’ll get it right out.  It really is so fascinating!

Tools To Take Your Expired Listing Marketing To A Whole New Level

A few months back I came across Cole Information Systems, wondering where they had been hiding my entire real estate career!  When I found what they did, I knew the agents who subscribe to this magazine would be as excited as I was to find them, especially for farming, expired listing marketing and for marketing your just listed/just sold properties.

One of the most frequent questions we get from Realtors® looking to step-up their marketing is “where can I get a good database,” and it’s not been an easy question to answer with limited resources that cost a fortune.  Good databases that are affordable are hard to come by, UNTIL I found Cole Information Systems and quickly partnered with them.  Cole provides unlimited databases to Realtors®  looking to get targeted with their marketing. For marketing to expired listings, FSBO’s and door-knocking, the mobile app is amazing!

It’s the perfect solution for every Realtor® out there looking to execute great marketing campaigns, which requires a good quality database. The quality of a database determines the quality of the leads you attract and convert. Databases become stale in as little as a few months depending on neighborhood turnover, and when a database is the slightest bit outdated, you’re wasting time and money on ineffective marketing.

The awesome news is that because you’re a subscriber to this magazine, you get a 25% discount from Cole Information Systems.  It’s a great deal!  I’ve included a quick demo of what the mobile application can do for you and encourage you to contact Cole to get all of your questions answered.  I’ve found them to have great customer service.

Here’s a link to their site: http://www.coleinformation.com, or reach them by phone at 800-800-3271.

When you contact Cole, make sure to mention either Real Estate Marketing Magazine or PrinterBees to get your 25% discount, without it you’re looking at full retail and who wants to pay full retail!

This video features a quick overview of what Cole  Information Systems offers Realtors® in a way of databases, it really is God’s gift to Realtors® looking to build a good database, which should be EVERY Realtor® out there.  Don’t forget to mention Real Estate Marketing Magazine or PrinterBees to get your discount, it’s substantial.

 

 

How Realtors Can Have A Kick Ass Marketing List And Get More Listings

mailing lists for small businessIt’s my perception that one of things that stands in the way of a Realtor® getting their marketing out is the need of a mailing list. It’s a very common question we get at PrinterBees when a real estate agent wants to begin a marketing campaign. We always…always…ALWAYS suggest beginning with your sphere of influence to create a great mailing list. But…For some agents, contacting their sphere of influence is so far out of their comfort zone they can’t bring themselves to do it. While I may not agree, I do understand which is why I’m offering up another solution.

If you’re considering a postcard marketing campaign, you need a good mailing list as one of the main ingredients for success. Without a quality mailing list, your marketing efforts may go to waste. The quality of your marketing piece and your database are crucial to the success of any real estate marketing postcard campaign.

It took about five years of hunting before I was able to find a company that offers this service, and I was elated when we found Cole Information Systems as a resource for our real estate and small business clients. Cole offers the ability to search addresses in a radius, by neighborhood, by demographics, home size and so many other variables to help you hone in on which are the right prospects to receive your marketing.

One of the examples I use in the book (The Secrets I Share With Friends, Everything I Know About Building A Small Business) is the marketing of a daycare center. If the owner of a daycare center wants to increase enrollment, marketing to a senior citizen community won’t likely do the trick. Marketing to a neighborhood that’s close to an elementary school, making sure the list includes homes with three or more bedrooms is going to provide a far better opportunity for finding the right audience. Cole’s service provides this capability and more.

The biggest benefit I see with using Cole is that they are a subscription based company which allows you do download and search as many addresses as you want. Not to mention that their databases are current. You aren’t paying for each address, so there’s no sticker shock, it’s a low flat fee. I’m not sure of the current price, but it’s super super reasonable. WAY less than buying lists.

I begged them for a deal for my friends and customers and I’m happy to tell you that you will receive a 25% discount when you mention PrinterBees or Real Estate Marketing Magazine when you sign up. I recommend getting a demo so you can see with your own eyes what the fuss is all about. It will also save you a tremendous amount in postage costs simply by not mailing to bad addresses.

Use Referral Code: PrinterBees
Use Referral Code: PrinterBees or Real Estate Marketing Magazine to Save 25%

Here’s their information:
Cole Information Systems
http://www.coleinformation.com
800-800-3271

P.S. Make sure you subscribe and get your copy of Real Estate Marketing Smarts, The Secrets I Share With My Friends. Once you get your list in order, you might need some tips on marketing to it.