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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!

Real Estate Marketing Ideas For 2014 In A Recovering Market

All the great news about falling delinquencies and lower foreclosure rates is forcing a lot of Realtors® to revisit and redirect their real estate marketing from foreclosure marketing to more traditional real estate farming methods. Real Estate Marketing Ideas are in hot demand as we head in to the new year and a new market with unemployment rates at a five year low.  Things are looking up, people are moving again and now it’s just a matter of grabbing a piece of the real estate market happenings, which takes great marketing.

States like Florida, New York, Michigan, Texas and Georgia still have larger inventories of distressed properties, but states like California, which made up for 46,000 foreclosures in the last 12 months are recovering quickly as the economy changes and shifts.  Realtors® who built successful businesses and business brands selling REO’s and distressed properties are needing to shift and shift quickly from “distressed property experts” to “marketing agents” who know how to market a home and attract a lot of buyers.  Sellers aren’t as interested in “getting out” from underneath their homes that were sinking in value as they are in getting to their equity,  equity they didn’t have access to just 12 months ago.

For Realtors® to effectively make this transition, they need to make the transition to showing and touting their expertise in protecting equity, getting multiple offers and having a great marketing plan as part of their listing presentation and ongoing marketing.  Realtors® who have experienced all kinds of markets because they’ve been around so long, should talk about and market themselves as experienced in assisting home sellers and buyers as an expert in any market, no matter what it brings.  Where the markets are still shifting from distressed to equity sales, the marketing should be about the rebounding markets and your ability to educate buyers and sellers how to take advantage of the market of the moment.

For agents struggling with how to get that marketing message across, take the time to make a list of your greatest assets to the client if they were to hire you to represent them.  List as many of your qualities as a Realtor® as you can come up with and then narrow the list down to what’s most important to the client and your ability to serve them.  Why is it in their best interest to pick you over other agents in the area?  Once you have your list narrowed down, create a list of bullet points to include on your marketing, using as few words as possible.  Your marketing has about 2-3 seconds to grab the attention of the person receiving it, so whatever it is you have to offer potential clients needs to be clear and in as few words as possible.  Less is always more in marketing.

Your marketing efforts and messaging will impact the type of clients you attract, so make sure it’s meaningful and directed at the right market, the market of the moment.

Stop by PrinterBees Real Estate Marketing Home Page for great marketing ideas, fantastic templates that are at the grass routs of real estate marketing.  Working with PrinterBees is like having your own virtual marketing assistant!

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!

 

How the quality of your database impacts the quality of your leads

real estate leads | real estate lists | real estate databaseWith postcard marketing being a great way to generate leads in your real estate business, it’s a great approach to building your pipeline, but it’s important to make sure you have a good list before your get started.

The quality of the list you mail to will have a definite impact on the quality of the leads you attract in to your pipeline. If you’re mailing to a bad or outdated list, it’s no different than doing an email marketing campaign to a bunch of email addresses that don’t exist.  The only difference between the two is that mailing postcards to a bad list of addresses costs a fortune!  The largest expense in any real estate postcard marketing campaign isn’t the actual marketing piece, it’s the postage and therefore a costly mistake you don’t want to risk making.

The quality of the list you mail to will have a definite impact on the quality of the leads you attract in to your pipeline.

So, how do you make sure your database is good?

Always keep your mailing list up-to-date and current. With approximately 12% of people moving each year, your database can become outdated in as little a six months. Keep it updated by keeping in touch, it’s such a great excuse to get in touch.  When you get returned mail, make sure you contact that person to get their updated address.  If they’ve moved as a result of real estate transaction and you don’t know the new address, the bad news is that you aren’t the Realtor® they chose. The good news for you…the Realtor® who did help them won’t likely keep in touch and with your up-to-date database, you will and may have better luck next time.

Get a CASS certification on any bulk mail marketing campaign.  A CASS certification gets rid of any bad addresses in your list by comparing it against what the USPS has in their database.  It has to be done by a bulk mail company and there’s a small fee associated with getting the certification, but using a bulk mail company to handle your mailings will lower your postage rates. Think of all the money you’ll save on mailing to bad addresses for months on end.

Subscribe to a list company that provides the most up-to-date information.  Cole Realty Resources offers Realtors® affordable monthly or annual subscriptions to unlimited and up-to-date mailing address information.  It’s perfect for managing a farm, and even better for getting just listed/just sold postcards out to surrounding (owner-occupied) households.  They offer unlimited searches, unlimited downloads and even provide apartment addresses.  Services like this help you avoid mailing to prospects that aren’t the right fit, therefore a waste of resources.  Contact Cole Realty Resources at 800-800-3271, mention Real Estate Marketing Magazine and get a 30% discountIt’s a HUGE discount, so make sure to mention the magazine!

Regardless of how you approach keeping your database in order, it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date, on target and high in quality to keep from wasting your time and money on marketing that won’t bear fruit.  The quality of your database really does matter!

How USPS Is Helping Realtors Grow Their Businesses – A MUST Read

The USPS now has a program called Every Door Direct Mailng (EDDM) and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you should be. I’m going to get straight to the point on this because you NEED to be taking advantage of this for any farming you do.  It will blow your marketing out of the water because its so easy and so affordable.

This is what you need to know about EDDM:

  • No database required
  • No need for a mailing list
  • It’s a fraction of the cost at about 14.5 per piece mailed
  • SUPER affordable marketing that can easily be consistent
  • Makes sending out “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” postcards cheap…cheap…cheap!!!

This program makes farming a neighborhood so practical and can open the floodgates of business for you, if you’re consistent with it.  In the book  The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be! by Gary Keller, he discusses the importance of marketing no less than 12-24 times per year to anyone you want to remember you, the ideal is 33 marketing touches per year.  At .45 cents per pieces, it adds up quickly.  To do a small mailing of 200 first class is $90, bulk rate $56 compared to about $30 to mail via EDDM. (I HIGHLY recommend this book for any Realtor(R) serious about their business)

Below is a sample for a quick campaign I pulled up to blanket a specific number of businesses in downtown Pleasanton, CA. As you can see, to mail over 800 postcards will cost only $121.

Contact PrinterBees at 877-939-2337 or by visiting the website to learn more about EDDM.  PrinterBees prints to the EDDM specifications and can assist you in getting your first EDDM mailing out.

 

Targeted Short Sale Marketing – Easier Than You May Think

For many Realtors, becoming the “short sale” go to Realtor(R)  has kept their businesses alive and kicking for the last several years, the market has been like this for a long while now.  Those that missed the real estate “short sale” train have been left behind, many of which have left the business where short sales make up for more than 50% of the sales in their markets.  There are still so many markets where short sales are still making up a huge percentage of the sales and are the norm.

The good news is….It’s never to late to catch that train and ramp your business up with short sales if you know where to look and get Read More…

Postcard Marketing Still Does The Trick

Postcard printing may not be as popular as other branding tools like websites and social media networking, but that’s exactly why it is the perfect approach.  There’s no competition at the mailbox and there’s no better compliment to your Internet marketing efforts than a solid marketing campaign to support it.

Here’s five essential things to remember that will help with your branding.

1. Direct mail marketing – postcards have long been used in direct mail marketing. It’s easy to quickly get a message across because there’s no envelope.  It’s almost as if the person is forced to look at your marketing message as they go through their mail, for at least a moment you absolutely have their attention. Imagine the impact of that if they saw that same information over and over again for months! The cost for mailing postcards is much less than traditional first class mail.  There is no stuffing, no Read More…

I need your help! Why don’t I have any business?

I just read a fantastic post on Active Rain and had to share because what Damon has to say is nothing…but the truth through LOTS of sarcasm, for which I happen to be a huge fan of.

The link to this fabulous post is below and I hope you will visit us on Active Rain as well.  If you are in Real Estate and not part of the Active Rain community, it is time to get on board.  The people who participate not only find lots of business, but they offer lots of GREAT advice on how to grow your real estate business.

Nadine Larder (www.PrinterBees.com): Real Estate - Other in Dublin, CA >

Here is the link to the post, which you may need to be a member of AR to read.  So, click above first to join AR and then click here to read the article.  Very enlightening,

People never appreciate what they do not have to pay for

When it comes to negotiating fees with clients, for many of us, things can sometimes get sticky and very uncomfortable, especially with friends and family. I have definitely learned some lessons from the “school of hard knocks” that I thought I would pass along along my own personal “rules to price by”.

In our business of working to help people build their businesses, specifically their real estate businesses I am often asked for “quick favors” and “good deals” on printing. Things like:

  • Can you fix this file for me?
  • Do you mind sending me that file so I can print it on my own printer?
  • Can you just make this little change for me, it should only take you a minute?
  • You and I are friends…can I get a deal from you on business cards?
  • Can I get the “hook-up” because we are family?
  • Hey do you mind snapping a quick head shot for me? It should only take you a minute?
  • Can you spend a moment helping me with my website? I am stuck on….
  • I don’t know how to do a mail merge, can you do it for me…you are so good at stuff like that.

The list really does go on and on and I am sure you have a list very similar of your own. I have a very simple policy when it comes to “making exceptions” or “good deals“, etc. It goes like this…

“If you are going to make money with the services I am providing to you, I too deserve to make money providing you those services”. This includes family and the “bestest” of friends too. I made this decision a couple of years ago when I kept getting asked for the “hook up” from people, including my own family and I found myself working so hard and not making enough income. Because this is my policy for everyone, I can honestly tell long time clients, friends and family alike that there are no special prices and they pay the exact same price as my own mother….so they are getting a good deal! There isn’t exactly a lot of profit in business cards and if I give everything away for free, I won’t be in business to print for you the next time you need something done.

My other rule of thumb is:

People have absolutely NO APPRECIATION for what they did not pay for. When you give your services away for free, you are saying that your time and energy are not valuable…and THEY ARE! I’m sure that you can think of many times when you have done someone a favor or worked at a reduced fee and that client became your biggest time suck. I have had it happen to me one too many times and have learned my lessons about giving services away for free. Just like yourself…I am a professional who deserves to be paid just like you do when you go to work every day…right?

You deserve to be paid based on the risk you take. As a Realtor/mortgage broker you are putting your neck on the line every time you complete a transaction if something goes wrong. As a mortgage broker, I was sued by a very dishonest person….and THEY WON! Lies and all.

Would you show up at a W-2 type job to work if you weren’t getting a paycheck? Of course you wouldn’t and your clients wouldn’t either. It is a great analogy to use for people when they ask you to work for free. Ask them to tell you about their work, the grind of it, how they look forward to that paycheck and simply explain to them that you too are a professional at what you do and just because you don’t “clock in” at a certain time doesn’t mean you aren’t earning your income.

The moral of the story is…

Don’t give your services away for free, people have no appreciation for it and will suck your time away from other money making activities, which costs YOU money.

Price your services considering the risk.

If your client is going to make a profit, don’t you too deserve to make a profit/income for your expertise?

PrinterBes provides real estate marketing materials like: Just listed Postcards, Just sold postcards, Short sale postcards, real estate business cards, real estate door hangers and pretty much everything else you can think of for marketing your real estate business. Visit us online at www.PrinterBees.com

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