Archive for starting out in real estate

Where to Start in Real Estate Marketing – Farming & Direct Mail

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Starting Out - Direct Mail

Sometimes we assume too much.

One thing I’ve realized is that, while many of us take for granted the techniques we’ve used for years, new Realtors® come out of the gate struggling.

This series is for those new real estate agents – and for old hands who could use a refreshing reminder of the basics!

The Importance of Direct Mail

At Printerbees, we are big believers in the power of direct mail.

Email marketing and real estate websites and social media are all wonderful – and we’ll talk about those! But they are also very crowded marketplaces and it’s hard to stand out.

On the other hand, there is very little competition in the mailbox. You can stand out by simply being consistent and mailing postcards several times a year to your focus area, or farm.

Let’s talk quickly about how to make this happen.

How to Get a Mailing List

Step one – who do you send mail to?

You have to decide on a focus area, or farm, and then reach out to them.

There are two primary ways to target your farm area through direct mail – mailing lists and EDDM.

Mailing Lists

First, you can decide on the neighborhoods you’re interested in and buy a mailing list.

This can help you if you want to offer targeted marketing using the prospect’s name. It can also help you learn more about your farm area, since the mailing list provider will probably have a variety of demographic information available about those households.

You can also build a direct mail list without buying one – check out our helpful guide here!

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

Secondly, you can skip the mailing lists and use EDDM instead. Every Door Direct Mail is a service offered by the US Postal Service. They allow you to send mail to everyone on a mail route without needed names or addresses.

EDDM can save you a lot of time and money. There are specific requirements about how the pieces are handled – let us know if we can help!

Isn’t Direct Mail Expensive?

One thing that holds Realtors® back from getting established in direct mail is they are nervous about cost. However, direct mail doesn’t break the bank, if you do it well.

Direct mail is ONLY EXPENSIVE IF:

  • You buy postcards and don’t send them
  • You don’t target your mailings to a farm neighborhood
  • You are inconsistent with direct mail – which leads to no results
  • You feel like you have to send a completely unique postcard every time
  • You don’t combine your mailings with other outreach and marketing techniques

Let’s break these down.

When you buy postcards, be sure you have a plan to use them! This includes having a mailing list or using EDDM. At Printerbees, you can even have us mail them for you so you don’t forget!

Target your mailings and be consistent. We put together a great guide to choosing the perfect farm. Send out several postcards a year so they see your name regularly!

Reuse the same postcard designs. You can get a great deal on 1,000 postcards, and break them up into chunks. Buy two sets and alternate throughout the year to save cash!

Do the full work of farming. Direct mail is only part of the process. You also want to be present in your target neighborhoods in a variety of other ways. You’ll see incredible results if you do!

Get the Mailings Sent!

If there’s one place we see Realtors® struggle the most – whether they are new or experienced – it’s in execution.

That’s where Printerbees can help. If you struggle to get mailings done on time, or simply don’t have access to a money-saving bulk permit, let us take care of it for you. Contact us for information today!

Now you know how to get started in direct mail. What questions or concerns do you have? Let us know in the comments!

After Real Estate Classes: Your First Year

Real Estate First Year

You’ve passed your real estate classes and you’re ready to start making sales… Or are you?

Of course you are! You’re armed with an entrepreneurial spirit and hunger to succeed. All you need now is a bit of experience and some solid advice.

So here are a few tips to guide you through year one, as you graduate from the classroom to open houses.

Keep in Touch With the People From Your Real Estate Classes

You’ve probably already build a friendship or two from these classes. Cherish them and hold on to them. Your network is going to drive your success at every phase of your career, so start building it now.

On a more human level, it can be invaluable to keep in close contact with someone who is going through the exact same struggles that you are in year-one. Meet for dinner or a drink when you can. Talk strategy, learn from each other’s mistakes and celebrate your victories.

Exude Confidence, Even Though You’re the “New Kid”

When you’re fresh out of real estate classes, you may feel inferior to the seasoned Realtors® in your area. But don’t be intimidated by their success. Be inspired by it. Also, don’t forget what you bring to the table.

“Find a niche in your market that you know well and feel confident you can serve. This takes you from feeling inferior to being recognized for how you’re different than the rest. Those two things are worlds apart,” wrote Realtors®, Tonya Eberhart and Michael Carr.

“If you lay claim to one specific attribute, accomplishment, or business segment, you’ve taken the most important step to gaining tremendous confidence. There’s something powerful about that suit of armor called ‘differentiation.’”

Expect to Spend Money Before You Make Money

You probably got into real estate because you saw the potential to make a lot of money. This is of course true. But be prepared to spend money in your first year.

“After all, the four to seven percent an agent might charge on a 250K property is a quick $10,000-$17,500, so why not? At that rate, a person need only sell five houses a year to make a nice living. It sounds easy and profitable,” recalled Realtor®, Tina Plett.

“But that kind of monkey math gets a lot of people in trouble.”

Remember, after you’ve paid for your real estate classes, you have to pay for things like:

  • Licensing
  • Marketing, both print marketing and online
  • MLS fees
  • Office space and supplies
  • Gas and other vehicle costs

All in, you may expect anywhere from $20,000-$30,000 worth of expenses, before you sell your first property. This actually isn’t an unreasonable amount to invest in your future, as long as you’re prepared for it.

Focus on the Things They Don’t Teach in Real Estate Classes

They may touch on the importance of your online identity in class, but you will do most of your learning when you’re out there trying to build one. This is definitely something that you want to do right from the very start.

“If I were to go back in time and advise myself as a new real estate agent I would tell myself to focus on the technology aspects of real estate,” wrote Realtor®, Paul Sian.

“Not just technology related to signatures and taking great pictures with professional photography gear but also focusing on the Internet and social media technology to help connect with people.”

Also keep yourself open to advice at all times. They say that everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. So listen to all of the people you meet on this journey and you’re likely to glean a nugget of wisdom from just about everyone.

If you need help getting started as a Realtor®, we have many things you will need, from customizable business cards to flyers and thank you cards. Visit Printerbees today!