When you have a house and property to sell, it helps to use direct mail to get the job done. Buyers are looking for information — and a lot more — when they get real estate direct mail.
Right now, in some parts of the United States, home sale activity is, surprisingly, much better than expected despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, and high unemployment. In April, we recorded a sharp drop in the volume of mailed ads due to the unstable situation, though by the end of July the volume of advertising mail exceeded the pre-pandemic number. Sales of existing homes surged nearly 25% from June to July, according to the National Association of Realtors. Most observers cite pent-up demand from Spring — traditionally the best season for real estate — as well as near-record low mortgage rates.
What can you do as a marketer with your direct mail marketing to appeal to real estate buyers? For some best practices, please read on.
1. Target Using Data
Data is critical to so much in direct mail marketing, including real estate. Before selling a home, you need to have some basis for its initial asking price. All of the data you need — nearby sale amounts, taxes, square footage — is publicly available.
A local franchisee of Assist-2-Sell mailed the postcard below, which makes the recipient aware that they can find out the value of their house “instantly”, even without talking to a real estate agent. On the reverse side, a unique code gives them access to a database with their home information. They can request a report, update the data, and contact a broker.
2. Include a Map
You know how I just talked about the importance of leveraging data above? Yeah, well, here’s another place where it comes in handy — with a map. When you’re selling a house, you could include a map showing its location.
Or, if you’re trying to generate leads for your real estate firm, a map is a good way to illustrate for the target the locations of recent sales in their area. The sale amounts and pinned locations stop them and make them think what their house could sell for.
3. Highlight Your Experience
On the other hand, data isn’t everything. People after all, buy from people too. People that they like or at least trust because of their reputation and knowledge of a community. So talk about all that in your mail.
- Years of experience
- Professional certifications
- Awards and honors
- Local and national industry and business memberships
- Number of houses sold and/or dollar amounts
- Curated neighborhood market reports
In this example below, the agent summarizes his qualifications. He also points out that he has “experienced professionals” that he counts on to prepare a home to be sold.
4. Sponsor an Event
There’s an old saying that works really well in direct marketing — and real estate: “An educated consumer is our best customer”. Real estate agencies know that many people considering a house purchase for the first time — as well as more than a few current homeowners — may not know everything they should about the home purchase process.
An Illinois-based brokerage firm, @properties promoted a workshop for home buyers that drew upon people with different areas of expertise. The company gets leads to convert down the line into qualified buyers. The consumers get valuable information they need to confidently and smartly purchase a home, and chances are, they’ll remember who helped them.
5. Mail a Freemium
Some mail your audience may toss as soon as they receive it. If they’re not someone at all in the market for a new home — or don’t know someone who is — you’re out a few cents for the printing and mailing cost of the card. But if you give them something of value, something tangible, they’re more likely to hold onto it for a while.
Here’s a good example: a calendar postcard with a magnet attached. On the back, the real estate agent’s phone numbers, email, and website are easily found. He also makes an offer for a free market analysis. Other ideas: holiday reminders, local public service contact information, and schedules of local teams. The point is that your mail has staying power, reminding your recipient of your real estate office as it sits on your fridge door or bulletin board.
6. Showcase a Testimonial
There’s a lot of value in hearing from real, satisfied customers. Their stories — when kept short and specific — don’t sound like sales talk. Instead, they provide authenticity in how they demonstrate that you are trustworthy, that you eased a concern or solved a problem that your previous customer had.
In the example below, the customer relates how the real estate team made her journey as a first-time buyer easier with their knowledge and professional, helpful service.
How to Find Real Estate Mail Using Who’s Mailing What!
On the search page, members of Who’s Mailing What! can search on the entire Real Estate category that includes:
Residential Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate
Listings in your search results can be sorted in category order. During the last year, we’ve added 440+ mail pieces in Who’s Mailing What!’s Real Estate category.
Even with some pretty big challenges before them, people still get married, move up, downsize, or have other reasons to look for a new place to call home.
While there are some advantages to online listings, a mail piece is a great way to stand out.