Getting Listings with Direct Mail
June 2, 2021 By Catherine Zupan
Are you getting listings with direct mail? If not, you’re doing it wrong.
Getting listings with direct mail is easier than many real estate agents think. Despite being one of the most traditional marketing techniques, direct mail is still a formidable weapon in a savvy realtor’s arsenal.
In late April 2020, the marketing company Valassis reported:
- 37% of consumers are more excited to receive their mail each day, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 30% of consumers are spending more time reading marketing or promotions that arrive in their home mailbox compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, direct mail is only an effective strategy in the hands of an experienced realtor. When it comes to direct mail campaigns, quality content, consistency, and expert knowledge of the local community are what counts. Here are three keys to success for direct mail in real estate.
1. Content is Key to Getting Listings with Direct Mail
Research shows that direct mail is far more effective than other marketing tactics. According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail showed a response rate of 3.7% for house lists, while all digital channels combined yielded a response rate of only 0.62%. The reason for this success could be that digital technology has reduced the amount of marketing materials that find their way into people’s mailboxes. As a result, marketers who still use direct mail are seeing more bang for their buck.
That said, delivering nothing but “I Just Sold This” postcards or irrelevant newsletters will reflect poorly on your service. Getting listings with direct mail is about first leveraging the power of direct mail to showcase your expertise. Content must be engaging and relevant, addressing the needs and desires of the local market.
People want to know if the real estate market in their area is on the cusp of an upward trend, or if there’s an influx of families because of new construction.
When you mail to your neighborhood, you are intending to brand yourself as a real estate expert, so the focus of your content should speak to your real estate expertise. But a good direct mail newsletter or publication should also contain articles about the community in general such as an event or small business spotlight. Local, relevant stories are crucial if direct mail is to have an impact. If your content is intriguing and pertinent to your customers, they may even start to depend on your mailing for local insights, looking forward to its arrival in their mailbox.
2. Getting Listings with Direct Mail Requires Consistency
As a real estate agent, you need to be consistent when it comes to getting listings with direct mail marketing. Let us say that again, consistency is key! If you’ve delivered quality content, your readers will be anticipating your next publication, particularly if they’re thinking about selling their home. If you’re inconsistent with either the timing of delivery or the quality of your publication or newsletter, you’ll imply a lack of commitment and reliability, which is bad for business. In short, your reputation will be tarnished. Set high standards and strict delivery schedules and stick to them.
3. Trusted Experts are Getting Listings with Direct Mail
Customized publications and newsletters are mainstays of direct mail, and mailing professionally designed postcards that match your publication and website branding is important if you do not intend to publish content-driven mail each month. But the goal of direct mail campaigns should ultimately be to position yourself, the agent, as an undisputed expert.
Geographic farming used to mean just direct mail and in-person prospecting, but now it refers to all your channels within a specific territory. The idea is that your marketing efforts, such as direct mail, email, and Facebook targeting, connect the agent with specific homeowners on a regular basis and establish you as the go-to local agent. By tending to your “farm,” your business will reap the rewards of customer and brand loyalty. Remember that it often takes seven or more touches (that is, contacts with a potential customer) before a prospective seller reaches out. And in real estate, it can take even longer, because people only sell their homes every few years.
Agents should choose their farming tactics strategically, making sure that their mailings and messages don’t come across as purely marketing pitches.
Quality content that’s educational, informative, and timely will project professionalism and success. And when it’s time for a seller to list their home, which real estate agent will immediately come to mind? The one who has sent regular, engaging publications with consistent and insightful information. The same agent who, by the way, is actively involved in community events and has also been engaging with them through email and social media (where possible).
Getting Listings with Direct Mail: The Bottom Line
In 2021, real estate agents are indeed getting listings from direct mail—when it’s done right. To build a reputation in your community as THE real estate expert, content and consistency are key. Integrate an aggressive, content-driven direct mail farming strategy with your multi-channel marketing and stick to it month after month. You’ll soon be getting all the listings your direct-mail-resistant real estate counterparts are leaving on the table.