Direct Mail - What are you doing?

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Real Estate Agent with Virtual Properties - Atlanta Real Estate 255736

With the rush to the internet, there seems to be a great opportunity to re-look at Direct Mail.  Sure there are several agents that do this (Direct Mail) but the next time I get a recipe, or something nice about a kittie, I'll have to see the doctor about my nausea.  I'm a Realtor, I know the market, I'm a strong negotiator and I want to be professional.  A kitten is a nice touch for a holiday card, but not for a "newsletter" or a direct mail piece or campaign.

What are you (active Rain) doing if anything?

I tried some custom postcards for about 6 months and had decent results, but they were very expensive.  Looking for something that either takes the time out of it, or takes the money out of it.

Look forward to your opinions, insight.

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Rainmaker
226,979
Joan Snodgrass
Midamerica Referral Network - Kimberling City, MO

Joshua:

I don't feel that direct mail pays off for me.  I bought some blank door-hangers last year.  Thought it would force me to get off my behind to knock on a few doors.  I printed them with a simple message and left them on the door of those not at home.  Cannot tell you that they paid off for me, but they did get me out the door to meet more people.

I'm getting more leads and referrals from this blog than I ever had before. 

Jun 16, 2007 06:42 AM #1
Rainer
87,489
"JT" Prevatte
Former Agent - Fayetteville, NC

I do more than the average, well for my office anyway, direct mail.  I am sending something out everyday.  I used to do Adwords and then got to thinking....a lot of those leads are dead-ends.  Now....hmmmm....let's see...how many direct mail (letters) contacts can I make a month for that same amount of money?  WOW!!!  Direct mail here we go!  Sure it takes a little more time to do each letter but it is worth it.  I can pick my areas I want to market to.

Ok...if you have read this far you deserve a little inside info.....

Old Republic Home Warranty has something they call the "Toolbox".  You can go there and print out pre-made newsletters every month and wa-la.  The cost...nothing, nada, zilch, zero.  They want you as a real estate professional to be successful so that you will buy the home warranties.  I have been using these awhile and get good reviews on them.

Jun 16, 2007 06:46 AM #2
Rainer
1,704
Eden Tagle
Century 21 - First Colonial Realty - Yorba Linda, CA
GRI, QSC

I have had great results from direct mailing as well.  Modern technology is great - very helpful and disseminates information quickly.  Yes, can be expensive.  We have to remember 'tho.  when we started in the industry, most of us did not even have our own personal websites.  Wha did we do?  BASICS!  This is what we have been taught!  Until now, this still works.  Combined with modern technologies and the right attitude,  YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY!

Jun 16, 2007 07:01 AM #3
Rainer
96,751
New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ
I do market reports, some general real estate feel good post cards. amd some braging about website placement letters.
Jun 16, 2007 07:55 AM #4
Rainmaker
468,988
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I don't do direct mail...statistics are that about 1/100 get read and responded to......

I don't like those odds.....

 

Jun 16, 2007 01:29 PM #5
Rainer
70,039
Joyce Heffner-Williams
Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty - Monument, CO
Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate

I agree that I don't pay much mind to direct mail, but some people do.  Also, if an agent were to send me a postcard every month or two for a year+.  That definately would be noticed by even myself.

I do not think that 6 months is long enough, and I believe most would agree.  Direct mail is a long term commitment.

I am sending out 4th of July cards, but only in combination with other permanent advertising in the area.

Anyhow, I tend to agree with you that there are better ways to market.  You have to believe in what you are doing or it comes across weak...

 

Jun 16, 2007 01:50 PM #6
Rainer
1,704
Eden Tagle
Century 21 - First Colonial Realty - Yorba Linda, CA
GRI, QSC

e-card blasting is another effective way, at least based on my experience, in generating leads and keeping yourself visible to your previous clients, sphere of influence, etc.  It cost a lot less than post card mailing. You can send it anytime on a weekly, monthly, etc. basis.

 

Jun 17, 2007 05:17 PM #7
Rainmaker
4,432,589
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
I have found out that no matter what you mail , you have to mail regularly. Postcards are better because they read them before tossing , they may throw away envelopes without opening. I agree mailing to sphere of influence is better.
Jun 17, 2007 10:31 PM #8
Rainer
22,141
Patty Hopkins
Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway - Vacaville, CA
GRI
Great post.  I was wondering just what method of advertising got the best ROI.  I read in a book about sending out personal notes to people in your local newspaper who got some ink.  I think this may be a way of spending less $$ with more impact as I too am one of those who immediately throw away the junk mail, usually without even bringing it into the house.
Jun 18, 2007 03:19 AM #9
Ambassador
557,218
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Joshua...

We (Broker Bryant and I) have been doing direct mailers for the 13 years that we have owned our company. They are a very effective tool when used with consistency. We send them out once a month. Every month. Be it a Buyer's market or Seller's. It simply does not matter. What matters is the results over time.

We just took a listing from a Seller in our farm area as a result of our direct mailer program. I guess that is what happens when you're willing to combine old school and new school :)

By the way the stats may look off, but turn that around. The one paycheck you get pays for the other 99 fifty cent post cards :)

TLW...ROAR!

Jun 18, 2007 03:32 AM #10
Rainmaker
138,471
Kelly Turbeville
Keller Williams - Lake Forest, CA
Turning Real Estate Dreams into Reality

Joshua,

I don't see how you can do without direct mail, how else do you get in front of prospective clients every month.  My experience is consistency is most important, strong branded message and quality.   As all my direct marketing and e-marketing follows the same look, I have been able to cut back a little on direct mail but I still do two production pieces a month, one ad card and then email newsletter. 

Jun 18, 2007 07:06 AM #11
Rainer
11,216
Tina Smith
Metro Brokers/GMAC Real Estate - Lawrenceville, GA
I have not tried direct mail, but I plan to in the future.  This can be a waste of time if you do not have adequate funds.
Jun 18, 2007 02:00 PM #12
Rainmaker
190,655
Joshua Jarvis
Virtual Properties - Atlanta Real Estate - Duluth, GA
Moving Families Forward.
Everyone I talk to has said the same thing.  Consistency, not quality, is the key.
Jun 19, 2007 12:30 AM #13
Rainer
33,856
Melissa Olson
HOPE Lending LLC - Bellevue, WA
HOPE Lending LLC

I've heard that Agent's who pick one area and continually farm it become the "expert".  Several Agents have told me this has been successful for them.  Good luck!

HOPE Lending - Melissa Olson

Jun 19, 2007 08:50 AM #14
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Rainmaker
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Joshua Jarvis

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