How direct mail marketing is working for me

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty RRE-BRO-LIC-75443

I moved in to a brand new town and county about four years ago.  One of the first things I did was to start a direct mail marketing campaign to several nearby streets (over 100 homes). My goal was to let people know who I was, what I did for a living, and let them know I was available to assist with any type of real estate questions or concerns. They didn't need to be buying or selling in order to utilize my services. So my first few mailings were introductory and informational in nature. Then I started sending market trends and events guides on a regular basis, as well as other informational items. I've asked for email addresses as a way for them to obtain more current information, and I've offered free market analysis.  Here's how this has worked for me:


Number of phone contacts from these mailings over the last four years:  One. This one person did not want to use me for any real estate services but wanted me to advertise in his paper.


Number of people requesting free CMAs:  Zero. No one ever took me up on my offers for "how much is your home worth" expertise.


Number of email addresses provided and/or number of emails sent to me: Zero. I have never received an email or email address from any of the homes on this local distribution list.


Name/face recognition as a result of ongoing mailings: Now, this to me was the most interesting. I always include my business card with the mailing (and/or put the same information on a letter or post card). Yesterday I attended a wonderful party thrown by neighbors of mine. At the party, I met a lovely couple who live on a road that I send materials to, so I asked them which house they lived in. They told me, and I said, "Oh, I'm a real estate agent and I send materials to your home - have you received them?" So here's the interesting part. At first, they didn't remember at all. So they saw my face, heard my name, and could not remember whether they ever received information. This is after they have received probably somewhere between 20-30 mailings from me which included my photo and name. To me this is most telling - if after 30 mailings, they don't remember my name and what I do, then when they needed real estate services, they wouldn't know to call me. We joked around a bit about my mailings, and then after talking more about the market, and neighbors who sold recently, and then talking about the fact that I was new in the area four years ago, that's when it kicked in. They remembered the first letter I sent. "That one we read!" They admitted to getting my information and glancing at it, and then dumping it.


This is all leading to my decision about the direct mail marketing I am using right now. This particular type of marketing is not working for me in this area. I send the same type of information to expired listings as part of a multi-prong expired approach and those materials DO result in calls and emails. But just sending to my neighborhood doesn't seem to be worth the money and effort. After this much time, there should have been a greater response and awareness rate.


Therefore, I am canceling the direct mail marketing to these particular homes. I will continue to market to expired listings, and to those homes in the neighborhood that seem to be preparing for sale (holding garage sales, doing a lot of unusual renovations/maintenance, etc). Those mailings turn into results; unfortunately, the wider mailings are simply not worth continuing.


And that's how direct mail marketing has been working for me!

Posted by


Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Broker, CBR®


Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp

P.O. Box 10458

Kalispell, MT 59904




406-270-3667 (MT)


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David Barr
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty - Sarasota, FL

Well, you certainly did give it time to work.

I have been saying for quite some time on AR that direct mail isn't worth the effort and expense.  The response rate for direct mail nationally is under 2%.

The likelihood that someone who gets your postcard at the mail box and decides to call you to list is extremely low.  

On the other hand, the likelihood that someone searching online for your services contacting you is going to be much higher.  I've been concentrating on SEO and using Google Adwords for a long time and it works.

Aug 31, 2015 12:02 AM #6
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

David - I agree that a lot more people are searching online than are responding to direct mail, and I have received contacts/business from my online efforts but none from direct mail. Thanks for commenting.

Aug 31, 2015 12:05 AM #7
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Kat Palmiotti ~ thanks for the update, Kat. It seems that DMM either really works or it doesn't work very well at all. What I've found gives me face/name recognition are my signs which always have my picture on them. People are always insisting they've previously met me.

Aug 31, 2015 12:15 AM #8
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Every market is different. Gilbert has so many agents that send direct mailers I don't waste my time. I get specific lists of homeowners and I get a little more targeted than just mass mailings. I personally get dozens of flyers and post cards from agents every single week at my house so I know everyone else is getting them too. 

Aug 31, 2015 01:03 AM #9
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kat - you have given it four years and that is certainly long enough not to keep doing it.  Time to do something else.

Aug 31, 2015 03:33 AM #10
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

This is a great post because it shows all that is needed for a reasonable analysis...consistent effort, tracking, and measurable results. I applaud your efforts!

Aug 31, 2015 05:52 AM #11
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Kat, I have found direct mail does not work as most folks are over loaded with junk mail and pitch it as soon as they see it. 

Aug 31, 2015 06:11 AM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Kat- As has been said, you've given it a good try and you kept statistics.  Now you know what works for you in your area.  

Aug 31, 2015 11:37 AM #13
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kat very interesting I was just looking at re-activating my direct mailings in a certain pocket...might have to look closer...Endre

Aug 31, 2015 03:54 PM #14
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Nina - That's a good tip to know; my signs only have my name/number.

Nicole - I get postcards from other agents at home also.  Good point.

Grant - It is, I agree.

Gary - Thanks for your support!

Bob - To be honest, that's what I do with most junk mail but when it comes in an enveloped w/a hand written address, I do at least open it (and then chuck it!)

Kathy - Thank you. Direct mailing wasn't working.

Endre - Perhaps you will have better luck; I'm sure this is all very localized.


Aug 31, 2015 08:19 PM #15
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Kat.  It sure sounds like you gave it a good try.  Like you, I would try a different tactic with these types of results.

Aug 31, 2015 09:19 PM #16
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

You gave it more than enough time to get recognized in this manner. Definitely time to try other means of marketing in your area. Good Luck...

Sep 01, 2015 02:46 AM #17
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Kat Palmiotti ,  I guess a 4 year test market is long enough to find out that it isn't working.  Good effort!

Sep 01, 2015 12:42 PM #18
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Gabe - Yes, I need to try something else.

Larry/Sheila - Thank you!

Larry - Yes, four years is enough time to test results.

Sep 01, 2015 08:30 PM #19
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

That is really sad, but very much predictable. With direct marketing you have to be very aggressive and do whatever it takes to look at that marketing piece.

Sep 10, 2015 05:10 PM #20
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Inna - I just didn't get it right with this group!

Sep 10, 2015 07:16 PM #21
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Kat, it does sound like direct marketing is not bringing you business in your area, and I would stop also! 

Sep 14, 2015 09:46 PM #22
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Joan - I did! I'm being more targeted now with my brochures.

Sep 14, 2015 11:10 PM #23
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I have  not received great results from it either in this area. I know I don't read anything like that when it comes to my mailbox. I hate getting the mail as it has too much junk and rarely look past the bills. 

Sep 18, 2015 07:39 PM #24
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Janis - I'm glad I'm not the only one not receiving great results!  I don't read any of the junk mail either....  oh, and we keep getting post cards from another agent in my office !

Sep 18, 2015 09:14 PM #25
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