So, you want to send a direct mail campaign to all of the residents in an apartment complex, but you don't want to pay for a mailing list. After all, we live in an era where information is only a click away. But, where does a real estate professional search for this information?
Good news... you can quickly and painlessly create your own apartment complex mailing list with the help of a few online resources.
USPS has a handy lookup that will provide you with unit ranges for a multifamily address. Point your browser to https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input. Enter the main street address, city and state. Click on FIND.
The website returns the unit groupings for the multi-family address in sequence, like this.
Most folks who use this tool will then copy and paste the range results into an excel spreadsheet to create a free mailing list. It might look something like this...
Whaaaa? There's a Step 2?
You don't ~*have*~ to go further, but you might want to.
Step 2 involves a bit of cleanup to the list. While the USPS provides range addresses, mailing every single unit in the range of addresses could result in waste, as the exact unit numbering can skip numbers in between ranges.
Step 2 also involves a slight cost by virtue of subscribing to a people search engine, like Spokeo.com. We believe that this is a tool every Realtor® should be using ANYWAY as part of safety protocol. It's one additional way to fact check new relationships and see network connections, but it can ALSO be used for data hygiene on mailing list projects like this one.
- Yes, there is a subscription cost to use Spokeo.
- Yes, I personally use Spokeo.com, like it, and recommend it.
- No, I am not being paid to say or write these things.
- No, it isn't the panacea to cure all that might ail you.
Getting on with it...
The next step is to look up the base level address again on Spokeo. The search will return a quick summary showing the total number of units for the apartment community (good to measure list quantity by), as well as individual unit records. Use THIS information to scrub out (delete) any false unit numbers or gap ranges that might appear in the USPS sequences.
Why not just use USPS? Or just Spokeo?
It is possible to use JUST usps.com OR Spokeo.com, but the way data is displayed on Spokeo (record list as opposed to grouped ranges) it is more conducive to spot checking gaps, not compiling a fast list. In this search alone, for the corresponding 229 units, there are currently 46 pages of results (see below).
Don't say you weren't warned... Even with purchased lists, direct mail to apartment communities can have a high rate of loss due to misdelivery, ignoring bulk-mail permit requirements, or routing rules for mail disbursement within select apartment communities. Monitor your mail drops to continually scrub your database against bad addresses and poor response rates.
Great! List is ready... what to send?
Preparing for your direct mail campaign will require careful planning that also includes consideration for what you will say and how it will look. Consider hiring a pro to help with these steps. While the "list" is an important piece of a successful advertising campaign, list alone does not a marketing strategy make.