Mass Mailings and FSBO's

Real Estate Agent with Dwellings Unlimited, LLC

Being a newer Realtor, I am reading as much as I can on building and maintaining a client base. Most of these books go into depth about contacting FSBOs and doing mailings. Certainly, these practices can't hurt, but how important do you think they are?

Many of the agents I've encountered do not do either of these, they are relying on the Internet for all their marketing. Obviously, mailings aren't free, so there's that. But, I have read about agents who say they get 50% of their business from mailings. You may need nerves of steel to contact FSBOs, so that may not be for everyone.

What do you think? What has worked for you?

What books have helped you the most? So far, I've enjoyed many of Ralph Roberts books and "How To Make $100,000+ Your First Year As A Real Estate Agent". The later is is very big on FSBO's.

Finally, how do current market conditions affect your marketing efforts? Besides possibly having less of a budget? How relevant is a book written 2-4 years ago?

I look forward to hearing about your experiences and insight.


Comments (7)

Ernie Steele
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - Lebanon, PA

Emily...My partner and I closed 2 FSBO's this week and one last month...We just call them, identify ourselves, ask if they'd pay us our percentage if we found a buyer and go see the property...We give them a packet of information about what we can offer if they list with us, absolutely NO PRESSURE, and leave...We've been called several times within 48 hours to come back and talk to them...Works for us...5 FSBO listings this year with this approach...4 to settlement, one withdrawn.

Nov 19, 2008 02:39 AM
Emily Billings
Dwellings Unlimited, LLC - Farmington Hills, MI

Wow, that's great. Do you come across many people who are very resistant or angry? Also, do you always call, or do you ever mail a packet?

Nov 19, 2008 02:45 AM
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

Funny you posted this, I just researched about 30 more expired listings out of over 450 in my area that I am going to be sending some more letters to.  The trick with the letters is to make it personal, address their needs, and give them a reason to call you.  I include a letter, a brochure about what it takes to sell a home in today's market, and a copy of their listing that has expired.  You would be surprised how long people keep these for and call you in a few months.  I have also found the trick with the mailings is to include a magnet instead of a card that they will just throw out.  PEOPLE KEEP MAGNETS!  Mailings work, if done right.  I have found that expireds and withdraws are more easier to convert than FSBO's.  Expireds and withdraws have already demonstrated that they are ready to list and will list with an agent.  Most of the time the reason they didn't sell was because of the PRICE!  However, they will tell you it was because of their agent.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO TALK BAD ABOUT ANYBODY WHICH MAY VIOLATE OUR ETHICS WHEN YOU ADDRESS THIS ISSUE!  Also, make sure you do your homework and find out what they owe on it, what they paid for it, how long they have been in there, etc, BEFORE YOU SEND THEM A LETTER.  I really qualify the ones I decide to mail things to before I send them.  I looked at over 450 and only found 30 that were good enough for me to consider wanting to list!

As for a book, I have read more real estate books than I can remember, but the one sales book that helped transform my business and put a whole new perspective on what it is that we actually do is called "HIGH TRUST SELLING!" by Todd Duncan.  Pick up a copy and take it with you on your next trip, you won't be disappointed.


Nov 19, 2008 02:54 AM
Kathy Judy

Mailings do work but they have to be targeted. And yes people keep the info around for a long time.  You have to think of it in terms of "what am I giving these people that's of value to them"  All this is kind of long term though.  At first just follow through on EVERY hint of a lead you get and you get them by always wearing your real estate hat.  You are starting in a down market and that's good - you'll be experienced when it gets better and can leap ahead. 

Nov 19, 2008 03:29 AM
Kathy Jackson
RE/MAX Mainstream - Vincennes, IN
Big or small, I sell them ALL!!


I'm also new to the business and have been sending out mailers to both FSBO's and Expired's.  I include a letter introducing myself, tips on selling their home and some additional information about the company I work with.  I follow up every 2 weeks with additional tips on staging, market stats, safety tips and other info.  I always include an offer to do a CMA and encourage them to visit our website.  So far, I've had 3 responses. 2 of them said if I have a buyer they will let me show their home and pay a commission if my buyer makes an offer they accept.  The other I have a listing presentation next week.  I'm pleased with the results so far and plan to continue.  I am also planning to follow up with a phone call for the ones that I have numbers. 

I've had a lot of people tell me I'm crazy for starting my career in this market, but I think it will make me a much better agent in the long run.  Yeah, it's tough, but when the market turns around I will already be in the habit of working hard and will have an advantage over others.

Good luck with your career!!

Nov 19, 2008 01:34 PM
Emily Billings
Dwellings Unlimited, LLC - Farmington Hills, MI

All of your comments have been really helpful.

Kathy Jackson-  Many people also tell me I'm crazy to start out now, but I competly agree it will make us much better agents down the road. If we can sucessfully start now, we should always be able to make it work for us. Of your 3 responses, about how long did it take for them to contact you after starting the mailings?

Kathy Judy- Thanks for the encouragement.

Michael- I think I will start by focusing on the expireds and FSBOs first, and maybe after the 1st of the year do some mass mail.



Nov 20, 2008 01:59 AM
Kathy Jackson
RE/MAX Mainstream - Vincennes, IN
Big or small, I sell them ALL!!

The first response was within 3 days.  He was interested in listing his property with a new agent, but after doing the comps, touring the house, having other agents in my office tour the house, the competitive price to list it just wasn't where he wanted to list it.  He understood that by listing too high, he wouldn't get the exposure or offers that he wanted.  We spent quite a bit of time talking about things he could do to make his home  more marketable and I feel that I will get the listing when he does decide to list it again.

The 2nd was within the 1st week.  He is willing to let me do a one-time showing with a qualified buyer.

The 3rd was about 10 days after.  I have an appointment with her to talk about listing her property.

I just sent out my second mailiing and will continue.  I'm looking at different ways to make myself stand out from the rest of the agents.

Nov 20, 2008 02:23 AM