Why Real Estate Investors Should Use Direct Mail

In today’s digital age, it may seem like traditional mail is old-fashioned. However, while that may be the case for many industries out there, the fact is that a high-quality direct mail campaign can still be one of the best options for real estate.

When you think about it, this makes sense. Since the people living at these addresses are looking to sell their property, giving them information about you and your services will be received much better. An email can get lost in the shuffle, and direct mailers for other businesses can get tossed without hesitation. However, when it comes to real estate, this tactic can make much more of an impact than you may realize.

So, with that in mind, we want to take a look at the benefits of having a direct mail campaign, as well as how to go about it. Real estate investing has never been easier.

Why Direct Mail Works

When it comes to finding properties for investment, you’re probably familiar with other methods, like checking local listings and visiting foreclosure auctions. Unfortunately, most of these tactics have stiff competition, which means that there are fewer properties to go around, and most of them will be more expensive anyway.

With direct mail, however, you can control the market much more easily. Rather than competing directly with other investors, you can find golden deals and act on them quickly. Best of all, you can wind up paying significantly less for your investment. With no other offers on the table, you can make a move before other investors find out about it.

The other reason we like direct mailing is that you can find motivated sellers much more easily. Checking online listings is one thing, but when you’re able to make a direct connection to a seller, you can usually get the ball rolling faster and close the deal sooner.

Overall, direct mailing offers better results and more control over your opportunities. It’s all about being proactive with your investments, not reactive.

The Essentials of a Direct Mail Campaign

Before you get started, you need to be prepared. You can’t just drop a business card in someone’s mailbox and hope to get a response. Instead, you need to build several components first so that you can be sure that your campaign will be a success. The primary elements should include:

A Mailing List – ideally, you’ll be able to cultivate a list of leads from your own research, but if not, you can find leads from a variety of sources, including referrals and online listings.
The Mailer – you want to take the time to craft something that is eye-catching and will get responses (more on this later).
Your Hook – if a seller has been on the market for a while, then chances are that other investors are trying to make a deal. What do you have to offer that will get the seller to contact you?
A Mailing Schedule – direct mail campaigns are rarely a “one and done” situation. You have to be consistent with your mailers if you want to get the right investment property.

So, now that you know what to include in your campaign, let’s break each component down further.

Building a Mailing List

At first, you may be wondering how you can get qualified leads for real estate investing. Checking properties for sale could help you find some interesting prospects, but the goal is to find motivated sellers, especially ones who aren’t getting a ton of offers from people. Here are some excellent places to find listings.

Tax Delinquent Properties
Elderly Home Owners (65+)
Notice of Default
Code Violations
Probate and Inherited Properties

With each of these lists, you’ll have to do some research, but that work will pay off. A general rule is that the more work you put into your mailing list, the better your results will be. After all, you can simply download a list after a few minutes of searching, that probably means that other investors have the same one.

Creating a Direct Mailer

At first, it’s tempting to draft a postcard that has all of your information on it, along with some catchy sales pitch (I’ll buy your house for cash!). However, what you have to assume is that most sellers get postcards all the time from a variety of sources (including other businesses). Instead, a handwritten or personalized letter is going to go a lot further.

Some key points to remember when drafting a letter (or a postcard).

Keep it Simple – don’t waste your prospect’s time with unnecessary information or sales pitches.
Be Direct – make sure that you’re upfront about what you’re trying to do.
Be Friendly, Yet Professional – a personalized letter will capture a seller’s attention, but you’re not trying to become friends.
Highlight the Benefits of Selling to You – make the letter about the seller, not about you. Illustrate why that person should sell and what to expect with the process.

Your Hook

This component is the hardest to master, but you want to figure out what will work best from a seller’s perspective. You already know what you want to do with the property, but why is this person trying to sell?

Is it to move to another city or state?
Is it to upgrade to a newer house?
Is it to avoid foreclosure?
Is it to downgrade to a smaller place?

When drafting your hook, the more you know about your potential seller, the better. Make a connection that shows you understand why that person is selling so that he or she feels better about selling to you, not someone else.

A Mailing Schedule

Consistency is critical if you want your campaign to work. Thus, you should draft several mailers to go out at certain times. A handwritten letter should be your first move, followed by a printed letter, and then a postcard. Make sure to have a set schedule you use and adjust it based on any responses you get.

For example, you may decide to mail the printed letter two weeks after the initial mailer. Then, two weeks after that, you send a postcard. If you’re working with motivated sellers, however, you may want to shorten that time frame.

Bottom Line – Do Your Homework

Although direct mailers can be useful, they are not a magic bullet. You still have to do the hard work of finding leads and creating a captivating hook. As we mentioned, the more effort you put into your campaign, the better off you’ll be when finding investments.