Savvy agents, investors and marketers are deploying automated real estate direct mail marketing campaigns to scale up their prospecting for listings, buyers and prospects, with great success.
As a real estate marketer — whether you’re an agent, investor, or in-house marketer at a real estate firm — reliable marketing channels that can be turned into lead generation systems are worth their weight in gold.
Why Use Direct Mail Marketing For Real Estate?
Top real estate marketers have long used direct mail to find new prospects and grow their businesses. Automated real estate direct mail campaigns give marketers:
- A direct connection to prospects in local geographies (new tools make it simple to buy or rent lists of any size and area)
- A real estate postcard is tangible resource that prospects hold on to – often for days or weeks to look at the images of the property
- Automated direct mail tools make it easy to deploy drip campaigns to nurture prospects over long periods of time
A Scalable Prospecting System For The Massive Real Estate Market
Real estate represents a massive part of the modern economy. The value of residential real estate alone is estimated at over $27 Trillion (yes, trillion) dollars in 2019.
36% of Americans plan to buy a home in the next five years. Of them, 24% say they’ll be making a purchase within the next 12 months. That’s a lot of opportunity, so long as you are able to get your offer in front of your target market.
Direct mail marketing is highly scalable, especially using new automated direct mail tools, making it uniquely suited for real estate marketing campaigns.
The local nature of the clientele and built-in social proof that comes with being a real estate agent and focusing on a local area make it an ideal platform. At the same time, automated software tools enable buyers, sellers and financiers to deploy highly targeted campaigns in minutes.
Let’s dive into more reasons why direct mail typically performs so well for real estate marketers:
5 Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing is So Potent for Real Estate Marketers
In real estate, direct mail works.
You’ve probably seen it in action. A real estate agent might send a postcard, magnet, or other pieces of collateral to your home. A mortgage broker or real estate investor might send a letter outlining a specific offer.
There are many reasons why direct mail is so well suited to the real estate industry, including:
1. A Local Connection With Potential Clients
When it comes to real estate, one of the prime considerations is locality.
Buyers and sellers want to work with people that are local market experts, because people understand that zip codes, towns, even certain streets can have a huge impact on the value of a property.
By using hyper-targeted direct mail, you can demonstrate that you really know what’s going on in a geography, whether you’re a marketer, investor or agent.
Buyers want to work with a real estate agent or firm that knows the market. Knowing the market can help them to hone in on the right neighborhood, find better deals, Familiarity with a specific market is often at the top of the list.
By that same token, homeowners that are looking to sell are looking for a real estate agent that knows the area. They want someone that knows what homes go for and can inch out every bit of value possible from the sale. Others may want to work with someone that can deliver on a tight timeline.
Locality and knowledge of local markets is often the most important trait that a realtor can possess in the mind of a client. Direct mail ensures that you are able to connect with prospects within the market that you serve.
2. Ability to Automate Direct Mail
One of the upsides of modern direct mail marketing campaigns is that they can often be automated. This means that you’ll spend less time and be able to connect with more potential prospects.
Modern systems like Postalytics allow you to automated direct mail sequences, scheduling your campaigns weeks in advance. Additionally, Postalytics can connect directly to popular customer relationship management (CRM) systems so that you can track the success of your campaigns and keep an eye on how often you engage with prospects.
Automation means less time spent on building, printing, or mailing the campaigns yourself. It frees your time so that you can focus on growing your business and building closer personal relationships with prospects and clients.
3. Local Social Proof
As a marketer, you know that social proof is a huge motivator for customers and clients in any industry. Being able to see that a company or agent has helped other people in similar situations to achieve a positive outcome is perhaps the most critical motivator that you can deliver to interested parties.
Using direct mail campaigns to show potential clients that you have been able to achieve sales for other clients in the local area at above market value — that is how you catch the eye of someone that wants to sell your home.
On the flip side, being able to show someone that wants to buy a home that you have helped others to identify the perfect home for them at below market value can be persuasive.
All of these traits can be conveyed easily (and often visually) through direct mail campaigns.
4. Timely Offerings
There are certain times of the year that are busier for real estate marketers than others.
Summer is huge. Families don’t want to pack their kids up and move them to a new school in the middle of the year if they can help it.
As you can see, home buying really picks up in March and builds to its height in June. Then, the industry experiences another small spike in August as families look to get settled in before the new school year.
Looking at the graph, you can also see a large spike in November — just before the new year. This is another opportune time for families to move to minimize the impact on kids, who can settle into a new school after winter break. Buyers are also more likely to have a week or two off at the end of the year. There may also be financial or tax-related reasons to make a move at the end of the year as well.
What this means for real estate marketers is that certain times of the year present huge opportunities. Not just when the moves take place, either. You have to make connections with prospects in the months leading up to when the actual move will take place. Someone that moves in June might start their search for a real estate agent or home in January or February.
Finding a way to deliver collateral and messaging consistently to stay top-of-mind with prospective clients is critical for capitalizing on the spike in moves that we see during the Christmas season and summer months.
5. Long-Term Relationship Building
In real estate marketing, the long-term relationships that you build with clients are the most valuable. The average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. A long-term relationship puts real estate marketers in a position to be the go-to provider whenever their clients look to move.
Direct mail is the perfect medium for building these relationships. It’s personal. It’s tangible. When they’ve used your services once and been satisfied, it’s just a matter of staying of mind until the next time that they move.
5 Quick Tips for Effective Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing
Let’s dive into some quick tips that will help direct mail real estate campaigns to achieve their goals and connect with their ideal customers.
To maximize the ROI of your campaigns and give yourself the best chance of securing valuable clients, consider:
1. Think Local & Relevant
As we discussed, our clients want to know that you have helped others to sell their homes within their market, or have connected with other families with the perfect homes for them.
Injecting geographic information into your direct mail campaigns can be a great way to grab the recipients’ attention.
Let’s take a look at an example:
This direct mail postcard advertises a specific condominium unit. Sending this to prospects that you know are searching for a place in that area can be extremely effective.
Notice how this advertisement contains a lot of images from inside the home and the views it provides. Using this strategy, you want to show your potential clients exactly what the condo provides without being misleading in any way, such as through the use of unrelated stock images or other images from the property.
Also, take note of how the front of the advertisement leans heavily on images. The goal is to show prospects the property. Additional information is provided on the back of the postcard.
Here’s another example of using locality and the powerful “portrait mode” in real estate marketing:
On the back of this mailer, Realty Austin outlines some of the local events that residents enjoy during the Springtime months. This can help potential clients to get an idea of the type of life that they could live in their new home in that area.
2. Leverage the Time-of-Year
We’ve already covered how the holiday season and summer months are the busiest for real estate agents and firms.
Knowing that gives real estate marketers a real advantage. Use the time of year to your advantage, just like this real estate agent did in their holiday-themed direct mail postcard:
This is a great example of taking advantage of the time of the year when reaching out to prospects. The mailer features a holiday-centric theme and uses messaging that is centered around the holidays.
Further than that, it works as a great introduction to Maria, even for those that do not want to move in the next few months. It’s inviting. It’s friendly. It’s likely that Maria has put more effort into being timely and thematic than other real estate agents in her area, which makes her mailer more likely to stand out.
3. Deliver Resources Prospects Will Hold Onto
Another great way to ensure that you stay top-of-mind is to deliver direct mail campaigns that provide resources that your customers are likely to hold onto.
A great example of this comes in the form of a calendar magnet, which is a fairly common tactic used by realtors.
Here’s an example:
Source: Mann Magnetics
Another common tactic is to deliver game schedules for local sports teams.
In either tactic, the goal is to provide your prospects with something that delivers some value to them, whether or not they are interested in your services right away. They may not have any plans to move now, but a lot can change in a year. By making sure that your brand is continually being seen on their fridge, you increase the chances that you are the first person that they call if their situation does change.
4. Create Urgency
Urgency is a real thing in real estate marketing. If your prospects wait too long, someone else will buy the home. That fact provides you with a simple but effective way to create urgency in the direct mail campaigns that you send.
Even something as simple as stating that a home is “move-in ready” can signal intent to sell quickly and create urgency in the mind of prospects.
The implication is that if they don’t act now, the home may be gone by the time that they want it.
5. Deliver an Irresistible Offer
The offer that is included in the direct mail piece can make or break a campaign. Great offers usually deliver great results.
As a real estate marketer, you know the common pain points associated with home buying. Trying to find a home in the right area can be difficult. Even if it’s the right area in general, does it place your clients in the correct school district?
One of the biggest pain points for any new home buyer is ensuring they have the required down payment on hand to buy a new home. While down payments typically start at 5% or more, many home buyers are advised to put down 10%, 15%, or even 20% to avoid hefty monthly mortgage payments.
In this example, the real estate agent is offering a specific home (using locality to their advantage), while also offering to solve this pain point for home buyers — requiring no down payment.
Not only does this ad advertise the fact that no down payment is required it also makes prospects aware of the affordable monthly mortgage price that prospects could qualify for.
This is a great example of delivering an irresistible offer and solving a common pain point at the same time.
Direct Mail is an Ideal Medium for Real Estate Marketers
Direct mail is an ideal channel for real estate marketers. Between the focus on locality, the ability to automate direct mail sequences and the easy ways to build urgency into your offer — it’s no wonder why direct mail marketers have leaned on the channel for years to connect them with new prospects, win clients, and stay top of mind in between moves.
Want to leverage automated direct mail for your real estate marketing efforts?