Top Reasons Why Marketing with Real Estate Postcards Fails For Some…

In our 20+ years in real estate marketing we often come across real estate agents who claim that marketing doesn’t work for them. Often it is not just particular kind of marketing, such as real estate newsletters or postcards – usually they will come of with a blanket statement such as “None of the usual marketing techniques work for my market niche.” Though it can be true for some luxury real estate in 10 million+ price range which requires a whole new approach to marketing, the statement that “real estate postcards don’t work for me” can’t be true because of the nature of farming postcards. It can only be true if you don’t use them right. Marketing postcards work fine for millions of small business owners, professionals, and real estate agents. If you realized that they don’t work for you, stop and analyze what are you doing wrong.

Marketing may not bring results you are hoping for because of many reasons. To summarize all kinds of objections and pitfalls on the way, the main categories will be “not now”, “no money”, “no trust”. When on a first glance all these obstacles have nothing to do with you, an agent, as they reflect the circumstances of your potential clients. Though if you look closer, you’ll see that they are under your control.

If you are sending your postcards to people who just purchased a new home or dealt with foreclosure, your rate of response will be low and you’ll probably hear “not now” if you contact these clients directly.

So, why are you targeting the segments of population that have no need in your services? Be careful when you are choosing an area to mail to: analyze how often people move, don’t target areas that are too new, or retirement communities were people plan to stay for the rest of their lives. If you mail to a regular neighborhood with an average turn around time, you’ll probably hear a lot of “not now” too, but it will be “not now … yet” if you listen closely. Your task will be to educate, form and strengthen trust, explain and stay in touch, provide service such as special offers from local lawn moving and pest control companies, so you can turn that “not now” into “probably, in 3 months” and then “now we are ready.” Be patient and persistent and you will see results.

Many agents mail postcards once into an area and when they don’t see immediate results, say, “Real estate farming postcard marketing doesn’t work.” In reality, YOUR postcard marketing didn’t work because you gave up instead of repeating your mailing many times on a regular basis. It is a proven truth in marketing that targeted repeated mailings are the cost-effective way to create big results. If you do regular mailings of your real estate postcards every 30 days you will increase your business dramatically through gaining listings in that area and referrals through new and past clients. We’ve seen agents turning their business around completely by just sending JUST LISTED and JUST SOLD postcards in the area every month. You’ll most likely start seeing results in 3-4 months. More business you get, more money you’ll be able to invest in your marketing which will bring even more results. It doesn’t take a CPA certification to see that with volume pricing for real estate farming postcards it makes sense to print 2,000-3,000 postcards for repeated mailings instead of 10 orders of 200-300.

You’ve probably heard an objection “we can’t afford to move” from your clients when in reality they can’t afford to stay. It is your job to analyze their particular situation and come up with solutions. The best real estate agents are educators at heart and very patient ones. If you concentrate all your marketing efforts on pushy sales tactics and boasting your achievements, you’ll see less results than an agent who puts his clients needs first and it is reflected in his/her marketing. Try to be a problem solver rather than a bragger, and you will slowly earns your clients’ trust. Volunteer in your community and advertise community events through your postcards. Offer free maintenance tips and staging consultations. Print coupons for local coffee shop instead of promoting your latest sales award. Show your clients that a small increase in interest rates may price them out of the market for good if they don’t act now. Basically, “show them the money” when they don’t even know where to look and be their best advocate.

One of the other common causes that your marketing with real estate postcards doesn’t work is that you loose your clients’ trust when you don’t communicate clearly. While a guide to creating postcard advertising that works is a whole new topic in itself, we should mention that it all starts with a clear message. You only have a fraction of a second to grasp and keep your prospect’s attention. If your farming postcard is cluttered with multiple competing messages, images and information, you will most likely loose them without delivering your main idea or offer. Examine your postcard closely. Ideally, there should be only one clear message that should occupy 20% of the space and be short and bold. Anything that slows down your reader, clutters the postcard with unnecessary details should be taken out. You are better providing these details on your website through the QR code printed on the postcard – it will serve dual purpose of keeping your message clear and bringing additional traffic to your website.

Buyer’s remorse or seller’s cold feet is more than buzz-word – it is a reality that you, as a real estate agent, have to deal with on day-to-day basis. People are afraid of loosing (money or family home that holds so many memories of happy days) and that feeling may be stronger then desire to buy a new home that will benefit them in the years to come. You’ve been in their shoes too, even when it involves a much lesser purchase than real estate. Your job is to understand and help them overcome their fears by clearly communicating the process and all its pitfalls without sugar-coating the truth. Trust is strengthened when you help them avoid and solve the problems, not mask them and pretend that they don’t exist. You can’t build trust out of thin air.

Your postcard marketing should be those drops of earned trust that fill the ocean over the years, with one good advice and deed after another. Your community involvement and volunteer work, help when its needed, and desire to answer questions are the building blocks of trust that make you “their friend in real estate” over the years. You can’t achieve that with just 1-2 mailings in the neighborhood, but only with significant presence in the farm over a long period of time. So the agents that try to persuade you that “postcard marketing doesn’t work” during the break near the company’s cooler or coffee maker, haven’t tried it long enough.
They gave up too soon.
You shouldn’t.

Real Estate Newsletters

printed-real-estate-newslettersMarketing gurus of real estate marketing are always debating which type of marketing materials is the most effective way to reach target audience: paid online ads, social media, real estate newsletters, flyers and marketing postcards, email newsletters, interactive website or such a relic as cold-calling? There is no short answer – and in reality you probably will need to use a combination of several of these marketing methods in order to reach your selected target audience. They all work for different types of clientele, accomplish multitude of marketing goals and deliver your message that is most suitable for the media you have chosen for a specific campaign.

Let’s compare real estate newsletters, one of the most traditional tools of real estate agents, to other marketing materials and determine strong sides and shortcomings. Any newsletter needs content and it can be time-consuming to write it yourself. So many real estate agents opt for a professional real estate newsletters company that provides relevant materials month after month with zero effort from agents after initial setup. Though it seems like an efficient use of your time (concentrate on selling while leaving marketing to professionals) the pitfall in such arrangement may be newsletters content that is not relevant for your particular market.

As we all know, real estate is local and while national statistics may paint an average picture, you need market update specific to your area. Taking this into consideration, the best real estate newsletters can be the ones that allow you to customize content with graphs, statistics, sales and even featured listings. It gives your clients an impression that you are a competent specialist who knows the market and your newsletters give them news they can use. Don’t overdue the message: newsletter should be interesting to read, provide some general interest information and even recipes. If you push ‘list, sell, buy, move, refinance’ too hard it will distant and irritate your clients, even those who are ready to make a move.

On the other hand, strategic log-time newsletter campaign will make you a friendly neighborhood specialist who is there on a consistent basis. In that case, you are likely to be their first choice when they are ready to buy, sell or refinance. That is why most successful Realtors include in their newsletters neighborhood classified ads, information about neighborhood garage sales that they’ve sponsored, team sporting events, birth announcements, boys & girls scout announcements, pet photo contests and even funny cartoons and real estate humor.

Your real estate newsletters need to have that delicate balance of helpful information and fun facts that helps build-up community ties and make you a trusted advisor in the process.

Though mailing newsletters may seem as a wise choice, hand-delivering them to your targeted neighborhood will most likely help you establish friendly relationships that will pay tri-fold over the years. Even if you are busy handling transactions and prefer to mail your newsletters, leave some to hand-deliver and rotate these areas. You can even start an exercise club for stay-at-home moms and hire them to be your helpers in delivering your real estate newsletters to their neighbors and friends or hire responsible teenagers to make extra money – their parents will be thankful!

Most of the real estate newsletters companies that you see on the market offer four-page full color publications that are expensive to print and mail. Keep in mind that some of your environmentally-conscious consumers may object to such use of our natural resources. So always provide an option to read your newsletter on line (via QR code printed on the back or sent via email) and give your clients clear instructions how to opt-out of paper version of your real estate newsletters. Pick companies that are using recycled materials for printing and encourage your clients to recycle and reuse—and in doing so pass your newsletters to their friends and family. Remember that your main goal is to keep your face in front of your clients, not fill up their paper recycle bin. For this purpose, smaller real estate newsletters – the size of a large folded greeting card can be an answer. It is cheaper to produce and mail but may be more efficient in delivering your message. You want your professional information and marketing pitch to be delivered instantly, without an extra effort of unfolding a lengthy publication, that requires time your clients may not have at the end of the busy day.

That’s why real estate newsletters for clients may be not as efficient as calendars, magnets or notepads—they have a short shelf life unless you occasionally provide information that is worth to be cut out and put on the refrigerator for future reference, along with your phone number. Most seasoned real estate agents rotate marketing materials they use: calendars in December, notepads with a hand-written personal message for Thanksgiving, postcards for the 4th of July and marketing newsletters full of useful information the rest of the year.

The other valid point to consider is that though you should be on the edge of technology with iPad, smart phone and interactive weblog, your older clients (the ones that have the equity in their homes) may not be and would prefer to read professionally designed printed real estate newsletters for clients that are easier on their eyes. Thinking about your clients’ preferences and preferred media for your targeted audience is always a winning strategy when evaluating real estate marketing ideas and is worth a separate discussion.

To summarize comparison of real estate newsletters to the variety of other marketing materials:

  • Real estate newsletters for clients need fresh content for each new issue while designing postcards or picking from available templates for a relevant message is less time-consuming (postcards need just 1 – 2 photos, logo and a headline).
  • Printing and mailing a full-color a newsletter on a quality paper is expensive so cost-efficient alternatives may be worth considering.
  • Real estate newsletters are mailed folded with content and featured listings hidden inside while postcard is always “open” and delivers the message instantly. Pick newsletter design that utilizes the best of a postcard.
  • Only a few people have time to read articles inside your newsletters. Postcards have much shorter but “to the point” message that reaches clients right away.
  • Provide options of the delivery of your real estate newsletters such as e-newsletter and web blog.
  • Real estate newsletters cost more to mail comparing to postcards – be creative and involve your community to help you deliver your message while building professional ties with your clientele.

Real Estate Newsletter Content And Ideas

If you are really passionate about writing your own content then consider creating something that will provide solutions to some of the common homeowners’ problems in your farm.
For example, if your real estate farm is in the region with humid climate, then you may know that many of home owners have a mold problem.

  • Do a research and find out the best ways to deal with this problem.
  • Find out if there are inexpensive ways like ozone shocking device, for example, to prevent mold or destroy it without hiring a contractor.
  • Write a detailed article on that subject and post it on your website but not include absolutely all information on the subject.
  • In addition to that compile a comparison list of local companies that deal with mold problems.
  • For this you may get a subscription for and make 3-4 calls to companies from Yellow Pages.
  • Make a PDF ebook with ALL information on the subject, your comparison chart and offer it as a FREE download in exchange for email address and opting-in for your future emails.

Now, order a custom real estate newsletter where you will feature a short version of the article on dealing with mold problems. In 1-2 places of this short version of the article and at the very end of it post links to the full web version of the same article with the words like “For a comparison list of local specialists with quality ratings go to:”
Provide QR code for people to go there without typing web link.
Once clients will go to your website page to read the article they will be compelled to download a free ebook.

In this case you will gain a few things:

  • Client’s email address;
  • A visitor to your website (Search Engines will notice that);
  • A chance that some visitors will bookmark your web page;
  • A chance that some homeowners will share this link with friends, neighbors and relatives;
  • Clients will remember your name if this information is genuinely helpful;
  • Your “neighborhood expert” status will improve;
  • You may get leads;

Of course, you should not limit your real estate newsletter content to the subjects that deal only with home problems.
Besides that you may offer fun and educational articles on remodeling, gardening, or buying vacation properties etc.
By following the exact steps mentioned above some top real estate producers in 2-3 years build solid expert reputation and huge email lists in completely new farms.

The secret ingredient in this real estate marketing method is CUSTOM newsletter connected with the content on your website.
The biggest mistake that most the real estate agents do is going with cheaper generic versions where the only customizable area is the basic agent’s contact information.

This is why you hear from a great number of these agents that newsletters don’t work.

Of course, they don’t!
All of them go straight to the trash.
They have no relevancy to the problems and interests of local communities.
They are not designed to be working closely with your website for collecting emails, providing value to local residents and establishing agent’s reputation as a local expert!
They lack personal touch and are printed in full color on glossy paper which is associated with junk mail.

On the other hand many marketing experts regard custom real estate marketing newsletters and other custom materials as the only way to stand out of the crowd and establishing yourself as a local real estate expert.

During the last 10 years focus of Real Estate farming has changed dramatically from just getting direct leads and referrals from your printed marketing materials to engaging in different ways and levels of interaction with potential clients benefiting both sides.

Don’t be trapped in the old ways of marketing; don’t spend thousands of dollars on billboards or marketing specialists guaranteeing top search engine positions for your website!

The answer is rather simple and it is in front of you – follow Real estate market leaders, learn from their experience and replicate their systems!

Please, follow this link to get more information about customizable real estate newsletters for clients.

Please, don’t forget though that this is up to you what kind of content your newsletter will provide for your clients. Try to identify the most common needs and problems in your farm.

If you are too busy and don’t have time to create real estate newsletter with custom content relevant to your local farm, you may hire professional writers on several freelance websites like textbroker, elance of fiverr who will research those subjects and write articles and ebooks.

Examples of real estate newsletter content:

  • Local Just Listed and Just Sold properties.
  • Every home owner needs a reliable and affordable handyman.
  • Find out several businesses in your farm and write about their services.
  • Do the same about local plumbers (with AngiesList’s rating).
  • Do the same about local air conditioner and heating specialists.
  • Do the same about gardeners and lawn services.
  • Do the same about local babysitters.
  • Do the same about remodeling contractors etc.
  • Write about the most affordable and exotic places for vacation.
  • Write about unusual and unique homes.
  • Write about the best places to buy the second home.

Almost all of the above, besides Just Listed and Just Sold listings, requires research, time and effort.
Remember that if you’d like to take advantage of collecting email addresses from new clients, then work on your website and ebooks first!