Should you use some of the oldest real estate promotional products?
Real estate postcards are used by a wide array of small and medium size businesses, including real estate agents, as one of the most cost-effective ways of advertising. There are other advantages of using real estate marketing postcards over catalogs, fliers, brochures, farming letters, or newsletters.
The main advantage is that your promotional message reaches the customer right away with more visibility than even most of the huge billboards along the busy highways. Drivers cannot dedicate considerable amount of time to billboards as they have to pay attention to the traffic. They also cannot write down contact information from billboards while driving and they have very limited time window to read the message before billboard is passed.
Real estate postcards on the other hand, while servicing the same general purpose of catching immediate attention, may contain more detailed information about your listings, neighborhood values, and your services and are already in the hands of prospects. It is true that that vast majority of potential customers don’t even look at junk mail. If you compare a full-color postcard on glossy card stock with a 4-page newsletter, it is obvious that direct mail postcards have much better chance to deliver the message even if they have a split-second attention span of the targeted audience.
Real estate postcards are surviving pretty well in the era of online advertising. Most of the online banner ads now are being completely ignored or blocked by users. The cost of such advertising campaigns on high-traffic websites or among Google paid ads is simply not affordable for small businesses or real estate agents that have to pay out of pocket for advertising before the sale closes while direct mail farming postcards printing and mailing costs remain relatively low.
Just having your business website or social media page is not going to bring any traffic and sales to you. Online promoting and marketing takes professional knowledge and a lot of time and money. Even if you will manage to get your website on the first page of Google search results there is no guarantee that it will not be pushed to the bottom by competitors after the next Google search algorithm update.
Farming postcards, on the other hand, are one of the fastest and cheapest ways of marketing. In addition, besides promoting your services and listings, they give you a perfect chance of advertising your website or a particular web page via QR code printed on the card. Keep in mind that nicely designed glossy full-color postcards may contain significantly more information than online banners giving you a better chance of convincing prospects to use your services or to draw attention to the house you just listed.
How agents should use real estate postcards?
- Run repeat marketing campaigns to get new clients by sending your farming postcards to the same address at least 3 times with several weeks interval. Repetition is the key to any marketing campaign. If you are familiar with real estate farming concept (read about it here) then you know that you may expect results only after 6 months of your farming efforts which means mailing or distributing postcards, newsletters, emailing or talking to the same prospects 3-4 times a month.
- Plan on sending 1000s of postcards, not just 100 or 200 of them (it is much cheaper per card to print bigger quantities).
- Promote your website, section of your website or a dedicated listing page by printing QR code on postcards. Smartphone owners will be able to scan it using QR code reader app and instantly go to the advertised web page without having to type anything.
- Rotate your message. Don’t just send farming postcards with generic real estate slogans all the time. Try to appeal to different demographics and interests.
The majority of people on your farm are not that interested in general real estate topics or want to know how to prepare a home for sale but they might be interested in subjects like:
– home remodeling,
– finding an affordable handyman for small projects,
– local babysitters and pet-sitters,
– finding amazing or cheap vacation properties,
– local businesses success stories, etc.
(Of course, these are not the only real estate postcard ideas that can be used).
By providing some this information on the pages of your website you can make them to give up their email addresses in exchange for complete versions in PDF format.
This way you are killing several birds with the same stone:
you will be driving traffic to your website because people would want to read about amazing deals for vacation properties or they need an affordable handyman,
some will bookmark your website or mention it on their Facebook page,
some will give their emails in exchange for downloadable PDF guides.
“Postcards-to-Website Marketing” is one of the most effective real estate marketing postcards ideas.
All of the above will be creating a positive impression of you, somewhat opposite to of a pushy sales person.
Read more about different marketing techniques that can work well with real estate postcard prospecting.
Design real estate postcards that work!
Before starting with postcards for real estate farming you should weigh your options first. The most common mistake that real estate agents make is to underprint postcards and send them to potential clients only once. Even if your mailing list is only 200 or so addresses long it would be wiser to print postcards in larger quantities for two reasons:
- Your printing costs for 200 or 1000 postcards will be almost the same because modern print shops charge for time spent on a print job and not for the materials and ink – which makes 1000 the most cost-efficient quantity to print postcards.
- In order to get any significant number of people to respond you need to deliver your real estate farming postcards at least 3 to 7 times to the same recipient.
Different delivery methods may also give you different results depending on the specifics of your marketing “farm”. The traditional mailing is not always the best way of distributing all of your printed marketing materials. For a geographical farm where many of your clients live within a walking distance, hiring a local teenager to deliver 300-400 marketing postcards for $20 would be a more economical way of distribution, plus, postcard that is delivered by itself will get more attention. If you are targeting a gated community, EDDM or traditional mail may be your only methods of delivery.
Again, the important thing to remember here is that you should print real estate prospecting postcards with links to your website’s community information sources. Providing a standard home page URL, email and phone number is not enough. Always design your marketing postcards with some teaser or promise to provide more detailed information on your website.
For example, if you print postcards with an announcement of community garage sale or Just Sold postcard always include a line “to register go to ”www.mywebsite.com/spring-garage-sale” or “for more details go to: www.mywebsite.com/just-listed-properties.” This way you will bring traffic to your website by providing a service for your prospects which will help you establish or continue productive relations with potential clients.
You probably heard from some other frustrated real estate agents that you shouldn’t waste money on postcards for real estate farming as this marketing method doesn’t work. On the other hand, if you follow closely real estate marketing plans of top-selling agents, you would see that their business often is heavily dependent on regular real estate farming with postcards, real estate magnets and newsletters.
What’s the difference in these two approaches? Why does it work for some and fails for others? As any other sphere, real estate postcards would work for you if you manage to avoid common mistakes and do it correctly.
Real Estate postcards mistake #1: targeting the wrong clientele.
Before you print postcards for real estate farming, you would need to determine your target market which would require some research. Let’s say you want to concentrate on clients that have enough equity in their homes to afford to sell and want to mail them some postcards. It would be wise to invest in a targeted mailing list that will address a certain segment of demographics based on purchase date, age, income, etc. If you specialize in short sales or first-time buyers, you would have different criteria for your mailing list.
Real Estate farming postcards mistake #2: your message is not clear.
When you are choosing the best real estate marketing postcard ideas to your “farm”, keep in mind that you have only a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience. Spend extra time on “cleaning up” your message so that nothing distracts from your point and concentrate on how you can help your clients to solve a specific problem—not on listing all your sales awards and designations. The images that you use in your marketing postcards should support your message and be interesting and captivating.
Real Estate postcards mistake #3: your message is not consistent.
When you are committing to long-term marketing, you can’t just contact your prospective clients once and expect the avalanche of business referrals. The same as with great television commercials, your message should be seen several times to be remembered. Repeating yourself is the key to establishing relationship with your clients—here your investment in 1000 postcards for real estate farming will pay for itself.
Mail 200 postcards five times to the same list and your efforts would bring results. Mail 200 postcards ten times a year after you print 2000 postcards, and your marketing will bring even more results. It’s the numbers game, as everything in real estate, – remember that when you decide on the quantity of your real estate postcards!
Real Estate farming postcards are proven, cost-effective marketing tool when used with a clear message, easy-to-read contact information and smart call-to-action. Postcards work the best when you send them on regular basis using the same mailing list. Your recipients should see your contact information and QR code right away. They easily can go directly to your website via a smartphone app, call or email you without spending additional time and effort.
New large format EDDM-compliant Just Listed and Just Sold real estate postcards can be effectively used for targeting surrounding neighborhoods for a fracture of the cost of the traditional mailed postcards. Learn how to use this money-saving line of real estate promotional products to move ahead of your competition!