New Life of Real Estate Marketing Postcards

Most of new agents may think that real estate marketing postcards are a thing of the past, but we can assure you that this is simply not true. Savvy marketers realize that postcards for real estate farming are still very effective because people get the message immediately without having to read a lengthy newsletter or flip through the pages of a magazine to see your advertisement. Each 6″x8″ or 6.5″x9″ EDDM compliant postcard is an enormous ad that is placed alone directly into your prospect’s hands. just-sold-1It easily beats newspaper or magazine ads, where one’s attention is divided between other competing ads and offers. It also beats email marketing in terms of deliverability. With so many spam and image filters, it has become almost impossible to guarantee that your message will be seen by its recipient.

Prospecting through real estate marketing postcards is a science more than it is an art. If done correctly, it will give your business a tremendous advantage over your competition that relies on email and social media only.

What are the advantages of real estate farming postcards comparing with email marketing?

First is the limitations of an email list. It will only reach those subscribers who explicitly agreed to receive promotional emails from you. An average Realtor with 10 years of experience will only have 150 to 250 clients in their email data base. Any professional marketer will say that is not enough to market anything in any industry.

On the other hand, with real estate marketing postcards you can reach a much larger mailing list without the fear of breaking anti-spam laws. There are many high quality printing companies like printplace.com that specialize in printing postcards for Realtors at very reasonable prices.

Available delivery methods:
USPS EDDM will deliver your real estate marketing postcards to every house in a specific geographical area that you chose. You may print cards and then hire local teenagers to hand-deliver postcards to certain neighborhoods, or resort to the traditional method of sending postcards to your prospects using a mailing list.

One important point should be made about postcards for real estate farming. Real estate marketing has a lower conversion rate than less expensive products and services. You should not expect more than a 2% conversion rate on sales with mail-in postcards. In our case, real estate post cards serve as reminders of your service and should provide valuable community information.
Bragging about your achievements, number of sales or awards will not develop trust in potential clients. Recommending a reliable and affordable handy man, contractor, gardener, providing free notary public service, organizing community garage sale or offering free golf lessons will get people to remember you. Other real estate farming postcard ides may come to you after identifying the most common problems for the home owners in your farming area.

Of course, there are Just Listed and Just Sold postcards that Realtors love to mail but they are not the only cards that you should be sending out on regular basis. There are a few real estate marketing postcards ideas that may help agents with collecting new email addresses, generating website traffic and referrals.

Three components of postcards for real estate farming.

Textual components:

  1. Headline
  2. Message (2-3 sentences)
  3. Call to action

Here is an example of the front of the postcard using the above outline.

3 Things You Must Do To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Thinking of selling your house? Read about 3 must-do home improvements that will help to increase the value of your property up to $15,000!
To get your free report visit:

www.myRealEstateWebsite.com/3-things/
[QR code and SMS text ID for the above address]

Your contact information and photo should go on the back side of the card with the same URL that is on the front. The URL is designed to have a special and unique ending for tracking purpose. Your website should have a script for redirecting visitors that type in the above URL to the opt-in page where visitors are presented with the first paragraph of the report and are asked to enter their email in order to be able access the full version of the report. This way you will be getting new email addresses for your emailing campaigns, creating some targeted traffic to different pages of your website which Google will see as a sign of importance and popularity, measuring interest of your clients to various topics. As you can see there is some custom automation required for your website. This is why you should not even consider having a standard cookie-cutter website offered by some companies or brokerages. When you look at the best real estate websites, you will see that they are always custom designed and automated. These websites always have a wide selection of automated tools for collecting visitors’ information and analyzing marketing campaigns.

Here is another example of one of the Real Estate marketing postcards ideas for collecting email addresses and introducing yourself to the community:

September 15th Community Garage Sale!

It is time to clean up your garage!

Go to this page: www.myRealEstateWebsite.com/garage-sale/ and register if you’d like to participate!
We’ll put signs directing traffic to your house!
First 3 registered households will get FREE Starbucks coffee and donuts for breakfast!

For more information visit:
www.myRealEstateWebsite.com/garage-sale/
[QR code and SMS text ID for the above address]

As you can see, real estate farming postcards serve as an excellent ice-breaker for you especially if you are starting your Real Estate career or just trying to expend your “farming” territory.


Let’s compare Real Estate marketing postcards with a few other traditional marketing products starting with marketing Newsletter.
To be effective, marketing newsletter needs fresh content for each new issue. Designing postcards for real estate farming is less complicated. You need just 1 or 2 pictures and a headline.
Newsletters take longer to design and compile than postcards.
Newsletters ship folded with content and offers often hidden inside. Marketing postcards are always “open” & deliver their messages instantly.
Only a few people read articles inside marketing newsletters. Real Estate marketing postcards have much shorter but “to the point” message that is read and understood right away.
Newsletters’ mailing cost is higher comparing to postcards.

Marketing brochures or fliers can combine elements of farming postcards and newsletters.
They can be designed to promote a product or a service the same way as postcards but with more textual content. It usually costs more to print brochures or even fliers than Real Estate marketing postcards and with tremendous advances of smart phones, e-book readers and small tablets multi-page brochures and newsletters are being substituted with their digital versions online.

Although there are older people that prefer to read things on paper, you must consider including elements of virtual marketing into your printed materials: QR codes and SMS text IDs. For example, on Just Sold real estate postcards, many Realtors print both of these codes for people who are not good at typing long web addresses on their smart phones or tablets. Both SMS text ID and QR codes can be set up in advance by companies like www.homecellers.com for each property listing or in fact any web page that you’d like people to go to. All clients will have to do in order to get instant listing information is to send a text or scan QR code. If you don’t already know, QR means Quick Response and this is exactly what you should aim for when using any of your marketing methods!

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Real Estate Farming 101

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a new real estate agent evaluating different marketing ideas, you’ve probably heard of farming.

What is Real Estate Farming?

gothic-260If you are tweeting about real estate and have a core group of followers, you are farming…

If you are just knocking on doors, you are not farming. You are wasting your time.

Should you concentrate on a geographic farm, a social farm or both?
What real estate marketing materials would be the most effective tools for your specific farm?

We are going to concentrate not only on the “DOs” and “DON’Ts” of Real Estate farming and prospecting techniques but also on a whole array of other marketing ideas and methods including integrating web and email marketing into farming.

The very first “DON’T’ would be spending all your resources and money on “old school” farming marketing materials and products without a proper web presence.

Times have changed.
Real estate marketing has moved to the web and this is why you have to establish and develop your web properties first before even thinking about printing your farming postcards of fliers! Your printed marketing materials will need to be directly related to the content of your main website and other web properties.

Real estate prospecting ideas of today should be much more diverse and composed if more than just passing out business cards and notepads with your name and phone number!

The goal of “old Real Estate farming” was to become somewhat familiar with home owners and to be remembered at the right moment.
The new farming should replace most of the notepads and fridge magnets with happy faces of Realtors with browsers’ bookmarks, social bookmarks, Google+ circles, etc.

The new goal is to be “remembered” not only in people’s minds but by mobile phones and computers as well.
People are not going to do this because of your pretty face or your awards. You need to give them something really valuable in the form of useful information that is not easily available anywhere else.

Nowadays there is no reason for doing real estate farming with printed material or even with email newsletters without having a quality website!


Not just any website – it needs to be an outstanding in terms of content and unique geared toward your community.

Once your website is set up and filled with all the goodies, you are ready for farming.
Read some tips on setting up and using your website for marketing along with your farming program.

The first step would be to pick a farm as a group of people or specific neighborhoods you would like to target. The ideal group to test your real estate marketing ideas would be your social farm: family, friends, acquaintances, your church fellowship, school carpool partners, fitness club buddies, golf partners, etc… – you get the drift. Make a list of everyone you feel comfortable with to mail/hand out your marketing materials on a regular basis to solicit business or just keep your name in front of them in case some need in your services or consultation would arise. If you have come to real estate from some other line of work, it may be logical to send all your former business associates an introductory email newsletter in addition to announcing your new profession through social media websites.

Your social farm may not yet be big enough to sustain a constant stream of referrals. You will need to find a geographical area you can target and come up with a solid real estate marketing plan for long-term marketing. Take some time to research the area, check the average sales price, see if any agent is dominating listings and sales and if the farm is getting his/her real estate newsletters. If the latter is true, your efforts and money could be wasted. It is much harder to take away a farm from a seasoned professional who has already won the trust and business from many residents than to start fresh in a new geographical area that doesn’t get consistent delivery of any marketing materials.
Now you are ready to start “farming” – a planned prospecting campaign in which you heavily service a geographic area (or social group) with marketing materials in an effort to get listings, buyers and referrals.

Real Estate Farming is a long-term prospecting goal.

It will take about six months to a year and a lot of unique real estate marketing ideas to start becoming productive. As you break into a farm, it will become a strong base for your growing business and it will get easier as time goes on. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results – consistency with marketing materials and personal contact are imperative to becoming a successful farmer.

In your first year of your Real Estate farming you should plan on delivering at least 25 -30 different marketing materials. Ideally you want to do 52 different types, that one per week. You will also want to sponsor one garage sale for the neighborhood. It means that at least every other week your farm residents should get something from you (like a postcard, paper newsletter or email newsletter) with your photo and contact information. If you study farming ideas of your most successful colleagues you would notice that they would concentrate on custom real estate newsletters, and professional calendars with community events, postcards highlighting “Just Listed and Just Sold” properties in the neighborhood.

You should always look for unique ways to deliver your marketing materials – not just traditional mailing that gets more and more expensive every year or hand-delivering your newsletters to residents. That can be time-consuming and counter-productive as they quickly disappear into the recycling bin. Talk to your local coffee shop owner and have your custom real estate newsletters available there when your prospective clients are relaxing with their daily “cup of Joe” and are more open to read something useful and short – you may have more luck of successfully delivering your message to more prospective clients and widening your client base.

When you are evaluating marketing ideas, imagine yourself in your clients’ shoes — would you rather read a local newspaper filled with doom and gloom about the economy or quickly check on property values in the neighborhood, get some useful remodeling tips, solve a Sudoku puzzle and laugh at a couple of cartoons in a fun-filled real estate newsletter?

You may ask now: “How will all these Real Estate farming postcards and newsletters help me promote my website and heighten my search engine ranking?”


It is not complicated. Your Real Estate farming postcards and newsletters should always include multiple links (textual or QR code) to different sections on your website. For example, when advertising a community garage sale, invite your clients to register on your website to win a free breakfast from Starbucks. Your newsletter or postcard should always include a textual or QR code with the words: “For more information go here…

Your website needs to target visitors that will stay on your page. To accomplish this, you will need to provide useful and relevant information – this will be noticed by search engines and result in a higher ranking in search results. You may also collect a good number of emails from your farm after each mailing cycle. As long as your custom real estate newsletters are professional and provide unique information, potential clients will assume that your website will offer the same. Knowing what different types of information are valuable to particular communities is the key to successful realization of all your farming ideas.

Our step-by-step Real Estate Farming Program (found here) describes some of the aspects mentioned here in more details.

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Real Estate Farming Program


What is Real Estate Farming?

Real Estate Farming is a planned prospecting campaign (the key word is PLANNED) where you heavily service a geographic area or a social group in an effort to get listings, buyers, and referrals.

Farming in real estate is a long-term prospecting goal. It will take about six months (to see first results) to a year in order to start to producing results. As you break into a farming zone, it will become a strong base for your business. As time goes on, it will get easier. Real estate farming, like agricultural farming, has strict rules you have to follow. Like traditional farming, you must access the land, sow the seeds, tend to your crops and only after hard work has been put in, can you enjoy the harvest of your labor.

Consistency and personal contact are the biggest keys to being a successful farmer. Many real estate brokers and trainers would agree that inconsistent efforts of dropping poorly designed flyers do not contribute to an artful form of real estate prospecting. Your results may depend heavily on the originality and quality of your real estate farming ideas, techniques and methods.

You have to make an effort to put your name in front of people – ideally close to 52 times a year – to see real results. Yes, that’s right – 52 times a year (not 15, not 10, definitely not 3 or 2)! It means that every week you need to contact your farm: either through printed materials, social media, email, blogging or meeting people face to face. We’ll give you a proven system developed over several decades of cooperation between top-selling real estate agents, brokers, trainers and marketing professionals that is guaranteed to yield results … if you follow it!

Real estate farming is a statistics game. Even if you have taken all the real estate marketing courses and memorized all sales tricks and scripts, there is no chance of getting constant stream of leads without you going out physically or virtually and meeting new people.
This real estate farming system program gives Realtors a system to get at least 50 or more new personal contacts every month plus different ways of staying in touch with the old contacts.
Statistically, out of every 100 people that you have personally contacted and talked with about their real estate plans (considering that you have kept in touch with them), 3-5 may contact you regarding selling their property within 18 months. Again, as with agricultural farming, your real estate farming will only start bringing results in a 6-12 months. Remember that!

Selecting a Farm

Select an Area from 200 to 1000 Homes

  • By selecting an area of this size, will get you a higher percentage of listings within your farm.
  • Small farms yield big results as you put time and money to plant the seeds and get to know people.
  • As your farm starts bringing results, you can expand to new areas. You can go up to 1000 homes, but don’t go bigger than that. It is a farm, not an empire, and it is hard to provide personal service when you are ‘too big’ to care.

Select a Comfortable Price Range Area (an area you would like to live in or already live).

Look for:

  • Activity in this particular real estate farm;
  • Who is doing the listing;
  • Who is doing the selling;
  • Anyone who “owns it” (gets ~80% of all listings);
  • How long have the other real estate agents been working in the farm;
  • Anyone walking the farm;
  • Anyone knocking on doors every month;
  • Helpful residents – get information from them in a casual conversation.

Then it is decision time! If any particular real estate agent has listings all over the area, you see his/her marketing materials (real estate farming postcards, notepads, magnets, etc.) on the steps of the homes, or every resident mentions his name in a conversation, it is clear that this real estate agent ‘owns the farm’ and has been there for a while. It is futile for another agent to go in and try to win the farm over—you may spend a LOT of money and time and get zero results. No matter how attractive this particular areal looks to you, turn around and continue your search.
Pick a farm that has close to 7% turnaround and has great location, amenities, and proximity to schools. Though many professionals will tell you to stay away from new developments, it may be a good area to start (if the first homes were sold 1-2 years ago and no one farms there yet). People still have to move even if they just bought a home due to change in jobs, family circumstances, etc.

Organize Your Real Estate Farm Data.

Order a Farm Package from the Title Representative or order addresses in a particular neighborhood / zip code from a reputable company. If you are also adding a social farm it may be a good idea to combine all your data in one contact management system and keep it current.

Don’t forget to back-up your data!

No matter how reliable your contact management system provider is, it is a great idea to have at least 3 current copies of your data: in addition to one on your laptop, keep one copy “in the cloud” (such as Dropbox.com) so you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection, and one on a removable storage device such as jump drive or portable hard-drive that you keep in a different location in case of fire, earthquake or theft.

First Impressions Last Forever

Introduction: getting to know the people in your new real estate farm

  • Introductory letter (you can include it in your real estate newsletter);
  • Needs to be informative, friendly and tell people what you can do for them, not just list all your degrees and accomplishments;
  • Hand-write individual names;
  • Hand-address envelopes if you are mailing it;
  • Use first-class mail stamps or hand-deliver.

Real Estate Farming Ideas and Frequency of Farming

First Year

  • 52 handouts, with at least 25% of them personally delivered (preferred method), with the other 75% mailed or emailed if you are out of time. To personally deliver the materials, it means either you walk your farm every week handing out either your customized real estate newsletter or one of your real estate farming postcard, your flyer, calendar, magnets, etc., or you hire somebody to hand-deliver these materials. You still have to do it personally at least 1-2 times a month.
  • 12 door-knocking (at different days of the week and different times of the day)
  • 1 Garage Sale

Some ‘old-school’ agents that still walk their 10-20 year old farms and know almost everyone on the block, will tell you to never mail anything and always hand-deliver, rain or shine. There is certain wisdom in that statement and it will obviously save you some money with today’s sky-rocketing postage costs. It is also easy for your materials to get lost in the avalanche of incoming junk mail. But be realistic: to hand-deliver 52 handouts to 500 homes you would have to walk approximately 1 hour 3 days a week, depending on the size of the lots and length of driveways in your area. While it may be a great exercise routine and lots of fresh air, many people are too busy. Be creative: combine hand-delivering and walking, hire some responsible teenagers or start an exercise club in the neighborhood. You will not only gain enthusiastic supporters in the farm but also become that ‘friend in real estate’ everyone needs.

Real Estate Farming Ideas for Handouts

  1. Real Estate Newsletters
  2. Real Estate farming postcards
  3. Master Calendar of Community & Sporting Events
  4. Real Estate flyers
  5. Just Listed postcards (can be your brokerage listing from surrounding area – include disclaimer)
  6. Just Sold postcards (can be your brokerage sale from surrounding area – include disclaimer)
  7. Real Estate business cards

Real estate newsletters have been a trusted ‘tool of the trade’ that successful real estate agents have been implementing for years to communicate with the farm and provide potential clients with valuable information. Your real estate newsletter has to bring the ‘Neighborhood’s Good News’, be informative, easy to navigate and readable. There are just a handful of people who are ready to dive-into statistics, graphs, complicated market analysis and 50+ lines of sales in the neighborhood after the day at the office. Most of the people just want something interesting, light and useful in their everyday life. So, try to combine real estate information with fun facts, substitute boring tables with “just sold” listings; include lots of pictures and eye-catching graphics.
Strive to make your newsletter a neighborhood herald – involve local professionals and handy men, offering them free space to advertise.
High-school students who babysit and moms with daycare services may be thrilled for a chance at free publicity.
Neighborhood dog-walkers may thank you for a boost in business and remember you when the time comes to move.

Your real estate newsletter content should be genuinely helpful to home owners. Addressing real problems homeowners have, from plumbing, air conditioning and heating to pest infestation in homes or gardens and leaking roofs, will increase your validity as a caring neighborhood real estate expert.

These real estate newsletter ideas and content will create a very positive image of you as a caring neighborhood expert separating you from other real estate agents.

Though it is tempting to talk about your accomplishments and boast of your hard-earned real estate certifications, your farm is not interested in that and it may actually result in an adverse effect. You need to become that ‘friend in real estate’ to your farm – the one who is always there when someone needs a quick answer to a real estate question and whose name everyone knows from weekly handouts. Name recognition and trust is the goal that you are aiming for. Your customized real estate newsletters, farming postcards, and Just Listed / Just Sold postcards and flyers but also with your website that should serve as an extension of your marketing materials as well as the source of really helpful information for the residents of your farm.


Select Door-Knocking Handouts

(Substantial Items you can afford to Hand Out)

  1. Martinelli cider, candy canes
  2. Anything with your photo on it
  3. Pumpkins
  4. Maps
  5. Visors
  6. Seeds
  7. Frisbees
  8. Magnets
  9. Key Chains
  10. Your company’s drawing or contest
  11. Pot holders
  12. Promotions

Second, Third & Fourth Years

  1. 36 handouts
  2. 8 door-knockings
  3. 1 major project

Fifth Year and On

. . . Never go below this!

  1. 36 handouts
  2. 6 door knockings
  3. 6 promotional events
  4. 1 major project

6 Promotional Events (pick out any six):

  1. Flags (for the 4th of July)
  2. Local spa or restaurant drawing
  3. Pie drawing
  4. Turkey drawing
  5. Baseball ticket drawing
  6. Spring cleaning
  7. Easter coloring contest
  8. Mother’s day Nordstrom’s shopping spree
  9. Ice cream truck
  10. Garage sale
  11. Christmas tree decorating
  12. Collect food for the homeless
  13. Collect books for the library

Establish A Major Yearly Project To Do Within Your Farm:

Handouts:

  • Petition for parks
  • Petition for traffic lights

Personal Touch & Handouts:

  • Children’s play groups
  • Baby–sitting co-op

Door Knocking & Handouts:

  • Neighborhood watch
  • Community cookbook
  • Garage sale

Garage Sale

Organizing a community garage sale may be one of the best and the most effective real estate farming ideas for getting to know everyone in your  farm and help the community to clean their garages in the spring. Do a poll on your website on what would be the best date. Start advertising early (2-3 months) before the date of garage sale. Let people register on your website or through email. Put an ad in the local paper or PennySaver publication a week prior to event.
On the day of event, put directional signs for the garage sale (with your name) and personally deliver balloons to all participating homes approximately 30 minutes prior to advertised hour. Then drive around the neighborhood, deliver fresh coffee and pastries from the neighborhood bakery and chat with all the participants.
Later in the day, deliver ice cream for the kids.

Don’t talk real estate!

It is your chance to get to know as many people as possible and be friendly. Arrange ahead of time for a Salvation Army or Goodwill truck to come to the neighborhood after the garage sale is over and pick up all unsold items—your farm will appreciate your efforts! It seems like a lot of work but it is not so bad with proper planning and a few helpers. You will see the effort is well worth it. By providing a valuable service to your farm, you will become a member of the community. Successful real estate agents sponsor at least one garage sale a year.

Real Estate Farming Techniques of Door-Knocking

DON’T START DOOR-KNOCKING UNTIL YOU HAVE DELIVERED YOUR MATERIALS FOR 6 TO 12 WEEKS

  • Don’t talk real estate!
  • Give something to the person.
  • Be short
  • Be friendly
  • Be upbeat
  • Be fast

Door Knock only during hours when you can benefit from being seen and recognized in your farm – you want to be a familiar friendly face everyone knows:

  1. Monday – Friday 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  2. Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..
  3. Never on a Sunday.
  • Be professional!!! Know all properties currently listed in your real estate farm.
  • Know the floor plans and square footage of the homes in your farm.
  • Know the sales prices of homes which have recently sold in your farm.
  • Don’t walk across lawns.
  • Don’t stand too close to the door.
  • Always introduce yourself.
  • Compliment people on their homes, décor and gardening whenever possible.
  • Write personal notes whenever possible about:
    1. Yards
    2. Upgrades of homes
    3. Conversations
    4. New doors
    5. Newborn babies
    6. New garage doors
    7. New bars
    8. Any time you talk to anyone

 

Always dress professionally, like you would for an appointment:

  • Company T-shirts unacceptable
  • Golf shirts OK in summer

 

  • Start servicing people before they list with you.
  • Do not hand-out comps to everybody in the farm, but always provide comps if people call you and request them.
  • You may advertise ‘Just Listed’ and ‘Just Sold’ listings of other agents in your office. Be careful how you word this.
  • You can get away with mailing only and no door-knocking UNTIL someone starts door-knocking against you in your farm.
  • Farm absentee owners and social farm by mail.
  • Put everyone you meet casually on your social mailing list.
  • Mail monthly real estate newsletter.
  • Mail all company promotions.
  • Mail all farm handouts:
    1. Just Listed & Just Sold postcards.
    2. Neighborhood information.
    3. Mailable giveaways (mini directories, maps, magnets).

It is easy to come up with excuses to skip farming on a busy day:

  1. A support system can be a helpful boost. Team up with another agent in the office to create, compare and compete in your real estate farming efforts (or start a farming group for even more fun, feedback and tips from others). You can save money by ordering items in larger quantities for your respective farms.
  2. Create a program to fit your personality
  3. Don’t take shortcuts or the easy way out.

Focus on goals for how hard you need to work, rather than the results you are trying to achieve. If you meet your work goals, the results will be attained.

Things To Watch For :

  1. Being nervous is normal. You will probably make mistakes.
  2. Sometimes you will run into people who say they will never move.
  3. Friendly people are friendly to everyone.
  4. Farming can be fun!

You could door-knock 100 homes in 2-3 hours. You would probably catch half of them home, which means you would make 50 indirect contacts with materials you leave at the door and 50 personal contacts.
That’s more contacts than some agents make in a year!

Some Areas Can Only be Mailed

  1. Mail real estate farming postcards at least twice monthly.
  2. Make sure the mail-outs go out on the exact day of the month every month.
  3. Try to get in on the inside track: Board meeting minutes, Neighborhood Watch, Referral Guide or Business Directory.
  4. Call Quarterly into your  Farm (people you know, met at the garage sale, etc).

The Post Office started offering Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program which helps you target specific geographical area with reduced mailing costs ($0.165 flat rate per mailed piece that qualifies for EDDM). You are basically sharing part of the workload with postal workers in exchange for reduced fees. By delivering bundles of 50 pieces with accompanying paperwork to the local post office where it goes directly to the mail carrier for delivery, you help the postal service cut their transportation and labor costs. The additional benefit of using EDDM is that it delivers your materials to every door on that route so you don’t have to purchase or maintain mailing lists or label your newsletters or postcards. There are some disadvantages though. Remember that pile of flyers that you just threw away in your recycling bin? This can be your newsletter or postcard lost in the avalanche of junk mail hitting residents’ mailboxes.
To avoid this try to use some of the real estate farming postcards ideas described here.

Servicing the Sellers and Buyers After the Close of Escrow for Future Business

The Sellers:

  1. Remind them to turn off all utilities and give phone numbers.
  2. Give them a basket of goodies or a nice closing gift.
  3. Get their forwarding address.
  4. Put them on your mailing list.
  5. Send monthly newsletters and/or real estate farming postcards.
  6. Give candy, cider, etc. or at Christmas.
  7. Give tickets to a sporting event.

The Buyers:

  1. Stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood.
  2. Help with solving property related problems.
  3. Start building rapport.
  4. Give them your real estate business card and invite them to call if they have any questions.
  5. Give a “welcoming pack (i.e. community cookbook, referral guide which can be a guide on your website that you personally compiled, local map, etc.).

Social Media and Real Estate Email Newsletter

The internet is playing a larger part in our lives and the business environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be successful in real estate while ignoring the realities of rapidly progressing technology. On your printed materials and handouts, make sure to provide an option to receive your real estate newsletters via email and a QR code to see full versions of informational articles online on your website and read more about related topics.

As everyone is concerned with green alternatives and de-cluttering their homes, it may be a time and money-saving solution for you as well. Listen to your clients and study your farm’s demographics.

If your farm’s average age is 60+, an old-fashioned newsletter with larger font may be what they would prefer and what would get you noticed.

Younger crowds would respond better to a short e-newsletter that they can view on their iPad or iPhone while inline at Starbucks. Really strive to take advantage of all the social media options out there: Create a professional real estate Facebook page, write a blog were you can post interesting information or your opinions, showcase your listings on Pinterest, post new listings to Twitter.
Before you know it, there will be a cyber community of followers that can bring you referrals and sales.

Closing

Unless you faithfully nurture your garden, you can’t harvest the crop. Do your research, pick a farm area, get your tools ready and get to work! The longer you wait, the greater the possibility that other agents will beat you to the finishing line. Spring is a great time to start ‘sowing’ but as any farmer would tell you, there is work to do all year round.

So, to reap the harvest in the near future you have to start now!

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Real Estate Postcards That Work

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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 a 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 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 you 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 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. Smart phone owners will be able 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 in 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 affordable handyman for small projects,
    local babysitters and pet-sitters,
    landscaping,
    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!

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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 under- print 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:
1. 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.
2. 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 you 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 post cards 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 the 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 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 smart phone 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!

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EDDM Real Estate Farming Postcards Explained


If you are not already taking advantage of a relatively new service (first implemented in the spring of 2011) offered by USPS, you are missing the wagon. But it is never too late! In case you are farming a certain geographical area, you can’t beat the price of USPS EDDM – for 16 cents a piece, your large real estate farming postcards are delivered to every mailbox on the postal carrier route.

What is EDDM and how can it be used for real estate farming? EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is USPS door to door direct mail delivery that enables you extend your customer reach via saturation mail without the need for mailing lists, permits and fees and expenses associated with them. It is direct mail marketing that doesn’t require you to apply individual names and addresses on each mail piece. By using an online tool, you pick an area of delivery by ZIP code, city, or targeted area around your JUST LISTED house. After identifying a number of active households, the tool will estimate your postage, allowing you to extend or minimize the area to meet your budget (you have to use or drop the whole route though), and prepare and print all necessary documentation to take your mailing to the post office.

Most real estate agents will choose EDDM retail for their door to door direct mail. First step would be to register using Business Customer Gateway to access the online tool. The process is quick and easy and you will have instant access to step 2 allowing you to select delivery route in addition to approximating mailing costs. Online tool displays the number of residential and business households in selected routes (you can select business and residential or residential only) and approximate cost of mailing. By checking and unchecking certain routes you can reach your targeted budget. Sometimes, even if you choose neighboring routes, it may require you to drop off your mail in different locations, as these routes will be serviced by different USPS branches. It that case, you’ll get an alert message that your selected area requires multiple drop off locations. It is possible to continue with your order or remove that route from your selection.

Remember, that as with any direct mail advertising, consistency is the key to success. You are better off mailing once a month for six consecutive months to the same area than targeting six-times bigger geographical area only once with your EDDM postcards and expecting results. But real estate gurus will tell you that if you pick an area with great turnover rates (using MLS) and then target it for at least six months with clear message, your brand and a call to action you are guaranteed a listing windfall for your efforts.

There are a few restrictions for EDDM real estate farming postcards:

• They must qualify as USPS flats
• Each mail piece must be at least .007” thick (approx. 3 sheets of copy paper)
• They cannot exceed 3.3 oz. in weight

Many of real estate postcard printing companies that specialize in EDDM postcards offer a variety of every door direct mail templates to choose from. Most popular sizes are: 5”x11”; 6.5”x9”; and 6”x11”. Some of the EDDM services will even provide bundling and paperwork preparation for you. All you have to do is to take your box to the Post Office and pay the postage fees. If it is out of state printing house, they can’t do it for you as it has to be dropped off at the local USPS branch.

Before using USPS online tool to pick your routes, you may find beneficial to register for free and use www.melissadata.com for your first research state. After you register for your free account, you’ll be able to pull carrier routes by ZIP code and in addition to data that USPS provides, see also the average household income and estimated property values, which will give you greater insight into picking the right area for your real estate farming.

Another advantage of USPS door to door direct mail is its timing.
Let’s say you just took the listing in the neighborhood and it is imperative that you announce it to your farm as soon as possible. If you print a regular size postcard and mail it using Bulk Mail, it may take up to 2 weeks (10 business days according to USPS estimations) for it to reach your prospective clients. In today’s fast-paced market, in 2 weeks the listing may be pending sale and clients calling you on it will be very disappointed. With EDDM, after you drop off your real estate farming postcards, they are ready to be delivered next day and it usually takes 2 days for them to be placed in the hands of your prospects. The meaning of “JUST listed” will not be lost in the mail.

Another advantage of sending oversized EDDM real estate farming postcards is obvious when you look at them in comparison with other mail pieces – it is size that matters. There is no sliding scale for mailing qualified every door direct mail postcards – no matter what size you pick it is a fixed rate of 16 cents. So, why not pick the biggest size? Printing may not cost you much more and you have enough space to deliver your message clearly and with a bang.

It is almost like sticking a small billboard in the mail – it overpowers all the competition. EDDM is also the only type of mail which allows UV coating on both sides which makes your card even more attractive. As there are no addresses or mailing labels to imprint on the pieces (they all have the same label “LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER”) both sides can be glossy and the whole mail piece will win in the eyes of your clients.

Use your advertising real estate space wisely! Both sides of the postcard (minus small area for label and EDDM indicia) allow plenty of space for your message, “JUST LISTED” or “JUST SOLD” ads and possibly even space to team up with some local restaurants or businesses to split up the costs. While picking up partners in advertising, choose businesses that your average family will most likely use on a regular basis: pizzeria, family style Italian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, dry cleaning, coffee shop, pet grooming, pet sitting, etc. Clients getting your card with a valuable coupon on the back will most likely put on their fridge to use later vs tossing it in the recycling bin if it only contains the message how good you are in selling homes and how many awards you got last year. You can also team up with businesses in the related fields such as roofing companies, window replacement services, cleaning and landscaping services.

Keep in mind that your goal is to retain your existing clients and find new ones and the best way of doing it is to provide something valuable in exchange for looking at your advertisement. Delivering valuable coupons from local businesses that everyone can use, does just that.  When time comes to sell their home or answer a real estate related question, your card with phone number and unused coupon will be within your clients reach instead of your competition utilizing advertising space just for boasting their achievements and sales awards.


Your real estate postcards ideas should not be limited to only Just Listed or Just Sold postcards!

Become an expert in your neighborhood! Your real estate prospecting postcards must have QR code and links to the pages of your website with information on affordable and reliable local babysitters, handy men, dog sitters or anything else that would be of interest to that particular community. Many of top realtors use similar creative real estate farming postcards ideas, plus, some of them even developed cartoon characters for their newsletters and farming postcards.

Remember, Real Estate Marketing Postcards do NOT have to be Boring!

*Don’t forget other ways to use EDDM mailers for collecting emails addresses for you email marketing and generating traffic to your website. Read more about  postcard marketing, real estate farming and combining online and offline marketing methods.

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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.

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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.

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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 AngiesList.com 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: www.mywebsite.com/get-rid-of-mold/.”
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!

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How To Customize Your Real Estate Newsletter


Let’s say that you are using a downloadable or email real estate newsletter program that provides you with all the content you could ever need. It provides you will interesting articles, facts, clip art, photos, etc. Should you spend time customizing it? How much customization should you do? These questions are up to you to answer. Experts agree that an effective newsletter speaks to the needs of its audience. So you should first identify what your target reader wants. One of the main advantages of a customization newsletters is that you have full control of its content. You can customize your real estate newsletter content as much as you want or as little. So how can you make you real estate farming newsletters more effective? Below is a summary of proven techniques to help you choose the right amount and type customization to maximize the return on your marketing efforts.

Customizing articles in your marketing newsletter

Let’s say, you just came across some interesting information that you want to share with your clients. For example, a new law or regulation has just passed and would significantly influence their lives or investments or their is a new program for first-time home buyers. Share it! Put in on the front page with a personal note from you, highlighting the most important parts of it. Explain the benefits or significant features in your own clear and concise words so your clients are not lost in the professional jargon and legalese. Make it interesting, relevant and short. At the end of your article, add a sentence that you are available to them to answer any questions or provide further information. By doing this in your marketing newsletter you will establish yourself as an approachable real estate expert and your future clients will look forward to your service!

When you are in charge of your content, you can decide what will be most beneficial for your readers. You can make last minute changes before your newsletter goes to print, if you have to. The goal is to provide readers with valuable information that they will be looking forward to receiving. You will not be saturating them with solicitations that will be ineffectual and eventually irritating. It is always a good idea to ask for feedback and suggestions on possible topics. Anything that promotes a conversation with your clients is a positive thing.

As we all know, every market is unique. What is true on a national and county level may not be the case anymore in your local market. That’s why an extra benefit of a downloadable newsletter is that every article, even the standard ones in the newsletter, can be tweaked to fit a certain market or reflect local conditions. You can agree with the whole subject but a sentence or two would need to be rewritten or personalized and you can easily do that. Or you can delete the whole paragraph that doesn’t apply and replace it with a local Market Trends graph to illustrate your point. You benefit from using existing content (that saves you time on preparing your real estate newsletter) while having an opportunity to add a personal touch—the best of both worlds. It makes every marketing newsletter unique to specific niche and oriented to the needs of your clients. They will appreciate it and value your expertise!

Adding listings to your real estate newsletter

Interesting articles and fun facts in your newsletter is a start but you should consider adding featured homes as well. Time and time again, we see through our clients’ that this simple change makes a huge difference in the overall growth of their business . With downloadable or email newsletter you can advertise featured home on any page – just delete existing content and add your listing. If you decide to devote a whole page to your featured home, use the best shots to emphasize the most attractive and unique characteristics of the home. It is nice to provide some information, but don’t get carried away writing an essay – list bedrooms and bathrooms, the most interesting features of the home, and price. Make your clients call you by omitting the address. Sometimes homes sell before you are able to advertise them in your real estate newsletter – take advantage of that and put big SOLD across the picture. Prospective clients like to see what is selling and for how much in their neighborhood, even if they are not ready to put their home on the market yet.

If you are just getting started in the business and don’t have your own listings to advertise, ask your broker for permission to feature company listings or cooperate with a listing agent offering free publicity to his/her unique listing in your newsletter. It makes your publication relevant to your target community and provides something that everyone will be interested in. Nice photo, big caption JUST LISTED or JUST SOLD, your contact information, in case anyone is interested in seeing it, will bring you more business if used consistently, than lengthy Comparative Market Analysis that will put regular readers to sleep. Think of traditional Just Sold real estate farming postcards – they still are one of the most effective marketing materials and they do bring results!

Some top producers have been using these real estate newsletter ideas successfully for years – always having 2-3 listings on the back page of the newsletter that clients will see first when they check their mail. Even if your readers don’t open your marketing newsletter, the picture with caption will be worth a 1,000 words. And definitely every marketing dollar that you spend on it.

Take High Quality and Professional Photographs of your Listings! Every expert agrees that this makes a HUGE difference. Use only high resolution images in your newsletters. Digital photography is widely available and there is no excuse for using low-resolution, out of focus, small (optimized for web) or crooked photos with MLS logos when you can spend just a few minutes for a high quality shot. If you don’t have time or the necessary skills, hire a professional to take photos of your new listing Do it after the property is properly staged. A few hundred dollars will be well spent and pay off with a quick sale, happy clients, and a few referrals down the road.

Advertising local businesses and restaurants in your real estate newsletter

Another great way to get your clients involved is to offer free advertising to your neighborhood professionals and small businesses. Everybody is looking for more business and free advertising, so offer your clients free classified ads in your real estate newsletter and you will quickly gain some supporters on the other side of the fence. Babysitters, pet-sitters, dog-walkers, tax-preparers, daycare providers – all of them will thank you for giving them space to advertise and will be your advocates in the community. By doing this, you also provide a service to your neighborhood. People are often looking for local businesses for their daily needs. Call or email them for updates or advertised specials before printing ads in your monthly newsletter and ask for referrals of other advertisers in your community.

You may also approach:

  • local restaurants,
  • pizzerias,
  • coffee shops,
  • hair salons,
  • spa services

and offer to print their coupons in your real estate newsletter.

You will not only extend your professional network and gain a few referrals in the process, but also make your marketing newsletter a valuable piece of paper worth saving and carrying around for a weekend outing or a morning coffee. You can help a new business get noticed and gain popularity in the neighborhood. Your service will not be easily forgotten.

Team up with other professionals

We have seen several successful tandems over the years when real estate and mortgage professionals team up to create a newsletter. It also works well when real estate agents dedicate a certain portion of the newsletter to mortgage ads or interest rates updates from fellow loan officers. You can share the expense while providing clients with additional services. Other professionals worth approaching are insurance agents, tax advisers, financial planners, and local handymen. It also makes your real estate newsletter more versatile and professional by providing valuable expert opinions on related topics and keeps clients informed about special promotions and programs. It would be wise to consult with advertising professionals regarding any additional disclaimers you would need to print in your newsletter.

Print neighborhood updates, garage sales’ announcements, neighborhood watch notices

Organize a community garage sale at least once a year and print announcements in your newsletter as to when, where and how neighbors can participate. It takes several months to prepare for it properly and a fair amount of time on your part but can potentially become a significant boost to your business. Start with announcing the garage sale 2-3 month prior to the set sate so people can plan ahead and start organizing their stuff. Advertise it again 1 month before it happens and provide a form for sellers to register for it so you can direct signs to their yard and put up balloons and other festive atmospherics. By doing so, you’ll get to personally know more people in your target neighborhood. Don’t forget to send a reminder 1 week before the garage sale! It can be a small postcard or flyer. Putting an ad in a local community paper will also help make the event a success. On the day of event, put out signs and balloons early in the morning and drive around to greet people, offer coffee and fresh pastries. A nice touch would be to rent an ice cream truck for the kids later in the day and local charity pick up service to gather unsold items for donation the day after garage sale. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and put a nice article about this event in your next newsletter. Those who didn’t participate may consider it for next year if you properly highlight the fun and benefits of garage sale you’ve just sponsored.


Never refuse an opportunity to advertise a block-wide BBQ, 4th of July celebration or print special neighborhood announcements in your newsletter. Pitch in on any efforts to find lost dogs and cats. People should think of you first when they need to put up an announcement.

Creating opportunities to meet people and collaborate on something of value in your target community will pay off in the long run. Not to mention you might have fun while you are doing it. Bringing people together in real ways will benefit everyone involved. When you meet people, don’t immediately try to tell them about your newsletter. It won’t hurt to have a few copies with you at all times to give away but you should always be listening first. Ask how can you help the community you are serving and if you have some helpful information, don’t hesitate to share it. This method builds a solid network of supporters that will bring you more business and community recognition over many years This is your main goal when preparing and distributing your real estate newsletter.

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Biggest DON’Ts When Customizing Your Real Estate Newsletter

During twenty years of helping agents to create custom real estate newsletters we’ve seen it all—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whether you are just starting with your marketing newsletter or have been doing it for years, our tips will help you avoid common and uncommon mistakes. Or maybe you’ve been doing something for years not realizing that it is not the best way to achieve results.

Don’t make your clients take out a magnifying glass!


Very often agents want to put in the newsletter custom written articles that are just too long for the publication and in order to do that, will reduce the font significantly. We’ve received files that are 5-pages long with request to fit it all on the front page. How can you do that effectively without cutting the text or printing it in un-readable small font?

Our advice: keep it short! People don’t have time to read a lengthy market report after 8 hours in the office and 2 hours of commute! If you have an important topic you want to share, shorten it to a digest-style report highlighting the most important facts. The added benefit would be that readers will call you if they need more information.

Another solution to this problem is to put a QR code at the end of the articles that will take your readers directly to your website or blog with a full version of that article. Then those who would like to continue reading will bring more traffic to your website and may submit you a question, leave a comment, bookmark your website, share it on their social media pages or even refer you to their friends or relatives! It makes absolutely no sense for jamming everything you’ve got into a couple of pages. Two or three teasers with big headlines pointing to full articles on your website will work twenty times better than a really long one without QR code or link.

Some agents spend numerous hours on totally customizing their pre-written real estate newsletter content substituting close to 100% of it. While it seems like a personal approach to marketing which should be rewarding, in reality it is not. Why hire marketing company with pre-written newsletter if you are going to change all of it? Believe us, content is important but not THAT important. The main goal of real estate newsletter is to put your name in front of your clients as a local real estate expert, not to become a professional publisher of a neighborhood gazette. If the content of the newsletter is so awful that you have to change it all, find a new company. If it is decent, why waste your time on a task that will not bring you more business? No question, you should customize some of the content, but don’t spend all your time being a writer instead of real estate agent.
If you are really into writing and don’t mind spending a lot of time on it then check out some of custom real estate newsletter ideas discussed in this article that will benefit you in many aspects by improving your real estate farming techniques.

CMA or …?

Many Realtors have been tempted to provide their clients with a detailed lengthy Market Analysis in every issue of their printed real estate newsletter and majority of agents have been doing it for years thinking that it is what their clients need and want to see in the newsletter. Don’t waste your time and money! If you think your readers want to scroll down 50+ lines of report in ant-size font comparing Days on the Market, Price per Square Footage and amenities to get an idea how much their property is worth, you’ve never talked to your prospective clients and asked for their feedback. While you, as a professional, should spend time analyzing data, don’t put it on the shoulders of your clients—they only want the summary and they definitely will be interested in what is selling now in their neighborhood.

Our advice: you are much better off to put Just Listed or Just Sold property (you can alternate them) with a nice photo, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, main features, and a price. Real estate agents who followed our advice have seen an immediate increase in business and now have a Featured Home in every issue! Try to position your listings so that clients can see them without even opening the newsletter. Remember, sometimes you have only 2 seconds when your newsletter is traveling from their hands to recycling bin to make an impression and capture their attention. Don’t waste it with unreadable scrolls of numbers!
Read more about other ideas for real estate newsletters here.

Who needs quality images?

Over the years we’ve processed thousands of property photos and can say with confidence: top agents make sure they present their listings well! Don’t just use fuzzy web quality MLS photos – you’ll only spoil the first impression and irritate your sellers (if it is your listing) demonstrating that you don’t care or you are too cheap to invest in a better camera or hire a professional to take photos. Believe it or not but, some agents even faxed us photos back in the days thinking that they’ll be usable for printing! Only 10-20% of agents will use high resolution photos for their printed marketing materials. What do we call these agents? Successful?

Our advice: take high resolution color photos with good lighting, inside and out. If you are not skilled to do it, hire a professional. It will be a great investment both in your marketing materials and your image. Your sellers will immediately see that you care about their property and you are more likely to find buyers for it quickly.

Staying forever young (on your personal photo)

We’ve seen real estate agents using the same photo for years and even decades. If your clients are getting your marketing newsletter regularly and then meet you at an open house or just on the street, they’ll not recognize you if your photo looks like high school senior class year book while you gracefully aged during your successful 30-year career!

Our advice: be honest and make sure your newsletter photo (if you are using one) really represents you well so if someone meets you they can say, “Hi, I know you – I’ve been enjoying your newsletter for years!” Some agents make it interesting and replace photo almost every month with some snap shots of their adventures, hikes, travels, etc. Others love to put the photos with their children or grand-kids – whatever fits your personality. Just make sure it is a high resolution recent photo that looks really like you, the one that you’d use for you real estate business cards!

A hidden secret of real estate marketing – line spacing!

We had a fair share of difficult clients over the years that are hard to please. They will be spending hours (and even days) trying to make their newsletter perfect (as they think), constantly changing fonts, adjusting line spacing and making slight changes to layout that don’t affect the content of the newsletter and are barely visible with a naked eye. We even had to adjust our proof policies after one client approved newsletter after 27 proofs dealing with line spacing! In reality, your clients hardly care if the title is in Arial or Comic Sans font and what is the line spacing of the front article—as long as it is readable ad information is accurate, to the best of your knowledge.

Our advice: don’t waste your time being picky about fonts and layout and don’t spend hours compulsively changing it to attain illusive perfection. Your main goal is to provide information in a clear and readable format—not to create a printed masterpiece. You are better off spending time doing your real estate farming: talking to people, passing newsletters and business cards in your real estate farm, and selling homes!

Faxing your hand-written articles – really?

When everyone has an email address, we still get an occasional article faxed to us. Some clients are even more creative: they’ll type it, not save the file (biggest mistake!), then print it out on a printer, scan it (!!!) and then fax it over. How much valuable time did you just loose while making more work for your marketing assistant? Isn’t it more logical to create your article, save the file, then email it as attachment or highlight the text, CTRL-C to copy it, CTRL-V to paste it directly into your email and you are done! It is easy to work with text that can be copied and pasted then with crooked scanned PDF files. Keep it in mind to make the process of preparation of your marketing real estate newsletter smooth and fast. Avoid faxing unless you need to make a quick change in a layout and it will be easier to mark it this way.

There are still some “busy” real estate agents that will fax us hand-written scribbles strategically placed on the margins of the page (to be partially cut-off) and then be upset that it is time-consuming and close to impossible to decipher them. They’ll refuse to cooperate when you offer to email them the text for easy editing and will insist on dictating it over the phone. It is not efficient use of your time and your marketing assistant’s time. Use all the tools computers and internet give you and make better use of your day for prospecting and enjoying life.

Loosing database of your clients


You would not believe how many agents rely on a 3rd party (sometimes, their marketing company) to maintain the foundation of their business – clients’ data. Understand that nobody protects your best interests the same way as you do. Your relationship with a marketing company can be compromised or severed and if they have the only recent copy of your data that you entrusted them with, you may never receive it back. We had clients waiting for months (!!!) to get their data back while not being able to continue with their mailings and having to go through a time-consuming and painstakingly excruciating process of restoring data. Don’t jeopardize your marketing by being cavalier with these records.

It pains us to realize how many real estate agents don’t back up that data and ask us for a copy when their hard drive crashes and they can’t retrieve it. As computer experts say about the hard drives failure: “It is not the questions of if it will fail, but when.” You should be prepared at any time. Nowadays, when there are numerous ways of safely backing up your data “on the cloud” (over the internet so you are not a prisoner of hardware failure, fire, etc), there is no excuse for not doing it. Research a back up company that suits your needs – Google Drive, Dropbox, Carbonite – there are tons of companies on the market right now – and diligently back up your data EVERY DAY!

…and one more cave-man approach – faxing your mailing list

Please never fax your mailing list or mailing labels to your mailing company… There is always a way to export/import data from any system you are using. Invest time into learning your data management system and use it to your advantage. If you don’t know how ask technical support or computer-savvy colleague or try finding the answer on Google, like the rest of us. Faxing data, so it has to be typed again, is a cave-man approach to mailing that will for sure introduce numerous typos and mistakes into your data. With postage steadily going up you don’t want to be paying for undeliverable mail and bad addresses or offend your clients by making typos in their last name – a big NO-NO in real estate farming.

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