Prospecting by Direct Mail
Keep It Ethical
Do not make specific solicitations to people who have exclusive contracts with other real estate professionals. However, if you are doing a large-scale mailing, you do not need to verify whether or not those on your list have contracted with someone else.
Direct mail—both traditional and online—helps support personal contact during prospecting.
When you plan your mailing efforts, be sure to:
- Follow sound basic principles of direct marketing.
- Establish credibility by promoting your recent sales and listing in the area.
- Offer testimonials from past customers.
- Prominently feature your phone, e-mail and social media accounts.
- Ask prospects to call you; request action.
- Mail three pieces at two-to-three week intervals, and then follow up with a request for appointment.
Keep it Legal
Some state and local laws restrict the use of premiums and contests. Review the laws in your state to make sure your efforts are not a legal violation.
Direct Mail Online
Build your e-mail list with an online contest. Offer a good prize—a TV or dinner for two in a hot restaurant. Participants must enter via e-mail and will be notified the same way. Hold a second contest for those who did not participate and offer a different sort of prize—sports tickets, for example. Eventually, you’ll motivate most people to participate.
Marketing expert Greg Herder of Hobbs/Herder Advertising, Newport Beach, Calif., emphasizes that unlike direct mail for personal marketing, prospecting direct mail wants instantaneous action. You are looking for a listing today.
TIP: Don’t worry about overdoing promotions, says sales guru Lauren Harper-Haden, LEHH Enterprises. People have a lot going on; it’s unlikely they will remember something from a month ago.
Printed pieces that are particularly effective for prospecting include:
- Door hangers
- Doubled-sided postcards that can be torn apart and mailed back.
- Postcards emphasizing a recent sale nearby with a prominent phone number.
At the same time, suggests Herder, prospecting marketing pieces should reinforce your personal marketing efforts by using similar graphics and repeating your personal marketing line and logo.
Keep It Ethical
Offering premiums and prizes is great, but be sure you reveal any conditions of the offer. —Standard of Practice 12-3
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