Just like email marketing, the power of postcard campaigns is often underestimated by real estate agents.
You might think that postcards are old-fashioned, expensive and that they consume too much time but the truth is that the only way to get business in real estate is by building connections. Postcards are an excellent way to create and nurture those valuable connections.
So why is there such a bad reputation in the market for postcards?
Well, the answer is simple. We live in an age where everyone is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis, the majority of which are just terrible. Customers have built an immunity against the generic marketing, and that’s why postcards don’t work for most agents; because they suck and don’t stand out.
However, well-designed and well-written postcard campaigns work because of the same reason. There is so much digital marketing noise that people just tune it out. Postcards, on the other hand, are something tangible. Someone has to write them, design them, get them printed, and then mail them. That’s called putting in the efforts, which is something that clients value, especially when it comes to picking the right agent for the job.
Most agents don’t invest in real estate postcard campaigns because they either don’t have the time to create amazing postcards or the patience to do it consistently. Contrary to the common misconception, well-designed and well-written postcard campaigns are still one of the best ways to get listing appointments in real estate.
Postcard campaigns can get you tons of listing appointments if you get three things right:
- The Design
- The Messaging
- The Mindset
As long as the design is good, the messaging is catchy, and you are patient, the direct-mail campaign will get you good results. The trick is to plan your postcard campaign for the next 6 months, so you don’t have to play catch up.
That’s what we will help you do through this blog; planning, creating and sending out a fantastic farming postcard campaign so you can achieve your real estate goals, whether it’s:
- Finding buyers for your listings
- Getting appointments with sellers
- Or, generating referrals through your sphere of influence
Planning Your Postcard Campaign
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein
You remember the famous story about the tortoise and the hare, right?
Well, postcard campaigns are the tortoises when it comes to real estate marketing.
If you are looking for success shortcuts, then postcard campaigns are not for you. If you are looking to work in real estate for your life, put together a lead generation machine, and be successful, then postcard campaigns are the way to go.
Postcard campaign is a long-term marketing strategy. You won’t get anything unless you persevere and slowly build your brand in your local market. You have to mail your list repeatedly and consistently to get your results. Slowly, the people will start recognizing you as the agent who is active, the one who wins a lot of listing, and hustles to get stuff done.
Agents have busy, busy schedules and it’s easy for critical tasks to slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to plan your postcard campaign at the start of each year so you don’t have to play “catch-up”.
Here are three steps which will help you plan amazing postcard campaigns for next year and get the results you were hoping to get:
Choose Your Farming Area
The first step of planning is knowing who exactly is going to receive your postcard campaign. Now, you can go ahead and send out the postcard campaign to your entire city, but that is going to be not only expensive but also ineffective. Rather than using a “shotgun strategy” and praying that you hit your target, you should pick a “sniper strategy” so you can target a particular group of people through your marketing campaigns.
It’s important not to be overly ambitious and pick a vast area as a farm because then you will have to spend a lot of marketing dollars to cover it. Instead, if you select a smaller area as your farm, you will be able to get better results within the same marketing budget as you will be able to market your business repeatedly and consistently.
Pro Tip – Stay In Touch With Your Clients
A happy customer is the best brand ambassador you can have. As an agent, always maintain a list of your past clients so you can occasionally touch base with them to connect. This list will be a gold-mine of referrals for you. Send them an occasional direct mail campaign on special holidays, when you need a referral, or if you just want to say “thank you” for the business they gave you!
Create Schedule For Postcard Campaign
Once you know your target market, it’s time to create a schedule for your postcard campaign for at least the next couple of quarters. You need to know what your postcard is all about, who is it for, and when will they receive it. You also have to define your objective for the postcard campaign. Are you looking for buyers for your listings, get listing appointments with sellers, or build credibility in the market as an outstanding agent? Or maybe you want to further develop your relationship with your past customers and ask for referrals?
Ideally, you should be sending out at least 2 postcard campaigns every month. If that’s too much, then target at least 8-10 postcard campaigns for the entire year. Remember, the objective is to stay on top of the mind of your clients so plan your campaigns according to your budget and your market.
Get Someone To Help You Out
Let’s be honest.
If you were an amazing writer, you probably would be writing best-selling novels. If you were an amazing designer, then you would be working in a different industry.
I am not saying that just because you are working in real estate, you can’t do it. Some of you might have a talent for writing crazy good copy or using Photoshop to create cool-looking designs, but the majority of agents don’t have the skills or the time to create postcard campaigns by themselves.
Creating real estate postcards that work isn’t that easy. The only way you can keeping sending amazing and effective postcard campaigns throughout the entire year is if you have some help! The 3rd part of planning your postcard campaigns is finding that help.
You can have your assistant help you come up with the messaging for your real estate marketing postcards, or you can hire an experienced copywriter who can create some kickass copy for you. For designs, you can hire a good designer who can help you create your postcard campaigns and keep your branding consistent.
It’s important that you find these resources, help them understand what you hope to achieve, and have them onboard before you get swamped with tasks. Finding help is important because this will enable you to focus your energy on the important tasks: working and closing more deals.
Types of Real Estate Postcard Campaigns
As mentioned earlier in the blog, you can utilize postcard campaigns to accomplish different real estate objectives. As an agent, you might specialize in working with sellers. In that case, your main objective would be finding more seller leads and finding buyers for your listings. On the other hand, another agent might specialize in luxury market so his or her target market would be totally different than yours.
That’s why there is no one proven marketing plan for the real estate agents. You will have to adjust your campaign according to your needs, your specialization, and your target market.
Overall there are 7 main types of real estate postcard campaigns that you can use:
Congratulations. You got a listing. Now you have to find buyers for that listing. Hosting an open house is an amazing way to do that. Getting a great offer for the house becomes so easier when your prospective buyers visit the property and can visualize himself or herself living in that house. You can use real estate postcard campaigns to inform residents living in that area that you got a listing and will be hosting an open house to showcase it. That will help you drive traffic to your open house, increasing your chances of selling it quickly, for a high price.
The objective of “Just Listed” postcard campaign is to generate inquiries about the property. Sellers will absolutely love that you took the effort to create a fabulous postcard to promote their property. Ideally, this should be done before you host an open house so you can sort of build towards the big event. In this postcard campaign, you will have to highlight the key features of the property, the address, and your contact information like this.
Hey, you did an amazing job selling your client’s property quickly, for a pretty good price. Why not show the world who’s the most badass agent in the town? Use your success to build credibility for your business and inspire confidence in your prospects by telling the world about it. Houses are sold all the time but sellers would rather call an agent who hustles and markets his or her success than one who doesn’t. You can also add a free appraisal offer in this postcard to engage people who are thinking of selling their home or are just plain curious about their property’s price.
As an agent, you might be working in a market where renting is way more dominant than buying a property. If you are working as a property manager, then you might be looking for tenants rather than buyers. Again, you can use postcard campaigns to promote those properties, find those tenants, and get those contract agreements signed.
Hey, the rule # 1 of success in real estate is sincerity and national holidays represent an amazing time when you can reach out to your prospects, clients and business partners and show them that you remember them, that you care. Sending out holiday themed postcard can help you get the traction you need for success because most of your competition won’t be marketing at that time, which gives you an edge over them.
Your clients won’t hire you because you look nice or if you dress really well (although that would help). They will hire you so you can help them fulfill their needs. Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest transaction of most people’s lives. They won’t trust just anyone for that. The best way to earn that trust is to showcase your knowledge of real estate and guide your prospects even before they hire you. You can use postcards to send market updates of a particular area to your prospects to build credibility.
Real Estate Prospecting Postcards
Hey, you remember that shotgun marketing strategy? It turns out you can use it when your sales funnel is empty. You can use real estate prospecting postcards to promote your services in the desired area. It’s like fishing. You can send the prospecting postcards out to your farming area and hope that someone in your farming area who is thinking about buying or selling a property responds. Don’t underestimate the power of real estate prospecting postcards as they might pleasantly surprise you. You can target these campaigns specifically to buyers, sellers, or people who would like to rent a place in your farming area.
Noticed all those expired listings out there? You can note down addresses of those particular properties and create a postcard campaign offering your services. If you are great at selling properties, then send them “just sold” postcards mentioning how quickly you sold the property and for how much!
Writing a Kick-ass Copy
I said you don’t have to do everything yourself and that you can hire a copywriter to do this for you.
I am sorry, but as an agent, you should be able to at least differentiate a great copy from a sucky one, right?
Here’s what you need to know to do that. The messaging needs to be simple, concise and powerful. Today, the attention span of an average person is less than 8 seconds. You have to grab their attention within those 8 seconds. Otherwise, your postcard won’t be effective at all and will end up in the trash can with banana peels and eggshells.
If you are sending a postcard campaign for a property you just listed, make sure you highlight the key features of the property. You also need to focus on what differentiates it from all the other properties in the neighborhood.
Here are some questions which you can answer to create an amazing copy for the property:
- What kind of house is it?
- When was it built?
- What kind of neighborhood is the house in?
- What’s the best feature of the house?
- Has a celebrity lived in the house in the past?
The copy for the open house needs to have the following elements in it:
- Invitation Statement (obviously)
- Bait – Freshly baked cookies, soft music, and mingling?
- Home Details
- # of Bedrooms
- Sq. Footage
- Special Details
- Agent Name
- Contact Information (Cell number, email address, and website)
- Brokerage Name
The copy for “Just Sold” postcard campaigns needs to have following elements in it:
- A big, bold “JUST SOLD.”
- Property Address
- Selling Price
- Sold by
- Contact Information (Cell number, email address, and website)
You get the idea. You need to keep the copy catchy and straightforward. The rule to judge your copy by is KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple Silly. Your listing can’t be just like any other listing in the neighborhood. It has to be different and believe me, words sell. It’s all about how the property is perceived.
Getting The Design Right
“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand
Once you have the messaging that goes on the postcard right, it’s time to get your postcard campaign designed. You have two choices here. You can do it yourself by using Canva, which is an amazing tool offering tons of real estate postcard templates. Take some cool pictures of the property, import them in Canva, adjust them in the template, add the copy and tada! You got your postcard! However, you will have to be careful about the colors because ideally, you want to keep your branding consistent with your website.
Option # 1 – Creating Postcards On Canva in 5 Steps:
Agents can easily create a stunning postcard campaign through Canva in 5 easy steps:
- Create your account on Canva by visiting www.canva.com
- Open Canva and pick the real estate postcard template you would like to edit
- Upload your images or pick one of the pictures from Canva’s stock image library
- Adjust images, add image filters, and incorporate text in in the template
- Save and share!
Option # 2 – Hire a Designer:
Your clients probably receive a lot of mail on a daily basis. Don’t give them an excuse to throw your postcard in the recycle bin. Make sure your postcard’s design is good and stands out. That’s the only way to make sure that you get the results that you were expecting from your direct mail campaign.
Printing & Postage:
Once the design is finalized, it’s time to get those fine real estate marketing postcards printed. You have to be really careful when it comes to picking the paper which will be used for printing because you don’t want your postcard to be discarded.
The four main option that you will get when it comes to printing postcards are:
- Cover stock
- UV Coated
Make sure that your postcard is printed on a nice, glossy paper, especially if you are a luxury real estate agent. Luxury buyers and sellers won’t even glance at a postcard printed on cheap paper, it’s crucial to use the good quality materials for printing luxury real estate postcards.
The normal postcard sizes are:
- 4” x 6”
- 5” x 7”
- 6” x 9”
- and 6” x 11”
When you are planning your postcard campaign, you have to keep your marketing budget in mind as well. Once your postcard campaign is designed, you will have to get it printed, add postage, and then send it out. All of this will incur a cost which might vary from region to region. The cost for printing might depend on the design, the colors, and the postcard size. You need to calculate how many postcards you are going to print and send out so your market budget isn’t imbalanced.
One last thing you need to keep in mind is to measure the results and optimize your campaigns. Measuring the results can be challenging because there is no clear cut way to say which lead came from which marketing campaign. However, effective real estate postcard campaigns should result in calls from prospects as well as website leads (if you have an offer) which can give you a rough estimate of your return on investment.
Well, that’s it. This has been a pretty long blog, and I have only managed to cover the basics of how to plan and create different types of real estate marketing postcards that work. I would love to hear your thoughts on what contributes the most in the success of a real estate postcard campaign so leave your two cents in the comments below!