Marketing

How real estate agents can get unlimited direct mail advertising for free (Part 1)

A simple method to get the word out about your business for very little money (or none at all)

I discovered the single greatest advertising method for significantly increasing your exposure while greatly reducing your advertising budget — or even pay nothing at all. This is the story of how I made the discovery.

If you are anything like me, you’ve learned the hard way that no matter how good of a salesperson you are, your work means nothing without clients.

When I first started my business, I was young and naive. I created my website, printed my business cards, and told my family and friends I was open for business! It was the most excited I had been in a long time; I was ready to start my new life.

I quickly learned that I needed much more than a simple website to get customers. But I was a fresh college graduate with not much money or experience at all. I couldn’t afford Internet ads, newspaper ads or Valpak, and direct mail was certainly out of the question. With no formal business training, I spent the majority of my time hunting down clients like they were mythical animals.

At this point, I had lost my childlike excitement for my new business. I was starting to fear for my future. What was I going to do if the majority of my time was spent figuring out how to find clients when all I wanted to do was get to work?

I thought to myself, “I know what I need — to let people know I exist and am open for business — and now I just need to figure out how to fit it in my budget.”

6 ways empowered agents embrace disruption to drive success
Using technology to generate leads and win listings READ MORE

I had read about a service that the United States Postal Service offers called “every door direct mail,” or EDDM for short. This makes bulk mailing much more affordable — 17 cents per piece — and it saturates thousands of homes. It’s a huge savings, but it would still cost thousands of dollars I didn’t have.

That’s when I got the idea to leverage other businesses to split the cost of the mailing, which would save me a ton of money. I approached some businesses and shared my idea. We all agreed to split a big postcard and sent it to 10,000 homes. Sending out the same mailer by myself would have cost me over $10,000, but because I split the advertising, I was able to pay only a fraction of that. From this one mailing, I was able to net $5,000 in profit.

Phew, I finally did it! I was so excited that this was finally working that I wanted to do another mailing right away, but I still had doubts. What if it were a fluke? I still had to fork over $1,000, so it was still an expensive route. How could I do it for free?

Postcards

I thought that if I can approach even more like-minded businesses and split the mailing with them, my risk and cost would be even lower … or even free. I could have just been happy with free advertising, but then I wanted to take it one step further. I got the crazy idea of charging them. I call my system the “No-Cost Direct Mail System.”

It took me a few weeks to get everything together and get some like-minded businesses on board, but I mailed my information to 10,000 homes and profited $2,500 in doing it, plus the leads generated from the mailing itself.

I couldn’t believe it! I went from rocketing towards the bottom, growing unsure about my future, to making more money than I’d ever had in only a couple of months.

This was nearly two years ago, and I have spent the majority of my time since learning and creating new ways to get clients. I cannot recommend this neat little method enough — it literally changed my life and business, and it is a perfect strategy for newbies and seasoned professionals alike. Now I’ve learned how to profit $5,000-plus every single time I decide to advertise.

The system may seem intimidating, but please don’t let that discourage you. If you’re going to make it in this business, you need to be one step ahead of your competition, and I can guarantee you no agent is offering something like this in your neighborhood … yet.

Here are the pros and cons of this method:

Pros

  • Repeated high market exposure.
  • It’s extremely flexible.
  • There are cheap, free or money-generating methods.
  • The mailers are a physical product; people can hold on to them.
  • You will become the go-to real estate resource person for other businesses and consumers.
  • It’s easy to sell, and there is limited competition.
  • There’s no envelope; ads are seen immediately.
  • The paper is extremely high quality, not flimsy.
  • You will build a stronger local community by helping other small businesses.

I could keep going.

Cons

  • You will need to reach out to other businesses.
  • You will share advertising space with other businesses. (However, because this method is so flexible, you have the option of taking up an entire side of the mailing and leaving the back to the other businesses.)
  • You can’t target individual homes.

Next week, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to implement this system in your own community. You can also download my free guide if you’re too impatient to wait until then!

Kevin Dyke is the founder of Kevin Dyke Design.

Email Kevin Dyke.