I told DirecTV to stop contacting us after we canceled because we are physically unable to continue service. The snow came close to ripping off of the dish (and parts of the roof) in early January. There’s no safe place to put it. Yet they persisted.

  • DirecTV's direct mail campaign gave me reason to consider its services after ongoing denials.
  • Real estate agents can learn valuable lessons from outside the industry.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

I told DirecTV to stop contacting us after we canceled because we are physically unable to continue service.

The snow came close to ripping off of the dish (and parts of the roof) in early January. There’s no safe place to put it.

Yet they persisted.

I have to admire them for their efforts; the phone calls stopped, but the direct mail didn’t.

In fact, it’s been darn effective.

I opened an envelope the other day that looked nothing like junk mail: It was addressed with one of those script fonts and looked like a greeting card.

They got me again.

Not only did I open it, I read it.

And now I’m considering giving them another chance when we move into our new house later this month.

I believe real estate agents can learn three important lessons from what DirecTV did.

1. Consistency works

True, I wasn’t happy with the weekly calls asking me to come back to DirecTV, but the phone representatives were never rude and always apologetic.

They quickly listed what they could provide, and when I told them no and why, they would cordially close the call. I never hung up mad — I was just fascinated that they persisted. Almost 800 inches of snow dropped at my house … what don’t you guys understand about that?

Consider these tips:

  • If your cold call prospect isn’t ready to move yet, tell them that’s OK. But never promise to not stay in touch.
  • Consider less frequent communication with indifferent prospects. Remember, segmentation is your friend when it comes to marketing.
  • Divide your email lists into current prospects (who are probably getting new listing notices already), previous clients and pipeline prospects.
  • Each prospect is in a different stage of buying or selling, so you need to tailor your messages.

2. Direct mail works

While the calls slowed, the mail didn’t.

The solicitations that came as glossy hard sales never made it out of the post office — they went straight to recycling.

The clandestine mailings, however, were effective. They made it home and I opened them. (The former does not always equate to the latter.)

I’m not recommending you try to fool prospects. I am recommending that you use creativity when executing direct mail campaigns.

Consider these tips:

  • Not everything you send needs to be a postcard or a “Just Sold” promotion. Try letters and pictures. Use unique packaging and envelopes.
  • You could go the hard promotional item route, but that could come off as cheesy if not executed properly.
  • If your list is small enough, handwritten notes can be very effective. Follow up a with a phone call.
  • You can also consider a product like Blend Campaign for a one-two punch of physical mail and voicemail messaging.

3. Incentives work

DirecTV offered me a serious discount on Sunday NFL Ticket if I come back. Hard to resist.

Can you offer listing prospects a point or two reduction in fees? Maybe a free home warranty to buyers as an extra incentive?

I know it’s not always easy to provide something that eats into commission, but remember that everyone wants a deal today. (Thanks, internet.)

Think of something, and offer it for free.

Consumers scour the web for discounts and service reviews. If yours include the words “deal” or “free,” rest assured they’ll get extra attention.

Learning from other industries

What different marketing tactics can you unearth from other industries?

Lawyers, for example, are often incredibly bold in their marketing. We’ve all seen billboards inquiring, “Injured?” accompanied by a website address or phone number.

Creative? Not really.

Effective? Many think so.

There was a roof repair business back in North Carolina that specialized in flat roofs. During the 13 years I lived there, I never opened a News & Observer without seeing a small, black and white ad that read: “Is Your Flat Roof Leaking?”

It was always there, and if you had a flat roof, you knew who to call.

Have you seen cool ways to market from outside real estate? Chat about them below.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top