Whether you’re an agent or a real estate investor, the ability to find off-market homes is truly invaluable.
As an agent, not only are you able to win listings without worrying about competition, but you’re also able to show buyers homes that they can’t find anywhere else.
As an investor, going after off-market homes is one of the best ways to get great deals.
So, regardless of whether you want listings or deals, going after off-market homes is a strategy you should try.
Not sure where to start? No problem.
Gary Boomershine joined me on a recent podcast to share his proven system for finding off-market homes via direct mail. In addition to explaining where to send mailers and what to include in them, Boomershine breaks down the most effective follow-up process he’s found for converting direct-mail leads.
Plus, Boomershine discusses “the six M’s of marketing” and how to apply them when marketing via direct mail.
To hear all that and more, listen to my podcast interview with Boomershine. Or, for a quick rundown on the six M’s of marketing in the direct-mail context, read on.
Applying the 6 M’s of marketing to direct mail
The six M’s of marketing are as follows: market, message, medium, multiple, money and months. Discover how to apply each of them to direct mail in the sections below.
For a real estate agent looking to land leads via direct mail, the market is the list — the names and addresses of potential sellers. Boomershine’s had the most success with three categories of homeowners: burned-out landlords, those who have inherited properties and high-equity homeowners.
In markets with at least 250,000 homes, Boomershine estimates that 15 percent to 18 percent of homes will fall into the three categories mentioned above. You can find these properties via sites like ListSource, RealQuest and ListAbility.
In the direct-mail context, the message is the copy used in mailers. The goal of this copy is to encourage action on the homeowner’s part — to get them to contact you.
As an example, here’s what’s written on one of Boomershine’s mailers:
Urgent: (Homeowner Name)
I want to buy your house at (address) and close before (upcoming date). Are you interested?
My name is (name). I recently sold a house in your area and am looking to purchase another one with the proceeds. I’m sending this note in case you want to consider selling this property or perhaps another property that you have in the area.
If I buy your house, there will be no fees or commissions. In fact, I’m willing to pay all closing costs. Please hurry because once I buy a replacement property, I won’t be in a position to buy until I sell it.
If you fill in the appropriate sections with your information and include contact details, this is a mailer investors could start using today.
With direct-mail marketing, postcards are the medium. It’s important to remember that the type of postcard used matters.
Boomershine has sent out over 34 million direct-mail pieces to date and has tracked response rates to different types of mailers. Via split tests, he’s determined that ugly canary-yellow postcards outperform the fancy handwritten notes that are so popular with real estate investors these days.
In Boomershine’s experience, the handwritten style tends to generate a response rate of roughly 1 percent. Yellow postcards, on the other hand, sit somewhere around 4 percent.
As is the case with most marketing methods, repetition is key when it comes to succeeding with direct mail. Still, you don’t want to send mailers too often or it will increase costs unnecessarily and could lead to list fatigue.
For Boomershine, sending mailers every 60 days is what’s worked best, but results might vary in your market. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but be sure to track your response rates.
So, just how much money should you spend with direct mail? Well, it depends.
Some of Boomershine’s clients spend roughly $2,500 per deal. In other words, for every $2,500 put into a direct-mail campaign, they manage to purchase one property. While that might sound like a lot to spend on mailers, it’s usually worth it. These clients often get six- to seven-times that in profit.
Obviously, you can scale your spend up or down as needed. Again, just be sure to track your results.
Before giving up on an unresponsive prospect, Boomershine recommends sending between five and eight mailers.
With a schedule of one direct-mail piece per 60 days, that gives mailers a year (give or take a few months) to work their magic. After that, if you haven’t received a response of any kind, it’s time to return to your list so that you can start mailing a new prospect in their place.
Want to learn more about the six M’s of marketing? Interested in learning what else Boomershine does to ensure his direct-mail marketing is a success?
Listen to my podcast interview with Gary Boomershine for further details on everything discussed in this article, additional strategies for direct-mail marketers and more.
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Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.