Any experienced real estate agent will tell you that his or her business is dead in the water without t an adequate number of new customer leads. These days, most Realtors® rely on digital marketing strategies to get more qualified leads.
The problem is, everyone advertises online, including other real estate agents in the area. This means that the average Realtor®, that’s you, must compete with other agents to get new clients.
However, smart real estate agents do something different. They embrace tried-and-true methods of advertising, like real estate mailers. In other words, they send postcards out to potential clients while their competitors compete with each other in the digital world.
In this post, we cover why you should adopt postcards as a lead-gathering strategy and how to implement a postcard campaign once you decide to try this marketing technique.
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What Makes Postcards for Real Estate So Effective?
The best advertising is targeted advertising. That is, it speaks to a specific niche of the population. In real estate terms, specific niches could include population segments, income brackets or geographic regions.
For example, let’s suppose that your specialty centers around a few specific neighborhoods in your city, like downtown or the historic district. People who are interested in living in these areas will certainly know about them.
A well-designed real estate mailer gets the attention of these prospective buyers because they’re already interested in living in those areas of town.
Additionally, a postcard that includes a stunning photo of a popular neighborhood is something that people will keep, hang on their refrigerator and refer back to. If they love the card, they’ll keep it.
When they’re ready to buy, they’ll contact you because your name is on the postcard they hung on their refrigerator.
Showcase Your Expertise in One Mailer
A Realtor’s® website is a showcase of everything that he or she has to offer a prospective client. This includes a real estate agent’s current listings, a blog, a bio, client testimonials and other pertinent information. A couple of problems exist with this system, however.
First, the sheer abundance of information can feel overwhelming to new clients. This is particularly true for first-time home buyers who often don’t know where to start their search for a real estate agent.
Second, while the information on the website may offer a complete look at the Realtor®, this information is usually scattered throughout the whole website.
This requires a potential client to click through an unfamiliar website to find the information he or she needs. This opens up the possibility that the client will just click off the website if the search process gets too confusing or frustrating.
Real estate postcards streamline this process a bit by putting the most pertinent information in one place. This cuts down on the initial confusion that a new prospect might feel.
A postcard can show a Realtor’s® headshot, one or two client testimonials and some recent market data. Information that’s not as relevant to a new client gets left out.
If you’re the real estate agent who sent out the postcard, you position yourself as an expert and you do so in one place. The client doesn’t have to sort through your website to find out your track record.
It’s a way to prequalify prospects without scaring them away because they feel overwhelmed by too much information.
In Advertising, Being Different is Good
According to HootSuite Founder Ryan Holmes the average American sees between 4K and 10K ads per day. It’s probably safe to say that most of them fall into the online ads category.
The question is, how can the average real estate professional cut through all of the ad clutter and get the attention of prospective home buyers? Real estate mailers give Realtors® at least one advertising option outside the digital marketplace.
Realtors® who do this stand out from the other real estate professionals in the local area. A prospective home buyer may ignore the digital ad that pops up on his or her browser. At this point, this type of ad-ignore response comes pretty automatically to most people.
A nicely designed real estate postcard isn’t something that people expect, and most people check their snail mail daily. Although standard mail comes with its own share of advertisements, there are still fewer advertisements in a person’s physical mailbox than he or she will encounter in the online space.
This gives your postcard a better chance of standing out in the customer’s mind.
Tips for a Successful Real Estate Postcard Campaign
Understanding why you should do a postcard advertising campaign is only half the battle. You must also plan your campaign.
The success of a real estate postcard ad campaign typically comes down to three factors: the design of the card, consistency of effort and the quality of the images.
In this section, we address each factor. We include practical tips that make creating your postcard campaigns easier, even if you’ve never done one before.
Use Professional Postcard Templates
Good design captures attention. Make no mistake about it. However, if you’re like many real estate professionals, then it may be that graphic design isn’t one of your strong suits. That doesn’t need to deter you from creating your own real estate mailers and gorgeous ones at that.
Nowadays, there are many easy-to-use online software programs that come with postcard templates that you can use to create eye-catching mailers. These programs offer drag and drop design features. This makes it simple for even the most novice designer to use.
Additionally, you can also upload your own quality photos to these sites. This allows you to personalize each postcard you send out.
For example, if you’re doing a campaign that targets a specific neighborhood or a hot new home listing, you’re able to include photos of these neighborhoods or properties in your advertising.
Mail Your Postcards Consistently
To really gain traction in your advertising efforts, it’s important for you to commit to the long haul. In this case, the long haul means that you commit to sending out real estate postcards on the regular.
For best results, we recommend that you commit to sending out a mailer at least once a month, every month of the year. This aligns with a marketing principle called the marketing rule of seven. Dr. Jeffrey Lant developed this principle.
It basically states that members of the public must be exposed to an advertiser at least seven times before they buy something from the advertiser. While some may argue that this isn’t an issue in the age of digital advertising, we disagree.
It’s true that the number seven may be somewhat arbitrary, but the principle behind it isn’t. That is, the principle operates on the assumption that repeated exposure builds trust.
Prospective home buyers will not buy from you if they don’t feel they can trust you. Sending your targeted customer list a postcard each month allows you to build trust with a potential client.
On a related note, sending postcards out each month allows you to piggyback on events that are happening in the area. For example, if a few of your homes are listed in the annual Parade of Homes, you can include this information on the postcard.
This shows that you are attached to relevant events in your industry, which builds credibility. You can also include any holiday specials you’re offering. For example, if you’re trying to drum up some business in the winter months, you can create a special deal to coincide with Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Doing this keeps your cards relevant to your potential customers.
Use High-Quality Images on Your Real Estate Postcards
The photos you use on your real estate postcards play a big role in how well you sell yourself to a new customer. Certainly, this post concerns itself with offline advertising. However, we can’t completely ignore the influence that online advertising and online media in general has had on the customer psyche.
We live in an age where everyone has a camera on their cell phones. Nowadays, people read photos like we used to read our primary school readers. The brain processes photos faster than it process text. According to HubSpot, the effect on a person’s emotions is about 100 milliseconds.
In other words, it’s instantaneous. Engagement rates increase when advertisers use quality photos. In other words, you’ll have better luck with your real estate postcards if you include high-quality photos on them. The best tool you have to sell a home might just the photos of it that you use on your postcards.
It’s also critical to point out that it’s worth your money to hire a professional to photograph your properties if you don’t feel you’re qualified to do so. Aside from being a business expense that you can write off, it also allows you to put your best visual foot forward with a new client.
The photos on your real estate postcards represent your brand. Make sure they represent you well.
Final Thoughts on Using Real Estate Postcards to Advertise
Real estate postcards can be your secret weapon when it comes to competing with other real estate professionals in your area. Most people concentrate their advertising efforts in the online arena today. Most potential customers have trained themselves to ignore online advertising.
“Old fashioned” advertising methods, like postcards, have the power to reach your potential clients in a way that digital advertising methods don’t.
If you’re ready to take your advertising to the next level, contact us today about creating a postcard mailer. A mailer just might be the thing that pushes your success to a higher level.