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Here's Why Your Real Estate Postcard Mailings Aren’t Working

July 16 2015

la 2 reasons postcards dont workNot a week goes by that an agent doesn't call my office to discuss marketing. In the course of discussion, they reveal to me that they don't like postcard marketing, it doesn't work for them and it's outdated. Ninety-nine percent of the time, with a little additional probing, I always come to find out one thing:

They were right about only one thing. It didn't work for them.

The truth of the matter is that it didn't work because they are going about it all wrong. There are many reasons we why this is. However, there are three culprits, time and again, that pop up and rear their ugly heads. Today, I want to share these three things with you, in the hopes that you'll own up to the fact that you may have been doing it wrong. I want to encourage you to take another pass at something that can really help you grow your real estate practice and increase your marketplace visibility in ways you never thought possible.

1) You Can't Take an "I'll Have a #1" Approach to Your Marketing Plan

The thing I find most interesting about agents embarking on a marketing plan is their willingness to invest a large chunk of their income into the campaign itself. But at the end of the day, they really haven't researched or put any thought into whether or not the messages they will be sending will resonate, at all, with the people that live in their marketplace.

When it comes to this, I actually don't blame the Realtor®. I blame the vendor they are using. Remember, agents need partners, NOT vendors. Vendors do nothing other than push their product or service, to sell as much of it as possible, to make money. This does not make for a good partnership.

You want to work with an actual marketing agency that will help you define your goals, define your ideal client personas and put together a schedule and draft content that will resonate with these people, turning them into prospects, so you can get them in your pipeline and turn them into clients.

2) CONSISTENCY Has to Be Your Mantra

If you aren't consistent, it's just not going to work. Consistency is EVERYTHING when it comes to your postcard farming.

The most common reasons we see a lapse in consistency have to do with either not planning out your marketing campaign in advance, or biting off more than you can chew when it comes to the size of the farm area you are sending cards to. First, you must realize that you are the one that "wears all the hats." Rest assured you are going to get super swamped and if you don't have ALL your marketing messages planned out a year in advance, or you do not have an agency to help you, you will drop the ball on your marketing, devoting time to your current deals and clients, and your marketing efforts will fail.

Secondly, you have to remember that postcard farming is a process. If you figure it's going to take 6-8 months to really break into your marketplace and start seeing measurable results, YOU MUST pick a manageable sized farm area that you can afford to mail to, every single month, without fail. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you can't afford to do that, shrink the size of your farm. You DO NOT want to run out of money and have to completely stop farming, before you get to that milestone date. If you do, you not only failed, but wasted a ton of your money in the process.

3) Track and Follow Up Accordingly

The other very common thing we find when speaking with people about their marketing campaigns is that when they say postcards didn't work, they actually have no real idea or basis to make that assertion. That's because they have no way of tracking their mailings and simply rely on the homeowner to say something to the effect of, "I got your postcard in the mail." This is a very poor plan.

This day in age, technology gives agentss FANTASTIC ways to track the effectiveness of their postcard farming. Capture marketing happens to be my favorite. First of all, capture marketing gives you real-time feedback as to who is responding to your postcard mailings. Secondly, because you know specifically who responded, what house they live in, and how to get hold of them, you can make a follow up email, phone call, or even drop by their home, to learn more about them and determine their needs, time frames, etc.

Without capture marketing, a homeowner may look at your postcard, think in the back of their mind that when they are ready, they'll call you, and then perhaps months later, hopefully remember to follow up with you. Had you known in the beginning they might be interested in working with you in the future, you would have had the luxury of using those months to keep dripping follow up messages on them and cultivating them as a qualified lead that would not forget you exist.

So there you have it. While I cannot say that postcard farming works 100% of the time for all agents in all marketplaces, I can firmly say that of the people that we come across that claim it doesn't work at all, a good 98% of them have fallen into one of these traps. Don't be that agent. Plan your campaigns, be realistic, track your results and cultivate your leads.

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