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[Best of 2017] Prospecting with Public Records: 7 Campaigns to Try Today

December 18 2017

There are just 10 publishing days left in 2017, and we're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in May and is #10 in our countdown. Stay tuned tomorrow for #9!

home search manyWe talk a lot about digitally targeting real estate leads—but what about targeting leads the traditional way via postcards and other print marketing pieces?

Believe it or not, there's a digital tool you have access to right now that can help you prospect to your geographic farm: your public records tool.

Why Public Records?

If you've tried advertising on property search portals like Realtor.com, or have used ad retargeting solutions, you know ads are typically only available on the zipcode level. With public records, you can hone in on a much more specific area—a subdivision, street, an area a certain distance from a specific property, and much more.

Refining the area you prospect to means that you can deliver marketing that's much more relevant to your targets—and therefore much more cost effective for you.

Ready to give prospecting with your public records solution a try? Get started with these seven easy campaigns:

Classic Prospecting Ideas

To kick things off, let's begin with three classic prospecting campaigns that focus on your listings. To help us illustrate our examples, we're using screenshots from CRS Data's MLS Tax SuiteMLS Tax Suite, a public records and tax solution that serves 126,000 real estate professionals across the nation.

1. New listing campaign - Each of these first three campaigns taps into homeowner psychology. Call it curiosity, or even nosiness, but homeowners relish knowing what's going on in their neighborhood. Send a postcard or a flyer announcing your latest listing and all its relevant details—price, beds/baths, square footage, school district, and more.

Target your marketing piece to homeowners in the neighborhood. You can do this by subdivision, custom map shape, or by street and street number, as shown below. While your prospects may not be looking to move down the block, your goal here is to build awareness of your brand. That way, when they are ready to sell their home, you're the first one they think of!

crsdata prospecting street names

2. Open house campaign - As with the first campaign, the open house campaign is a brand building venture. (You can also send these campaigns to your broader geographic farm.) When neighbors do show up to your open house, don't dismiss them as curious looky-loos. They may be more than just nosy; they may be thinking of selling themselves and are curious to see how their home stacks up.

This is a great opportunity to get their contact information so that you can send them a quick home valuation or comparative market analysis. You can email this to them, or even offer to deliver it in person if they seem especially likely to list!

3. Sold listing campaign - After you've sold a listing, send out a postcard or flyer to the neighborhood, or to your farm area, that prominently shows what the home sold for. If you sold for over asking or quicker than your area's average days on market, add that to your marketing piece. The idea here is to show off how effective you are, and to get area homeowners curious about their own home's value.

Your call-to-action should invite homeowners to get their own free home valuation (e.g., What's your home worth? Find out here!). You can list a short URL where they can get a free valuation online in exchange for their contact information, or a phone number that they can call. Your goal here is to capture potential seller leads.

4 More Ways to Prospect with Public Records

You don't have to have specific listings to center prospecting campaigns around. Here are more ways you can leverage the power of public records to market your services.

4. Target likely movers - How often do homeowners in your area move? If you know the average length of residence, you can use your public records solution to target property owners who have been in their home for a certain amount of time. If, for example, homeowners in your area move every eight years, use your public records solution to search for properties whose last sale date was within, say, the last 7-10 years (see below). They may be ripe for a move, and a nudge from you may be what they need to get off the fence!

crsdata prospecting last sold

Tip: It's a good idea to filter out active listings from your results, as we did above. These folks may fit your "last sold" criteria, but they obviously don't need your services. No need to waste your marketing dollars here.

5. Rising home values campaign - Have home values in your farm area gone up significantly in the past year? Target the homeowners in these neighborhoods with a campaign that lets them know it's a lucrative time for them to sell! List by what percent home values have risen, and include a call-to-action to contact you for a free home valuation, or visit a dedicated landing page for an online valuation.

6. First-time buyer campaign - Most of these campaigns target existing homeowners, but what if you want to reach potential first-time buyers? Then it's time to target renters! But how do you know who is a renter? Turn to your public records tool's "owner type" filter. In CRS Data, you can filter results by absentee owner, out-of-state owner, in-state owner, and owner occupied properties. You don't want owner occupied for obvious reasons, but the other options should help you hone in on rentals.

Tip: Target renters in more prosperous areas or near major area employers, as these prospects are more likely to be interested in and capable of buying.

7. All homes for sale in a neighborhood or subdivision - Is there a high number of homes for sale in a specific area you serve? Put their MLS photos on a single postcard, along with their price and bed/bath count, and send it to homeowners in the neighborhood or to those who may want to move there.

Even if not all the listings on the postcard are yours, you can use them to bait potential buyers into calling you for a tour. For area homeowners, you can invite them to contact you to see how their home's value compares.

Executing Your Campaign

Once you've nailed down your target audience for your campaign, it's time to send your collateral to them. If you're a CRS Data user, you have it easy. You can choose to export the mailing addresses of your selected prospects to your CRM, or to an Excel file or .CSV file for easy import into other programs.

crsdata prospecting export

CRS Data users can also print mailing labels right from the platform's interface. Just select how you want to address recipients (Mr./Ms. or 'Current Resident'), and the label size you want to use. Then simply print your labels and send off your campaign!

crsdata prospecting labels

Not a CRS Data user? Contact your public records provider or MLS help desk for assistance. For more information about CRS Data, visit their websitewebsite.

Your Turn

Do you ever use public records for your prospecting initiatives? What are some of your favorite campaigns, and which have been the most successful for you? Share your experiences on our Facebook page!