2015 is here in full swing, and all of the real estate people across the world are hoping that this is the year that makes that so-called transition. Last year was great, but maybe this year you are looking to be a little more consistent, or just a little more open minded as to what’s working and what you need to throw out. You see, I have been writing here on BiggerPockets for almost 5 months now. I’ve covered everything real estate marketing, from the first post where I talked about how to generate unlimited leads with these 10 amazing tools to where I am now around 20 posts in, and I don’t really plan on stopping. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to a lot of the great people of the BP community. Tons of readers will inbox me and ask more in depth questions about the local real estate marketing stuff. Some of them will just want to pick my brain to see how I’ve accumulated all of this knowledge when it comes to growing a real estate business. What I tell people is that I’ve taken the skills that I learned from doing internet marketing for 15 years online and started to apply it to the real estate world. What I found out is that if you’re willing to spend the time and effort, then dominating your local real estate market can be a piece of cake. But Wait — We Have a Problem Today I was going to keep the boat moving by talking more about the content on your website like I did last week when I educated you guys on having seo-friendly content, pages and posts. But today we have an even bigger problem that I think is worth talking about now, so that you guys can have the best year ever in this real estate industry. If you don’t ever read another one of my blog posts here on BP, or even read any of my local marketing content on my website, just remember that your success this year depends on you opening your ears to listen and eyes to read. Now, you might be asking yourself, where are you going with this because there has to be a point to all of this? Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Advertising to Grow Your Real Estate Business Six Months to a Year If you ever have a chance to talk to any of the people that I mentor or clients of mine, they will tell you that I constantly say “6 months to a year.” Now, what do I mean exactly about 6 months to a year? People, there is no way in the world that you will be able to have success online and dominate your local real estate market in under 6 months. Now, you can build traffic to your real estate website, which is extremely easy to do if you know how. If you can find the right keywords by doing in-depth research, then you can possibly start getting some traffic if you have some form of SEO budget. Honestly, this is not the case for most investors due to a lack of funds, so the last thing that they need is to spend tons of money each month on some services. The issue is that I found out that most of the real estate people that I talked to have being fed a bunch of crazy stuff. A Look at Direct Mail This form of marketing is great, and this is something that I usually talk to my clients about months down the road after we have built their online presence for about 3 to 6 months. It’s great to be able to buy a list of absentees or a list of landlord contacts to start your mailing list. Maybe you have $500 to start off with, and you want to completely purchase a list that has maybe 1,000 contacts on it. You see, for this year I would like for you guys to pause for a minute and think. First, that same list is being blasted by others in your market, so don’t believe them when they say that all of their leads are fresh and no one else is using them. Don’t fall for that can of worms. Next, think about how much money you’re spending to send something out to people who may be just throwing those postcards in the trash. For this reason, your response rate is very low, which is what I’ve talked about a lot to those who post questions in the BP marketing forums. Let Me Explain By “let me explain,” I’m not talking about Mr. Kevin Hart’s last standup movie. Instead, I’m looking to explain what you need to be doing to form a foundation for your direct mail marketing to get a higher response rate. First, let me explain that the 6 months to a year model works, and here is why. You should always think of the local real estate market as students of yours that you need to teach. The way that you would traditionally teach is by having a classroom of students, right? You being a real estate person, you can’t teach or educate without that so-called classroom — which in this case is a website. If you’re looking to do direct mail, you need a website, and not one that just says, “I Buy Houses,” but a website that has tons of great content that helps the following: People in foreclosure People behind on their mortgage People behind on property tax People who want to save on utilities People who are looking for the restaurants in town People who are searching for any form of business in that city etc. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Look, I can go on for days talking about what a local real estate website needs to include. If you want higher response rates, then you must think on the educational level versus trying to sell to people. People don’t want to be sold to because we get that every time we turn on the TV. Commercial after commercial, people are trying to sell us something or trying to get us to buy or use their services. The reason that I’m confident I can come into any city and dominate the local real estate market in 6 months to year is because I focus on creating an educational real estate website that helps people, instead of selling to them. Related: The Down & Dirty On Direct Mail for Real Estate – Pros and Cons Think About This… If you come to people with a postcard that says something like, “We just created the first local resource guide to the Atlanta market. Yes, we buy houses, but most importantly, we provide the entire city with useful resources to help them solve a problem.” You see, if you can help people solve a problem, then they’ll love you for life and tell other people about you. Maybe they won’t sell you their property, but that’s ok. You still helped someone in a stressful situation, so you win regardless. Plus, for those people who come over to the website and use all of the resources that you have and still can’t solve their problem, then guess who they’re going to call when it’s time for them to really sell their property? Yea… you. Look, I can talk about this subject all day long, so just stop doing direct mail until you get your website setup as an educational resource. Once you do this, then start the campaign over and watch how the numbers start to soar. Check out all of my writing here on BP, where I walk you through this process from A to Z. You will have to filter through it, but it’s all there for you to digest and implement. Please Comment: I would like to know your views on this — will this be something that you might implement into your website? Leave a comment below, and let’s chat!