Investing in real estate takes some unique skills. For instance, an investor must be able to see value where no one else can. He or she also needs to be able to find deals no one else can find.
When searching for deals, one approach that’s proven to be very profitable for investors is using direct mail. But lately, direct mail doesn’t seem as profitable—and in some markets, results are just plain horrible.
What Should You Do If Your Direct Mail Results Are Atrocious?
In my home market, direct mail was the way to go a few years ago, but now other strategies are much more profitable. We had to pivot—and pivot quickly—in order to sustain our business. As marketing became more competitive, we had to become more strategic with our marketing dollars. We also had to become more creative.
However, with creativity comes risk. We didn’t know if some of the new strategies would appeal to the masses. We weren’t certain how homeowners would respond to our message. Regardless, we had to try.
3 Alternatives to Direct Mail Marketing in Real Estate
1. Ground Team Approach
One strategy to use instead of or in conjunction with direct mail is to deploy a ground team to knock on doors. Although this can work, it is extremely time-consuming. It is also a strategy that takes tons of supervision, because team members can become discouraged if they are doing a ton of legwork without securing a deal.
Similar to sending direct mail, the ground team can pick a target area, walk that area to speak with homeowners, and ask if they have any interest in selling. In the event no one is home, leaving door hangers or business cards can be a resourceful technique.
2. Cold Calling/Robocalls
With the decrease in response rates with direct mail, many have moved to cold calling and found success with this strategy. However, with an increase in calls of this type, positive outcomes are fewer and farther between, similar to direct mail. Also, with the recent crackdown by the FCC and new legislation being introduced (as described in a June 2019 Forbes article), progress is slowing further. 
Cold calling might still be a temporary solution—especially if a warm call of some sort is used. A warm call refers to one where a homeowner opts into some sort of service that you provide. This is becoming increasingly difficult, however, due to the amount of attention these calls are getting.
Good old-fashioned relationship building is always a tried and true way to find deals. Establishing connections requires being part of the community and knowing the community. A great way to reach homeowners is by leveraging other investor networks. This can be done by building a network of investors who have confidence in your ability to close deals—by simply being a closer (and having that reputation), deals will flow your way.
In addition, create relationships with those who are known to find deals, this can be other investors, Realtors, brokers, etc. By fostering positive relationships, generating a steady deal flow will be a non-issue.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few alternative strategies to use if your direct mail numbers are atrocious. More exist, too, such as social media, email campaigns, radio/TV ads, youth sport sponsorship opportunities, and others.
Being creative and being able to pivot is vital in finding and securing deals.
Which marketing strategies did I fail to mention?
Leave them in the comment section below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.