How to start sending direct mail?

14 Replies

Hey guys, I wanted to find out how you start finding homes to send direct mail to. Is driving for dollars the best method or is there a list of distressed homes or a website that you use? What has worked best for those who have a direct marketing plan. Thanks!

Originally posted by @Micah Carter :

Hey guys, I wanted to find out how you start finding homes to send direct mail to. Is driving for dollars the best method or is there a list of distressed homes or a website that you use? What has worked best for those who have a direct marketing plan. Thanks!

Hey Micah, there's of info on BP about sending direct mail. If you just googled "BP podcast direct mail" I'm sure you'd find a few episodes on the subject. The most common way people start with direct mail is to find a list of potentially motivated sellers. Most popular lists are going to be pre-foreclosures and absentee out of state owners with high equity. These can be pulled off listsource.com, just know that you'll need to spend at least $50 at a time. Theres plenty of templates out there in BPs fileplace or on google, but you can basically write a yellow letter to the owner yourself or pay a service to do it for you. There's cheaper ones out there, but some of the best direct mail pieces I've seen come from @Ryan Dossey 's Ballpoint Marketing if you want a more professional looking mail piece. Best of luck!

@Micah Carter , Bill already answered your question but since you'll be trying out listsource for the first time, you might get confused. I have shared below the criteria I use while pulling out a list from listsource. They are working great for me.

@Micah Carter

1. Define exactly the product that you would want to purchase off market. Think of neighborhood, asset class, property type, property value, and ideal seller profile. Skip equity, it's often inaccurate. Use last market sale date instead. 

2. Pull a small, hyper-targeted set of leads from listsource... pay close attention to make sure you're filtering to match your ideal product. Make sure to scrub this list for data quality. Keep your list small when you're new, focus on quality instead of quantity. If you target well, you should be effective with 1000 leads.

3. Design a message that is highly tailored to your target seller, highly personal, and differentiates you very clearly from a marketing standpoint. This is everything, and almost everyone is terrible at it/neglects it. It's an easy opportunity to be better.

4. Use a mail piece that matches the quality of your message. Don't go cheap on this. Make sure you send yourself a copy so you can see and feel the mailer yourself. Make sure to use distinctive branding.

5. Be extremely consistent in your efforts. Every month on the month. Maybe every 3 weeks for the first 3 rounds to build familiarity at an accelerated pace on the front end, then slow down to every month after. Never stop mailing this list, with exception to leads that you've already captured.

6. Have a simple CRM to capture leads, record information, follow up, etc.. Use it correctly.

7. Have a predefined sales process so that you have a level of organization to your sales conversation- one that makes sense to the seller and yourself. Focus on efficient qualification early in your interactions with a seller, and make sure the message you convey when talking to a seller is aligned with the messages you've been delivering on your mailers. 

A lot of people send direct mail. The majority of them have poorly targeted and designed data. Even more of them have weak messaging and mail pieces. Even more of those people have a weak sales process & verbal messaging, if anything at all. As a result, their conversion rates suffer at multiples steps in their lead pipeline. Do these things better at all stages and you will crush your competition without even spending a lot of money on marketing. 

A combination of both!  The larger list you have the better chances you will close a deal.  Call county assessor offices and ask if you can buy a list of property owner information.  Driving for dollars is a good way to start but I think if you really want to scale you shouldn't be scared to spend the money and blast an entire section of a city. 

Don’t bother.  I get ‘yellow letters’ daily.  Despite the fact I have no intention of selling any properties to wholesale ‘thieves’.  

You’re not solving a problem, you’re stealing equity from an unsophisticated seller.  :-(

@Micah Carter

Go for Podio for starters- it's flexible, easy to use, and free. If you start to make a volume business out of your acquisitions and you ever end up with a couple of employees I'd recommend shifting over to salesforce.

Let me know if you need anything else!

@Alan Grobmeier He literally never mentioned wholesaling. Why are you assuming the worst of someone trying to get started? For all you know he's a buy and hold investor going direct to seller for the first time. 

In fact, if you look at his profile... His interests are commercial, flipping, and rentals. He also already owns a rental. Instead of discouraging other investors you could offer something constructive like...

"Hey @Micah Carter I'm a buy and hold guy too (because his profile says he is) and I get yellow letters all the time. I would probably NOT go that route! Best of luck!" 

@Micah Carter I own 143 units and over 90% of them I've bought off-market myself. Feel free to shoot me a PM with any questions. :) 

You're in the right place asking good questions. 

@Alan Grobmeier It's best not to comment unless you are going to provide some value. We are all here to learn and provide feedback to help others.

@Micah Carter I'm a wholesaler, rehabber and have some rentals. Just about all of my deals come from direct to seller marketing. 

As for DFD leads, yes, this is a great way to identify properties where the homeowner may need to sell. Other niche lists are also a great way to find motivated sellers, which includes tax liens, code violations, probates, etc.

Finally, I would agree that yellow letters are not the way to go. Too many investors are sending them and I want to stand out from my competition. Feel free to PM me if you have any additional questions.