Direct Mail thoughts when you cannot buy a list

8 Replies

Where I am located, due to state laws, I cannot use sites like List Source to buy mailing lists as they do not sell them. Therefore, I was thinking about using our local property tax website to create a list of 2-4 units that I could send mail to. I can use this website to locate neighborhoods in my price and rent range and then pull ownership info from that. On most of the houses I can gather the address, property value, year purchased, and number of beds and baths. My goal is to buy these properties as rentals using the BRRRR method. Currently, I am thinking I will pull the owner information and mail to addresses that have the following criteria:

  • If the address listed is out of state
  • If the address listed is local, but not of the residence in question(assuming this would mean it’s a local, possibly burnt out landlord)
  • Properties that have the same mailing address, but have been owned at least 10 years. Is this enough time, or should I shoot for a longer period of time?

Is this good start or is there other information that I should be trying to pull when I compile my lists. I want to pull as much information so I do not have to go back through, but I also want to be efficient. This is all manual entry so I don’t want to type in every single house in the neighborhood if they just bought the house last year.

IMHO direct mail is only one of the 9 sources of great leads.   

I think @Jerry Puckett can help you with PPC,  YouTube, and Facebook.   I could be completely wrong.  

I know another company to help with your text, email, chat and systemization process.  Which is paramount 

None of which is hugely expensive.  

Originally posted by @Cory Wells :

Where I am located, due to state laws, I cannot use sites like List Source to buy mailing lists as they do not sell them.....I want to pull as much information so I do not have to go back through, but I also want to be efficient. This is all manual entry so I don’t want to type in every single house in the neighborhood if they just bought the house last year.

Hi Cory,

 Kansas is a closed state. There is a state law (Kansas Open Records: K.S.A. 45-230. A good FAQ page on this law: http://ag.ks.gov/open-govt/kora-faq). 

KORA states:

"No person shall knowingly sell, give or receive, for the purpose of selling or offering for sale, any property or service to persons listed therein, any list of names and addresses contained in or derived from public records … Any person subject to this section who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be liable for the payment of a civil penalty in an action brought by the attorney general or county or district attorney in a sum set by the court not to exceed $500 for each violation."

This being the case companies like Listsource, MelissaData, Listability, et al. avoid even offering this information in Kansas.

HOWEVER...

According to the KORA FAQ:

"May someone use names and addresses from public records in order to offer to buy something from those listed? Yes. K.S.A. 45-230 does not prohibit use of lists of names obtained from public records in order to try to purchase property from the persons listed. A.G. Opins. No. 96-68 (water meters); 98-55(promissory note underlying contract for deed)."

Getting a list is possible. And while @Michael Quarles is correct in that direct mail is only one source of great leads, it is...IMHO...the lowest hanging fruit, where you will get the most bang for your buck.

He also speaks of key follow up systems including text, chat and email (like Calltext.com). How ever it is you decide you want to farm your leads, do make sure you develop a system to follow up. 25% of my entire business comes from following up with people who told me "no" the first time.

Looking back on the names you plan to pull....I'd suggest shortening length of ownership down to 7 years....your list is going to be smallish as it is. The deeper your inroad to this community, the better off you will be.

@Cory Wells as @Jerry Puckett says, KS is a "non-disclosure" state. There are plenty of counties around the country that do not report real estate information under freedom of information, but KS is the only full state that has put it into law.

 A good mailing list broker will know how to utilize information that isn't protected by the state law from a consumer list. You can still find motivated sellers who are owner occupied. I'd suggest Seniors with Long-Time Ownership and Homeowners with Low Financial Stability Scores. 

These lists are on the up and up and are great alternatives, even for people who are marketing to areas that have absentee owner info available - particularly when there are dozens of investors all sending offers to the same absentee owners.

@Chrissy Arnold, what list source or mailing list broker do you use that gets that in-depht with Age/Financial stability scores?

@Michael Randle

Looks like Chrissy herself is a list broker and that she uses a version of Axiom and InfoBase data bases. Very similar to the white label products offered by Listability, and for that matter Click2mail. 

One of the downsides with any of those is that you are required to purchase a minimum which is often far in excess of what is wanted or needed.

I was an authorized re seller for Listability at one time and never found the Financial score to be a useful filter. 

Most data providers can go in depth with Age

@Colin L. YES!! Driving for dollars (D4$) done correctly is one of the most effective lists there is, period.

@Michael Randle - Jerry is right - I'm a list broker and utilize the Acxiom Real Property files. But I disagree with his opinion of the financial scores. We have had a lot of investors testing and coming back to get additional lists. Nice thing is that it can be mixed and matched with so many other combinations. 

Originally posted by @Chrissy Arnold:

@Michael Randle - Jerry is right - I'm a list broker and utilize the Acxiom Real Property files. But I disagree with his opinion of the financial scores. 

Right, I get it it. That's exactly what I was told when becoming a re seller "This is data no one else has, it's important because of XYZ"  If you don't believe in a product, it's mighty tough to sell it, right?

But here's the difference; it's not my OPINION you are disagreeing with. You are disagreeing with data collected for well over a year spanning hundreds of thousands of mailings in more than 90 markets across the U.S. Not just my client's mailings, but my own personal mailing as well, so I put my money where my mouth is so to speak because I wanted to give it a try.

Are you buying and using this data personally? If you are, if you are actually out there doing it, then you have data. If you have actual records on response and ROI you have data. But in reporting the shopping trends of clients, THAT is an opinion if not simple salesmanship. Just Sayin'.