How to Increase Your Chances of Landing a Deal Using Direct Mail

5 Replies

Hey there!

I am in the beginning stages of my REI career and am looking to find off-market deals. I'm located in Kansas City, MO and there a few duplexes for sale that come on the market. I currently house hack a SFH and am looking to acquire a duplex to house hack as well. I have been driving around potential/ideal areas near me and writing down addresses of duplexes I see that I am interested in. As BP calls it, Driving for Dollar$." My list of properties is increasing and I am looking to start a direct mail marketing campaign to get in touch the owners of the duplexes. I have an excel sheet with the addresses of the duplexes and the addresses of where the owners actually live.

I'm in search of advice--both things to avoid and things to make sure happen when preparing for the first mailing session. I have a letter written out that includes a brief summary of who I am, along with my goals, and a significant interest in the property. I also include that I am open to multiple creative financing options as well instead of just bank financing, such as seller financing and lease options. I am not currently pre-approved but plan to be so within a month or so. I also plan to attach a personal photo of myself with my golden retriever (to add a personal/sentimental touch to the mail.) I don't want to come off as just another real estate investor but truly someone who wants to build memories in a property that allows me to create financial freedom as well.

Let me know of all stories and experiences, please and thank you! 

Steven, do you know how many letters I get daily from people wanting to buy my house and other properties? It's crazy. I don't even read the letters any more.  First, you have to be pre-approved and ready to pull the trigger on a buy.  Otherwise, you're just a wannabe.  And, forget the "look what a great guy I am so nice and my dog loves me..." This is a business and the more business like - direct and concise, get on with it - you are, the more likely you will be to land at least a return call.  My recommendation:  Seriously skip the direct mail. Get some postcard/business card combination and hand write a note to the owner asking if there is an opportunity to buy his property located at (address). State you're pre-approved and ready to buy without drama.  Sign your name, stamp the sucker, and drop it in the mail.  It will save you time, money, and allow you to move quickly.  

And, the longer you wait to act, the more annoying solicitations the owner will receive before yours and totally dilute the appeal.  Time is of the essence.  

Hey Steve,

I'm an investor and real estate agent here in Kc and I would love to help and work with you as you grow your portfolio. I work and know with a lot of investors in our market. I also work with two of the best lenders around and would be glad to meet with you sometime and discuss how we can help each other. I'm sure I can help you on the investing side in some capacity like scouting properties or running numbers for you to help you save time or maybe just finding that lender for you so you can get pre approved. Both of my lenders do a lot of unconventional lending as well lets meet and discuss over coffee sometime.

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@Steven May I've only done one campaign of direct mail so take my comment as one who is only slightly experienced.  I was able to land a 4plex using seller financing here in red-hot Las Vegas, NV.

My mailer was hand written and was very simple:
"
Hey Steven,

My name is Spencer Cornelia and I am interested in buying your property at 123 Candy Lane.  How much do you think it is worth?

Text/Call -- {Phone Number stamp}
Email -- {Email stamp}

Spencer

"

In a couple months, I'm going to start another direct mail campaign and will be using services instead of hand writing.  Hand writing is great and more authentic, but you're so limited with how many you can send out.  Sadly, the hit rate is super low so only sending out 40 has a very low probability of success.  I don't want that to stop you from doing this, but once you go through 2-3 rounds of hand writing mailers, you'll quickly find that spending $1k-$2k on 1,000's of mailers is probably a better use of time.

But you asked for advice...

Don't worry about overthinking it man.  If the people have any interest in selling, they'll call.  I know Patricia above says she receives mailers all the time, but I don't think that's the case for most owners.  I have a feeling most of these owners will see your cute message and will call if they want to sell.

A simple message is probably all that's needed.

If you want some real advice...

Check out Sean Terry's Flip 2 Freedom podcast.  Dude is all value.  "All steak and no sizzle" kind of guy.  His recent podcast on wholesaling (of which he has plenty) really helps lay out how to do well with marketing and grabbing off market properties.

@Steven May here's my advice. 
1. Make sure you put your email, phone number, website (if any) on the letter/postcard. My experience says some people will call you, some will text and some will just fill up the contact us form on your website.
2. Keep your message short and simple. Feel free to message me if you need any templates and I can share some of them that are working for me.
3. Do at least 5-6 touches before you decide not to mail anymore to that list. I get most of my responses after 3rd mailing. We have been doing direct mail for over 8 years.
4. If you want to dive deep then skip trace the homeowners' contact number and start cold calling. You can try BatchSkipTracing for skip tracing contact numbers.

Additional tips: Sending mails to targeted people (probate, pre-foreclosure) tends to have a better response. You can buy a targeted list from Listsource and start mailing to them. Our list criteria looks like the photo below.

@Steven May Think about making the letter more about the seller and less about you. What do you bring to the table that will help someone decide that it's time to sell - and to sell to you? Emphasize that "selling your house will be easier than you think".

Consider working with a mailing list broker to get list suggestions that everyone else isn't using. The absentee owners in your area are already getting a lot of offers in the mail. There are some good new motivated segments for owner occupied lists.