Using an overseas return address for Probate letters?

7 Replies

Hi BP Members, 

I'm just about to send out letters to my first Probate list. I appreciate some comments on the following questions regarding probates:-

  • Is it a requirement (or even a recommendation) to put a return address on the back of the envelope I send out to a Probate list?
  • If so, would a New Zealand return address be detrimental to me (ie. no response)?
  • Am I more likely to get a response if I have a "local" return address?

Thanks for your input.

I can see some owners giving the letter a strange look upon its arrival when they see an over seas return address. Yet so long as you offer up a few good ways to contact you i.e. a toll free number  to call(in addition to email / skype addresses) it should pan out. Most 'good' responses will not be via physical mail...

Kudos,

Mary

if you are looking for ways to stand out, a foreign address and, presumably, NZ postage and postmarks would fo the trick.

However, let's looks at this in reverse. If you received a letter from me inquiring as to your interest in selling your parent's former home, wouldn't you be a little less trusting?

I personally think it important to meet the prospect on some common ground and exploit the similarities. This includes every aspect of communication. Especially the written word. 

There are services that provide local addresses and will scan and send nixies and reply correspondence. I'd be more inclined to expect a higher response and close ratio using local U,S. Address. 

@Steve G.  so much of this kind of work is establishing some sort of personal reparte'

I will be curious to see how well US folks respond to you... 

just logistically our night is your day etc.

and it will really depend on the sophistication of the sellers rep or relative.

I know these styles of transactions we personally do here in our market need a bunch of hand holding and porch time... at least for the very good deals.. 

IE we have to drive the seller to the title company to sign docs  .. get appointed personal reps etc etc.... 

but I am not an expert by any means at this.

I direct mail one market on the other side of the US from were I live here in PDX.. however I have one of my GC's there.. we use his return address his phone number so its answered live and a local number and he will look at the property same day ( smaller community)   its uber competitive in this area for what we are looking for so.. every lead we get gets handled this way

Hi Guys,

@Mary B. - Thanks for the comments. I have a "local" number provided by a VoIP service, and use PATLive to answer my calls.

@Rick H. - Yes, the angle I was hoping to achieve was curiosity! I agree that there may be reluctance to deal with someone outside of the US for what could be considered to be such a huge transaction. 

However, I've setup a local number (Florida 904 code) for my personal phone calls, and another one for the return calls to a 24/7 answering service, and my website (under construction) is a .com. I also have my boots on the ground ready to make the house call to meet up with the owner & get the deal to the closing table. So I suspect the only real issue is, would someone call a "local" number from a letter they received with a NZ stamp? I guess the only true way to find out is to test it! I've certainly had a few interesting conversations with potentially motivated sellers (". . . . is that an English accent??")

@Jay Hinrichs - From your comments I take it that you've decided to provide only "localized" contact information by using your GC's details. So I guess that answers my question nicely Jay.

OK appreciate the feedback guys, and I suspect that this scenario also depends on whether I'm mailing to motivated sellers, cash buyers/investors etc. I suspect that while a letter from NZ may pique the interest of an investor, it may deter a motivated seller from calling ! We'll see !

I'm going to test a small number of hand written letters to cash buyers this week and send out from NZ, so will post back in a couple of weeks when I have some results to share.

Many thanks

Hi Guys, as promised I'm posting back with some figures from a coulee of "test" direct mail campaigns:

I sent out 100 letters, sent with a NZ postage stamp (NZ to USA postage cost was NZ$2.50 per letter).

I got one reply! And that turned out to be a company who was selling on behalf of their clients.

Following that I sent out 150 Yellow Letters to a Tax Delinquent list - using yellowletters.com - complete with my NZ address and a "local" Florida phone number at the bottom of the letter, and got an amazing response of around 12%.

I'm convinced it's the quality of the list which matters, and not (for the most part) locations, so long as it doesn't cost the recipient an arm and a leg to make contact with you.