@Leo Lanza I'm not an expert in the direct mail game but I'll take a stab at answering. In the "best" markets you're going to have a lot more competition, people building lists, sending out mailers, etc. so it's easier for owner to write them off as snail mail spam. The DFW market is also going great at the moment so there's probably less "distressed owners" as in west Texas or other markets. If there isn't distress (pick your reason) and you want to sell, why not just go the traditional route? This same style of thread (i.e. low mailer response rates) has been talked about for Orange County and San Diego. Net result, if DFW response rates are low it's likely a response to the desirability of the market.
@Leo Lanza Are you competing with other investors that are submitting those offers or owner-occupants? If you're competing with owner-occupants it's hard to win (they aren't looking for ROI) but it's also hard for me to imagine they're doing same-day offers. You could also be losing just on terms. You could have the identical offer (or better) compared to another investor but they are willing to pay all-cash and close in 7 days. You can probably check the assessors data for the owner and see if it's a person vs. LLC. I can't remember if Texas is a non-closure state (I think it is) so you might not be able to figure out what the sales price was. The net result is that if I were in your shoes I'd just be curious as to why I was losing the deals, not getting a counter offer, not getting a request for "highest and best" if there's competition. If you don't know why you're losing the deals it's hard to say what tweaks to make.
Alternatively, instead of MLS vs. direct mail have you considered expanding (or altering) your search radius? Denton is farther out, has a college, might be viable, but I'm guessing it's still heavy competition there. What about 10 miles north of Denton? There's usually a drop-off somewhere where it's starts becoming "less convenient" and therefore less competitive. I know that's not specific, maybe someone who lives in DFW can chime in.
@Andrew Johnson Absolutely, I've been considering widening my search, great advice! My typical offer is All cash, No inspection/No appraisal contingency, and i pay closing costs.
The problems I'm running into is even with same day offers they all end up being highest and best situations. It boggles my mind how someone can beat my offer, since my profits are so thin and im a contractor/realtor which gives me an edge on rehab costs.
I'm going to try widening my search and instead of looking for deals 1st day on the market. I'll look for deals that have been sitting 90+ or back on market. Hopefully, there won't be as many eyes on those deals.
I appreciate your insight!
Phone calls....door knocking...and other door knocking. I've always said don't send anything in the mail that you are not willing to call in front of or call behind....so send and call or call and mail follow up.
Takes more time, but probably better results than direct mail.
Talking face to face is even better.
You might also look to wholesalers....and hard money lenders....and plenty of other lead sources. Probably with all the people trying to do flips, I'm sure the hard money lenders are getting some properties back.
I'm going to add to this as I constantly receive those letters and postcards on some of the land I own that once had a crappy house.
I receive a ton of letters and post cards. That means there are tons of people sending these so you are just one of many to be marketing. Try to think of ways to stand out, however no matter what don't expect a huge rate of response.
As far as the MLS offers, yes they do receive tons of first day offers. I highly recommend you to submit your offer the first day as everyone else is. Just offer full price on the first submission. Wait until they call best and final before you raise your offer, trust me on this one.
Research all the houses you made offers on in MLS and see what it ended up selling for and then you can also research the city CAD site and see who the new owner is. That will tell you a lot about what is going on.
For postcards, response rates can be extremely low. In the competitive market of South Florida, some months you can have very low response rates beneath 1%. Although good to monitor, I don't make it a huge focus to create more responses. If I wanted to do that, I could pay for hand-written yellow letters for $1+ per pop. I often would rather pay $.40 and hit double the amount of sellers to find the more motivated ones.
That is about the average rate of expected follow-up for direct mail campaigns. Spend your money on facebook ads, if you want effectiveness. Direct mail is too expensive compared to the other methods these days.
@Leo Lanza My best response rate on direct mail in DFW is about 0.25% (2.5 calls per 1000 letters). It's a numbers game. You need to spend a lot of money to find deals right now.
If you want to find deals and you don't have money, do what other people aren't willing to do: door knocking, cold calling, networking, etc.
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