Direct Mail Campaign Update

32 Replies

Hello BP Community,

I recently mailed out my first yellow letter batch to absentee owners, and I wanted to provide some info as to how things were going so far. I purchased a absentee owner list of 250 leads and used the services of yellowletter.com to mail them out for me, which I received confirmation on 8/11 that they were mailed out. During that time I have received about close to ten calls or so from people: a couple were people angry demanding that I never contact them again (that kinda caught me off guard at first lol), a couple that were already listed with a broker (put them on a follow-up list to see how that works out), one or two that were demanding a price way more than the property was worth (I didn't think there was much I could do with them), and I have a couple of hot leads that I have appointments scheduled to check out this upcoming week. Since this is my first campaign, I have learned a lot from talking to the different people who responded to my letters. At first I was practicing role playing with my wife and a partner of mine reading a script that I found on the BP site, but as I was practicing with them, I felt as if I were a robot just going through a list of questions interrogating them. As I kept reading through the forums and listening to the podcasts there was a common theme of letting a natural conversation start and extracting the information that I needed during that time, so thats what I aimed to do. The more I fielded the incoming calls the more I knew what I needed to ask them, and the conversation sounded more authentic. There was one older lady who we probably spoke on the phone for about an hour or so, but I felt it was worth it because I established rapport with her, and she is very interested in doing business with me. I am very motivated to get at least a deal on this first direct mail campaign, but even if I do not (I pray thats not the case lol), I know that I am learning so much, and as I continue my marketing efforts and start to increase the number of pieces that I am mailing out, I know my close rate will increase greatly. I am just staying encouraged and continuing to push forward. I have really tried to stay persistent with making sure I return all calls the same day. I own and operate a landscaping business, so thats my day job, and I rarely get the chance to field the incoming calls live. I make sure I set time aside at the end of my work day  to call all of the leads back, and if I don't reach them I make notes to follow back up with them. Investing in real estate while working a full time job is not easy at all, especially when I don't have a mentor/coach to help guide me through a lot of my learning curves that I am constantly coming across, but I just use the motivation that I have to be successful to keep me going. I try dedicate time everyday towards educating myself and learning from the people who are successful at doing what I am not only doing, but what I strive to do in the future as well. I wrote this so that it hopefully encourages someone who is still fairly new to the game, as I am, and it lets you see that even though this may seem challenging at times, there is still light at the end of the tunnel if you just stick with it. I'll keep the updates coming and let you all know how things work out. Until then, good luck to everyone out here being productive and making things happen instead of just talking, and I wish you well.

Larmon

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

This is great, way to take action.  I sure hope you do get a deal on your first mailing, but don't set your expectations too high.  250 is a very small mailer and direct mail is a numbers game, the more you send, the more leads and deals you will get.  Creating rapport is fantastic, but I always try to get a ballpark price before I spend to much time on any single lead.  When I was starting out I would spend 30 minutes on the phone with someone building rapport before they through out an asking price 50% above retail.  

Medium logo 5545John Horner, Core Developments LLC | [email protected] | 614‑664‑3174 | http://johnbuyshousesohio.com/

@Larmon Cummings Jr Congrats on the first mailing and taking action. Keep up the consistency and you will have success!

I agree completely@John Horner  . Since I have never did a campaign I sort of wanted to take a "test drive" per se and get the hang of things before I spent more money out of my budget. As far as the long calls, I agree with you, and I made sure there was some potential to do a deal there before I spent the time. You do have to be conscious of that though, because people do love to talk sometimes, especially some elderly people lol.

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

@Larmon Cummings Jr 

When practicing your scripts the easiest way to remember them is to read them to yourself as fast as you can 10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening. After a week you will have the robot removed from your voice.... 

And as for the questions to ask the following is what I like at the moment.

1. How did you happen to hear about us? Otherwise just ask the following.

2. Do you have a house you're wanting to sell? - Must be a Yes answer...

3. Is the house currently Listed with a Real Estate Professional? - Must be a No answer...

4. What do you think the house will be worth in today's market? - Must give a number...

5. What is your "Rock Bottom" price, the lowest amount you'll sell for FAST and FOR CASH? - Must be a number equal to or less than the worth value...

6. What is the address of the house?

Congrats btw.

Those are the same questions that I have in the script I use, and now that I think about it I have have gotten the script from a post you made before on the [email protected] Q. . I pretty much have those questions memorized and they flow more conversational now, so thanks. 

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

@John Horner  

@Michael Q. 

Do you guys have any open ended questions, tricks, etc. that help you build rapport on the phone when a seller calls? Sometimes I hang up the phone and feel the call was too short and to the point. 

I always try to ask "So what's your situation", this causes most people to open up if there is a reason they need to sell fast.  Some people are just short and no matter what you won't get what you need out of them.  I also like to ask "why haven't you contacted a realtor about listing your property?"  This will force them to reinforce the value that you are provided by make a fast cash offer.  Most people will say they don't want to take the time or money to repair the property, or they don't want to wait to list and sell it, etc.  I always remind them of their response in negotiations to reinforce the service that we provide and the reason we deserve the discount.

Medium logo 5545John Horner, Core Developments LLC | [email protected] | 614‑664‑3174 | http://johnbuyshousesohio.com/

@Larmon Cummings Jr 

 - you took action and @Michael Q. is helping you out - even if you get nothing from your 250 letters . . . you got a LOT, imho.  Good luck and keep at it.    From my experience, with time, you will naturally start to wind down the conversations with the tire kickers/unmotivated as you start to pick up on cues that they are not ready to sell. Until then, use this time to practice building rapport and refining your phone call "technique" - which for me is still a work in progress!

Medium logo jpegChristina R., r2investmentgroup, llc | 301‑960‑8020 | http://www.r2investmentgroup.com | MD Agent # 653692

Thanks @Jimmy Moncrief  , I just know there are lots of newer investors on the site who could probably relate to a lot of the stuff I'm going through, and I figured if I could elaborate on the things I'm going through then maybe it could help someone out. And thanks for the advise @John Horner  , I will most definitely keep that in mind as I'm fielding these calls. I appreciate the support @Christina R.  , its folks like all of you that keep me and so many others motivated, and the advise that you give it very useful. Thanks again everyone, and I will keep you updated as I continue on this journey.....;-)

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

@Larmon Cummings Jr 

Large congratulations sir. That is very good to hear there is so much luck to be had so early in a mail campaign.

After door knocking for pre mortgage and pre tax foreclosures, I learned the pre mortgage forc. are pretty all much going to be short sales.  Way to much time and effort for the same potatoes a different kind of deal can make you. 

After realizing I need to attack other strategies I made of list of possible business generating options, and direct mail a specific neighborhood was one of the top ideas (admittedly not a  new strategy for our industry)

What kind of properties were you mailing? Just a whole neighborhood, or just absentee owners?

What was your long term plan for your marketing 3 mo? 6 mo?  Were you going to change the letter each time, or keep it the same so the seller would see your message over and over?

Thanks, and congratulations agin. 

@Michael Q. 

Wow... sir, that is a major over and beyond. I wish more people operated in that fashion.

Major kudos. Karma shall surly look after you. 

Thanks for your support@Terry Evans  , I really appreciate it. In regards to the questions that you asked, I targeted absentee owners surrounding my geographic area that I am working. The goal for my marketing campaign is 3mos, and I want to switch to postcards on my next mailing to see what type of results I get. I just didn't want to send my message through the same medium over and over. I figured if I switch it up then I may get better results. 

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

Good for you for taking action. That's the first important step. When I started, I also did some door knocking (which scared me spitless to begin with until I realized it really wasn't hard at all!). My first two deals came from door knocking, but that was only part of the gain. The other part was that I lost my fear of talking to distressed sellers because I had talked to so many. The other part was that I learned a lot of their issues and what they were concerned with. That in turn helped me on the phone with sellers and helped me craft my direct mail to answer the questions they had. Good luck.

Originally posted by @Larmon Cummings Jr:

Hello BP Community,

I recently mailed out my first yellow letter batch to absentee owners, and I wanted to provide some info as to how things were going so far. I purchased a absentee owner list of 250 leads and used the services of yellowletter.com to mail them out for me, which I received confirmation on 8/11 that they were mailed out. During that time I have received about close to ten calls or so from people: a couple were people angry demanding that I never contact them again (that kinda caught me off guard at first lol), a couple that were already listed with a broker (put them on a follow-up list to see how that works out), one or two that were demanding a price way more than the property was worth (I didn't think there was much I could do with them), and I have a couple of hot leads that I have appointments scheduled to check out this upcoming week. Since this is my first campaign, I have learned a lot from talking to the different people who responded to my letters. At first I was practicing role playing with my wife and a partner of mine reading a script that I found on the BP site, but as I was practicing with them, I felt as if I were a robot just going through a list of questions interrogating them. As I kept reading through the forums and listening to the podcasts there was a common theme of letting a natural conversation start and extracting the information that I needed during that time, so thats what I aimed to do. The more I fielded the incoming calls the more I knew what I needed to ask them, and the conversation sounded more authentic. There was one older lady who we probably spoke on the phone for about an hour or so, but I felt it was worth it because I established rapport with her, and she is very interested in doing business with me. I am very motivated to get at least a deal on this first direct mail campaign, but even if I do not (I pray thats not the case lol), I know that I am learning so much, and as I continue my marketing efforts and start to increase the number of pieces that I am mailing out, I know my close rate will increase greatly. I am just staying encouraged and continuing to push forward. I have really tried to stay persistent with making sure I return all calls the same day. I own and operate a landscaping business, so thats my day job, and I rarely get the chance to field the incoming calls live. I make sure I set time aside at the end of my work day  to call all of the leads back, and if I don't reach them I make notes to follow back up with them. Investing in real estate while working a full time job is not easy at all, especially when I don't have a mentor/coach to help guide me through a lot of my learning curves that I am constantly coming across, but I just use the motivation that I have to be successful to keep me going. I try dedicate time everyday towards educating myself and learning from the people who are successful at doing what I am not only doing, but what I strive to do in the future as well. I wrote this so that it hopefully encourages someone who is still fairly new to the game, as I am, and it lets you see that even though this may seem challenging at times, there is still light at the end of the tunnel if you just stick with it. I'll keep the updates coming and let you all know how things work out. Until then, good luck to everyone out here being productive and making things happen instead of just talking, and I wish you well.

Larmon

 Hello Larmon, I am mailing out 250 letters tomorrow and I'm eager to start. You had some encouraging words in your post. I'm curious how did everything turn out? Did you close any deals? How long did you wait to send follow up letters?

@Jay Luke  

Out of the 250 letters, I got 3 properties under contract, and there were close to about 30 calls that came in. One of the properties I ended up finding a buyer for, crazy thing is the seller disappeared on me....:-( I don't know if she changed her mind or what, but I called several times, went by the property, but nothing. I just left it alone, figured she must have had something come up in her life. Regarding the last two, one I just recently got a buyer for it-thanks to BP, found a new partner that has been working with me and she brought me a buyer..:-) We're looking to split $7k 50-50. Have been trying to get rid of the last property , but its like that sometimes. I will will make much more than I invested into my campaign, so at least that was paid for. Im actually in the process of doing another campaign, so I'll keep you posted on how things turn out. 

Larmon Cummings Jr, SunShyne Realty Group/LCJ Construction Contractors | [email protected] | http://www.sunshynerealtygroup.com | IL Agent # 475.164642

@Michael Quarles , I am new to Bigger Pockets (about 2 months in) and I just listened to your podcast on YouTube entitled Generating Real Estate Leads Through Direct Mail. This is a GREAT podcast. Anyone who hasn't heard it should check it out.

Michael, thanks for sharing the information. I am preparing to do my first direct mail campaign...I am happy that I listened to your podcast first.

Ashley J.

@Lamon,

Congratulations and thank you for this post! I am a newbie and still putting pieces together, and this is very encouraging.  And thanks to all the BP family that replied with encouraging words and assistance!  That is something I am really finding fascinating about BP.  Its amazing how many people want you to succeed.  It gives you that feeling, you are not alone, there is always help.  Once again, congratulations and thanks to everyone!

@Larmon Cummings Jr  Awesome job man! It's so inspiring to hear that newbies can get real results out the gate. I hope to do the same. 

I'm about to send out my first mailers and I'm hoping you can help me with a few questions:

1. Did you use a pre-written letter from yellowletters.com or did you write something custom? If custom, what?

2. What size letter?

3. Did you include the name of the owner in the letter?

Again, congrats to your success. 

Originally posted by @Larmon Cummings Jr :

Thanks, I really appreciate [email protected] Q. 

 Did you ever score any deal based on the new criteria? What was the criteria? 

I am in the Chicago are as well, maybe we can link up sometime. Let me know. 

Regards, 

Trevon

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