Newbie Direct Marketing Questions (First Direct Mail Campaign)

5 Replies

After listening to a few podcasts and reading about others experiences with direct marketing it is my turn to jump in. 

My goal for this project is to purchase at least one 3BR/2Bath SFR for a buy and hold position. To do this I am planning to start a direct marketing campaign with a minimum of 200 contacts and to use yellow letters as my first contact and postcards for my second contact.

The list I have currently built on listsource is:

SFR in 5 mile radius of my personal residence - 52k properties

30%-100% equity - 14.5k

3bed/2bath - 6.5k

Assessed Value 50k - 150k - 4.8k

Built between 1990-2010 - 1k

This search leaves me with about 1000 targets for $200. 

First , do you think this would be a good list to market to in order to achieve my goal?

Second, I have read a lot of places about marketing specifically to absentee owners, do you think adding that criteria would make my list more successful?

(it would significantly decrease the target size - 204 targets and $40 list.  I really like the price though : ) )

What would you change, add or implement to achieve my goal.

Thank you all.

-Mark Graziano


I have found in the past that absentee owners sometimes can be more motivated. If you are on a budget you may want to try that first 204 as a sample group. 

I think you set up a good plan and I believe it will help you achieve your goal. Definitely keep up the good work and let us know what kind of responses you get from your campaigns. Good luck!


@Mark Graziano

If you are just looking to purchase a single buy-and-hold there are easier/cheaper ways to look for or market for a deal than buying a list and doing direct response.

Scour the MLS and run any/all houses that look like deals through one of the many calcs available here (I like Wendell De Guzman's). Make nice with a realtor who works with investors (if you aren't already an agent yourself).

Get in touch with FRBO's from craigslist and elsewhere.  Ask them if they had considered selling their property instead of renting it.

Direct response via USPS is more suited toward building a pipeline of deals over time. For just a single rental, the MLS is the way to go.

@Jeremy T.

You hit the nail on the head Jeremy, a long term pipeline is exactly what I am looking to build.  I should rephrase that the short term goal (next 3-5 months) is to acquire a minimum of one buy and hold property.

I have been active on the MLS and have had a really hard time finding a property that will cash flow. Even when I evaluate the properties at 90% of the asking price most of the time the math doesn't work. I feel as if I need to purchase at a larger discount in order to make a deal work, and to my knowledge a direct marketing campaign may be one of the least expensive ways to directly contact those that may be willing to sell at a discount.

What do you think?

I appreciate your input.


I hate getting Craigslist spam from investors offering to buy who then never respond,or if they do, they're really amateur. Don't be that guy.

Aside from that, if you can't cash flow, you have other ways to make money. Download How to make big money in small apartments for $0.99. Lance talks about different strategies that are solid. He's a big advocate for direct mail, and he gives pointers on how to do it right.

@Mark GrazianoTruly it comes down the message more than anything. One word of advice I will give is to not start a mailing without an website. Doing so will allow you to loss money in the long run. One post card or mailing that saids "we buy houses" is not going to do it. They need somewhere to go on your website to learn your business in and out. 

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