Direct Mail Concerns, Help

12 Replies

Hi All, I am in a new market and it appears there are less opportunities here than my previous market. I used to be able to line up a ton of potential houses and although there was more competition, I was able to get a house just as my last one ended. I keep an eye on that market even after I stopped investing there (curiosity and I like to follow the market as I will be moving back), and I still see good options popping up all over.

With that said I am in Orange County NY now and have visited a handful of homes that fit my criteria. As of this moment I made one offer and it was rejected (understandable). I plan to keep after this house a bit, but not sure the bank and I will ever meet. I will be making another offer on a house today/tomorrow, but at that point have exhausted the current inventory for the most part.

I have decided to start the process of driving around and finding run down properties, or getting Preforeclosure info and sending along direct mail letters. I have drafted my letter, and have a list of 9 homes in a target neighborhood listed in PFclosure on Zillow.

My question is, has anyone experienced negative impacts from these direct mailings? Of course my name, email, phone number and address are on the letters/envelope. I would hate for a vindictive person to feel I have overstepped my bounds or insulted them and something happens from it. I'm not even sure what someone would do, other than maybe send my email or address to spammers, or sign me up for raunchy magazines... however this place is where the experts would probably know, from experience.

So am I being overly worried here? Will 95% of the letters get tossed in the garbage and the current owners won't even read them? I have the time now to find addresses and send these out, and if it gets me a solid deal, I am all for it!

Thanks in advance.

@Brian Pulaski Hey, look thru my profile, I just posted in one of forums about the letters that I have been doing. I have been allocating 10% of my funds into marketing and advertising (as you know about the instagram thing) and have been doing about 200 a week started this week. It should be the post from last night. Also like we spoke thru email, come down to NJ brotha, we can tackle something together. I am very curious because I spend abut 2 hours a day just on letters and marketing. Maybe we can do something together as far as mailing goes. Let me know what you think about my post from last night.

@Mateusz Prawdzik I took a look, and similar to what I am doing, or plan to do. My letter is a bit less business like and more personal. With that said, I have the time, energy and funds to get tons of mailings out, just want to be sure of the negatives associated with doing this.

NJ is too far for me right at the moment, but an option if things aren't working out up here.

If I can pack the kids up and get them out of the house around my youngest nap time, I plan to drive the areas that interest me and write down addresses.

@Brian Pulaski That is a good idea, Driving for Dollars is one of the best ways to get started for sure. I would start making your own list for sure, lots of people had success with that. Are you planning to hand write every letter, because I have done that and it is a B. I do about 200 in 3 hours where as I use to be able to only do 30 in like 3 hours if i was to stamp and hand write everything myself. I don't know what kind of market you have up there, but down here it's all about numbers and volume. I did this experiment and found out it doesn't matter about how personal you make the letters, it's about hitting the most people at a time and getting the volume out because then the Law of Averages takes place and you get leads quicker and more effectively.  

I have no idea on this market is part of my issue. Only lived here a few weeks. There is a meet up in September right around the corner from me and I plan to go.

With that said, no I type the letter, hand sign it and hand write the envelope. Once again, I have 9 of them in front of me. The letters take less than a minute to adjust the address, print and sign (probably 15 seconds if you really put a stopwatch to it). The envelope takes another 30 seconds or so to write up, stamp and close. At the moment I only have a list of preforeclosures, I haven't driven yet (two little kids not in school makes this more difficult) but plan to.

Its good to hear that volume is working in your area. I have read that sending numerous letters to the same address over a period of time can work as well. I plan to incorporate what I can into my advertising/mailing.

@Brian Pulaski

Depending on area, you have to be careful with pre-foreclosure mailings because  certain states implemented laws that only licensed agents can approach those. You'd be safer just saying, "Looking to buy a house in your area" rather than mention anything about pre-foreclosure for your mailings. I'd try mailing first, if that doesn't work, there's an excellent pre-foreclosure script from Ken Min for door-knocking.

@Ray Lai thanks for the advice, I will look into any dos and dont's in my area. I sent out 18 letters yesterday and the day before. I have a sheet with  info so I can go back in a week or two and send them again, then again, then again. At some point something has to stick.

Do you guys who are successful send them to every single property in an area, or do you target certain houses? I did some driving and targeted houses that appeared to be unkept and in need of work, verse houses that look fresh and clean.

As with any marketing campaign consistency is the key. 

With that being said, I find that door knocking on pre-foreclosures works best. Don't get me wrong, I sill send out typed letters that I sign by hand and address the envelope by hand but I get a higher acquisition rate with pre-foreclosures by door knocking. I first go after homes that have previously been listed with 30% or more in equity. I then go after homes in areas I like and with large lots and square footage. I also sort my list by zip code so I am hitting houses in areas that keeps me from driving back and forth across town which saves money. I also do different types of marketing to different mailing lists but since people specifically mentioned pre-foreclosures here I thought I would share what I do.

I hope this helps.

@Brian Pulaski

Definitely targeting. The quality of your lists and your criteria for targeting greatly affects your response rate and closure rates for deals. You did D4D to built up an absentee list which is a nice start. Eventually when you do other lists like eviction, tax delinquent you'll get even more responses.

Sending to every single property in an area isn't efficient but there are people on here that do it, they call it 'dominating their hood' and it works for some people. If you're going to go down that route though, look into the USPS postal route to save $, it's called Every Door Direct Mail:

Thanks for the response. To me it seems like sending letters to 20 houses on a street that are all well kept and not in foreclosure fear would be a waste of funds. I see it like if I were to get something about buying my house in the mail, I would laugh. It seems like someone who owns a house they simply can't or won't care for might be more inclined to take the easy route and try to sell to me, verse trying to list it with a realtor, knowing it needs a lot. D4D at the moment works, and I have some good target locations to go after. I plan to keep track of the neighborhoods, and hit them one at a time, write down addresses and keep a spreadsheet of who I mailed to and when. Then send them again and again. I hope something sticks and I get a call/email or two.

Got my first phone call... 1200 SF ranch, worth $200-215K ARV. The guy called, and told me he wants to sell, and is asking...


I thought I didn't hear him correctly, but he repeated that a few times. I'm not sure if it was a serious call, or some form of messing with me. I did my best to explain that I purchase homes in need of repair to fix them up, and I wouldn't be interested in a home at that price. To which I was hung up on.

I guess the good news is the fact at least one letter sparked some interest. Maybe I can snag a real deal with some of the others.

@Brian Pulaski I am telling you, these people don't understand that you don't buy retail or a price that they want. Most of these people get emotionally attached to the home and they don't put that emotion aside and expect you to pay outrageous. Don't waste your time with people like that, I've been there and it isn't worth any of your time at all. 

Yeah, once he told me the number I realized it was a dead end. Seems the house is actually nice and well kept, it came off a preforeclosure list. I'm more hopeful on the run down houses I found in my drive.

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