Direct Mail

10 Replies

I am getting ready to start a direct mail campaign in my area. I have a list of 500 homeowners that are 3+ years behind on taxes and are either on a payment plan or a D.O.O.E (Distressed Owner/Occupant Extension. I am direct marketing trying to pick up some properties for myself and if opportunities come along that I am not interested in, I will wholesale them. I work full time, but my job is pretty flexible. Is 500 a good number to send out? Will I be overwhelmed? Should I be sending more?

Thoughts are appreciated.

Originally posted by @Joshua Woolls :

I am getting ready to start a direct mail campaign in my area. I have a list of 500 homeowners that are 3+ years behind on taxes and are either on a payment plan or a D.O.O.E (Distressed Owner/Occupant Extension. I am direct marketing trying to pick up some properties for myself and if opportunities come along that I am not interested in, I will wholesale them. I work full time, but my job is pretty flexible. Is 500 a good number to send out? Will I be overwhelmed? Should I be sending more?

Thoughts are appreciated.

 Joshua, 

First great job with taking action! So the question I asked myself when mailing was how many time I wanted my phone to ring that week. Now I have not mailed to this type of list but if you get a 5% response rate you will get about 25 calls. 

Once we started getting our first set of calls we had no software to track and follow those leads and it made it difficult. So with 25 calls you will need to have a good tracking system because that could be overwhelming. 

Let me know your success rate and good luck!

You'll typically get more calls with letters but I've experienced better calls with pc's. The letters got me more people who were just curious, as opposed to the pc callers who "knew what was up" so to speak. 

That being said, if its a highly targeted list then letters may be more favorable, and if you're great on the phone then you may want more calls. If you have a huge list then maybe pc's would be more practical. 

I've used Jerry Puckett for letters and Michael Quarles for postcards, both can be found on here and I would recommend either gentleman. 

Hi Joshua!

My company has been sending mailers for over 15 years and found it to be a great tool to locate motivated sellers. I love that you are targeting folks with back taxes as that typically means the properties are paid off and they are not keeping up with it for “some reason”. Maybe it’s a second home or someone passed on or ?

I agree with @Elliot Smith and 5% is a good initial response average. I would send more because the more responses means you can then sort through and be picky about the properties in which you choose to invest.

We ONLY send personalized letters with the owner’s name, property address, and a ball-park offer. (You can do your due diligence once they call back and you KNOW they are interested.) Our letters seem to really stand out from just a generic post card. I have had folks hold on to our letters for YEARS and call us when they finally determine they no longer are going to use the property.

So don’t stop if it takes a little time. Great job!

  • -Jill
Originally posted by @Jill DeWit :

Hi Joshua!

My company has been sending mailers for over 15 years and found it to be a great tool to locate motivated sellers. I love that you are targeting folks with back taxes as that typically means the properties are paid off and they are not keeping up with it for “some reason”. Maybe it’s a second home or someone passed on or ?

I agree with @Elliot Smith and 5% is a good initial response average. I would send more because the more responses means you can then sort through and be picky about the properties in which you choose to invest.

We ONLY send personalized letters with the owner’s name, property address, and a ball-park offer. (You can do your due diligence once they call back and you KNOW they are interested.) Our letters seem to really stand out from just a generic post card. I have had folks hold on to our letters for YEARS and call us when they finally determine they no longer are going to use the property.

So don’t stop if it takes a little time. Great job!

  • -Jill

 How do you do your ballpark offers? I am hoping to get a little action from this mailing, but I am really hoping to get some momentum moving into next years tax foreclosure period. I have some lists I was able to get and some tools that I can use that allow me to get information that is not easy to come by for the average person. I am hoping the fact that it is a little more difficult to get means that there are not ton's of people marketing to this group.

Hi @Jessica H.

I make offers on my initial mailer. I have already done my "homework" at this point and have targeted a parcel size and county and know that I am going to pay x amount per acre. So I put that in my letter to the owner. And I make it look like a purchase agreement with dates, how transaction will be completed, their info, and a place for them to sign and return to me. Some will actually sign and return the letters, some will call to discuss terms, and some will file it away for a rainy day. (I am STILL getting calls from letters from 2007.)

Hi @Joshua Woolls

For someone just starting out or working in a new area I would use something like landwatch, zillow, any online selling forum to come up with a starting point for an offer.  I will find the cheapest similar parcel and offer half. For example, I might be sending mailers (offers) to all the folks in San Bernardino County that own vacant land parcels that are 40 acres in size. I might be willing to pay around $100/acre, so my offer will be $4,000.  I put that in writing and when they reach out to me - I now KNOW they are interested and then I will do more research and may increase/decrease my offer. 

Don't be afraid to go for it. Send a TON. The more folks you have reaching out to you to sell the better. Then you get to pick and it's a great place to be!

Hope this helps everyone!

Jill

@Jill DeWit

Is there anything in particular you are doing to make your letters standout, i.e. not get pitched right away?  Colored paper, your company logo, etc.?  Do you put them in envelopes or just fold the letter and send?

Just on the cost side, for printing a very rough rule of thumb is that each doubling of the quantity results in only about 50% additional printing cost.  Of course postage is the same per piece, but design cost -- assuming you are having a professional design the piece -- is a flat cost, so that goes down per piece as the printing quantity goes up.

Best of luck ...

Brad Srebnik

Aurelian Design

@Joshua Woolls Hey! Doing a little research on Direct Mail. I'm going to practice your "finding people behind on their taxes approach. I would love to know the results of how your post card went! Did you close any deals from it? Any learning you would like to share?