Help!! Flooded with calls from motivated sellers after 1st mailing campaign!!

23 Replies

Hey everyone,

So I just sent my first round of 500 post cards out 2 weeks ago and I have been flooded with calls!  I would like to write a post here to keep everyone updated on my 1st mailing campaign.  

In the meantime, can anyone give me advice on how I can handle all these calls?  I am pretty much on the phone for 3 hours a day after I get off work and I am simply exhausted. I estimate I have a 12% response rate with my mailers.

Taking Action,

Crystal

Congratulations!  That's really a lot.  I'd suggest you get a good CRM system, start capturing those calls and get them each on a followup program based upon your initial interview (slow, medium or fast).  Fast you call back and work on every 3 days, medium is every 5 days, and slow is 7-14 days.  Can you share with us what the "call to action" was that you used in the ad that got that much response?  Normally mail campaigns are good for 1-3% and good ones are 5% you really blew it away with 12%.  Please tell...?

I agree that's a phenomenal response rate. Would you also mind sharing your mailers? I'd be curious to know what it is that is so enticing in your mailers.

Are you getting a lot of tire kickers? Maybe you have such a general mailer that people just want to get more information.

@ Crystal -

Good news Crystal.  Two weeks I sent out my first mailing. It was only 97, but I got two calls within 3 days. I met with one seller and trying to see her tomorrow to present my first offer. I ran the figures past Bigger Pockets, but haven't received a response yet.

I think I got the response because I used a Professional Letter I created emphasizing the benefits rather than the features ... thanks to a BP article on direct mail. I used high quality paper & envelopes and hand addressed each envelope. And I am not bragging; but I think the letter content was very good. Anyway, that is my only explanation except for luck.

Look up Ron De Grand or Le Grand. He speaks about an automated software he uses that screens his calls and gives you a list of those that are more likely going to end up as deals. 

I have never sent out mailers myself so I am just trying to pass along something that may fit with what you are trying to solve. 

If anyone is familiar with what I am trying to relate to Crystal please jump in and give her a lead. 

Great job Crystal 12% is an amazing turnout. One suggestion as far as handling the initial calls is write out a script, responses to a couple of common questions, and either pay a couple of friends or pledge a small piece of the profit to anything that leads to a deal. That way you and weed out the leads that are  actually interested from the tire kickers, and make all of the follow up calls yourself. But I'm very curious as to the verbiage of your mailers.

Spread out your mailing outs to be able to handle the calls.

That's awesome! A nice problem to have :-) If you haven't read the "4-Hour Workweek" yet, you should give that a try! It has a lot of great tips for handling that kind of situation.

Great job! I've just sent out my first mailing also and I've not been OVERWHELMED, but I have been pleased.

I have put a Podio CRM system in place (free) and my voicemails forward straight to Podio to start the CRM activity. 

@Billy Runyan

What do you say in a follow-up call to someone in the fast/med/slow categories? And secondly, for those who are tire-kickers and really don't have a house to sell, do you still follow up?

Originally posted by @Crystal Chang :

Hey everyone,

So I just sent my first round of 500 post cards out 2 weeks ago and I have been flooded with calls!  I would like to write a post here to keep everyone updated on my 1st mailing campaign.  

In the meantime, can anyone give me advice on how I can handle all these calls?  I am pretty much on the phone for 3 hours a day after I get off work and I am simply exhausted. I estimate I have a 12% response rate with my mailers.

Taking Action,

Crystal

 So, when you ask how you should handle the calls are you asking how do you handle the call volume? Or are you asking what technique should you use?

If you are referring to call volume sounds like you need a voicemail system, such as Call fire.

This is a service that is an out of the box system that can closely track your calls and even give you a cool voicemail to text feature through your email.

Nice work!!

I know what you are going through more than you know @Crystal Chang . I went to Odesk which is now Upwork and I hired a virtual assistant. I used Podio for a time or now I use Zoho which I like a lot better to field my calls and take their information. I used spreadsheets for the longest time along with actual paper lead sheets. Needless to say, I have an enormous stack of paper now. Trust me, figure it out now or you will get buried and miss opportunities like I did.

Another idea which I use now is I have my phone number going to google voice. I hate to do this because I know what it is like to call a company about a product or service you are interested in and then you have to leave a message - so frustrating. Next, you can check out @Ben G. who did a podcast where his callers leave a message and it automatically goes into podio (crm) and alerts him right away. Personally, I feel that people who answer their phone each and every time may have a slight advantage over those who let calls go to voicemail. This is just my opinion.

You can find a virtual assistant possibly even here on BP! On Upwork you can hire someone who actually lives here in the USA to take the calls. In fact, I found someone who charged less than what some people make at McDonald's. Your best bet is to slow down your marketing because unless you wear a cape and have super powers- you may lose out on deals. I went from 400-500 pieces of mail a week down to a manageable 200-300 a week. This has been amazing, because now I actually have time to work my other job being a real estate agent. 

What you are going through are the growing pains of being in business for yourself. I understand the urgency of sending out so many letters but let's face it- if you cannot really take the lead properly then you will not be serving them well. By slowing my campaign down I can really focus on each caller and actually have a conversation with them. It has given me the time to find out that they may not really be motivated to sell, but they are looking for deals. Now, you have someone to add to your buyer's list. Taa daa! This personal touch I feel is what separates the good from the great (not that I think I am great because I am not great!). I do get deals that people say just because they liked talking to me they would do business with me instead of going to my competition. (This has been a humbling compliment) You can do amazing things when you put your mind to it by replacing the words: "I can't" with "How can I".   -Stephen Barton

Here is a link to upwork: upwork

Here is Podio: Podio

Here is the best CRM (in my opinion) Zoho: Zoho

Stephen Barton, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB14052302)
317-694-4774

What areas are you targeting?  I don't know how anybody can make any money in this area.

@Crystal Chang

First of all congrats!  I'm curious who are you targeting with your mailers ? (absentee, high equity, tax delinquent etc etc)

And also if you don't mind sharing what are you using yellow letters or professional letters and what are you saying on your letters?

My response rate has been nothing short TERRIBLE and I would love to know whats working for you?

Carlos

Originally posted by @Yoochul C. :

What areas are you targeting?  I don't know how anybody can make any money in this area.

 Exactly..... I would be interested in hearing your criteria for the list; if only to believe the 12% return call rate. The SoCal area is not an easy market for direct mail campaigns. 

877-677-7080
Originally posted by @Crystal Chang :

Hey everyone,

So I just sent my first round of 500 post cards out 2 weeks ago and I have been flooded with calls!  I would like to write a post here to keep everyone updated on my 1st mailing campaign.  

In the meantime, can anyone give me advice on how I can handle all these calls?  I am pretty much on the phone for 3 hours a day after I get off work and I am simply exhausted. I estimate I have a 12% response rate with my mailers.

Taking Action,

Crystal

 I don't have any advice for handling the calls but I do have some questions.  How did you determine where to send the post cards?  Did you have a list of potential sellers from somewhere?  What did the post cards say?  

I would also love to know what market you're targeting as well. How are you obtaining your mailing list? What's your plan of action after you receive a call back?

Crystal Chang I'd love to know what list you mailed to and what the postcard said. Honestly though I believe it's about your point of attraction when sending out mailers. When you use the law of attraction to get your deals, things work magically. You get unusual response rates and stellar deal rates, even as a "newbie". Good job Crystal and I hope you can keep us updated with your progress and success. I think we'd all love to enjoy it all with you, even if vicariously!

Man, let's hold up on getting someone to hire a VA after sending out 500 postcards. If they were sent at the same time to the same city/area, they most likely all hit at once, so the resulting calls seemed like a flood. Give it a few days.

The other thing I'm always suspect of - when people report unusually high response rates - is that the message might have been pretty vague, if not misleading.  I can get a 50+% response rate with a postcard like this one:

What is meaningful is lead quality (are the people calling you motivated?  have equity? etc.), # deals closed, and ROA (return on advertising $).  I have my fingers crossed that Crystal gets a deal out of this, but we don't expect many deals on less than $500 cost of advertising.  In even small markets, advertising cost per deal is easily over $1,000.  In most CA markets, it's well over $3,000 advertising cost per deal.

Dose of reality aside, I'm excited for you Crystal, I wish you the best and hope your extraordinary response rate turns into piles of cash.  ;-)

Congratulations! Now weed the suspects from the prospects.  If this is too many phone calls you should either A) send fewer mailers in the future or B) send mailings that are more specific (Ex: I pay discounted prices for properties in return for fast closing, etc).  

@Dev Horn is correct, your mailings may have been too vauge or over-promising.

Set your criteria for properties and be clear in your mailings about your criteria.  Even if you get fewer calls, the fewer calls will be more focused towards your criteria.  

I absolutely love Podio as a CRM and I also use a virtual assistant! I write tons of blogs on tips and tricks to working with a VA. Excellent job, and godspeed!

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Sounds like a great problem to have.

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