absentee owner mailing

10 Replies

Around 2 weeks ago I did my first mailing to absentee owners. I was very specific in my criteria and only sent to 100 owners (will do more in coming weeks) I am a real estate agent and was not seeing anything good on mls (shocker) and I am actually looking to buy for myself as rental properties, so I figured I could give decent offers.  

Well so far 3 callers, none especially motivated, all looking for considerably more than I would be willing to offer. I had casual, pleasant,15 min. conversations with each of them, all resulting in that they should list w/an agent. (I do mention at that point that I am also an agent, and while thats is not the intentions of my marketing I would be more than happy to help them sell)

I know its a small sample size, but these sellers all thought they could be patient and get more in this current market.

I am just wondering, as a first time marketer to absentees, is it typical that most responses are non motivated looking for top dollar (aka agents) do the motivated sellers only surface after multiple mailings?

I have been mailing to absentee owners for about four months now, a total of about 2300 mail pieces.  We made about 150 offers and closed one deal.  Not great numbers. We are continuing to mail around 1500 pieces every 6 weeks or so, many to the same owners we have already mailed to, as I have read and heard the same thing, that you need to touch them at least 4-5 times.  Motivation requires a change in your life situation, and that may not happen over a period of just a few months.

But the majority of the offers we made were in nicer suburbs with good ARV's, most had no mortgage and had good long term tenants and good cash flow. So there was no distress, no urgency and no life circumstance that was forcing them to sell. We have begun to cull the nicer suburbs and focus more on middle class areas where the motivation might be higher. And the fact that prices are rising is another reason that owners/sellers believe they can do better with an agent. And many of them may be right. But consistency and persistence are very important.

this is certainly a numbers game.   Keep at it 

Originally posted by @Mark Cohen :

Around 2 weeks ago I did my first mailing to absentee owners. I was very specific in my criteria and only sent to 100 owners (will do more in coming weeks) I am a real estate agent and was not seeing anything good on mls (shocker) and I am actually looking to buy for myself as rental properties, so I figured I could give decent offers.  

Well so far 3 callers, none especially motivated, all looking for considerably more than I would be willing to offer. I had casual, pleasant,15 min. conversations with each of them, all resulting in that they should list w/an agent. (I do mention at that point that I am also an agent, and while thats is not the intentions of my marketing I would be more than happy to help them sell)

I know its a small sample size, but these sellers all thought they could be patient and get more in this current market.

I am just wondering, as a first time marketer to absentees, is it typical that most responses are non motivated looking for top dollar (aka agents) do the motivated sellers only surface after multiple mailings?

 Its hard to get any data from 100 Mailers. The Direct Marketing Association claims the average response rate is 4.4%. So your results sound about right. The REAL question is, " How many responses equal one deal?"

Based on how many responses i need to get a deal I then calculate how many mailers I need.

Example. 

I need 2 Deals.

I need about 30-50 Responses, Call Backs, Website Opt-ins so that I can yield 2 deals.

Which means  I need to send 1000 Mailers to get a maximum of 4.4% Response rate(hopefully more).

I personally never do a campaign with low number because we run the risk loosing money on a test thats too small to prove right. Even if you have the best mailer you need to have a big net. To catch those sellers ;)

Originally posted by @Mark Cohen :

Around 2 weeks ago I did my first mailing to absentee owners. I was very specific in my criteria and only sent to 100 owners (will do more in coming weeks) I am a real estate agent and was not seeing anything good on mls (shocker) and I am actually looking to buy for myself as rental properties, so I figured I could give decent offers.  

Well so far 3 callers, none especially motivated, all looking for considerably more than I would be willing to offer. I had casual, pleasant,15 min. conversations with each of them, all resulting in that they should list w/an agent. (I do mention at that point that I am also an agent, and while thats is not the intentions of my marketing I would be more than happy to help them sell)

I know its a small sample size, but these sellers all thought they could be patient and get more in this current market.

I am just wondering, as a first time marketer to absentees, is it typical that most responses are non motivated looking for top dollar (aka agents) do the motivated sellers only surface after multiple mailings?

Where these mostly SFRs, multi unit or both? It doesn't appear they had any pressing need to sell.

@Mark Cohen

It is strictly a numbers game and I would expect very low results with simply a generic absentee owner list.  To be honest, I get about half a dozen postcards and letters every week on my properties and shake my head every time thinking about how someone just wasted time and money on them.

If you want to see better results you either have to send out thousands more mailings or maybe you should refine your list and try to pinpoint the type of owner that may be interested in selling.

Drive some of the list (driving for dollars) and look for ones that are not being taken care of or in need of obvious repair.  Focus your efforts on those and you will probably get much better contacts.  You could even go the extra effort and send them pictures of the houses tall grass or missing shingles and the owner may not even know they are in such bad shape that they may be more interesting in selling quickly.  I would rather send out 50 specific mailers on problem properties than 1000 generic letters that no one will really read.

If driving and looking is too much effort then I would look for another way to find deals.  Houses won't just fall in your lap, you have to go find them.

It was a pretty specific list. House style, years of ownership, purchase price all being factors. I actually just got my 4th call today, about to call him back. 

Originally posted by @Mark Cohen :

It was a pretty specific list. House style, years of ownership, purchase price all being factors. I actually just got my 4th call today, about to call him back. 

Your apparent response rate seem to be near the 'standard' industry response rate for direct mail. Each of them may for a certain amount sell -- the issue is whether or not there would be sufficient profit on the table for you at the sellers price.

Originally posted by @Terry Maher :

I have been mailing to absentee owners for about four months now, a total of about 2300 mail pieces.  We made about 150 offers and closed one deal.  Not great numbers. We are continuing to mail around 1500 pieces every 6 weeks or so, many to the same owners we have already mailed to, as I have read and heard the same thing, that you need to touch them at least 4-5 times.  Motivation requires a change in your life situation, and that may not happen over a period of just a few months.

But the majority of the offers we made were in nicer suburbs with good ARV's, most had no mortgage and had good long term tenants and good cash flow. So there was no distress, no urgency and no life circumstance that was forcing them to sell. We have begun to cull the nicer suburbs and focus more on middle class areas where the motivation might be higher. And the fact that prices are rising is another reason that owners/sellers believe they can do better with an agent. And many of them may be right. But consistency and persistence are very important.

 Hello...I just read your response about mailing to absentee owners. I have a question, if I may ask. Are you re-mailing to the 150 owners you sent offers to? If so, what's your message? Thanks!

We hired a VA about three months ago and she is finally to the point where she, and our CRM system, can generate written offers as a follow up to the verbal offers I made previously. We haven't closed any of the previously 'rejected' offers but as a formality it seems to maybe 'legitimize' the offer, as they now have it in writing. Going forward every property that the VA analyzes will automatically get a written offer in addition to the verbal, but we do not continue to send mail pieces to owners we have made offers to. We scrub the list each month and remove them. Hope that helps.

I have a question about absentee owner mailing, did you encounter where the Owner's property mailing address "Owner name" is different e.g. 

Owner AAA mailing address is 123 xxx street florida  but when you search the 123 xxx street florida, it is not owned by Owner AAA and name is not even close to Owner AAA name?

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