Direct Mail Message to Tax Delinquent Properties...

84 Replies

Hello,

I am completely burned out on finding deals using bandit signs.  I would like to create a system that is more targeted and scalable & have decided to test out direct mail to tax delinquent properties.  Trying to decide on the message & whether or not to use postcards vs. letters.  Help, I feel analysis paralysis coming on!!!

Main questions:

1. Should I mention that I know they are tax delinquent in my message or should I not? 

2. Do you think a postcard or a letter is better to send to this particular list? (it's a smaller list hovering around 500 in my county which I will probably trim down using parameters such as how many bed baths and/or value range). 

3. If letter, should I use my company name etc or not include that info and just express interest in purchasing the property as an individual? (I'm not into the yellow letter, it will be typed and then hand addressed).

Looking forward to hearing your opinions, thank you!

Hi Eyan, 

Funny you should ask,  I literally just sent my first campaign of postcards yesterday.  They should be delivered on the 15th - 20th. I'll be happy to report my results. 

Completing the research to put together my first tax delinquent list was a lot more work than I anticipated. I whittled the original list of a couple thousand folks in my county that are behind on taxes to 559 properties worth $800K or less (I'm in Seattle, $800K will buy you a shack in some areas) that are at least 2 years behind & owe at the very least $5K in taxes. 

I decided on that criteria because I discovered that a lot of people wait until mid or end of the year to pay their taxes & are considered delinquent, but if you look at their history they pay their taxes in full every year. Also, in my county they don't take the house back until the property owner hasn't paid for at least 3 years. 

I did test letters to a much smaller batch of TD owners that got a dismal response. It was tedious to do & I didn't use the criteria I mentioned above. So, I'm testing out postcards with a generic "my company buys homes" message that is basically a condensed version of my website. 

I'll report back in a few weeks.  

         ~ Ushi

IMHO the generic message is going to be the best way to go... If a prospect is in the research mode they aren't ready... Motivated and urgent prospects don't require education...  All a motivated prospect requires is an investor who can BUY their house.

Use embedded commands like when I buy your house, when you sell me your house, we we agree on a price type stuff within your letter, mention CASH, that they receive their money on the day of their choice, at zero costs and without repairs.

It's all our prospects need to hear...

Thanks for your input Michael.  In the letters I tested I mentioned their delinquency in the most respectful manner I could think of, but I get the feeling the people that received it were really turned off by that approach.

I'm relieved to hear that my message on my postcard aligns with your suggestions. I think it will be much better received & I'm excited to see what happens. This is my first mailing on this scale. 

Btw, I really appreciate all the amazing contributions you've given on BP & the various podcast episodes you've participated in.  Thank you!

Hi Noel, 

I tested out pretty postcards, I guess I just had to know if they really didn't work as well.  The consensus is correct.  I'm about to hit them again with a more eye catching, call to action template.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Hey @Ushi Hastie ,

Delinquent tax properties are my niche.I use hand written letters and I do not mention the fact that I know that they are delinquent.I also use the suggestions that @Michael Quarles suggested and I have been able to generate a lot of leads.My market is smaller though and there is only a year redemption period for properties so I mail to property owners only after the property is sold by the county and before the redemption period is up.The closer it gets to them loosing the property for good the more motivated they become.Thanks for the post.

@ Oyama Lewis,

Thanks for sharing.  I'm anxious to test out my new postcards,  I'm not going to mention I know they're delinquent either.  I think now that the year is more than half over & many of them have to make a decision, I should see a better response.

Following this thread as well.  I'm just now trying to work a tax delinquent list for my county.  I would like to see your results on which marketing piece worked best for you! Good luck!

Research is finally completed for the east side (I'm marketing to Seattle & the surrounding cities with Investor activity). 

The complete list of all cities is about 600-700 folks at least 2 years & $5K or more behind in taxes.  Takes about 10 days from ordering to be printed & hit mailboxes.  Thank you, I'll let you know how this mailing goes...

Thanks guys.  There are a lot of prospects I'm hoping to catch before they get a flood of marketing from other investors, that are 3 or 4 years delinquent, but have not had a notice of default recorded yet.

@Ushi Hastie , did you get your list from ListSource?  Also, when do properties in your area go up for Tax Sales?  Like here in Kansas City, tax sales are happening 15 and 22 Aug.  So it's probably too late for me to hit these people up.  But, can go for the ones who are 2 years delinquent or not up yet for tax sales.  Here, it's also 3 years like you mentioned for Seattle.

@Ushi Hastie , great thanks for the source!  I'll check into them.  I wish I had found our tax sales list sooner.  But, I just learned about it a couple weeks ago and am waiting for my ordered postcards to arrive.  So, now it's took late for me to reach out to them.  But, there's always next year!  So, I will try that source you sent and see if that works.  Thanks again!

@Kimberly Farrally

You're welcome!  Btw if you use rebo you need to go through the list & cross reference it with your county tax assessor website. The list includes everyone that is delinquent in taxes.  After inspecting more closely I noticed a lot of people pay their taxes by the end of the year every year, but will show up on the list as delinquent & they would be a waste of time to market to. 

Also, think of it as a marathon.  Not a one & done mailing.  I'm not really concerned with the tax sale date.   I plan on tracking everyone that's at least 2 years behind in taxes & mailing them every other month until they either respond to my marketing, pay their taxes & get off my list or eventually go to foreclosure & lose the property.  

@Ushi Hastie good marketing is about testing. Often marketers will do split testing 1/2 post cards vs 1/2 letters. Maybe they try different colors, Headlines, pictures, logos or not etc. To do that you need to send a significant amount out for the test to be valid. then just keep tweaking the results.

Funny story

I used post cards and mentioned that they were delinquent on their taxes. As I went through the cards I saw one owned by a friend. I can be a wise ***, so I hand wrote "Hey Bob, Why don't you pay your taxes?"   .     .     .     Bob's wife had a fit. While Bob could see the humor as we are friends, His wife was super upset.  I realized that mentioning someone's financial position on a post card is probably not the best idea.

Originally posted by @Ushi Hastie :

@Kimberly Farrally

You're welcome!  Btw if you use rebo you need to go through the list & cross reference it with your county tax assessor website. The list includes everyone that is delinquent in taxes.  After inspecting more closely I noticed a lot of people pay their taxes by the end of the year every year, but will show up on the list as delinquent & they would be a waste of time to market to. 

Also, think of it as a marathon.  Not a one & done mailing.  I'm not really concerned with the tax sale date.   I plan on tracking everyone that's at least 2 years behind in taxes & mailing them every other month until they either respond to my marketing, pay their taxes & get off my list or eventually go to foreclosure & lose the property.  

 I have rebo as well but found their information is not very accurate and VERY incomplete.  However, I've heard some good things about their tax delinquent info.  Do you have any idea if they've updated their tax delinquent data for this year or August yet?

@Ned Carey I think my tax delinquent list will end up being around 1K people & while it's not a large list, I was considering alternating handwritten letters & postcards. What do you think?

Btw, funny story!  Im fearful of something like that happening & skim my lists looking for any familiar names ...

@Min Qiu  I haven't used any of rebo's other lists, but the tax delinquent seems spot on.  You just need to scrub it yourself since it includes people barely behind on taxes.  I'm not sure how often it or when the TD list will be updated.