Just sent my first direct mail letters!

33 Replies

Howdy BP!  I just wanted to say thank you to this community, and how grateful I am to the BP team for the great information and interviews they have put out.  I was inspired to take action by so many people, but especially @Michael Quarles and @Devan Mcclish. 

Anyways, I set a goal to begin my direct mail campaign by this weekend, and I have worked diligently toward that goal.  I just sent out my initial mailing!  I've got that nervous feeling of excitement similar to just before a public speech.  My plan is to continue to mail and learn the numbers (response rate, calls before a deal, etc) for my market for the next six months.  While doing this I'm going to continue to attend auctions, master commissioner sales, and network with everybody who is doing real estate in my area.  I look forward to getting a deal, but I'm working to set myself up for the long term game, and willing to mail continuously for 6 months before finding a quality deal.

Nice plan and focus.  You should certainly get a deal within months, good luck.

Best of luck. Don’t be surprised if you don’t land more than a few deals by month 6. 1 deal as you noted for sure. I hope much more and much success to you.

@Joshua Hardy
Don’t make the mistake I made during my first mailing. Try to find out as early in the call as possible if they are motivated to sell. Otherwise it could end up being a big waste of time. Good luck!!

Gentlemen, thank you for your kind words and advice.  I look forward to updating you all with stories of my challenges and successes.  

@Daniel Hyman I will certainly do my best to determine if the seller is motivated as soon as possible.  I've still got to put the finishing touches on my script, but I am basing it off of Michael Quarles' call center scripts where they quickly qualify the prospect.  

Do you have any tips on finding out as early as possible if they are motivated to sell?

@Joshua Hardy

Some questions you might ask are:

• When are you hoping to have this house sold?
• Is there a number that you are looking for?

I'm still trying to find a good path to figuring it out. Michael Quarles seems to have good advice on his threads for determining a motivating factor.

Congratulations and good luck! I am just a couple of months ahead of you. Make sure you are ready for the phone when it rings. The first call was exciting!

@Bob McGhee Thank you for the well-wishes.  It is with eager anticipation I await that first phone call!  I've been practicing, and look forward to getting to continue to 'practice' with live calls.  I'm curious to know what kind of response you've been seeing, and have you gotten any deals yet?

@Joshua Hardy - wow this is an amazing posts, I have been "driving for dollars" in areas I am interested in and have been putting together a list of properties that look to be distressed/vacant.  My next plan is also to start a direct marketing mail campaign, and have been thinking of different ways to put the letter together, how often to mail it out, etc, any feedback you can share is appreciated.

@Daniel Hyman - really appreciate the advice on finding out if they are motivated to sell and any other advice you can give on direct mail campaigns.  On some of the properties I called and got the owners, I got shut down right away "oh we are already working with somebody" or on one  that I got closer I the owner was asking way above the price they are selling for, but I guess its a start and part of the experience.

@Isaac El great job on driving for dollars and putting together a list.  Now the next step is to find out the owners name and address and mailing to them.  YellowLetters.com is a great resource for not only copy, but also if you want to automate the sending of the mail pieces.  Also check out everything @Michael Quarles has, as he is a fantastic resource for real estate in general, but especially to those getting started.

@Joshua Hardy   THANK YOU SO MUCH!! going to check out yellowletters.com and @Michael Quarles

@Joshua Hardy

Thank you for kind words. 

On one of your posts you used the BUT word and thought I would help...

You wrote:

"Also check out everything @Michael Quarles has, as he is a fantastic resource for real estate in general, but especially to those getting started."

Always remember to replace the BUT word with an inclusive word or alternative point directive words.  Words like AND and HOWEVER.

When making a presentation you will be received at a far greater rate and the likelihood of success is 10 fold.

When using but what you are actually saying is that the previous opinion is crap and you have a better one.

This comes to light especially when using reinforcement techniques. 

Thank you again.

No deals yet, severlal offer though. Fist list I did, did not exclude properties without houses so I fielded several call that I was not interested in following up with. For the record I did follow up and passed the info on to my local rei group. Some people work those leads just not my thing now. Truthfully, first mailing was less than 1 %, second mailing goes out this week so we will see.

Great stuff.  Best advise I can give you .....BE CONSISTANT.  I have met tons of people that make no money with DM.  I have never met anyone that doesn't make money who commits to it over an extended time frame.

Nice.  Sounds like a solid plan.  Good luck.

@Michael Quarles thank you for all your help, and particularly this instance.  I've heard you discuss the BUT word before, and moving forward I will be more aware (especially after being called out by the man himself.) 


@Bob McGhee Even at less than a 1% response rate, you still are learning your numbers and how many mailers you will need to send.  I'm glad to hear you are going to continue mailing. As @Peter Vekselman has said in this thread.... gotta be consistent.  

Peter, thank you for the advice and reminder about being consistent.  My focus is on the long game, and I intend on continuing to follow the wisdom of those who have already achieved success (which of course very much includes being consistent!) :-)  

With direct mail there is more to it than consistency.

Things like:

  • Message
  • List
  • Frequency
  • Capture
  • Triggers
  • Delivery
  • Co-touching

I think the three most important questions are:
1. how much do you want for it
2. how soon do you need to close
3. why are you selling

They don't have to be in that order, 

This is a script full of embedded commands and one which will weed out the unmotivated caller.

Two Part Seller Script

Part 1

1. Hello this is ______ with I Buy Houses I am calling for _____.

2. I am returning your call regarding hoping to sell a house. Do you have a house you're hoping to sell? If the caller responds with a "NO" to the above question discontinue the call.

3. Is the property listed with a Real Estate Professional? If listed discontinue the call.

4. If I were to send out an appraiser what would an appraiser appraise you house for in today’s market?

If the caller doesn't give a dollar amount then mention to them that you really need a number in order to help them" Invite them to call you back.

5. What amount… (Pause)

Sellers Name let me tell you a little about what I do. I buy houses like yours all the time.”

I pay all the costs – things like Real Estate Commission - Title Insurance - Escrow Fees - Transfer Tax - Termite Clearance - Roof Certification – the list goes on and on..

And I buy them in an “as is” condition. I am going to assume the responsibility for all of the needed repairs – whether I have seen them already or not.

One of the positive factors about selling me your house is that you can stay in it for as long as you need to and I can get you your money on the date of your choice.

I will pay cash when I buy your house so you can have the peace of mind of knowing it’s sold not only sold, but sold to someone who can afford to buy it.”

Believe me, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a deal break down in escrow. That isn’t going to happen to you.” Isn’t that really what you want?

So knowing how I will buy your house what were you hoping to sell your home for, the net amount that you would receive after the loans and costs are taken care of. What I call the walk away money?

This question is going to get them to volunteer their loan amount if however they don't ask.

(Always attachment a reason to the following lowering techniques) 

Example: Knowing that I am paying the cost and can have your money on the day of your choice....

(Pause) (Pause) (Pause) Is that the least you will take?

You can’t see yourself doing better?

Is that the lowest you will go?

Once you arrive at a number that you are comfortable with and are willing to begin the face to face negotiation then continue with Part 2.

Part 2

1. How did you hear about us?

2. Can you give me the Property address you are hoping to sell? (Always spell back the street) City Zip State

3. Is there better telephone number you can be reached at

4. Well Sellers Name “Thank you for calling me to buy your house.

5. What time today would be better for me to come out and buy your house ___________ or ______________? Terrific

6. Before I come out to buy your house… there are just a few more questions… I need to ask about your house, is that okay?

7. When would you like to have your house sold?

8. So if I can close escrow on this house THEIR ANSWER will that be okay for you? Yes No

9. Have you tried selling the house before?

10. IF YES; what do you think has stopped it from selling?”

11. Why are you selling?

12. IF TO BUY A NEW ONE Do you have to sell this house in order to buy the next one? Yes No

13. What is going to happen if it doesn’t sell.

14. Are you aware of how expensive it is and all of the costs involved with selling a house like yours?

15. Just a couple more questions.

16. Is the home Vacant or Occupied? Occupant Name?

17. How many Bedrooms ______ and Baths_____ How many Square Feet? _________

18. Is there a Garage? YES NO Size

19. Earlier I spoke about paying for all of the repairs, What Kind of repairs does it need?

20. What amount should I assume I will have to pay in repair cost?

21. Is there a Mortgage on the house? Yes No What is/are the balance? 1st ________ 2nd ________3rd________

22. IF THERE IS A MORTGAGE are you in Foreclosure? Yes No

23. IF IN FORECLOSURE is it a Notice of Default or Trustee Sale... Sale Date ______ Arrearage Amount

24. One last question, When I come out… it is important…that all of the decision makers be there…. so I can come to an agreement to buy your house… Will all of the decision makers be there for the appointment? (If all of them are not there don’t go)

25. Is there anything you need me to bring besides my checkbook when I come out to buy the house?

26. And if you could do me a favor and have locate the deed, however if you don’t have it I can have title look it up after I buy the house and also locate the latest mortgage statement.

27. Well, ____________ I look forward to buying your houses at __________…

28. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a round of applause for @Michael Quarles - the gorilla investor and marketer.  Thanks again Michael.  You are an inspiration and a great source of knowledge.  I'm so glad I came across your interviews on the BP podcast... which then led me to your podcast which is chock full of so much good stuff.  I'll admit I am a bit of analysis freak, so it took me a while to really believe in how these systems work, and so much of my understanding is directly because of you.  After I've sailed past my first million in net worth, I am taking you out on a fancy dinner date in Bakersfield.

Just an update:  

Of my initial mailing list I received a response rate of a little over 3%.  I'll take it!  When the first call came in, I was giddy with excitement.  I didn't get any deals (YET!), and the experience of talking to sellers and determining motivation was wonderful.  I plan on mailing to this group again in a couple of weeks.  

@Joshua Hardy how about an update? I mailed 50-100 driving for dollars and am amazed to have gotten 4 responses. One listed with a realtor the day before my letter reached them, one is a Quad with some weird zoning issues I backed away from. The other two knew the value of their homes and I was only able to to negotiate them to 8-12% below current value (more or less the realtors commission). I’m amazed and encouraged by that amount of results. So again how are your numbers working? 

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