Wholesaling Direct mail approach

25 Replies

Ok new to wholesaling and from my understanding you should take one approach and stick to it. I am thinkning that the best approach for me to start wholesaling would be direct mail. I feel like I will have the free time once i graduate college in May and only work 25 hours a week as a server and then take the time to establish a wholesaling business. I have one multi unit right now and am learning land-lording. My idea is to master direct mail. I believe it is a numbers game and the reason many people fail is they give up after the approach doesn't work the first few times. I plan to master a good letter to absentee landlords, and try to put some houses in contract. This is a numbers gain and I realize I have to play the percentages to get the right deals. Any advice? thanks

Also, I went to a Robyn Thompson meeting and she said when she does direct mail she makes it look like she wants to live there? If I was to wholesale wouldn't my approach be different and I can't say My wife and I ...want to live in that neighborhood right? I already know I will use yellow letter and handwritten envelopes but what do I put in my letter for absentee owners? Also how do you use the computer to print the letters so I don't have to handwrite theM/

If your computer runs on windows you can create a letter in word and then use a mail merge to import contact info.
You would have to input the fields you want to merge into an excell sheet first, then import them into the word doc.
For example in the excell sheet you will want columns for name, address, city/state/zip of the person you will be contacting. You will then have a letter specifically made out to each individual on your list. I know the newer versions of windows have a step by step guide, thats how I learned.

What do you write in your letters? Do you keep
Them
Short and say I am
An investor and interested in buying your house? Or do you say me and my family are interested in buying your house we like the neighborhood etc etc. I will start by absentee owners I think thanks for
Any advice!!

I'm marketing to probates so it's a different letter. I don't market to absentee's at this moment so I dont wanna steer you the wrong way. However in my probate letters I do mention that I buy houses in that area. Also, the letter itself is about 3 paragraphs. But the content is different than what you would want to send to absentee's so it's a longer letter. I found some good info in the forums here when I was looking into my marketing. Have you searched for direct mail yet?

Probate is the way to go. If you're marketing preforeclosures be ready to work short sales.

yes, i constantly search on here for some information, I am just confused because my local REIA group says NOT to tell them you are an investor. They say they have the most success by saying you want to MOVE to that neighborhood. I found this hard because if I plan to wholesale they will know and it will defeat the purpose. I am looking for a good starting approach to direct mail to do this week. You think probates would be a good idea?

Jimmy C said exactly what I was told by many people, probate is the way to go. I wanted to start direct mailing and I was trying to decide if I wanted to market to absentees or probate about 3 weeks ago and the overwhelming response I got was to start in probates. I did a lot of research on probates and bought a book also. My first batch of letters went out last week. Since you seem to be in the same boat as me I would say to listen to the advice I was given and start with probates.

Ok thanks zane!

I am guessing your letter has said something like I am sorry for your loss, I can help you with your problem, I am an investor and have interest in your house to put some cash in your hands??

Also you use the computer handwritten font? i have heard you get better responses just writing them because people can tell? thanks

I've been researching marketing ideas, and I don't remember exactly which thread I read it on, but people were saying NOT to pretend like you want to live there. You can say you buy in that area, but don't pretend like you're going to move it.

Search the marketing forum, and there are a lot of ideas on there.

ok thanks ms. synder! I will do that as I know to be successful with direct mail it involves the right list with the right message, and consistency. thanks!

Ya my letter is similar to what you said. I type the letter and envelope out. Ive read the results are better if you hand write them but I just dont have the time for that. Also my hand would fall off, the first batch I sent out was 80 letters so I dont wanna think about writing that many. Like you said though consistency is the key.

@msnyder. Ive read the same. Let the people know you are an investor and interested in buying in that area, but you dont have to disclose your exit strategy. I would think if theyre contacting you and in dire need to sell their property that they wont be too concerned with what you'll be doing as long as the deal works for them.

Hand write the envelopes and address the home owners personally. It will take you time to do it but the recipients will open your mail. Imagine if you were the absentee owner and / or in pre-foreclosure, you could be getting many unsolicited mails from other investors, debtors. Will you open and read every mail or throw them into trash?

When the houses are not already listed for sale, the owners could question how did you find their contact info and why you want to buy. Let them know you are an investor and offer them solutions to their property problems by illustrating how you plan to buy and resell the properties through your business strategy. This makes the sellers feel more comfortable when you show honesty and you know what you are doing.

Ok awesome thanks celine I appreciate it!

Definitely handwrite the envelopes. Think about what you would open first.

I have never marketed to absentee owners, except for the eviction list. I did have some success with out of state landlords that surfaced on the eviction list. The courthouse here sells the list once a month for under ten bucks.

And dont try and act like you want to live there. Even if that landed you a deal, wouldnt you feel like a prick when it closed to your end buyer?

On the flip side of that, I dont tell the seller everything either. There are some people that actually tell the sellers they are going to market for an end buyer!

I just say I am interested in buying your house. I can make a cash offer and close in X amount of time, given we have a clear title. If they want to know more about me, Im an investor. This is my job, its what I do etc....

Zane,
Where do you get your leads? Do you manually search the online recorder's website? If so, what do you put in the search? "Probate deeds" from the last 7 days? 30 days? 90 days?
Is it necessary to read a book on probates to do direct mail? Finally, what are the costs in terms of time and dollars for your direct mailing? Thanks.

I think that is a fantastic idea, you need to really master one medium of marketing before moving onto the next. What are you going to be wholesaling, fixer uppers or owner finance deals?

The first thing to remember about direct mail, is you need to take a multi-mailer approach to it. What I mean is that same person needs to get 5 to 7 mail pieces from you over a period of time, with each one referencing the previous piece. How are you compiling your direct mail list?

@Mathew. My county records them online. We check the updates daily. Our searches are "probate" and "notice to creditor". We check both to make sure nothing slips through. My first list I put together I just went back a few days and have kept up on it daily.

As for cost and time. We pay for stamps, paper, envelopes, and ink. It doesnt take too much time once you get a good system in place. Total time daily can differ depending on the amount of leads. Normally an hour or 2 to prepare the mailings start to finish. Keep in mind I just started marketing to probates myself so I cant really give you a success rate just yet. Though out of our initial mailing we've had 3 calls but no good leads. We're scheduled to follow up with those mailings later this week.

Good info, Zane. So you input the contact info from the online records into Excel and then a program transfers the name and addresses into your letter template? I'd really appreciate it if you could send me the letter template you use. How many mailings do you get from your hour or two of work? Thanks.

Yes, I input all of the info into an excel sheet. My letter is a word doc so I just set up a mail merge and print off all of the letters. The number of mailings depends on how many there are that day. Im going to send you an email to the gmail account you list.

Do you know if most states has probate records online? I am having a hard time finding them in Nyc.

John-

I am a full time wholesaler, and I have been doing direct mail for over 20 years. I used it first in my home inspection company, and have used it for years in my real estate investing business. It is by far, my best source of leads. The secret to success, is to never stop mailing. Your mail piece will be there when everyone else has stopped mailing after a few times.

My advice to you is to spring for an Act Database from Sage. You can get this from office supply stores. It is a couple hundred dollars. The program is not specifically for real estate but it works great. This will allow you to keep all the information on each person updated over time. You can set up your letter templates in there and print directly from this source. When you talk to someone or make an offer that is rejected, you can keep the details in your notes right in the program. Then when they call back 6 months later, you can refer to your notes.

I market using direct mail primarily to absentee owners and probates. (Low hanging fruit). I always print my letters and hand wrote the envelopes. Now I also use a service which sends yellow postcards to absentee owners. Personally, I never send postcards to probates.

In my area, probates are printed in the newspaper monthly and are free. In some areas they are online but not here. You can also get a list of your absentee owners ( I ask specifically for out of state owners) from your local tax assessors office.

You might consider outsourcing some of the addressing to save time if you are printing your own mail.

I found a college student that had a part-time lifeguard position at an indoor pool this winter. Hardly anyone comes to the pool, but she has to be there. Her boss gave her permission to address and stuff may mail when no one was swimming. She more than doubled her part time income, and she was so cost effective for me to use. It has been great for both of us.

I have a ton of information on my blog on this subject. Good luck. Sharon

This is what I use in my yellow letter for absentees.

Dear (seller first name),

Hi,

My name is (your first and last name)

and I would like to

$BUY$

your house at

(property address)

Please call me at

ph: 555-555-5555

Please Call!
Thanks,
Joe

I not new to RE investing but I also have a long way to go to meet my goals. As @Rob Gillespie & @Sharon Vornholt said the key to direct mail is to mail over and over to the same people. They are 100% correct. My success rate increased once I stopped trying to market to every group I could and concentrated on 3 groups, absentee owners, probate & inherited properties. If my budget only allowed for one group, I would only market to one group. If my budget only allowed for 500 mailers a month for 12 months I would mail to the same 500 people form one group. I just had an appointment with a man that when I walked in the 4th post card I sent him was on the table.

Sharon, does Act allow one to use Word mail merge with the Act template?

@Gary. Yes it does. The fields are not exact for real estate, but they can be changed. If you decide to go that route, let me know and I will tell you what I did. I am not a "techie" so I had my computer guy upload my list into ACT.

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