Investors: Here’s Why You Must “Clean” Your Mailing Lists

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When I use direct mail to try and get deals I almost always use an absentee owner mailing list. If you happen to be new, this just means I’m getting a list of landlords.

Why is this the type of list I use most often?

First off, most landlords are amateurs and have no idea what they’re doing. And before they know it, they’ve let a tenant destroy their house, or let a tenant stay in the place without paying rent for several months. Of course when this happens, the landlord realizes that managing a rental property takes some effort and they quickly want out of the business.

Another reason I mail to landlords is because they’re not emotionally attached to the property. To them it’s just four walls and a room. They didn’t raise their kids in the house and they don’t have a lot of memories associated with it. In fact, for reasons noted above, most of the memories of the property are probably negative.


If a landlord has survived their first rental property and they know what they’re doing, they tend to acquire several more. So if I send a letter to a landlord I might find out he has 20 houses he wants to sell to me, which happens to me quite often.

However, one of the “problems” with mailing to landlords (and direct mail in general) is that addresses are always changing and people are always buying and selling new houses. In fact, I read somewhere that 20% of all addresses go bad each year.

The reason this is so important to you is that if you don’t “clean” your mailing lists when you’re mailing to landlords, you could be wasting a ton of money on stamps. Also, you might have a great marketing piece which you think is doing terrible all because you’re mailing it to a ton of bad addresses.

For instance…

I know an investor who was too lazy to put a return address on an envelope. I told him he had to stop this, because how did he know which addresses were bad? When he finally took the time to put a return address on the envelopes he got more than 50% of his envelopes returned back to him. (And this guy was mailing 2,000-3,000 a month.)

You can clearly see how “cleaning” your list and deleting the bad addresses will save you a lot of money on stamps and will also help you get a quality mailing list so you can truly know if a marketing piece is working or not working.

Also, as far as list rental places, I use or Dunhill.

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. Does anyone care to share how much these lists may cost or the ROI you see from using a campaign like this? I have used mailer campaigns in other business before (geared towards business owners) but didn’t find much luck. Do you find better luck with individuals/landlords?

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