Targeted direct mail should always come first and is definitely the backbone of any sustainable real estate market campaign, but people often ask me about other methods for marketing. A common one I am asked about is door hangers, and do they work?
The answer is a resounding yes; that is if your budget can allocate it.
Unfortunately, door hangers often get lost on the wayside in marketing discussions to direct mail and bandit signs (not an advocate of the latter). While direct mail might be the bread and butter in your marketing efforts, I think you should supplement your campaigns with a broader approach such as door hangers.
The 20 Best Books for Aspiring Real Estate Investors!
Here at BiggerPockets, we believe that self-education is one of the most critical parts of long-term success, in business and in life, of course. This list, compiled by the real estate experts at BiggerPockets, contains 20 of the best books to help you jumpstart your real estate career.
Targeted Marketing vs. Broad Marketing
In real estate there are basically two ways to market: Highly targeted (using prerequisite filters to make sure your message is only received by a very specific market) and broad aka carpet bombing.
My colleagues who have active direct mail campaigns are usually reluctant to supplement their efforts with these broader techniques. As a seasoned marketer I’m thoroughly convinced that you should market both narrow (using targeted lists) and broadly (using carpet bombing techniques).
Higher Lead Conversion
If you are both a licensed agent and an investor, combing these two marketing methods makes even more sense. With carpet bombing techniques such as door hangers, let’s face it: you don’t have much of a filter to influence who calls and who doesn’t. As a result you might get a bunch of unmotivated, slightly motivated or just simply curious phone calls.
These sorts of call do not typically lend themselves very well for the type of margins we need as real estate investors; however, if you are licensed you have more options at your disposal and can in all likelihood list a decent amount of these calls. This means more deals, money and higher lead conversion.
One thing I discovered with direct mail is even with a highly targeted list, with enough bulk you can get referral leads. What would happen is someone would receive one of my mailers, and they might not need to sell quickly, but they would know a friend, sibling, parent, relative etc. who does, and they will forward my contact information to them.
I have closed a few deals just this year alone using this method. If you are supplementing your marketing with a broad approach like door hangers, this sort of phenomenon happens much more frequently.
Implementing Door Hangers
So here is how I suggest you use door hangers. First off, are you a realtor, investor or both? If you are a realtor and want to “own” a neighborhood, door hangers are a good way to do so.
As an investor find some very basic data at the neighborhood level before you carpet bomb everyone. For example, information such as average year built and square footage will help out your efforts. Just remember to select your criteria at the neighborhood level.
There are several considerations that can help you “carpet bomb” a neighborhood.
You can choose to mail to the whole neighborhood — that can get expensive quickly — or you can mail to a few phases instead. Another good technique is to carpet bomb neighborhoods that you are already targeting with direct mail. That way you are touching on prospects multiple times through several methods.
Make sure before you implement any marketing campaign that your brand is distinctive and memorable so that you are at the front of a seller’s mind when it’s time to sell. Remember research has shown you have roughly two seconds to make a first impression before they decide to throw your stuff in the trash.
Even if they throw it into the trash, if you brand yourself correctly they should know about your company and how you can help them. By doing this you imprint your message in their mind, and maybe they will be receptive to marketing piece #2, #3 or #6. Keep marketing!
Cost Associated with Door Hangers
The two major cost components to door hangers are 1) printing and 2) distribution. Most distributors are going to require a minimum for print (usually 2,500 to 3000), and it’s usually fairly cheap (about 5 to 8 cents per unit).
A distributor is very important in the process, and you want to make sure that you select one that is reputable; I recommend reading some reviews online. The cost to deliver door hangers is typically about 15 cents per door. If you find a distributor that offers a very low price per a unit, buyer beware — your door hangers might not be distributed at all!
Related: What’s Marketing Got To Do With It?
So your all in cost per door should be 20 cents and under if you do it right. Unless of course you want to drive the neighborhoods yourself and put a door hanger on every single house (joking).
Door Hangers Work on a Small Scale, Too!
Although I often associate door hangers as a “carpet bombing” technique that must be done in mass, the truth is you can have success with it on a much smaller scale, and it’s something I regularly implement in the Dallas-Forth Worth market to help set me apart since it is so competitive. When I am out on appointments, or driving for dollars and I see a house that looks run down, I will put a door hanger on the house with a business card attached.
I always keep a supply of these ready to go in my car. In fact, I just received a call from a door hanger used in this manner from over 6 months ago.
The bottom line is that door hangers work and are a great supplement to your direct mail efforts.
Have you had any luck with door hangers in the past, or do you have any questions about implementing a marketing strategy using door hangers?
If so, leave them in the comments below!