There’s some debate among real estate professionals about the usefulness of just sold postcards. You’ve seen these — they feature pertinent details about properties closed in your geographic area by a local real estate office within a certain time frame. Since the postcard is delivering “old news,” it’s a waste of money, right?
The just sold postcard absolutely has a niche within your marketing campaign. It’s the most clear-cut way to regularly demonstrate your expertise and to help build your reputation for results in your readers’ minds. However, like any other aspect of your campaign, you have to pay attention to the details to see the biggest return on your investment. And to get the details right, you have to be clear on the answers to several questions.
What do you want your readers to think after they’ve seen your just sold postcard?
For now, let’s assume you’ve carefully planned your message so that your postcard is understandable at a glance and well-designed for your audience and has captured their attention. What do you want their next thought to be? Your choice might include, “Wow, this agent is really on the ball — look at all these houses!” or “Hmmm, so that’s what the house down the street sold for. That’s a pretty good price!” or “Oh, look, our agent has been busy! I should save this, somebody was just asking if I know a good real estate person.”
What do you really want this postcard to do for you?
Any of the previously mentioned are reasonable reactions to a just sold postcard. So when incorporating a just sold postcard into your direct mail campaign, it’s wise to consider the following results:
- Increase and/or maintain your reputation and brand awareness among your audience
- Position yourself as the “agent expert” on certain neighborhoods
In short, you want to ensure you and your agency are top-of-mind when your audience needs a real estate agent in the future. Therefore, one mailing isn’t going to do it. Your just sold postcard needs to be a regular part of your ongoing direct mail efforts. Since the indirect effects of these postcards can be hard to quantify, it’s important to regularly ask your new clients, at minimum, how they heard of you and whether they have ever received your mailings.
3. Remind your past clients that you’re good at what you do and you’re worth their referral.
Have you heard of the 80-20 rule? It was originally put forward by an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto in the late 1800s, but modern-day sales trainers have adapted it slightly to mean “80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers.” If that sounds like an overstatement, consider these statistics from the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2016: Forty-two percent of buyers used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative, with an additional 11 percent using an agent they’d worked with in the past.
- Eighty-nine percent of sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home.
- Sixty-four percent of these sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative, or used an agent they’d worked with before.
- Eighty-eight percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.
- The typical seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home. Thirty-three percent of sellers have done so three or more times!
In other words, if you’re not keeping in touch with your past clients and regularly asking for their referrals, another agent is getting the business that could likely be yours.
Exactly who should you send it to?
If your goals are name recognition and referrals, send your just sold postcards to neighborhoods around which your sales have concentrated, as well as your own client list and top prospect list. If you have neighborhoods you’ve specialized in for a while, those homeowner lists might be very similar to your own lists, so carefully check them for duplicates and save yourself extraneous postage.
How often do you have to send it?
Before you can answer this question, you need to look at how well your postcards have performed in the past. If this is your first time sending postcards, instead consider referring to the National Association of Realtors’ recommendations on how frequently you should send these direct mail pieces.
Hire a campaign expert
It can be tricky to successfully use marketing pieces like the just sold postcard that have specific purposes — but you don’t have to do it alone. Consider hiring a direct mail marketing expert to help you build your list, develop your message, and get your pieces mailed quickly.