Your postcard in the trash with the other mail is not doing you any good.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a postcard that stands out in the pile of mail motivated sellers receive each and every day? Something that will make them pause and take notice. Something that will entice them to read the whole thing and really take the message to heart.
That’s the point isn’t it. For them to get the message and take action. That’s what we want.
Here are three postcard ideas that are sure to do that for you. I dug them out of my old files where I keep marketing ideas.
The first two are not inventions of mine. I wish I could claim them as my own, but they were picked up over the years from some course or forum or just a conversation I had with another investor. The third one is an idea I got from other general marketing materials that I adapted to buying houses.
Not many people know about these and I’m happy to bring them out and share them.
First, have you joined our private FlippingJunkie facebook group? Come network with us!
This one is absolutely guaranteed to get their attention. This is where you find vacant or really beat up houses and write down the address and take a picture of it. You then find out the owners address from the tax appraisal district (most are online – search for ‘[your county] appraisal district’). Go online to a postcard printer (vistaprint.com or similar) and create a postcard with the picture of the house for the front of the postcard and put your message on the back.
Your message can be as simple as, “Did you realize your house looked like this?” You could then go on to be empathetic and let them know that it happens to a lot of people. Let them know that you want to help. You can pay cash and buy the house as-is, etc.
You can have the postcard company mail it directly to them after it’s printed!
When the homeowner opens their mailbox and sees a picture of a house they own, you better believe they are going to be curious. It might even darn well freak them out. That may be a problem for some people but for others, it is a revelation. They may not be aware of the state of the property. Or, they may have just been ignoring it because they didn’t want to deal with the problem.
This puts the problem in the forefront of their mind and you are there with the solution to their problem. Talk about timing.
This one can be done in batches for several properties or personalized for each one. It is simply a handwritten message on one side and your marketing message typed on the back with a call to action.
Just use a black sharpie marker and write a quick and simple message that will grab their attention. Some ideas are things like, ‘That problem property doesn’t have to cause you any more headaches. I want to buy it, CASH!’, ‘Don’t let those tenants take advantage of you any longer’, ‘I’ll buy your house today and pay cash for it.’
Don’t put a lot of stuff on here, just something that will make them have to take notice. Remember to keep it within 4″x6″ or 5″x7″ or whatever size postcard you are going to use. Resizing images can cause them to look “fuzzy” and digital. You want it to look like you actually wrote the message on the card yourself.
Take your written message and scan it with the highest possible settings. Take that image and upload to the postcard printer’s website. Type up your message for the back of the card and don’t forget the call to action. This is something like, ‘Be sure to call today as I am only buying a certain number of houses in the area. Call now.’
I’m awfully proud of this one. This one is basically made to look like a newspaper article.
What you do to make it look like a newspaper article is type it up as 2 columns of text and have a headline at the top. Put a border around it or simulated paper tear graphics to make it look like it was torn out of the paper or cut out.
The headline should be an attention grabber that seems newsworthy. For example, ‘In a slow housing marketing, local couple buying houses fast.’ or ‘Unwanted house? Local company paying cash for houses.’
The message should be written as though you were interviewed by the newspaper. You would think this would be difficult to do. That’s what I thought. But, as soon as I got the idea for the article, the wording just flowed. Read the newspaper for examples and ideas.
If you have testimonials, be sure to include one or a couple. You can do this by stating, ‘Mr. Smith happily sold his unwanted house to Danny. This is what he had to say, ‘[insert testimonial here]’.
You could print this one at home with thin card stock. I just don’t like to recommend printing cards at home because it just takes up too much time trying to get everything right….and I always had trouble with printers getting all clogged up.
The great thing about this one is you can probably use it pretty much as-is for a press release. Check out PRWeb.com. That can be a great way to have local news pick up your story.
Do you have any creative postcard ideas? If so, please don’t hesitate to share them in our private Facebook group! Not a member? Click here to request to join. Even if you haven’t ever used them or just thought of something, share it.
If you are interested in more marketing ideas, here are 57 motivated seller marketing ideas.
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I love the idea of their house on the front of the post card. I had a similar experience to this when I got a (one of many I get each month) postcard about a month ago:
-It had a picture of a Mooney airplane on the front (same as I own)
-There was no note on the back (just a return address – no company name)
The biggest hook was the BIG URL across the face of the card:
http://www.MooneyProgram.com/%5Bmy tail number]
Wow! That got my curiosity up!!
Got home. Plugged that URL into the browser and.. It was a pitch from an airplane broker/dealer wanting to buy my plane.
I’ve saved it as an awesome idea.
Also: I’ve thought about adding a picture of the house to my initial letter if it has an absentee owner. I’m thinking they may not have seen it in a long time, or have a inaccurate memory of how it looks (memory can do funny things).
I just got a card with an airplane on it similar to the one you mentioned. It also got me to take action and go to the website. This one was for an insurance quote though. Those things really do work.
Sending the picture with a letter is a great idea also.
Great article Danny. Over the years I’ve always hand written a brief note—in red—on the face of the card. It causes them to stop for a second before trashing it. Sellers have told me many times that the note is why they called. Something simple like, “Get rid of the house headache” or “I’m ready right NOW” It does take a bit of extra time—for my assistant–but it’s worth it.
Thanks, Melodee. Awesome idea! I especially like how you added the -for my assistant-. It’s nice when you are able to have someone else do these things.
I was loving the picture of the house as well, but have you had any negative returns on that? I know when I did a letter campaign, I’ve received a call saying I was trying to steal a house from his mom.
With most direct marketing, you are bound to get some of these types of angry calls. The postcard with a picture of the house on it is likely to get more ‘paranoid’ calls just because you are mailing them a picture of their house. Most people don’t know how easy it is to find out who the owner of a house is and get concerned when you show that you know they are the owner. I have not personally used this method as it can be time consuming. I’ve been meaning to give it a try though for the really rough ones that I find when driving for dollars.
It’s just one of those things that you can’t really worry about. Just be polite and remove them from your mailing list.
I know in this day and age of online marketing and so much competition, simple ideas like this still work very well…. in fact sometimes even better than they used to. If you can capture something that is personal to the reader, it will get their interest every time. Great timing for this article as my wife and I were only talking about some of these similar tactics tonight.
Great article Danny, thanks for sharing
Great to hear from you.
loved it. to good.
Great ” outside the box” thinking. Sometimes the smallest details make the difference!
awesome stuff here! would you recommend using these same messages you mentioned above if starting my business with mainly just birddogging and some wholesaling but not having the intention to actually buy; i.e., that you’re willing to actually buy it cash? Or is it better to be more honest and communicate that you’d love to get it sold for them? I’d imagine this would probably result in less leads if you went with the latter but would like your take. I wanna get leads but don’t want to burn the bridge by being misleading.
Absolutely. Use these messages. Your buyer that you birddog or wholesale to should be paying cash so that the transactions go smoothly.
You don’t want to be telling people that you will be getting properties sold for them if you are not a licensed agent and aren’t getting it under contract. If you want to contract the deal and have an ‘out’, you can either put escape clauses in the contract (something like: This agreement is subject to further inspection of the property…etc.) or use an ‘option’ contract. Option contracts allow the seller to continue trying to sell the house themselves. In the meantime, you will be looking for a buyer and you have it under contract. If you don’t feel great about your odds of finding a buyer in time (before your contract expires), I would be up front with the sellers and let them know that at the price you are agreeing to, you can’t buy the house yourself, but know a lot of other investors and feel that one of them will be interested. And that they won’t even look at the deal unless it is under contract (that is your reason for contracting it).
Of course, with birddogging, you’re just telling another investor about the lead. They work something out with the sellers directly.
Hope that all made sense.
The 2nd postcard, with handwritten message. Can you have those printed with each address of the property you’re mailing to? Mail merge? If so, where?
I don’t think Office Depot or Staples and do it…
You use the mail merge feature of Microsoft Word.
Really good post card ideas here. I really like the picture of their house on the card for targeted sellers.
How many times do you send a post card/letter to a particular potential seller before you suspend? Also, how often is a particular seller getting a mailing from you?
I TRY to send between 5 and 7 mailing pieces but I rarely make it that far before I get bogged down with deals (not necessarily from the mailers but from all marketing). I try to space them about 3-4 weeks apart.