How to have expired listings call you – with direct mail

There is an army of salespeople standing by, ready to make your phone ring. Always available, dutifully talking to expired listings, potential sellers and buyers. Nothing can stop them: no spam filters, no Do Not-Call-Registry, not even a locked front door will prevent them from completing their mission.

Expired listing lettersTake command of your Direct Mail Army! Your expired listing letters and postcards are talking to your potential (and current) customers when you’re not there, or when you can’t. Many expired listings will not have a phone number. Vacant properties, sellers out of the area, gated communities…. In all those cases, direct mail becomes your way of introducing yourself to them. After the initial contact, direct mail talks to your leads about the benefits of working with you. It keeps reminding them who you are, how you are different from the regular real estate crowd, and how the sellers benefit by working with you.

Here are eleven quick tips to help you spend less and get more leads, more listings, and more commissions.

1. Repeat. Don’t rely on single mailing. Consistency is just as important as interesting content. Set up a plan to mail at least two or more mailings in a sequence. More is better.

2. Vary your content. Make some pieces educational, some interesting, and some about you. Don’t make each one ONLY about you. Leave ego promotions for your competition.

3. Vary the format. Mix up postcards, letters, newsletters, updates, fliers. Keep it interesting.

4. Have a good design. Make sure each piece is well designed. Design creates a powerful first impression about you and your business. Your audience will create opinions before they even read your letter, postcard or a mailer.

5. Always mail letters first class. Nothing screams “junk mail” like a bulk stamp and a window envelope.

6. Mail the right message to the right audience. Each piece needs to be target-specific. Expired listings worry about getting the house sold and getting it done right. FSBOs are concerned about commissions. Make each message RELEVANT to them.

7. Four questions. Every point in every mail piece MUST answer your customer’s questions: Why is this important? Why should I care? How will this benefit me? What do I do next?

8. Keep it personal. A quick way to a trash can is through using sales talk, business jargon, and empty buzz words. Make your language informal, personal, interesting, and easy to read. Write as if you were speaking to your reader in person.

9. Test and adjust. You will never be done. It’s a process that always evolves. Talk to your customers, ask them what worked, what didn’t and why. Then go back and make changes. Everything works sometime. Nothing works all the time.

10. Follow up in person or over the phone, if you can. Don’t rely on mail alone.

11. Use testimonials. Third party can sell you and your service faster and better than anything else. Use pictures, stories, and be as specific as you can.

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