By Wendy Ceccherelli
Question: I have sent out postcards to my list of 600 twice a month every month for the past four months, but I am not finding any deals. Can you help me?
Answer: Let’s take a look at what you are doing, and see where we can improve your response and conversion rates.
First, let’s look at your market. Why did you select this market? Are other buyers and investors purchasing property in this market? Is there job growth and a strong economy? Is it close to the employment center? Is the population growing there? Is the neighborhood safe and desirable? What are the demographics? “What portion of the residents are owners? renters? If you are wholesaling, do you have cash buyers willing to invest in this market?
Six hundred is a good size for a mailing to test your market, medium and message. A good response rate would be 12% on each mailing; in this case, that would be 6-12 responses to each mailing. A response might be, “where did you get my contact information? Please remove me from your list!” Another response might be, “Sure, I am interested in selling. “What will you give me for my property? I am not going to GIVE it away…” A third response might be, “We just listed this property last week, do you want to see it?” Count each of these as responses, although none of them would qualify as prospects for an investor. Track the number of responses you get.
One of your responses might be “Yes, I was thinking of selling …” and this mayor may not be a prospect. What is their motivation for selling? If they are just curious what you would offer, chances are this is not a deal (even though you count this as a response). If they have some financial, medical or other significant motivation, then you have likely just found your first prospect.
Now your challenge will be to convert your prospect into a deal. Remember, it’s a numbers game, and you may have to negotiate with several prospects before you are able to finalize a deal. But the more leads you have, the greater your chances of success.
Back to your mailing list: what list did you use to reach your
market? Is it targeted to the right homeowners to increase the likelihood of the deal you want? For example, if I were looking for a fixer property, I might want to target homeowners who had held their property for 30 years. Or perhaps absentee owners. If I were looking for seller financing, I would want a list of properties with no mortgage. Looking for distressed homeowners? How about targeting recently-divorced owners? And so on …make sure your list matches the properties with the motivation for owners to call you for help.
Now that we have thought about your market, let’s consider your medium. Postcards or letters? Handwritten or professionally printed? Bulk rate or pretty stamps? Colorful imagery or plain yellow letters? Test different methods and track your responses.
And finally the message:
- What about the wording you are using?
- Does it compel the reader to action?
- Does it include multiple ways of contacting you?
- Can you edit the content to make it more compelling?
- More personal?
Experiment with different ways of reaching your target audience, and track your results to determine which combination works best for you.
About the author …
Wendy Ceccherelli is the volunteer membership coordinator for REAPS. She has been a full-time real estate investor since 2006, and is the designated broker /owner of Home Land Seattle. She is also a developer of Van Gogh Studio Lofts, a transit-oriented development at the Rainier Beach Light Rail Station in Seattle. Prior to her career in real estate, she spent twenty-five years as a government arts funder. More information on real estate topics may be found on her blog at www.WendyWonder.Blogspot.com.
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