Sample Real Estate Direct-Mail Schedule

Direct-mail marketing can be the single most profitable sales channel for many real estate agents. If you're not sure what to send or when to send it, consider the following sample four-part real estate direct-mail schedule as a guideline. This article assumes that you already have a targeted mailing list and that you've developed a great offer to motivate response - the two most important pieces of direct-mail success. For everything else, read on.

Week 1

Start things off with an introductory sales letter package that includes a brochure and any other materials that help highlight what you do, how you are different and better than your competition, and what benefits you can provide to your specific audience. Your tone should be casual and friendly. Don't forget a matching envelope to lend the most professional impression. Tips

  • Include your offer and call to action in your sales letter.
  • Increase readership with a Johnson Box, or headline at the top of your sales letter that details your offer and sums up your message.
  • Write a P.S. at the end of your sales letter. This is often what most people read first.
  • Print your sales letter, brochure and envelopes on professional paper with state-of-the-art printing presses for a uniform look that lends credibility.

Week 4

Follow up on your sales letter with a postcard that reinforces your message, delivers an offer and provides a means to respond. You can even have your postcard perforated for a direct-response card. Make sure you supply incentive for responding! Tips

  • Send an oversized postcard printed on premium postcard paper to attract attention fast.
  • Don't forget the back of the postcard - it's what most people see first, since postal workers tend to deliver postcards address-side up.
  • Hire a professional graphic designer who can help funnel readers' eyes to the most important points of your message.
  • Keep you copy concise and on target. If you need help, hire a professional copywriter.

Week 7

Give your prospects something valuable such as a booklet or calendar. Many real estate agents mail calendars for one simple reason: People use them. Calendars have perhaps the best staying power of any direct-mail piece you'll ever send. Booklets are excellent direct-mail material as well. Your booklet should be informative, authoritative and even entertaining. Send your direct-mail booklets with the reader in mind. If you're marketing to potential property investors, develop a booklet that details the ins and outs of rental properties. Use your booklet as a tool to establish your authority on the subject, and your prospects are more likely to come to you when they're ready to buy or sell. Tips

  • Pack stickers in with your calendars so your recipients can mark important dates. Make sure your sticker sheet and calendar are both well-branded.
  • Don't turn your booklet into an overt sales pitch. There's nothing wrong with promoting your real estate agency, but you're better off crafting incredible content that your prospects appreciate and then making sure they know who wrote it (that would be you). If you can't write, hire a copywriter/ghostwriter.
  • If you have special events throughout the year, include them on your calendar. You can also include seasonal reminders such as spring maintenance or remodeling that can increase equity

Week 10

In order for your clients to trust you, they have to know you. Send your prospects a greeting card to follow up on your campaign. Don't pitch your services; instead, let your prospects know that you're available to answer any questions they might have about the information you've been sending and what opportunities are available to them. Offering a helping hand fulfills a need; and an unexpected greeting card carries a sentiment that isn't easily forgotten. Tips

  • Print an oversized greeting card for attention-getting prowess.
  • Have your greeting cards professionally printed, but if possible, handwrite and address your cards and envelopes,
  • It's OK to include a call to action and even an offer, but don't push a "salesy" tone. You should write as a friend, and not as a salesperson.

Real estate direct-mail marketing is an excellent way to find new leads and close more sales. The preceding sample schedule should be regarded as one possible campaign, and not the only campaign, so don't be afraid to put your creativity to the test. Harness the power of real estate direct-mail marketing, and you'll boost sales and profits.