What are mailing lists? These are curated lists of potential leads for your next deal. Each list is a segment of homeowners/individuals in a similar situation, so you can really pick and choose to fit your investment criteria. Once you pick which lists you want to go after, you’ll create direct mail campaigns for each one. You can use postcards, yellow letters, brochures, or whatever you think will work best to get the homeowner to pick up the phone and call you. Craft a great message with a call to action, send the mail pieces, and track the results.
The main benefits of direct mail marketing:
Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to start explaining each type of list so you can determine which ones you want to start with. Here are the 5 mailing lists you need to know about:
Homeowners on this list have defaulted on their taxes for one reason or another. Since they’re in default, they’re most likely motivated sellers because they’re at risk of having a lien placed on their home or having their home taken away. Oftentimes selling to an investor is the best solution to their problem. It’s better for them to sell to an investor than deal with the consequences of defaulting. Offer a helping hand with this message and craft it around empathy.
Similar to the tax default list, pre-foreclosures are homes in which the homeowner is late on their mortgage payments. This is public knowledge and can be found at the local courthouses. You can also narrow the list to addresses that fit your niche. Selling to an investor is one option of avoiding the foreclosure process and the attached consequences. A good strategy is to go in with the goal of helping them keep their home. A lot don’t know that’s an option and if you go through every possible way to help them stay in their home, they’ll be grateful for the helping hand. If you keep them in their home, amazing! If it’s not possible, they’ll be more comfortable selling to you since buying their home at a discount wasn’t the priority.
This is exactly what it sounds like – no one is living in the home. There are many reasons for this, but the most common is a landlord owner who can’t get tenants. Since the rental is not going as well as they planned, they may be motivated to sell. If they sell, they’re no longer paying the mortgage with no cash flow coming in, they don’t have to deal with landlord responsibilities anymore, and they cut their losses. The message on these mail pieces will also focus on lending a helping hand as well as relieving their frustrations – show them a way out.
Out-of-state landlords may not want to deal with owning a property so far away. If they’re managing it themselves, it can get tiresome quickly. If they don’t have a good management company, selling may be easier than interviewing new ones. They may be motivated or they may love their situation. Try to find out as much as you can about the owner and the property so you can craft the message the right way or hold off completely. Asking if they’re sick and tired of their out-of-state property when they love it won’t get you a good response. Either pass on these, let them know you’re interested if they ever want to sell, or ask if they have out-of-state landlord friends that do want to sell. The main goal is to not come across as disrespectful.
Expired listings are listings that a real estate agent had under contract to sell but did not find a buyer and/or close before the contract expired. With expired listings, you can see how many times the home has been listed, who the agents were, and how long the listings lasted. First off, you know the homeowner is trying to sell because they listed the home. Second, they’re annoyed/upset/frustrated that their agent could not get the job done. Third, they’re most likely motivated to sell their home in a different way. Expired listing information can all be found on the MLS. If you don’t have access, ask a Realtor or purchase the list from a service. Once you have the list, persuade the homeowner that selling to an investor is the right way to go – emphasize the fact that no agents need to be involved.
As you can see, each mailing list is a different situation and needs to be treated accordingly. Sometimes different names on the same list need to be treated individually. If you can craft the right messages, you’ll land a good number of deals with direct mail. It may not be your main lead source, but an extra 1-5 deals per year never hurt!