We wanted to improve postcard marketing in what is now a mobile world…so we started with buyer and seller research
Let’s first start with the facts…real estate marketing is undergoing a major shift right now. And that major shift is very much related to how buyers and sellers are accessing real estate information and services at the present moment; and how they will continue accessing information into the future. This shift will also affect how agents pursue these prospects for their business. This transition is called: The Mobile Shift.
Zillow reports that, “more than 40%” of its weekend traffic comes from a mobile device. And it’s not just Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are already reporting growth spurts in mobile usage to their sites as well.
But browsing the web on our mobile phones isn’t the biggest breakthrough to hit mobile. Mobile also made for new advancements in the way we communicate. And one of the biggest changes to how we communicate has come by way of text messaging. To put it plainly, TEXTING is KING. In fact, according to recent reports published by the wireless association of America, we now receive and send more text messages then the number of voice calls made from a mobile phone. Also, texting is the #1 mobile activity on all mobile phones.
What mobile texting means for agents
This means that a whole new channel of communicating with buyers and sellers has opened up. A channel that provides an open line of communication with prospects like never before. Agents can now deliver real estate content, photos, and videos instantly using a method that has a consumer reach of 230 million. It also shows us that the growing majority of people favor this communication method, as it better reflects our on-the-go, I-want-it-now, don’t-make-me-wait fast pace of life. And yet, most agents are missing out on this opportunity or are already using mobile texting in limiting ways that ignore and abandon the quiet and hungry crowds of prospects that represent more business in this market.
But mobile alone has a BIG problem…luckily, there are postcards to help
Although all roads point to mobile, the medium lacks reliable targeting and the market is over saturated with ads. So what’s the secret to getting interested buyers and sellers to raise their hands and engage with you? It’s with the help of a postcard.
Marketing postcards have always been great for directly targeting prospects and making them aware of neighborhood properties on the market or suggesting real estate services you offer. But the real power of the postcard lies in how your offer is shaped and presented. Along with a filtered targeted mailing list, they are, by far, one of the of the most effective tools for making sure your message is seen versus sitting and waiting for someone to view your online listing. Here are just some of the biggest benefits postcards have to offer:
Open mail (no need to open)
When mailing brochures and envelopes, you’re left hoping that prospects take the time to open and read your message. However, with postcards the visuals and message go to work immediately without any need for opening. Prospects are hit upon contact. This is important given research shows that your marketing pieces have only 3 seconds to capture the attention of prospects. Also, postcards are tangible and held in hand while read. This physical experience helps to bridge a closer bond between the prospect and your offer.
Effective -vs- other methods
Aside from being cost-effective, real estate postcards beat out other real estate marketing methods by sheer circumstance. Unlike an ad, your postcard competes with only a handful of items in the mailbox on that day, rather than with the 250-300 ads in a typical newspaper or magazine. Email marketing also has its challenges.
(1) Making it into the inbox and pass spam filters
(2) Hopes of being seen among the crowd of emails
(3) Having an engaging enough email headline that users don’t delete it before reading your message.
Hand pick your target audience
Not only can you greet every prospect at their door step, but get better return-on-investment by hand picking your ideal prospects by creating your own filtered mailing list using factors such as age, income, length of residence, consumer behavior and more. You have detailed knowledge of who your prospects are when marketing.
Merging the best of both marketing worlds
But like mobile, it too has a weakness. Though postcards are great at personally targeting ideal prospects they don’t deliver the immediate rewards of content and information that texting and the Internet provide in today’s information age. And mobile marketing alone lacks the mechanisms to know exactly who you’re targeting your message too; you’re left to a shotgun approach that’s wasteful with time and spending. And most agents who are using text-based marketing on property signs feel limited by only providing property information to a few interested buyers while ignoring other prospective buyers who want to buy however don’t have an interest in that particular featured property.
So it hit us! Combine the strength of real estate postcard marketing’s personal and targeted approach and mobile’s ability to return content and media instantly to the prospect from anywhere; thus doing way with both their weaknesses. Not only that, we wanted to research what buyers and sellers said was most important to them when selecting agent. So we embarked on a fact finding mission and reviewed countless real estate studies on what buyers and sellers deemed most valuable to their selection process.
Numerous research studies show time and time again, that buyers want valuable real estate information to gain leverage in their purchasing pursuits. Studies also show that buyers value property photos above all media when shopping for a home. As with buyers, sellers too, value real estate information and desire content that will gain them an advantage when selling their home.
Exposing our secret ingredients…
We took these research findings and designed them into the foundation of our postcards. Next, we crafted irresistible offers around the prospect-desired information to reinforce appeal. Lastly, we created a mobile solution by which all prospects could access the offer instantly from anywhere.
But the greatest advantage comes to the agent. Once a prospect responds to an offer for FREE information, by texting to a simple number, the agent is notified in real-time via text of the new lead and is provided a phone number for follow up (as well as FREE proven follow-up closing scripts).
What we ended up with was a patent-pending solution that TRULY puts lead generation on autopilot.
The problem with regular postcards
None of today’s postcards offer innovative and instant methods for lead capture. Most other postcard companies sell static postcards, know nothing about real estate marketing, and serve countless unrelated industries. The truth is, most of these companies are mom and pop printers with glossy website storefronts trying to get an easy buck.
Problem with print-to-web landing pages
Most landing pages have long URLs and aren’t mobile friendly. Plus, people know that landing pages mean coughing up their email and other info; and for fear of being spammed will enter factitious information (most of us have done this) to make it pass the turnstile. The problem is the agent is duped by false information and can waste time with dead follow ups.
The problem with QR codes
Let’s be honest, you don’t even scan those things! Though QR codes can track, they CAN’T capture call back numbers on engagement. What good is it to know someone visited your listing via a QR code and NOT be able to follow up. Plus their function is limited to smartphones which only 58% of U.S. adults have. You NEVER want to limit your market! Texting, however, works on standard cell phones and smartphones and DOESN’T require downloading an app to work.
CNN News even reported on QR Code failure.