The real estate postcard is kinda like the real estate yard sign I wrote about in my last blog post.
It has a few uses and, like the real estate yard sign, is a remnant of days gone by. Days before the Internet was a thing. It’s really used nowadays for four big and important reasons:
- it helps the seller feel good about what their listing agent is doing to sell their house. It’s a concrete and tangible item they can hold in their hands and feel that they’re getting their money’s worth.
- It helps get the word out to the neighborhood that there is a house for sale and maybe, just maybe, one of those neighbors will know someone who is looking for a house in the neighborhood.
- It helps direct people to a website that will have photos and information about the house and maybe, just maybe, people will send that website around to friends, co-workers or whoever. It also shows the seller that you also have an Internet marketing strategy.
- It helps get the word out to the neighborhood that the listing agent is the “neighborhood expert” or, at least, selling a home in the neighborhood. Send enough of those postcards and people may actually think you are the neighborhood expert.
The Just Listed/Under Contract/Just Sold Postcard
As soon as they get a listing that goes on the market, they arrange to have the postcard get printed and mailed. I personally use a print house that provides a nice template and allows me to add a custom narrative about the house. Not too lengthy. After all, it’s only a postcard. The Just Listed postcard hits all the high points. It has a photo of the house and the address and, sometimes, even the price the house. Hopefully, it’ll have a website that you can get more information and see more photos.
Sometimes, the house will sell pretty quickly. That means it goes under contract almost as quickly as the postcard takes to get into people’s mailboxes. Remember, this is the Post Office delivering these things. Not the Internet. That leads to the Under Contract postcard. This is a great thing because it shows that the listing agent got the job done and the house is now on the way to settlement and new owners. The quicker the better. It really makes the listing agent look good if the Under Contract postcard goes out pretty fast.
The Just Sold postcard goes out after settlement with a reminder to the neighbors that if they want the same exemplary service the sellers of this house got, they should get on the phone toot suite and set up an appointment for me to come over.
These postcards usually go out to about 200 addresses. We’re talking about the neighborhood, not the world. The Internet takes care of getting word out to the world.
The General Marketing Postcard
This is the type of postcard that might go into a specific neighborhood or subdivision that doesn’t advertise the sale of a specific house. These types of postcards are just reminders that, “Hey, I’m the neighborhood Realtor. Don’t forget to call me for all your real estate needs.”
These might take the form of reminders about Daylight Saving Time or Halloween. They might be educational about lending programs or the old standby: recipe cards. Anything that reminds you that I’m your guy when it comes to real estate. For instance, I send a postcard every month into a subdivision in College Park called College Park Woods. It lists all the homes that are being sold or have been sold in the most recent three months. It keeps the neighbors up-to-date on how the market is doing.
Do Real Estate Postcards Work?
I think the jury is out on this. I know that some of my general marketing postcards get a response now and then. Usually it’s when they end up in someone’s mailbox at the magic moment when they’re thinking of selling their house.
The Just Listed – Just Sold kind are really just a throw back to the olden days when Open Houses were a primary way people sold houses. There was no Internet that people could surf at 3:00am to see what houses were on the market. However, they do create a little awareness and, who knows, they might hit that magic house at that magic moment when someone is looking for a house to buy and your’s might be the one.
Mostly, though, it’s a way for the listing agent to show the seller we’re doing something to sell his house.
Hey, that works for me.