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Multi-layered Direct Mail Campaigns Reach Both Prospects and Clients

Case Study: Debbie Walter of RE/MAX Northwest Realtors

re/max northwest realtors Customer: Debbie Walter
Company: RE/MAX Northwest Realtors
Industry: Real Estate

The Challenge: Debbie's stated goal is to be "your real estate consultant for life."  After 18 years in the real estate industry, she knows that a steady, disciplined marketing campaign will help her maximize her results during the booms and weather the busts.  She needs a multi-layered direct mail strategy that will both engage new prospects and maintain consistent contact with past clients.

The Design: Over the years, Debbie has developed most of her own direct mail pieces - monthly testimonial cards, just listed mailers, and real estate news announcements.  "I have a template I personally created then every month I add my clients photo, what they wrote about me then send it to"  If you're a do-it-yourselfer, or have somone in the office with a flair for layout & design, makes it easy to create and upload your own designs in Microsoft Publisher, Adobe PDF, or numerous other common formats.

The List: Debbie's in the enviable position that her client and sphere of influence lists are lengthy enough that she doesn't need to do much open prospecting.  By taking good care of her existing clients, she knows (a) they're likely to refer their friends and family, and (b) they'll be back themselves when it's time to sell their home.

The Campaign: "I have been using monthly testimonial postcards, mailed to my database for the last 5 yrs with  I also use 'Call to Action' postcards to announce important news (such as the $8,000 tax credit) & 'Just Listed' postcards.  On a quarterly basis I will mail out a jumbo postcard that features either success stories or multiple listed/sold properties.  This helps me to be at the forefront of my database and at the top of their consciousness."

The Results: Debbie is seasoned enough to understand that, in real estate, a single mailing probably won't directly lead to numerous sales - a Just Listed postcard is as much about building your brand and reputation as it is about advertising an individual property.  "I have no doubt that mailings have been an integral part of my success which entails on average $20 million in gross sales, even during this challenging market."

Why "I have been so happy and pleased with the ease of the ordering process.  Within a few days my entire database of over 200 past and current clients + sphere of influence receive the postcard in the mail."

What Can You Learn from Debbie?

If you're newer to real estate marketing, it will help to lay out a year-long mailing schedule, so you can see the big picture of who should receive what, when.  Flooding someone's mailbox with a postcard for every single listing you have, but missing unique opportunities like the 2009 1st time home buyer tax credit, or dropping the ball on holiday greetings, can cripple an otherwise strong campaign.  Think of your marketing as an engine:

  • Just Listed postcards are the gasoline...a steady stream of fuel and the lifeblood of real estate direct mail.
  • Keep-in-touch cards - holiday greetings, testimonials and the like - are the motor oil that keeps all the parts happy.  You only need to change the oil every few months, but any smart driver knows that if you don't keep all the moving parts well-lubricated, things will eventually break down.
  • "Call-to-action" cards are the spark plugs.  You have your listings lined up, you have your client list, now you need your clients to see the spark of opportunity.  You've established a strong bond with your clientele through your keep-in-touch campaign, and you've made sure that they know about what's available in their neighborhood through your listings mailings.  Now you need to leverage.