JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: What do you Know About Direct Mail?

What do you Know About Direct Mail?

  Direct mailing is one form of advertisement that I have yet to try. Therefore I would like to know from any of my fellow Realtors who have tried it, have you gotten good results? How often do you do so? Would you recommend it?

 I have had luck with flyers at apartment complexes and I would really like to start consistently direct mailing some of the higher end apartments here in Columbia. I'm not sure of the best way to get addresses for apartment complexes. Have any of you guys found good way to do this?

 Any advice or tips would be most appreciated. So, lets hear what you have to say.


JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 18 commentsJL Boney, III • January 26 2008 08:10PM


JL - I usually don't like to just link to another blog post but I wrote a couple farming posts at one of my other websites www.realsolutionsblog.com  and will continue to update that blog with farming ideas.
Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) almost 12 years ago

JL - know a lot about it. Probably too much to discuss here. You can call anytime and I will help you with the tips that I know. Basics are this: it has to have something of value, one page, a call to action, multiple choices to get in touch with you. Inserts are ok.

Cover letter must start off with what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then close with telling them what you told them. Postage, mail houses, data base, printing... etc. must be considered.

It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it's not rocket science, and easy to do once you get the hang of it. It also must be consistent, something we're not doing much anymore, but should.


Posted by Gary Bolen, CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information (McCall Realty) almost 12 years ago

JL - We did direct marketing for about a year.  We sent out recipe postcards in color.  We were told when we first started that you should send something they will not throw out.  We have actually received listings from our postcards. 

We started Craig Proctor this year so we stopped the postcards.  We still send out "Just Sold" and we send something to our past customers. 

It can be expensive (postage) and you may only get 1 or 2 calls.  We got our name and faces out there.  People see us in the grocery store and they know who we are (we also have 2 billboards) but they have seen our cards and other mailings. 

Good luck if you try - they say you have to give it 6 months to see how it works.

Bonnie Barbieri - Remax Advantage - Spring Hill FL


Posted by Bonnie Barbieri, GRI, CIPS, SFR, TRC,CNE,CDPE,SRES (Remax Marketing Specialists) almost 12 years ago


I use postcards because of the cost to mail and they are more likely looked at instead of thrown away in an envelope.....I find them to have a good ROI

Posted by Julie Chapman, New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida (DR Horton ) almost 12 years ago

Just Sold, Just Listed, and Open House postcards have generated listings for me.  People like to see the way you market a home.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
I agree postcards are the way to go.  They are eyecatching and don't require a lot of reading but get straight to the point.
Posted by Gaye Granice, Associate Broker (Robert Defalco Realty) almost 12 years ago
There was a particular neighborhood that I wanted to buy a house in...instead of trying to find one through the MLS, I just mass emailed everybody askign if they want to sell. Long story short, I heard from a seller who sold me their house at 65% LTV. Not bad. The mailings only cost $50.00.
Posted by Delete Account almost 12 years ago

JL: Direct mail is like anything, it's in the execution. Quantum Mail for those apartments. I agree with Gary, but I'll expound. Use Express Copy glossy postcards, or the like. Your message must be strong, you must offer a USP and you should have a follow up system.

This is scary, but calling expireds and FSBO is also a good way to get prospects. Think of it this way, they are warmed up. Few like to call, so you won't have much competition. Look at those expireds daily and you think you'll have a huge number, comb them and you'll get just a few each day.

Tell me what's cheaper than a phone call? How many direct mail pieces do you respond to? Success is sometimes described as being willing to do that which others are not. What's your biggest fear? Rejection? Separate your emotions from your intellect. Jesus? nailed to a cross. Ghandi? Shot. Martin Luther King Jr.? Shot? Medger Evers? Shot. JFK Jr.? shot. Galileo? imprisoned. Marconi? (inventor of radio) committed. Charles Goodyear? reviled. Sir Isaac Newton? Labeled a heretic. Flying machines? ridiculous! Space flight? absurd! If people despise you it might be a plus!

Posted by Matt Grohe, Serving the metro since 2003 (RE/MAX Concepts) almost 12 years ago

I have just started my direct mailing this week. I hope it goes well for you and ME!!!!Have a great 2008!

Posted by Cassie Hansley (Wilikinson and Associates) almost 12 years ago
I've been using Just Listed and Just Sold cards consistently for about 10 years.  I order them from Color For Real Estate.  I have received numerous listings from these cards.
Posted by Tina Merritt, Virginia Real Estate (Nest Realty) almost 12 years ago
Thank you for all the help guys. If you think of anything else, please let me know. Where do you guys get you addresses from?
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago
I have spent an afternoon just walking  apts complexes looking at the addresses . putting them into a data base and mailing from that. Long  way to do something but when I looked into buying a mailing list it was really expensive...Sharon Harris AllQuest  Real Estate
Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) almost 12 years ago
I have thought about doing that Sharon, every apartment mailing list I have found is also expensive. How well did it end up working for you?
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

Have used MyMailingList with the Carrier Route sort for years. Minimum bulk is 200 for each sold/Just listed flyer. Always had good results. Cheapest rate is Automated sort for each piece at your head post office of your area (BMU). You take the flyers there to get the best rate basically bypassing your local post office carrier & then it goes directly back out to the carrier again. You must have a bulk mail permit at the BMU/SSEC. It will cost around 18 cents for each post card (half sheet).

I have done this successfully for over 10 years. Might seem complicated at first, but well worth the effort. Our entire office is on board for those that mail out. Most of us send over 10,000 pieces per year.  My farms I send once a month now, was twice a month when the market was great!

Good luck & take advantage of a great barcoding product in MyMailList.


Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 12 years ago
I use postcards, consistently, often switching between regular and jumbo size...always changing the front, so they don't immediately go "it's her...and throw it away.  www.vistaprint.com is a place you can get GREAT free postcards.  Simple to use, but really nice professional glossy postcards.  You only pay postage, and a small fee for uploading your picture and logo the first time!  I love it!
Posted by Elaine A. Cook, Bellingham Real Estate (Connect Realty.com) almost 12 years ago
Postcards work! You need something to grab their attention.  We have used postcards for many years with success.
Posted by Anonymous almost 12 years ago
The numbers are simple - 1-3% response is good. You have about three seconds to grab their attention before the card or whatever goes in the garbage.
Posted by Simon Conway (Orlando Area Real Estate Services) almost 12 years ago

Elaine- Thanks for the tip, I will check out the website.

Simon- I'm sure many of them will end up in the trash, but it has to work sometimes.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago