At some point, every real estate agent asks the same question . . .
Do postcards still work in real estate?
Of course they do! If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a boatload of blogs written about them answering all sorts of questions:
- What is a real estate postcard?
- What is a farming postcard?
- What should a real estate postcard say?
- How often should you contact your farm area?
. . . nor would there be a ton of real estate postcard companies trying to convince you that they have the best real estate postcards. (We’re no different, except we know we have the best—and we do much more than just postcards. 😜)
But here’s the thing . . .
Agents who farm with postcards (and maybe you’re one of them) hate the hit-or-miss nature of the strategy. Agents don’t always have a strong rationale that ties together what cards they send to whom, when, or even why. As a result:
Agents become easily discouraged with their real estate marketing post cards if they don’t fully understand how they work, or if they don’t send the right card to the right prospects.
What agents need to know about real estate postcard mailers
So while real estate postcards do still work, it’s important to know that, as a marketing strategy, farming with postcards is a long-term game. You may send out a round of postcards and get one or two immediate leads (which is great), but the intent of an ongoing real estate postcard marketing campaign is to build a sustainable business by creating a flow of inbound leads.
With this as the goal, it makes sense that the top performing real estate farming postcards do two things exceptionally well:
- they increase brand recognition and brand awareness in a distinct way, and
- they generate warm leads.
Additionally, real estate agents should understand that the farm they select will directly affect how well their campaigns perform. There are features of a farm and different types of farms that you’ll want to investigate before you begin prospecting.
Finally, if all an agent does is send out postcards that solicit business, then they are severely limiting their appeal. Real estate is a relationship-based business, so in addition to soliciting business, you also need to send postcards that help establish you as the trusted agent in your community.
Qualities that distinguish top-performing real estate postcards
Aside from what you would expect of a top-performing postcard (high-quality paper, attention-grabbing images, personal branding, etc.) there are five qualities that distinguish really fantastic postcards from those that end up in the trash.
1. They are mailed to the most appropriate farms
In real estate, there are three popular types of farming: geo farming (or geofarming if you prefer), demographic farming, and farming that relies on predictive analytics to identify people likely to buy or sell a home in the near future.
Geo farming starts with the selection of a particular geographic area. For example, you might select one or more neighborhoods, zip codes, school districts, or apartment complexes.
When selecting an area to farm, there are four critical features you’ll want to examine:
- The number of households in the area
- The demand for properties
- The turnover rate
- The level of competition from other agents already in the area
You can download our FREE e-book that discusses geo farming in depth. It includes instructions for easily finding the information listed above.
Demographic farming (also known as niche farming) is appropriate for agents who want to target a group of people who share certain interests or characteristics. First-time homebuyers is a popular niche, but so are seniors, divorced parents, luxury homebuyers, and those looking to buy second homes.
Finally, predictive farming relies upon the application of algorithms to large quantities of publicly available data to predict who is likely to buy or sell a home in the foreseeable future. Once those people are identified, you have the opportunity to add them to your postcard campaign and be the first agent with their foot in the door.
Being first is a HUGE advantage! The 2022 NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report states that 82% of sellers select the first agent they interview.
I encourage you to listen to our podcast episode about farming. Luke and Josh, the hosts of Stay Paid, explain predictive analytics in more detail and how our model works. Toward the end of the episode, they offer an exclusive link where you can get a FREE predictive analytics report of up to 1,000 addresses.
2. They include valuable content
The problem with so many postcard campaigns is that they focus on capturing leads, which I’ve already mentioned is not the primary purpose of postcards. Postcards featuring the typical “Buying or selling? Call me” messages only work if they arrive at the same time the recipient is looking to buy or sell—if not, into the trash they go because they offer no value to the recipient.
The best postcards for REALTORS® perform as well as they do because they either educate recipients, entertain recipients, or help establish you as the agent of trust.
Postcards that educate
You’re in real estate, so when you send educational postcards make sure they offer information designed to specifically help homebuyers and sellers. Postcards that give tips for increasing a home’s value are great examples. So are postcards that inform recipients about the benefits of working with a real estate agent or that provide a checklist of easy, seasonal home repairs.
Postcards that entertain
Postcards that feature recipes are among the most popular cards that aim to entertain. Recipients interact with these cards by trying the recipes, posting them on refrigerators, and saving and sharing them with friends. The key is these postcards aren’t about business, which helps prospects perceive you as more than an agent looking for their next transaction.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that before someone will do business with you, they need to know, like, and trust you.
- Entertaining postcards branded with your image and contact information help people get to know
- Throw in a fun image or a tasty recipe and now they also like
- Send these cards often enough, and they’ll start to trust you because you’ve become familiar and aren’t just soliciting business.
Postcards that establish you as the agent of trust
These postcards need to be designed with careful attention to how your message is written. They can function as either overt or subtle invitations to conduct business, but they should focus more on why they should do business with you. Including words like trusted, experienced, honest, helpful, and professional on your postcards encourages prospects to have confidence in your skills as an agent.
A good mix of educational, entertaining, and trust-building cards will help ensure your real estate postcards deliver value while encouraging prospects to keep you top of mind.
3. They are printed with a QR code
It isn’t the QR code that help postcards perform well as much as it’s the item of value (called a lead magnet) recipients get when they scan it.
You can create QR codes that send recipients to your website or a blog article. More enticing might be a free guide for homebuyers or sellers in exchange for an email address. Crank it up a notch, and use your QR code to deliver invitations to an exclusive client event.
Free QR code generators are available online and most are simple to use.
You can also visit our Resource Library to download FREE lead magnets you can use to encourage your postcard recipients to scan.
4. They are sent by agents who follow up with recipients
I cannot emphasize this point enough: To get the biggest ROI from your investment, you need to follow up with your recipients. The top-performing postcards are sent by the most diligent real estate agents. Period.
A quick call is all it takes to help keep you top of mind.
If you’ve sent a recipe postcard, simply ask if they tried the recipe and whether they liked it. If you engage in a conversation, wonderful! Go with the flow. Let them know you’re available if they or someone they know needs your services.
If you’ve send an educational postcard, ask if they have any questions or if you can provide them with additional help or information.
And if you’ve sent a postcard designed to build trust, see if you can work in some discovery questions to determine if they may be ready to explore buying or selling.
If you’re not sure about what to say, we have some FREE call scripts you can download and modify to fit your own style and the situation.
5. They arrive in mailboxes in a consistent fashion
I’ve said this above, but it’s worth repeating: As one of many real estate marketing strategies, prospecting with postcards is a long-term game. It’s also a game worth playing because we know it works to keep you top of mind. When you are consistent in mailing your postcards, and the time comes for a prospect to buy or sell their home, they’ll call you.
Want some proof?
Click this link to watch a TikTok video in which our president, Luke Acree, tells the story of a social experiment involving an agent who doesn’t exist and what happens when a community repeatedly receives postcards from this fake agent. (The video has already gotten more than a million views!)
So how often should you be reaching out to your farm? The short answer is, “Probably more often than you think,” but, at a minimum, we recommend once a month. If your budget allows, 26 touchpoints a year, or once every two weeks, is most effective.
Gary Keller, one of the authors of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money . . . It’s About Being the Best You Can Be, [#ad] suggests that agents can expect one transaction from every 50 direct mailers, including postcards, they send. Think about using this number as a benchmark when setting your budget.
We make farming with postcards easy
Sending postcards, especially if you follow the five tips I’ve discussed, is an especially effective real estate marketing strategy for increasing brand awareness, promoting brand recognition, and generating inbound leads. Real estate postcards deliver a higher ROI than most digital marketing strategies and because they are inexpensive, they won’t strain your budget.
With ReminderMedia, you can set up your postcard campaign in five minutes (no kidding). That’s because our campaigns are preloaded with postcards that have been strategically selected by our team of real estate marketing experts to achieve optimal results. Even if you decide to send only one postcard, we have the singular design that gets agents the most traction.
Of course, you can still customize any aspect of your postcard campaign, including your choice of design.
But if you want to hit the ground running and supercharge your prospecting, you can choose from a variety of campaigns, including our popular 8×8 campaign. We’ll jump start your farming for you by sending eight automated real estate postcards at a cadence of one postcard per week for eight weeks. After that, you can keep your touch points going with emails, phone calls, a newsletter, or a monthly postcard campaign to stay top of mind all year long.
Click here to get an additional 25 FREE postcards with your first order. We’ll have your cards ready to mail in 24 hours.
And if you’re a new postcard client, be sure to ask about your FREE predictive analytics list with 1,000 addresses.
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