Probate Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices
Direct Mail marketing to probate real estate personal representatives (administrators) is one of the most effective marketing techniques Real Estate professionals can employ to gain new listings or to find deals on deeply discounted properties. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when building your marketing campaigns.
First, be aware of your reader’s age. A growing body of research now suggests that different aged readers have different formatting preferences. Older readers, such as surviving spouses, prefer 12 pt or greater typeface, serif fonts (Times New Roman) and shorter, narrative text. Younger readers, such as surviving children, prefer fonts designed for digital reading devices (Helvetica family), even shorter, list-based communications and when possible, consuming that information on digital devices (primarily cell phones).
Second, a little extra personalization effort pays huge dividends. In most American MSAs you are dealing with a manageable number of Probate Real Estate leads each week. If you will invest the extra time to differentiate yourself from your competitors by learning a little more about your recipients than just the name of the estate and its mailing address, you will see substantially higher marketing ROIs. To achieve these, whenever possible, learn your reader’s name, their age, relation to the decedent and their gender. Using these few extra pieces of information in your marketing sets you apart from 96%+ of your competitors and gets you well on your way toward building the rapport you need with the estate’s administrator to obtain your new listing.
Next, keep in mind that when the administrator of an estate is the surviving spouse, often she is an older adult. One key piece of feedback gathered from our most recent probate marketing survey is that probate marketing pieces opening with some version of “I’m so sorry for your loss,” no matter how well-intentioned, are inevitably reminding the reader of her loss, which tends to reawaken emotional pain, and sometimes even fear. This is not how you establish a positive connection with your reader.
Another common complaint cited is that among older administrators, when a sender professes “sorrow for the loss of a loved one,” the reader becomes anxious, confused and concerned that you are a friend or coworker she did not know about or has forgotten, many times causing your reader to avoid you rather than engaging with you.
These are only a few of the reasons we recommend Real Estate professionals follow the probate marketing advice and practices offered by two of the most prolific Real Estate investment firms in the country.
Instead of following conventional wisdom and opening your piece with some form of false sincerity, be forthright, but tactful, in stating why you are contacting your reader. Consider using some version of, “During this difficult time…,” or “When faced with the unexpected responsibility of an inherited home…,” or something to that effect.
WeBuyHouses.com® counsels its franchisees to heed the following advice when crafting their direct mail pieces to probate administrators:
“… our marketing maintains a professional image and offers a simple service – we can help you to convert real estate into cash in a short period of time with minimal hassle. We do not hide who we are or what we can do – and we do not send “yellow letters” with fake “handwriting” that create[s] the false impression that you are just a guy looking for a house. We do not send insincere sympathy cards to people we do not know. Our approach is honest and straightforward – we are professionals that are ready, willing, and able to convert real estate assets into cash.” -WeBuyHouses®.com
HomeVestors™ website says they have “…been America’s #1 Cash Home Buyer Since 1989,” and they “… have purchased 60,000+ homes nationwide.” Their Probate marketing goes a step further and actually lists in bulleted format the advantages of doing business with them, and then concludes their piece with a concrete offer amount.
If these marketing powerhouses can consistently purchase properties at discounts of 50% off, smaller real estate investors can too. And Realtors offering to help administrators retain most of that 50% discount should easily be able to land new listings from Probate leads by the truckload.
If you have marketing advice you would like to share, please contact us. And remember, if there is anything my staff or I can do to help you grow your business, please let me know.