DIRECT MAIL MARKETING TO ABSENTEE OWNERS
Direct mail marketing to Absentee Owners is arguably one of the most popular marketing techniques employed by real estate professionals. It is a fast, cheap, and easy marketing method for real estate investors to find discounted properties to buy or flip and Realtors to locate new listings to sell or manage. But before you invest your time, effort and money marketing to this Real Estate niche, make sure you understand how to do it correctly. If you don’t, there is a high likelihood you will not get the marketing ROI you are looking for.
Today, we are going to address some of the forgotten factors you’ll need to consider to achieve success in marketing to Absentee Owners. See this article for an overview of Absentee Owner Marketing 101.
First, decide exactly who your target audience is going to be. This will drive all your Absentee Owner marketing activities. These forgotten factors include:
- Where does the owner live? Do they live in another house, city, county, or state? Historically, the farther away from a home the owner lives, the more likely they are to be receptive to your marketing message. With that being said, do not overlook local owners. Most everyone focuses on Out of State Owners. However, there are more owners, and fewer Realtors and investors market to the guy living 90 minutes away.
- How much equity is the owner likely to have in the property? Statistically, the longer someone has owned a property, the greater the amount of equity they will have in it. This piece of information can be a significant factor in your marketing, depending on whether or not you work “Pretty Houses,” “Distressed Houses,” or Owner Fi” deals. Hint: if you live in a non-disclosure state, a good way to “guesstimate” the amount of equity an owner has in a property is to search for properties including deed dates. The older a deed date, the more likely the owner has built up substantial equity in the property. Since I like working “Buy-Fix-n-Flip” distressed properties, I usually look for 7+ years and older deed dates. If an owner has only owed a property for a year or two, odds are they don’t have enough equity in the house to make it worth my time to pursue.
- What is the socio-ecconomic strata of the property and the owner? In most markets, homes fall into 4 or 5 economic strata; “affordable housing,” “entry level,” “step-up,” all the way up to “Super-Luxury.” Each strata has unique opportunities, challenges, and acquisition techniques. Think through which strata you want to focus on, learn the opportunities, challenges and acquisition techniques needed, and then become a specialist in that strata. In the end you will generate significantly more wealth than if you just chase every deal that comes across your desk. And don’t forget about the economic strata of the owner. Many times heirs inherit properties they either cannot afford (average earner inherits a property that requires 50%+ of his paycheck to make the monthly mortgage payment), or one they do not want to deal with (high income earner inherits a “crack house”). In either case, the owner may be highly motivated to sell.
As with all direct marketing, keep your direct mail branded, consistent, timely and relevant.
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The REI Mentor