Last Updated on April 7, 2017In addition, this market is generally younger and has been less affected by losses in the stock market and dwindling retirement accounts. Problem is, how do you get these clients when every other agent is sending them the same message? And, if you get their attention, how do you identify buyers who will consider moving in the next few months? Today I want to share with you a strategy that you can use every time you prospect renters…this year and every year. It’s a 3-step postcard mailing that educates renters and makes your message stand out in a unique way. STEP 1: Identify the HOT areas for first time home buyers In every local real estate market, there are areas where first time home buyers congregate. It could be a demographic trend, such as younger people wanting to live closer to downtown, work or “night life” activities. Or, it could be specific priced areas, where buyers usually live before purchasing their first home. With a little research you can even narrow it down to a specific apartment complex in your city. Hop on your computer and start researching rental rates. Identify at least two main apartment complexes or areas that have the right first time home buyer “characteristics.” STEP 2: Narrow in on lease termination dates I saw this used by one of our 3-Steps members. His MLS system shows him when a lease originated, then he makes an assumption that most will be one-year leases. Knowing the lease termination date, he targets renters at the exact time they are considering staying or moving. Did you catch that? His timing is very important… Approximately eight weeks before a renter’s lease ends, he sends his mailings. They may renew their lease, unless you can persuade them to at least request information about buying a home. If you can’t access lease origination dates on your MLS or another public source, don’t let that slow you down. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes to identify when they might move. Many move to start a family or they already have a growing family and need more space. So they’ll be moving during summer months to not disrupt school schedules. Spring is generally a prime time to do a mailing like this. STEP 3: Create a series of 3 letters or post cards to send out in a sequence Now, what you want to do is send out an initial postcard 8 weeks before the lease termination date. Then send a second postcard a week later and the third postcard another week later. Besides sending a targeted message at the perfect time, this strategy works because you are following up multiple times – response rates tend to more than triple with this strategy. You can even use “First Notice,” “Second Notice,” and “Final Notice” on the front side of a multi-sequence mailing to increase urgency. Here’s a simple example you could use for the first postcard. NOTE: The “heavy copy” formatting is intentional. The message identifies renters who are in the market to buy a home. You can put this on a 5½” by 8½” postcard (8½ x 11 cut in half) in a bright color (light blue or yellow). Use Microsoft Word or Publisher and print in your office or at home since you’ll be printing smaller quantities. OR…you can convert this message into a very personal letter to renters.
- Make an OFFER for valuable information a first time home buyer would want to know. Create your own free report by using your knowledge of real estate to give little-known details or common questions renters would ask. You could also offer a free first time home buyer seminar.
- Put these in the mail for an early week delivery (usually by Friday to have the postcards arrive by Tuesday).
- You can send these out in small quantities either by grouping specific people with lease termination dates close to one another, or by sending to an entire apartment complex if you feel the cost is justified.
- If you want to send these messages out as letters instead of postcards, remember to make the letters as personal as possible. Hand address or direct imprint the address on the envelope, use a live postage stamp, and mail merge the renter’s name on the letter.