I've been helping agents and brokers with their direct-mail marketing campaigns since 2005; specifically with their real estate postcards. My clients' postcards have featured new listings, recently sold listings, and a few cards have simply been nothing more than a promotional tool for the agent or broker. Since my business is promoting real estate agents, I'm always studying the competition and scrutinizing every postcard I get my hands on. I've seen the very best postcards (and the very worst) that southern CA real estate agents use for marketing.
The most effective real estate postcards feature a combination of three specific items. If you can include all three on your postcard, you're assured to deliver a card that will benefit both you and the postcard recipient.
Here are the three items found on the most effective real estate postcards:
1)A photograph of the agent or broker. If you're going to spend the time (and money) to design, print, and mail a postcard, you need to include a photograph of yourself. This is important. It's branding. The more often a resident sees your image, the more they will feel like they already know you. Now, you can't just throw any old picture onto your postcard. You should hire a professional headshot photographer to take your photograph. This will cost several hundred dollars at the minimum, but the photograph will be well worth the money. You could also build a specific scene for your photograph. For example: you could sit at the table with a friend and go through the normal process of explaining how a real estate transaction works. While you are doing this, have a professional photographer take pictures of the entire event. Setting up a photo-shoot like this can get expensive but the images will be priceless because they will show you interacting with a client in a positive atmosphere. If you add these types of images to your postcard, your potential clients get to see you in action explaining and helping a client with their real estate transaction.
2)Something that is personal to the resident. This can be information that pertains to their neighborhood (or city) such as upcoming events, politics, or news. For my postcards, I feature a photograph of the recipient's house on the cover. This is about as personal as a postcard can get. Homeowners are astounded when they realize their home is featured on the front cover of the postcard. Needless to say, this has tremendous shock value and instantly gets an agent or broker recognition in the neighborhood of their choice. Although you don't need to go to this extent to get a recipient's attention, you must remember to always include something personal on the postcard. Otherwise, why should a resident even look at the card? Every postcard should contain something personal about the recipient. The "personal touch" on the postcard, in my opinion, is by far the most powerful of these three essential components for an effective real estate postcard.
3)Something of value to the resident. This can be in the form of free consultation, free comparative market analysis, or even a free cup of coffee! Coffee? Yes, coffee. If you include a coupon for a free cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, that coupon will dramatically increase the lifespan of your postcard, which significantly increases the marketing power of your postcard.