Postcards – Still an Effective Marketing Tool

Since web 2.0 has become such a major part of our lives, many real estate agents have begun to overlook more traditional methods of marketing. The truth is, you need to combine the old with the new to create an effective marketing campaign that will produce you leads in the present and in the future. One highly effective and low cost way of marketing your real estate business is postcard marketing.

Postcard marketing offers benefits that you can’t achieve with any other type of marketing.

Some benefits include:

  • Studies show that postcards get read 73% of the time. That is considerable higher than that of a letter.
  • The response rate of postcard marketing is slightly above 1%. That means that for every 100 postcards you mail, you should expect to hear from 1-2 prospects.
  • Marketing with postcards are more cost effective than other marketing method. Postcard marketing is easy to test. Since it is easy to test, it will be easy for you to make changes to ensure you are achieving maximum results.

When starting a direct mail campaign using postcards, the following must be taken into consideration.

  • You must decide on which size postcard would be most beneficial for your needs
  • Decide on a message you would like to convey.
  • How your company brand will be incorporated i
  • What design you will use
  • How to best utilize the limited space that you have to work in.
  • Your budget.

Some businesses opt for designing, printing and mailing themselves , while others opt to use a company that offers designs that can be branded to fit their business, printing , addressing and mailing services. This is often the most cost-effective method when you don’t have a lot of time to spend on your campaign and need to have quality printing.

All in all, postcard marketing is one of the most effective, targeted and quickest ways to get your marketing message across.

Pricing Correctly in a Sellers Market

How many homeowners are currently overpriced compared to market??

TOO MANY!!!

People, people, people…… we are living, selling and buying in a much different time then we grew accustom to just a few years ago. With short sales. foreclosures, distressed sales, etc. we have experienced a severe depreciation effect – YES – the bubble burst….

Is that really news to anyone?

Unless you spent the past 3 years on the I.S.S it really shouldn’t be… Why then, are SO many homes priced out of the market? What is the thought process here? What is the strategy?

You are wasting your time!!!!

And more importantly, you are wasting the time of others – and in turn are now contributing to the Real Estate market we are all currently experiencing.

Would you pay $5.00 for a gallon of gas?

Of course not!! Am I crazy to even ask? Unfortunately if you are overpriced for the market, buyers will have the same gut reaction as you just had…. $450,000 for this home, when the one down the street JUST closed for $290,000??? What is this guy nuts? Why is he wasting my time, does he think I’m a jerk?

You are chasing the market!!

The longer you stay priced over and above fair market value the more you waste financially and emotionally. The added stress will take its toll on you – you will start pointing fingers – start believing that this market is truly “in the dumps” and may very possibly say “just take if off the market”

You are going to quit a race that you never entered!!!

Some of the list price’s I see now a days really astounds me…. I don’t know if its the doing of a bad agent that is simply “buying the listing” (this means to tell a seller you can far exceed market conditions, they then list with you in hopes of obtaining false hopes).

Or is it the homeowner that’s just “sticking to his guns” – if that’s the case, and you are NOT WILLING to accept current fair market value for your home…..

TAKE IT OFF THE MARKET!!!!

One of my favorite quotes came from an old friend of mine, now I’m sure he heard it elsewhere but it really condenses where I am coming from…..

“Market sets price, we do not”

This is true on so many levels, whether talking about homes, cars or broccoli – pricing is set by current demand for that product….not a tough concept to grasp.

If you really want to sell in this market – if you are serious about getting to a closing table……

PRICE ACCORDINGLY

If you are unsure if you are priced correctly – or if your agent has misinformed you on fair market value…..get in the car and drive!!!

Get on Realtor.com or look in the newspaper…..or contact me directly – find all comparable properties within a 5 mile radius (there should be plenty with the inventory levels we are experiencing) and PREVIEW THEM!!!

THESE HOMES ARE YOUR DIRECT COMPETITION!!!

Compare your pricing to these specific homes…..are they “nicer” then your home? Do they have additional upgrades? More square footage? An extra bedroom, a nicer view??? If so, re evaluate where you stand price wise – it is truly in YOUR best interest….

Which Way is Up? Two “Technical” Views on Where the Market is Headed

Ever Wonder Which Way Is Up?As an Investment Advisor, I am wrapped-up in the daily ups and downs of the stock and bond markets, or am worrying about inflation, deflation or just “flation” – either “in” or “de” or “stag” or “re.”I constantly ponder questions like “What types of stocks will do better – large companies, small companies, domestic or international?” And “What direction are the markets headed in?”For some silly reason, I always think that most Americans are thinking about this stuff too. I forget that this is what I do for a living and that most people don’t think about this very much. And they shouldn’t.Most people get their financial news by catching snippets from newspapers, websites, radio, watching guys like Jim Cramer on CNBC at the gym, or by listening to my show or reading my blog.Technical AnalysisSo, while I have your attention, allow me to acquaint you with two “technical” views on where the market is headed.By the way, Technical Analysis is simply looking for patterns and trends in financial data to glean “insights” – really just guesses – on where the markets may be headed next.Truth is, no one really knows where the markets are headed. But markets do trade on technical analysis – sort of like the tail wagging the dog – making some of it a self-fulfilling prophecy, till some cataclysmic “real” event washes away all theories. Sort of like the dot-com bust or the mortgage market collapse where reality ultimately trumps theory.Two Technical Views on Market DirectionThe two technical analysts I follow are Lowry onDemand and Hedgeye.On the one hand, Lowry sees bullish patterns in the data. Here’s an excerpt from last Friday’s market commentary:”… any period of weakness should probably be viewed as an opportunity to add to equity positions. Investors might find this a good time to look for stocks with strong technical ratings in strong sectors and groups.”You can sense that Lowry does not believe we are headed for another nasty downturn.Hedgeye doesn’t agree. While Hedgeye analyzes technicals, they also closely follow the state of the US and world economies. Here’s the gist, in my words, of what Hedgeye principal analyst, Howard Penney, sees:”… a weakening labor market, softening consumer confidence, softening housing activity and retail sales, and an intensifying trade deficit – the early stages of a renewed economic decline.”SummaryWhile Lowry sees no near-term threats, Hedgeye believes another downturn is just around the corner. So there you have it, diametrically opposite views from fairly intelligent people. Welcome to my hell!The bottom-line is, how important are their predictions for the short-term? The answer is: not very… because short-term market movements are not all that important.The point is, many companies will create wealth over time so maintaining the assets you have in the market and adding during market dips should suit you well.By the way, most money managers and so-called stock market experts fare no better than you when it comes to picking winning stocks. So listen to all commentators with a grain of salt. We may sound confident, like we know what the future holds, but alas we do not!Building a portfolio based on trying to foretell the future will always lead to disaster. Generally speaking, buy good quality stocks, diversify, and let it ride.