About half of our real estate newsletter subscribers use a print newsletter. Some use it as their only newsletter, and others use print in addition to email newsletters. Some agents send print newsletters to their “A” List and email newsletters to everyone else. Others send print to their entire database of several hundred people.
A large number of agents also tell us they successfully use print newsletters in their geographic farms. That made me curious, so I reached out to get more information. Here are five distinct ideas I got back for using real estate newsletters to geographically farm a neighborhood:
1. Mark Clifton hand-drops his newsletters on the weekends when there’s a better chance of people being in their yards, garages, having yard sales, and so on. It gives him an opportunity to talk to people casually, without knocking on their doors. “People get to know me as that friendly guy who comes around every now and then. Folks say they look forward to getting it.” After three months, Mark got his first call to set a listing appointment.
2. Jason Rothschild hires his son to drop his newsletters every month throughout his 1,500-home geographic farm. Jason himself doesn’t do any door knocking or walking the neighborhood. “I’ve been doing this for 17 months. I get a call every other month or so to come list a house or help someone buy. It’s because the newsletter is so friendly. People feel like they’re getting to know me, even though they’ve never met me. You have to make your newsletter feel personal.”
3. Arlene Adamson uses her newsletter as a neighborhood interaction tool. She offers a free classifieds insert in every issue, and has a flyer service hand-drop her newsletters. Her classifieds insert includes a URL where people can add a classified to be included for the next issue. A lot of the ads are for services offered by people who live in the neighborhood. Arlene won’t accept ads from people outside the neighborhood, which she “polices” by asking for their address.
4. Rachel Valaincourt likes old-school door knocking. She delivers her newsletters by hand, only leaving it behind on the door step if no one was home when she knocked. “People have gotten to know me pretty quickly. They know I’m just there to say hi, and not ask for anything. Most people are happy to see me.” Rachel keeps a database of all the people who’ve said they’re planning to move, and then she tells them she’ll be in touch to set a listing appointment about a month before they say they’ll be moving. “People are surprised that I call when I say I will.”
5. Alec Griffith inserts a local interest flyer inside his newsletters. This could be a neighborhood watch meeting notice, a football schedule, a neighborhood yard sale event flyer, a grand opening of a local store flyer, even lost pet flyers. Usually the flyer already exists and he simply asks the producer of the flyer for 800 copies to include in the newsletter. He stuffs and folds his newsletters himself while watching TV in the evening. He’s never had anyone tell him no. Though he doesn’t write any local content in his newsletter, the flyer makes the newsletter feel local. Alec says he is definitely the agent with the most listing signs in “his” neighborhood.
What other ideas can you think of to increase local visibility with your print newsletters?